The Radshaw Family team has a vast range of experience across various areas of family law. Relationships play a big part in everyone’s lives and we play a fundamental role in resolving family disputes for our clients, whether they are at the beginning of a relationship or the end. We will guide you with sound legal advice, acting in your best interests and in the interests of any children involved.
When you experience difficulties in your private and family life, our family law solicitors can help. We offer a compassionate approach to resolving family disputes because we understand how stressful it can be.
Our family law experts provide tailored, individual advice across a broad range of areas concerning relationships, children and agreements. The breadth of our family services means we have a wealth of experience to draw on, which informs our understanding of what are often complex and difficult situations.
We offer legal advice to help you decide the best approach for you. Whether you are entering a legal agreement with your partner or your relationship is breaking down, our family law solicitors can work with you and offer comprehensive advice. When children are involved we are always sensitive to both their needs and yours as a parent or guardian.
We act in your best interests and deal with family matters in a pragmatic and non-confrontational way. We always consider whether an agreement can be reached between parties, through mediation or other means. This cost effective approach means that our clients can often avoid the uncertainty of going to court and is considered best practice.
Not all family disputes can be resolved outside of the court room. Where mediation is not an option we work hard to achieve a fair solution as quickly as possible. Our family law solicitors offer guidance, support and legal advice throughout proceedings so you can concentrate on the well-being of you and your loved ones.
We specialise in the following areas:
• Divorce and Relationship Breakdown
• Pre-nups and other Agreements
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If you are going through the breakdown of a marriage and you have decided that you wish to divorce your partner, there are a range of options that can secure a divorce without going to court. These include:
- Collaborative divorce
Collaborative divorce means you and your partner work together to settle the terms of your divorce in the presence of legal representatives. If you still have an amicable relationship and are able to co-operate, this can be a quick and less stressful way to agree financial matters and child access arrangements.
Mediation involves a third party acting as an intermediary between you and your partner, guiding discussions and helping you to reach an agreement about your divorce.
It can take different forms and does not necessarily mean you and your partner have to be in the same room. Mediation can often help establish a respectful and civilised relationship – especially beneficial if there are children involved.
Negotiations can take place between your solicitor and your partner’s solicitor to try to reach an agreement without court proceedings being started.
There are two important things to remember when you consider the above services: typically, each of these services will be cheaper and quicker at resolving your issues than going to court, and if you try any of these services and they do not provide a satisfactory result to you or your partner, you can still take your case to court.
Arbitration can now be used for matters involving children as well as for financial matters. It can be a good solution for keeping a case out of court. A legal specialist third party is nominated to consider submissions from your legal team and your partners, before deciding on the terms of the divorce.
It is very unusual for a court not to uphold an arbitrator’s decision so unlike other forms of court process, you should expect to be bound by the decision of a third party rather than reaching your own agreement. It is usually quicker and more flexible than going to court.
Our expert legal team are highly experienced in representing people in mediation, arbitration and collaborative divorces, as well as in court led divorces. They are highly skilled negotiators and can also act as mediators or arbitrators in these processes.
To find out more about these options and how we can help, call us on 0333 3445 548.
How long it takes to process your divorce depends on a number of factors. If you are able to quickly come to terms with your partner without having to go to court, it is possible that the whole process could be completed within 6 months. However, if you find it difficult to reach an agreement, have a lot of issues to resolve, or need to have things put before a court, it can take much longer;
Every case is different, so to get an idea of how long your divorce might take it is important to get expert advice. We can give you an estimate of how long it will take at our first consultation.
There is only one ground for divorce: an ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’. This is proved by any one of five facts:
- Unreasonable behaviour– Conduct by you or your partner deemed sufficient to cause the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage
- Adultery– Defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse
- Living apart for two years(and both partners agree to the divorce)
- Living apart for five years
- Desertion for at least two years– Desertion takes place when one partner leaves the other without their knowledge or agreement.
Usually, the grounds for divorce and the guilt of either party will not have an impact on your financial settlement or the arrangements made for your children, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
There are seven stages to the divorce process:
A divorce petition must be filed with a court by you or your partner. Whoever does this is known as the Petitioner, with the other party referred to as the Respondent
- The court sends the divorce documents to the Respondent;
- The Respondent files an Acknowledgement of Service – this includes answering questions such as ‘do you intend to defend the case?’ and ‘do you agree with the ground for divorce?’
- The Petitioner applies for decree nisi – an order by a court stating the date on which a marriage can end, unless a good reason not to grant the divorce is produced
- The court sends out a Certificate of Entitlement confirming when decree nisi will be pronounced
- The court grants the decree nisi and sends a copy to both of your solicitors
- The Petitioner applies for a decree absolute after six weeks and one day has passed from decree nisi being granted. This decree is a final order from the court that officially ends the marriage, allowing each party to remarry. The Petitioner can delay in making the application for example if financial arrangements have not yet been finalised.
The divorce process differs depending on how you and your partner respond to each other’s demands, and particularly if the Respondent indicates they are going to defend the divorce. If steps are contested, the process can be slowed down.
You can agree your financial settlement with your partner whenever you want, but getting it legally formalised with a Financial Consent Order cannot be done before the decree nisi is pronounced. It may then be decided that you should not apply for a decree absolute until you have reached a financial settlement with your partner, but that is not always the case.
Childcare arrangements are usually negotiated throughout the process.
Our legal team can help guide you through this process, explaining things in plain English so you always know where you stand and what your options are. For more advice on the divorce process or any aspect of family law, call us on 0333 3445 548.
You may have to go to court if you cannot come to an agreement with your partner, but you are both required to try and reach an agreement over the arrangements for your children’s care and financial arrangements before taking the case to court.
We can help you and your partner try to reach an agreement, if necessary with the use of of mediators, who can help you and your partner discuss your situation in a transparent and constructive way. We can also provide you with access to family therapists and counselling services for extra support.
Out-of-court agreements are typically cheaper and quicker than going to court, which can make them less stressful for all involved.
If none of the out-of-court processes work, we will ensure you have the best legal representation in court. Our solicitors will be open and honest about the likely outcome, and will fight to protect your best interests. We will ensure you are well prepared for any appearances and will be at your side throughout.
For advice or a consultation on your case, call us 0333 3445 548