Family Matters

Divorce and Separation

We can help you to understand the divorce or dissolution process and advise you of the steps involved. We can handle your divorce from start to finish, or support you if you choose to do some of the work yourself. Whatever your decision, we will match our service to your needs.

We are accredited by both The Law Society and by Resolution, our goal is to help remove the stress from our clients lives during this difficult time.

FREE* initial advice meeting & Fixed Fee Monthly Payment Plans

At the start of the divorce or dissolution process you are likely to have many questions and be in need of some practical advice regarding your options. We can meet with you for an initial 30 minute free* meeting, in which we can:

  • Discuss your situation
  • Answer all your questions
  • Advise you of your options
  • Inform you about the divorce/dissolution process
  • Explain likely costs and timescales

Following this initial, no obligation meeting we will confirm all our advice in writing, so you can take it away and think it through. We can also help you manage the cost of your divorce or dissolution with our low cost,fixed fee legal services, which is payable in flexible monthly payments to suit your budget.

* Please note that the 30 minute free initial consultation excludes consultations where you request a Partner level Solicitor due to the complexity of your problem.

Deed of Separation

In the unfortunate event you and your spouse are separating, but do not want a Divorce yet, a Separation Agreement can record how you would wish the sale proceeds of your home to be dealt with and divided between you or how it is to be transferred to one with a payment to the other. It can also outline how you want the other assets to be divided such as pensions, furniture, shares and debts. It may also cover child maintenance and arrangements for the future divorce.

Collaborative Divorce

When going through a divorce, many couples want to minimise the stress of the process and work through it without going to court. This can be achieved by what’s known as collaborative law – a process where both parties and their lawyers work together to resolve disputes without having to drag each other through a lengthy court case.

Starting divorce proceedings & representing you

We will complete all documents, complete and return your “Acknowledgement of Service” form, liaise with the Court, communicate with the other party, and keep you informed every step of the way.

‘One-off’ advice sessions if you are filing for divorce yourself

We will be on hand to help when you need us. We could help you with a specific form or query you have regarding the divorce process, or if get stuck part-way through when representing yourself.

Change of Name Deed

We can help if you want to change your name or your children’s following the divorce. 

Updating your Will

After a divorce it’s important to remember to update your Will to reflect your current assets and beneficiaries.

Buying or Selling a Home

Our experience team of Conveyancing experts can handle this process for you, so you can focus on getting  yourself and your children’s lives back into a family home as quickly and stress free as possible.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q We both want to get divorced and we know what we want to do with our assets, can you help us with the legal work? yes (although we still have to give you the correct advice and not break any rules-that’s all for your own protection). We can generally quote you a fixed fee for a piece of work that appears to be agreed. We have no wish to start a fight where there isn’t 1.

Q How long does a divorce take? If there are no problems and your spouse cooperates, then typically around 5 months.

Q Will I have to go to Court? No. It is very rare for someone to have to attend at Court in an undefended Divorce.

Q How much will I have to pay a solicitor to get a divorce? We offer fix fees for simple uncontested  divorces, which are £600 including vat. You can pay these by instalments as the case progresses.

Q Are there any other court fees I will have to pay to get divorced? In a straight forward undefended Divorce there is a Court fee to issue the proceedings of £550. However, if you receive a low income or benefits, you can apply to Court to try and get a reduction to the fee, through the “Help with Fees” scheme. We can assist you with this.

Q Does my spouse have to pay towards my legal costs? You can reach an agreement with your spouse for them to pay and the Court can record this agreement in an Order during divorce. If they object to paying, in separation cases it is normal both spouses to pay their own costs. In cases based on adultery or behaviour the court can order the other spouse to pay towards the costs, even if they do not agree. This is at the court discretion however, looking at the facts of the case and financial means of the parties.

Q On what grounds can I base the Divorce on? There is only one ground for Divorce in this Country, which is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. You have to show this break down by basing the Divorce on one of 5 facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • 2 years separation and your spouse consents
  • 2 years desertion
  • 5 years separation

Q Is divorce fault based? Although it may sound fault based, in reality it is not in this country. It does not give you any real advantage in financial issues or children issues by being the Petitioner in Divorce. The only advantage the Petitioner has is that they control the speed of the Divorce as they are responsible for filing most documents.

Q If we wait 2 years to Divorce, is it quicker or cheaper? No, whatever ‘fact’ you base the Divorce on, the process is always roughly the same length (about 6 months from the date a Court issues it, in our local Courts). This will only change if Divorce Law is overhauled by the Government, and as we type it’s not 1 of their priorities.

Q Does my spouse have to agree to the Divorce proceeding? If you base the Divorce on adultery they will need to sign a confession statement admitting to this before Divorce is issued. If based on 2 years separation and Consent, they will need to sign to confirm their Consent before Divorce is issued. The other grounds do not need there consent or admission before proceedings start.

Q Can my spouse stop or delay the Divorce once it is issued? Your spouse will have to return an Acknowledgment at the start of the proceedings to confirm they have received the Divorce papers. This is their only part to play. If they refuse to return the acknowledgment, we can prove service by other means, for example by arranging for them to be served with the papers by Court Bailiff.

Q Can they defended the divorce? Defended Divorces are very, very rare these days, as a marriage takes 2. So if one spouse says the marriage is over, a Judge is unlikely to stop the Divorce making spouses remain married. Defended divorces are also expensive.

Q on Divorce do I get half the pension? A Divorce court can fairly share out Pensions earned during a marriage-even if they’re just in 1 person’s name. Sometimes that person gets half, sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more, but we can help you explain how you decide how much to ask for, and the process of making a Pension Share happen.

Q can I make him/her pay the mortgage? Courts can’t Order (ex) husbands & wives to pay 3rd parties (like a Mortgage Lender). But Courts can Order 1 spouse to pay maintenance to the other (even before the rest of their case is sorted out); with that maintenance, the payee can pay his/her Mortgage Lender.

 

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