Getting Legal Advice
If you have reached a situation where you need legal advice then you should arrange a meeting with a legal advisor. Meeting face to face will help you get to know the advisor and find out if they are the right person for you.
The right person is the one you feel comfortable with. It is important that they have specialist legal knowledge and that they listen to you and take time to understand what you need. Look in the 'About FLiP' section to see the lawyers and other specialists at our firm. It may be that initially you need advice from one of our other professionals before heading down the legal route.
If you can, you should bring with you the following documents to a first meeting:
The Traditional Route
This involves two or maybe three separate court processes.
The first is the divorce itself; this is usually straightforward depending on the grounds on which you wish to divorce and if the divorce is undefended. It can be processed through the courts within 6 months.
The second process is to resolve the financial issues between the couple. The first step of this process is the information gathering. The couple disclose to each other their worldwide assets and income as well as their needs and other obligations. Up to three hearings then follow. The first two can be used as opportunities to settle and the third, the Final Hearing, is when a judge will make a finding of what the division of the assets and income should be. The court process nevertheless encourages settlement both at the first two hearings and in direct negotiations between the parties and their lawyers. However, if settlement is not reached the court will impose its decision on the parties based on the current case law. The court process can provide a structure that is not always possible in either mediation or collaborative cases; however this structure can also prevent flexibility, which the parties may need to be able to negotiate the settlement themselves.
The third set of proceedings, which the parties can issue, relates to children. The court’s position on children’s matters is that it will only impose a decision if the parties are unable to reach a decision on their own. For more information see “Parenting Issues”. All of these processes apply equally to civil partnerships.