Divorce For Dummies (UK Edition)
Divorce is never going to be an easy experience to go through, emotionally, legally or in terms of the decisions you have to make. You can, however, remove a lot of the pain and hassle from your divorce by following the advice on this Cheat Sheet, and by checking out the organisations and resources you find here.
Divorce Decisions in a Nutshell
You face many tough decisions when negotiating a divorce agreement. In most cases, the basic questions you need to ask yourself boil down to the following:
Where will you both, and your children, all live afterwards?
Who will the children live with or will you share their day-to-day care?
If you agree on the children living primarily with one of you, how will they keep in contact with their other parent?
Will you use a parenting plan? If so, what will it include?
Which one of you will pay child support?
How much will the child support be?
Will the child support include items such as spending money, any private healthcare for your children, school tuition, and other child support ‘extras’, such as coaching or music lessons?
How long will the child support last?
Will maintenance (spousal support) be paid? If so, to whom and how much?
How long will the maintenance payments last?
What are your assets?
What are your debts?
How will you divide your assets (for instance, your home, cars, pensions) and how will you share out the paying off of your debts?
Important UK Organisations and Helpful Resources for Divorce-Related Issues
The following list of resources may be of some help as you’re going through your divorce. Keep this information in a handy place (maybe under a refrigerator magnet or inside the phone book):
Legal and mediation resources
Look to these resources for legal or mediation help if you're divorcing your spouse:
Resolution (family solicitors and mediators), 01689 820272
Law Society, 020 7242 1222; find a solicitor 0870 606 2555
Law Society of Scotland, 0131 226 7411
Law Society of Northern Ireland, 028 9023 1614
Family Mediation Helpline, 0845 602 6627
National Family Mediation, 01392 271610
Family Mediators Association, 0808 200 0033
Relationships Scotland, was Family Mediation Scotland, a mediation provider, 0845 119 2020
Family Mediation NI, 028 9024 3265
You may find assistance with financial matters during your divorce with these resources:
Legal Services Commission, 0945 345 4345
Scottish Legal Aid Board, 0131 226 7061
National Debt Helpline, 0808 808 4000
Consumer Credit Counselling Service, 0800 138 1111
Payplan, 0800 389 3431
Money Advice Scotland, 0141 572 0237
National Association of Citizen's Advice Bureaux (including NI), or nearest CAB office
Citizens Advice Bureaux Scotland, 0131 550 1000
Counselling and support resources
Divorce-related counseling and support services are available through the following:
Relate Northern Ireland, 028 9032 3454
Catholic Marriage Care, 020 737 1134
ACCORD (Northern Ireland Catholic Marriage Care), 028 9023 3002
The Spark, 0141 222 2166
Jewish Marriage Council, 0208 203 6311
Muslim Council of Britain – click Service Providers
National Council for the Divorced and Separated, 07041 478 120
Resources if you have children
If you're a parent going through a divorce, you can seek out assistance through these resources:
The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC)
The Child Support Agency, 08457 133 133
Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service), 020 7510 7000
One Parent Families/Gingerbread, 0800 018 5026
One Parent Family Scotland, 0808 810 0323
Grandparents Association, 0845 434 9585
Parentline Plus (also Scotland), 0808 800 2222
Reunite, 0116 2555 345
Childline, 0800 1111
Children First (Scotland)
‘It's not your Fault’ website for children
Contact Centres and resources for non-resident parents
Parental resources for non-resident mothers or fathers are available in the following:
National Association of Child Contact Centres, 0845 4500 280
Contact Centres in Scotland, Family Mediation Scotland, 0845 119 2020
Families Need Fathers, 020 7613 5060, 08707 607 496
Match (Mothers Apart from Their Children)
Resources if abuse is a risk
In situations of domestic abuse, these resources can provide information and support: