How long should my divorce take? 

An undefended divorce usually take 4-6 months. A decree absolute can be applied for 6 weeks and a day after the decree nisi.

It is usual to wait for all financial matters to be resolved either by agreement between the parties in a Consent Order or by a final Order of the Court before applying for the decree absolute.

What are Pre nuptial and Post nuptial agreements? 

The advantage of pre and post nuptial agreements are that they provide peace of mind where the couple wish to resolve their financial arrangements whilst they still care for each other whilst at the same time wishing to ensure that they are both protected.

Provided both the couple have the opportunity of each obtaining independent legal advice, have made financial disclosure and other requirements are in place then if there is a disputed the court is likely to regard the agreements as being of magnetic importance.

The probability is that if more people entered on to nuptial agreements or cohabitation agreements there would be less need for the court contested cases taking up to 12 months or more of time, stress, dispute and cost between two people who once cared for each other.

Do I have parental responsibility and what does it mean? 

Parental responsibility means according to the Children Act "all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property".

If you are the child's mother then you automatically acquire parental responsibility when your child is born. If you are the child's father and were married to the mother at the time of the child's birth, or if after 1st December 2003 your name is on the birth certificate then you will automatically have parental responsibility.

If you are the child's father you may acquire parental responsibility by agreement with the mother - or by an application to the court. The court considers various factors in making a parental responsibility order and a family law solicitor will advise you on this application. Other people - including step parents - are entitled to acquire parental responsibility provided that both parents agree and the court approves.