Divorce Solicitors

Divorce Solicitors

We appreciate that coping with the process of separation and divorce is emotionally one of the hardest things you will ever experience. The implications such as the effects of divorce on children and resolution of financial issues are additional concerns that we will seek to prevent.

If you have made a decision to end your marriage or need to respond to a divorce petition, contact our expert divorce solicitors today on 01256 630080.

Trusted divorce lawyers

At Child Law Partnership, our divorce lawyers regularly represent clients in divorce matters around Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire. We understand that you want to do all you can to prevent your children from suffering as a result of your divorce or separation.

We always place children at the heart of everything we do – and recognise that the more positive the relationship you have following divorce, the better it is for the children. That is why we firmly believe that the key to reaching a positive settlement is through maintaining a civilised relationship between all parties. We always aim to keep conflict to a minimum for a smoother path to resolution.

How is the divorce initiated?

You can only apply for a divorce if you have been married for at least one year and either party can apply by lodging a Petition at Court. The applying party is called the ‘Petitioner’, and the receiving party is called the ‘Respondent’.

In England, you will need to prove to the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down, and this in turn must be proved with reference to one of five specific facts:

1. The Respondent’s adultery (this cannot be used to evidence the irretrievable breakdown of a civil partnership or same sex marriage);
2. The Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour;
3. The Respondent’s desertion for 2 years (this is rare and difficult to prove);
4. Separation for 2 years and both parties’ consent;
5. Separation for 5 years – there is no need for the Respondent to consent.

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What happens next?

The receiving party needs to acknowledge the Petition and say whether or not they want to defend the divorce. If undefended, the Petitioner can make an application for the first decree of divorce, the Decree Nisi. There is a mandatory six week and one day time period after the Decree Nisi is pronounced before the Petitioner can apply for the Decree Absolute. This is the final order of divorce, and dissolves the marriage.

Once the Decree Nisi has been pronounced, the Court can make an order dealing with the parties’ assets. It can be unwise to apply for Decree Absolute until financial matters are settled.

Divorce solicitors - Further information

Typically, it takes around five to six months but it can take longer if there are financial matters to be resolved.

The Court deals with the financial aspects of the divorce separately from the divorce itself. If it is not possible to reach an agreement, a financial application can be lodged with the Court at the same time as the Petition.

What does the Court take into consideration during financial proceedings? In order to seek to achieve a fair financial outcome, the following will be considered:

  • The income, earning capacity, property, financial resources (now and in the foreseeable future both in this jurisdiction and worldwide) of each party; and
  • The financial needs, obligations and responsibilities of each party;
  • The couple’s standard of living during their marriage;
  • The length of the marriage and any period of cohabitation beforehand;
  • The age and state of health of each party; and
  • The contributions, both financial and non-financial, that each party has made to the welfare of the family.

The welfare of any child is the Court’s first consideration. The Court will take all the assets into account and first consider the question of needs (of the parties and the children). In the majority of cases, the assets do not exceed the needs in which case the needs will be the determining factor. If the parties’ needs can be met, then the equal sharing (of matrimonial assets) and compensation (of relationship-generated disadvantages) principles may be engaged.

The Court may leave non-matrimonial assets such as inherited wealth or assets generated before the marriage out of account and share the matrimonial assets equally. In very exceptional circumstances, a Court may deviate from the sharing principle where one of the parties has made a ‘special contribution’ to the marriage.

Contact our divorce solicitors today

Our experienced divorce solicitors hold an unrivalled track record of succeeding for our clients in the most sensitive and complex family cases. We take time to understand your situation and help achieve an outcome that’s favourable for you and your family.

We have a strong regional presence, with offices located around Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire & Wiltshire, and are on hand to fight your corner. To schedule a no-obligation consultation with our divorce solicitors, simply call 01256 630080 or complete the online enquiry form.

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