We can help you 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.
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.
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.
Filing for Divorce & Representing You
We will complete all legal 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.
Filing for Divorce Yourself & One-Off Advice Consultations
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 you get stuck part-way through when representing yourself.
Change of Name Deed
We can file your court paperwork to change your surname or your children’s surname following the divorce.
Updating your Will
Why is it important, when you are separated or in the process of filing for divorce, to review your existing Will?
Until your divorce is complete and a Clean Break Order is filed your ex-partner is legally still your spouse and thus he or she can make a claim against your assets in the event of your death. If you update your Will and include a sealed letter to the court stating your clear wishes, any claims against your estate by your ex-partner are significantly less likely to be successful.
After your divorce is complete it is important to update your Will to reflect your new or current assets and to choose new beneficiaries. Use our Wills Fee Calculator for an instant Will Writing quote, or ask your Solicitor.
Property: remortgaging, selling or buying a new home
When you are separating or divorcing, one or more of the parties involved will require a new home and unfortunately sometimes the family home must be sold or remortgaged in order to financially split your assets.
Our team of Residential 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. Try our Conveyancing Calculator to instantly see how much it will cost to remortgage, sell or purchase a home in legal fees and taxes.
We offer an in-depth ixed fee divorce/separation consultation
- Discuss your past and current situation
- Answer your questions as best we can
- Advise you of your options
- Inform you about the divorce/dissolution process
- Explain likely costs and timescales
We can also help you manage the cost of your divorce or dissolution with our low cost, fixed fee legal services, which can be payable in flexible monthly payments to suit your budget. We will always attempt to give you a fixed fee, but in some circumstances your case may be too complicated or have too many unknown variables for us to do this e.g. if your ex-partner decides to dispute the divorce or refuses to sign the divorce petition. Your solicitor will advise you of estimated costs during your initial meeting, and they will keep you updated of any unforeseen costs during the course of your case.
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 is 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 one.
If there are no problems and your spouse cooperates, then typically around 7 months from the date of first issue. The divorce courts are currently very understaffed and there is a significant administrative backlog in matters being dealt with by the court.
No. It is very rare for someone to have to attend Court in an undefended Divorce.
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.
You can reach an agreement with your spouse for them to pay and the Court can record this agreement in an Order during divorce. The court decides who will pay, but keep in mind there is little point arguing over who is paying the legal fees, which will be causing you to incur legal fees.
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:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- 2 years separation and your spouse consents
- 2 years desertion
- 5 years separation
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.
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 one of their priorities.
If you base the Divorce on adultery they will be asked to sign a confession statement admitting to this before Divorce is issued. If based on 2 years separation and Consent, they will be asked to sign to confirm their Consent before Divorce is issued. The other grounds do not need their consent or admission before proceedings start.
Your spouse will be asked 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.
Defended divorces are very rare these days, as a marriage take two and they are extremely expensive. So if one spouse says the marriage is over, a Judge is unlikely to stop the divorce and force spouses to remain married. Often defending a divorce is mentioned when one partner is trying to delay the divorce for spiteful reasons, a good solicitor will remove the emotional aspect of the divorce to help them understand the costs involved, which usually out-weigh the assets involved, saving all parties a lot of unnecessary financial loss and stress.
A Divorce court can fairly share out Pensions earned during a marriage-even if they’re just in one person’s name. Sometimes that person gets half, sometimes it’s less, sometimes it’s more, but we can help you understand how you decide how much to ask for, and the process of making a Pension Share happen. It is worth reading this Survival Guide to Pension if you are getting divorced, and let us know if you have questions or need assistance.
Courts can’t Order (ex) husbands & wives to pay 3rd parties (like a Mortgage Lender). But Courts can Order one 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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Meet the Team
Ross Hubbard did a amazing job dealing with my divorce and my consent order and kept me well informed with what was happening at all times. He was fast at replying back to me, and although it was a very stressful time for me, Ross kept me at ease. Thank you so much to Ross and the team at Hopkins, I would definitely use you again. Many thanks, Donna Anthony (Plewinski)
Donna Anthony, 24th October 2023
Had a good experience with Hopkins Solicitors. My solicitor was always there with updates and if he wasn’t available his secretary was. Very polite people to talk too. The costs were very reasonable, on the whole I would recommend Hopkins solicitors to everybody including family and friends
Michael Brown, 31st August 2022
My expectations were far exceeded when dealing with Ross and his team recently. The service I received was of the highest standard. I was treated with respect, courtesy and professionalism at a very difficult time. Thank you Ross, you are a credit to Hopkins.
Bryan Willson, 31st August 2022
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