Please see below to see if we can answer your questions.
The simple answer is yes you can. There are however pitfalls to be aware of and particularly where financial issues are concerned it is important to take independent and expert advice.
The process of divorce is largely a paper exercise where the Court is concerned. However, if you do represent yourself through the process and do not deal with the financial aspects of your separation then whilst you may have changed your legal status, you and your ex partner will still retain financial related claims against the other unless or until these claims are dismissed through filing a consent order with the Court, if financial issues can be agreed, or through making an application to Court to determine financial issues.
Family Law is not straight forward in terms of financial rights and remedies. The decisions you make are ones which will impact upon the rest of your life. It is therefore very important that you obtain specialise advice from the outset. Our job is to with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you going forwards.
Parental Responsibility (PR) is not about ‘rights’ but about ‘responsibility’ for a child. Whilst any party with PR should be involved in decision making, it does not automatically mean that day to day decisions of the parent with care of the child should be interfered with.
All parties with PR should be involved in important life decisions, such as education, religion, medical treatment and in respect of the child’s name – i.e. one parent cannot just change the child’s name without the consent of the other parent, in they have PR.
Yes. Through whichever means you resolve financial issues both of you have to provide full and frank financial disclosure as to your respective financial circumstances. Resolving financial issues is a two stage process.
The first stage is to exchange financial information and the second stage is to make informed decisions with you each being aware of the other’s financial position. Even if the two of you were able to sort matters out in person then in order for an agreement to be legally binding it has to be approved by a Court. A Family Judge will not approve a consent order (the legal agreement) without seeing a summary of your respective financial circumstances.
Furthermore, if it came to light that either of you did not provide proper disclosure then a consent order could be set aside at a later date. It is therefore important that from the outset you are open and honest as to your financial position.
Our role is to give you proper and robust advice as to your financial position and work with you to achieve the best possible financial settlement which will be endorsed by the Family Court.
Cohabitation & Unmarried Couples
A cohabitation agreement is a document setting out arrangements between two or more people who have agreed to live together, as a couple or otherwise. It records each party's rights and responsibilities in relation to the property and the financial arrangements between them.
A cohabitation agreement can also be used to record ownership of personal property (including items such as cars, furniture or art) which may be used or enjoyed by both cohabitees when they live together, but are to be retained by the owner if cohabitation ends.