Frequently Asked Questions
We were married overseas, can we get divorced in the UK ?
Yes – as long as you went through all due formalities in the country where you were married, and have a marriage certificate, you can get divorced in this country. If your marriage certificate is not in English you will need to obtain a certified translation. You should do that in consultation with your solicitor to make sure that the translation is in the right format etc. It is likely to add a couple of hundred pounds to the cost of the process. If you don’t have your marriage certificate you will have to get a copy from the place where you were married – in some cases that can be quite difficult. If that country has a consulate here they should help.
My husband is a retired police officer, he says I can't touch his pension if we have a divorce because it is already being paid to him. Is that true?
No - a pension which is in payment can still be made the subject of a pension sharing order. In effect it would make you a member of the police pension scheme and you would get a pension in your own right, whilst his pension would reduce. This is a very technical area and you need to get advice about your own particular circumstances.
I have inherited some money after my wife and I separated. Do I have to share this with her in our divorce?
It depends on the circumstances, and you should speak to a solicitor about this. Generally speaking there is no assumption that monies inherited after separation should be shared, but if it is not possible to rehouse your children, and you and your wife without resort to that money then it will probably come into the formula for division.
We have reached an agreement about our money in mediation, can you draw up a consent order for us?.
Yes, we can draw up a consent order which both of you can use. Please get in touch, and we will give you a quote based on the complexity of your agreement. Please note that although you have an agreement which you have both come to, and you both wish to have a consent order, only one of you can be our client. That is because the rules of our profession say we cannot act for both husband and wife in a divorce situation. So all our coreespondence will be addressed to one person and the other person must consult a different solicitor if s/he has any questions or wants the paperwork checked before s/he signs it.
My wife and I have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for more than two years, and we have agreed to get divorced – can we present our petition on the ground of “two years separation and consent”?
Probably not – the rule is that you have to have occupied separate households during the period of separation. It is possible to have separate households at the same address, but the situation you are describing would probably not satisfy the rule and, in any case, it would involve setting out a fairly detailed explanation of your living arrangements. But you can probably get divorced on some other ground, so it would be sensible to take some advice from a solicitor.
I was divorced overseas but I would like financial issues to be dealt with in the UK. Is that possible?
Sometimes, but not in every case. You would need to make an application to the UK court for permission to proceed, before you could go ahead. I am guessing that you didn't get a financial settlement from the courts in the country where you were divorced, or you feel the settlement you got was inadequate or unfair. You should speak to a solicitor who specialises in financial disputes on divorce, because it depends on the particular cirmcumstances. If there is still scope to pursue financial issues in the country where you were divorce you should mention that too, because you can get involved in a dispute about which court should be dealing with the issues - known to lawyers as 'forum conveniens'.
My husband and I separated a year ago after he had an affair and now we both have new partners. But he has applied for a divorce on the ground of my adultery - can he do that?
Yes, technically sleeping with someone who is not your husband or wife is adultery even if you both accept your marriage is over and you have effectively agreed that you are each free to have new relationships. His divorce petition may be a sensible way forward but should see a solicitor for advice - not just about the petition but also about financial issues and to sort out sensible arrangements for your children.
My husband and I have separated a and we plan to divorce in two years' time but he has agreed to transfer the house to me straight away. My conveyancing solicitor says I have to pay Stamp Duty, is that correct?
No, there is a special exemption from Stamp Duty for divorcing couples, which applies also to couples who are 'contemplating' divorce, so you should be OK if you and your husband are transferring the family home to you. But the rules are more complicated when it comes to other properties such as second homes, holiday properties and rental properties. You should be thinking of a proper separation agreement here and you should also be aware that there can be tax advantages in transferring properties etc before the end of the tax year in which you separate. You should take advice if any of those points apply to you.