Life after divorce
You’ve made it! Your divorce is finished, the papers have been handed in and your separation is legally finished.
As with many other aspects of divorce, some important factors aren’t automatically accounted for during divorce proceedings. Similarly to making separate child arrangements and separate financial arrangements, you’ll have to make other formal, legal changes once the divorce is over. Some aspects that you may think are included will actually require separate attention.
What do i need to consider when my divorce is finalised?
STICKING TO AGREEMENTS
One of the most important things to consider after your divorce is upholding agreements and not breaking any contracts you may have in place. Whether you have drafted legally binding documents, such as financial or child arrangement orders, or “informal” arrangements like financial or parenting plans, it will be a necessary requirement to stick to the terms specified in your agreement.
If either you or your ex-partner breaches the terms of a court order, it means that you will be in contempt of court. The result of this could be fines or enforcement orders. If consistent breaches are appearing, then you can either attempt to solve the issues informally between yourselves or alternatively, you could apply to the court to enforce the original order.
If you and your partner have drafted an informal arrangement, you are not legally bound to the terms and conditions specified within it. However, in the event that you have to go to court, your agreement can be used as evidence.
RE-DRAFTING YOUR WILL
With the broadest set of criteria, unreasonable behaviour is the most common grounds for divorce in the UK. For example, unreasonable behaviour could cover illegal activity, reckless behaviour and physical/ emotional abuse. The Petitioner essentially needs to show that living with their spouse has become unbearable due to their behaviour.
Unreasonable behaviour has no set list of examples. It is the main “fault” form of divorce, where the Petitioner needs to explain what the unreasonable actions of the Respondent were during the relationship.
CHANGING YOUR NAME OR YOUR CHILD'S NAME
If you have taken your partner’s surname during your marriage, you can change it back to your maiden name by completing a Statutory Declaration of Name Change. You can also use a deed poll to change your name on official documents such as passports, driving licenses and bank accounts.
In England and Wales, you can change a child under the age of 16’s name by completing a deed poll. Anyone who has parental responsibility for the child must agree to the name change before it can be accepted.
Preparing for changes
Your life after divorce will be open to new opportunities and changes.
For example, you may want to consider what will happen if you choose to re-marry. Re-marrying after your divorce is finalised is generally a simple process. However, it can be slightly more difficult if you and your ex-partner have children. You’ll need to consider how you will continue your child arrangements and how your ex-partner will feel about integrating your children into your new life.
You’ll also need to consider any other agreements you’ve made in the past which could affect your future, such as agreements with property and finances (and what to do if either of your financial situations change dramatically).
There may be an instance where you have an existing financial or child arrangement order, and over time these orders are no longer accurate, and so you may need to consider having them re-drafted. If your partner’s financial situation improves after the divorce is finalised, you can apply to the court’s to see if you can claim a reduction in maintenance costs.
Most importantly, be happy!
Going through the divorce process is a heavy and tiring thing to do. But your life after divorce will gradually become a breath of fresh air and a chance to start again.
No matter the way your divorce came about, be it amicably or not, you now have an opportunity to celebrate your life, after divorce is finished and out of the way.
LGBT Lawyers is here to help. Our friendly team are on hand to connect you with the best possible divorce lawyer for your case.
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