Family is arguably the most important element of your life. But what if things go wrong?
Going to see a solicitor doesn’t have to be frightening or intimidating, often it can be the start of a new beginning, providing you with a renewed strength. Our divorce solicitors deliver pragmatic, clear and expert advice with compassion, patience and understanding to help guide you through the challenges of separation.
When the stakes are high, you need the most committed and experienced family specialists to skilfully navigate these delicate financial and personal issues.
When a marriage or relationship breaks down, it can be heart-breaking and painful for all those involved. A breakup puts stress on you, your children, your finances, even your job.
If you’re struggling to know which process is best for you, we can help you every step of the way. We will ensure that the legal jargon is translated into plain English, making it easier for you to understand which, in turn, will allow you to make informed decisions to secure your financial future.
If communications with your partner are strained and you simply can’t talk to each other anymore, if you don’t trust your partner and believe they will try to take advantage of you, or if your partner is a bully and has a strong personality and you are fearful that you cannot stand up for yourself, then the conventional approach to divorce may be the best route for you.
If you are going through an amicable separation, a family mediation settlement can be quicker and cheaper than going to court and minimises stress and conflict. It is used to work out mutually acceptable arrangements for the children, property and finances.
You will meet with one of our specially trained mediators, and both sides will be encouraged to contribute equally. Mediators do not take sides or make decisions on your behalf but will gather information and help you work out the best solution, which can then be converted into a legal agreement.
Collaborative law resolves the issues around divorce and separation without going to court. Both sides appoint a collaborative lawyer, with the four of you meeting to come to a mutually satisfactory solution together.
Our skilled and specially trained collaborative law solicitors will help you decide how to move forward, paying particular attention to the interest of any children, and will draft an agreement which can be put into a court order.
It is often perceived that the ending of a civil partnership is distinctly different to the ending of a marriage, it isn’t as couples in a civil partnership have the same rights as married couples.
As with divorce proceedings, dissolving of a civil partnership is a court process and, as with divorces, as of 6 April 2022 there is no longer a need to apportion blame for the breakdown of the civil partnership or to wait for a period of separation. It is sufficient to say that the civil partnership has broken down irretrievably.
Separation Agreements are commonly seen as being an alternative to divorce as they do not end the marriage. They are frequently used where the parties have been married for less than one year and so cannot issue divorce proceedings. Also used when the separating parties remained on amicable terms and wished to record an agreement in respect of the division of the finances without having to immediately commence divorce proceedings. This, under the “old” law would likely have necessitated apportioning blame on one of the parties for the breakdown in the marriage.
The agreement usually sets out the financial arrangements during the period of separation usually on the basis of how the couple's finances should be divided in the event of a subsequent divorce or dissolution.
If you do wish to consider this option, then it is imperative that you seek specialist advice.
When a marriage breaks down, most people’s immediate attention turns to whether they will financially be able to survive a break-up of the family assets and whether they will have sufficient funds to be able to house themselves, meet their monthly bills and needs in retirement.
We appreciate how daunting it is to start unravelling the financial matters, particularly when the assets are complex. However, you can rest assured that with decades of experience dealing with extremely complex cases, our specialist finance solicitors will be able to cater for your every need, ensuring that you achieve a financial settlement that will secure your financial future.
We appreciate and understand that no two families are the same and that a one-size-fits-all approach will rarely provide a satisfactory outcome. We work with you and your other professional advisers to ensure that no stone is left unturned.
It was once said that co-parenting is not a competition. It’s a collaboration of two homes working together with the best interest of the child at heart. Unfortunately, there are occasions when this sentiment becomes lost and disputes may arise about who and where a child will live, how much time they will spend with a parent or other person who they do not live.
If these arrangements cannot be agreed on, whether through correspondence or mediation then it may be necessary to apply to the court for orders deciding these issues.
We will ensure that your children are at the heart of our advice and will provide effective solutions to support you and your family.
As of 6 April 2022 there are no grounds for divorce. This is when the biggest shake up of divorce law seen for decades came into effect. It means that a divorce can be granted without having to blame either party in a marriage or civil partnership or without having to wait until you have been separated for a period of at least two years.
Until this date, divorce had to by supported by one of five evidential grounds: adultery; unreasonable behaviour; desertion; two-years separation with both sides giving their consent, or five years separation.
Whilst the new rules will certainly ensure that divorces are commenced on more amicable grounds, we have always prided ourselves on taking a pragmatic, non-adversarial approach to the commencement of divorce proceedings in any event, ensuring that conflict between divorcing couples is kept to an absolute minimum.
Problems can seem unsurmountable, with uncertain or potentially devastating outcomes, but we’ve got your back.
You are at the heart of our efforts, and we are here to help you write the next chapter. Here are some answers to questions you may have during this time.
Divorce is not a quick process. The introduction of the ‘No Fault’ based divorce on 6 April 2022 has also brought with it a 20 week “cooling off” period from the date the application is issued until the applicant to the proceedings can progress the divorce.
As such, it can take at least six - eight months and your particular circumstances are significant factors on the timeframe. However, we’re with you every step of the way, advising you on ways to minimise upheaval and pressure on you or other family members, concluding the matter as swiftly as possible.
More than 80 per cent of cases we deal with are resolved without ever having to step foot in a courtroom.
For most, concluding a family dispute through new less confrontation methods is preferable. See family mediation and collaborative law above.
Parting couples may have their heads turned by a growing number of companies, purporting to offer ‘quickie divorces’ – which may imply there is an alternative to the normal court route.
That is not the case. It is important to remember that the decision for any couple to divorce is just the start of what can be a lengthy process, which needs handling with compassion, care and detail.
A fixed fee divorce, (or uncontested divorce) is not a ‘divorce on the cheap’, or a ‘quickie divorce’.
You still receive the same high quality legal advice and service. However, as it is uncontested, this means we can guarantee how much it will cost you.
Submit an enquiry and one of our team of experts will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your needs.
Or call the family team on 01522 515946