Issues Surrounding Divorce

It is the issues surrounding any divorce that pose the greatest potential for conflict between couples going through a divorce, even if they agree to the divorce. As a result, financial matters, ownership of property and child custody concerns can protract a divorce settlement.

In the event that a court is dissatisfied with the arrangements agreed between you and your partner regarding children for example, the court may make different arrangements.

Custody of children
Ideally, you and your partner will be able to come to an appropriate arrangement regarding custody of your children (who they live with most of the time) and access for the other parent. If you cannot come to an agreement, the court can make the decisions for you.

If you are thinking of going to court to resolve any disputes regarding custody of your children, you should seek legal advice first so that you take timely and appropriate action.

Arrangements for separation
It is important to remember that even if you never get formally divorced, you merely separate informally, you will need to make arrangements for your children. You may not ever need to go to court for this, and the agreement you come to may be a successful and permanent one. However, if it is not possible to do this, a court can make arrangements for you.

Arrangements for divorce
A court will not grant a divorce until it satisfied with the arrangements made for children. The names of all dependent children* of the family will need to be submitted. This will include all children born to both partners together, all adopted children, all step-children and any children who have otherwise been treated as part of the family. This does not include any foster children as their custody will be determined by the appropriate authorities.

You will also need to submit details about how you plan to care for the children as part of the agreement. Where they will live and who they will live with will need to be decided, as will the financial arrangements regarding their support. If the arrangements are acceptable to both parents, the court is satisfied that the arrangements are in the best interests of the children, the court will not overrule your arrangements.

The court will only intervene to make arrangements where they are necessary to resolve disputes about proposed arrangements. Decisions made by the court are called orders.

*A dependant child is under the age 16, or under 19 and in full-time education.