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Divorce

The breakdown of relationships is now such a common matter that most people are affected by it.

As a result of relationship breakdown there are a number of important issues, some of which can be emotionally traumatic, that need to be addressed. For example: family finances, children, housing divorce and the breakdown of a civil partnership. Sometimes these might arise in the usual course of a relationship breakdown but occasionally these will need an urgent response.

As specialist family lawyers we recognise that at this difficult time and as such we make every effort to meet the needs of our clients as and when they arise. We endeavour to find practical solutions and give advice and guidance to meet the individual needs of our client.

Our team of specialist Family Lawyers are members of Resolution and the Law Society's Family Law panel and offer a comprehensive service to cover the following areas-

  • Divorce
  • Legal Separation
  • Civil Partnership dissolution
  • Financial Matters
  • The position of children in a relationship breakdown
  • Pensions
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Pre Nuptial agreements

One option for the payment of these legal costs would be to agree to pay a fixed price, plus the Court Fees and VAT. Entering into a fixed price package would give you certainty over the legal charges and expenses you will incur. For further information regarding Fixed Price Divorce Packages, please contact us

Divorce

There is only one reason to start divorce proceedings in England or Wales: irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. The person who applies for the divorce must prove the breakdown of the marriage with one of five 'facts'

a) Adultery of the other party
b) Unreasonable behaviour of the other party
c) Two years desertion
d) Two years separation with the other party's consent
e) Five years separation

You must have been married for one year before you can apply for a divorce.

Legal Separation

A legal separation is also known as a Judicial Separation, the proceedings take the same general procedure as the Divorce but a decree absolute is not pronounced and the marriage is never dissolved.

If you anticipate wanting to dissolve the marriage at some point in the future it might not be suitable for you to apply for a Legal Separation, this is something that we would be happy to discuss with you further during your initial free appointment.

Deed of Separation

A deed is a contract between two parties; in a marital breakdown it reflects the parties agreed intentions in relation to finances, children and potential divorce proceedings. A deed of separation cannot be entered into unless there is a firm agreement; this can be achieved directly between the parties; mediated assisted or even via the solicitors reaching a settlement without issuing any court proceedings.

Civil Partnership Dissolution

A civil partnership can be dissolved in a similar way to a marriage. However, it is not possible to dissolve a civil partnership on the basis of adultery.

You must be partnered for one year before you can apply for a civil dissolution and the court can have regard to the same matters in dissolving the partners finances.

Financial Matters

In each family the financial issues that need to be addressed will be unique. The court will endeavour to take into account each unique set of circumstances and so there is no formula to be applied.

In the first instance we would encourage the parties to reach an agreement between themselves with the assistance of mediation if at all possible. In the event that a negotiated settlement cannot be reached for whatever reason we will commence proceedings.

The court will first take into account the needs of the minor children of the family together with the needs of the primary carer for those children, whether this is the mother or father.

The court and solicitors will endeavour to reach a final settlement but in some circumstances it will not be possible as in some cases there may be an ongoing obligation to pay maintenance after the marriage has ended.

The court has the power to make orders against the income, property, policies, shares, savings, investments and pensions of each individual or owned jointly by the parties.

The costs associated with a financial settlement will vary depending on the complexity of the proceedings and if experts advice will need to be sought.

It is rare that experts will be used in these proceedings but sometimes it is necessary for an expert to be used to value property, pensions or businesses. The court will generally discourage the use of experts unless it is necessary and the costs of fees of the expert can be justified.