Divorce can be complicated and messy. Since no two divorces are ever the same, advice from friends and family might not be as helpful as they might think. If you’re facing a divorce, getting clued up and knowing what to expect can save you time and money. Here are six things you need to know before getting divorced.

1. You have to be married at least a year

You cannot file for a divorce until you have been married for at least one year. Up to this point, you may be able to secure an annulment. An annulment can only be granted if the marriage was never legally valid, or the marriage was valid but meets the conditions of being voidable.

Your marriage may be voidable if you did not properly consent to the marriage, you did not consummate the marriage, the other person had an STD when you got married, your spouse was pregnant by someone else when you married, or your partner was in the process of transitioning to another gender.

2. You’re not alone

Recent statistics show that around 42% of marriages end in divorce, so you certainly aren’t alone. Going through a divorce can feel incredibly lonely, but it can help to know that it’s more common than you might think.

But while you might not be alone, remember that no two divorces are the same. So well-meaning friends and family might be ready to share their experiences, but it doesn’t always mean this is how your divorce will turn out. 

3. No one wins

Hollywood movies love to make divorce seem like a battleground. The reality is very different in that no one really wins or loses. Coming to terms with the idea that you will both have to make compromises can make it easier.

In an ideal world, everything would be split down the middle and both parties would get to keep their pension. In reality, it doesn’t always work this way. Some assets cannot be divided without being sold. And sometimes one spouse has given up their income to raise children, so they need to be compensated for this loss.

4. Court is pricey

Having a judge decide the things that you cannot come to an agreement on might seem like the easiest option, but not if you want to keep your costs down. If at all possible, you should limit time spent in front of a judge, as this will only add to the divorce bill.

If you are struggling to reach an agreement, try mediation before you ask for a judge’s input. This will be far less costly and might allow you to reach an agreement even faster.

5. You can stop the process

Right up until the point you are granted your decree absolute, you can stop the divorce proceedings. If you decide to reconcile, or simply try a trial separation, you don’t have to continue with the divorce.

Some couples find it is easier to informally separate and decide how to exist individually before they agree on the financial settlement and childcare arrangements. This will give you some real-world experience of how things work out.

6. You don’t have to place blame

From April 2022, couples will no longer have to place the blame for the breakdown of the marriage in order to secure a divorce. This could help to pave the way for a less contentious and bitter divorce process for couples that have decided to mutually end their marriage.

The no-fault divorce option means that couples will no longer have to determine the grounds for divorce, they can simply move forward with the proceedings, even if one spouse objects.



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