You may already have a Separation Agreement that does not need to be changed.
Your children may have grown up and the maintenance is no longer an issue.
You should still take legal advice to ensure that there are no claims against your pension or that you are not missing out on unclaimed pensions that your Spouse may have.
You also need to make sure yuor Spouse has no claims against your property when you die.
The main difference between a Legal Separation and a Divorce is that you can remarry after a Divorce.
You can get your Divorce by agreement if both of you have enough common ground.
Alternatively, you can do it by way of Mediation or Collaboration.
Before a court can grant a divorce, the following conditions must be met:
- The parties must have been living apart from one another for a period amounting to four out of the previous five years before the application is made.
- There must be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation.
- Proper arrangements must have been made or will be made for the spouse and any dependent members of the family such as children of either party and other relatives.
If these conditions are met, either party to a marriage may apply to court for a decree of divorce. When applying for a divorce you must submit four documents to the Circuit Court:
- An application form (known as a family law civil bill). This document describes both you and your spouse, your occupations and where you live. It also sets out when you married, for how long you have been living apart and the names and birth dates of your children.
- A sworn statement of means (Form 37A). This document sets out your assets, your income, your debts, your liabilities and your outgoings.
- A sworn statement relating to the welfare of your children (Form 37B). This document sets out the personal details of the children of the marriage. It describes where they live and with whom. It also describes their education and training, their health, childcare arrangements and maintenance and access arrangements.
- A document certifying that you have been advised of the alternatives to divorce (Form 37D). This document is sworn by a solicitor and it certifies that you have discussed the options of reconciliation, mediation and separation.
When all of the necessary documents have been filed, you will be given a date for the court hearing. The hearing will be held in private and you will need to show the court that you meet the requirements of the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996. You can read more about the factors considered by a court in a divorce case here. If the court is satisfied that you have grounds for a divorce, it will grant a decree of divorce.