Recently, the Law Division has discovered that a number of divorces were granted erroneously due to mistakes made in the paperwork submitted to the Court.
One common error was individuals trying to petition for divorce – having not yet been married for one year. There is an absolute prohibition by the Court on any petitions for divorce until parties have been married one year.
Sir James Munby, President of the Law Division, has issued interim guidance about the Court’s approach to defective divorce petitions. Munby’s guidance states that any divorce which has been granted in error is null and void. Therefore, if an individual, believing they had been legitimately divorced has subsequently remarried, the subsequent remarriage is invalid.
The simplest way to avoid a defective divorce is to obtain proper legal advice before commencing divorce proceedings. Receiving advice tailored to your situation will assist you in preparing the best possible divorce petition. Your solicitor will be able to advise you on the most appropriate grounds to use for your divorce and, if appropriate, draft your reasons for obtaining a divorce in a way that is neither too weak nor creates unnecessary acrimony with your spouse.
Obtaining advice from a specialist family lawyer will also enable you to receive advice about your divorce in the wider context of your relationship breakdown. It may be important to receive advice about your financial matters or children. It is very important to formalise your new financial position if you are obtaining a divorce. If financial matters (whether disputed or not) remain unresolved and are not formally concluded by way of a Court Order, either party may return to the other at any point in the future to seek to make claims on the other’s assets, including assets acquired post separation. Similarly, if your financial matters are not finalised along with the divorce proceedings, your ex spouse’s spending habits and credit rating could affect your own far into the future.
Going through a divorce can be difficult but the correct legal advice prevents unnecessary stress and worry. Having a family law specialist deal with your divorce will ensure that the divorce you obtain is valid and any matters that ought to be dealt with alongside your divorce do not go unnoticed or forgotten.
At The Family Law Company we offer a free half hour to those considering divorce so you can obtain the right legal advice for your situation.
If you have any queries about divorce, please do not hesitate to contact The Family Law Company on 01392 421777 or [email protected]
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