Divorce & Relationship Breakdown
Our experienced team understand that divorce can be difficult and will always find the best outcome for you and your family. We specialise in divorce for high-net-worth individuals and have extensive experience in this field.
Throughout every stage of a separation or divorce, our friendly and approachable solicitors will offer the highest standards of professional representation calmly and constructively.
In addition to supporting married couples and civil partners, our family law solicitors also provide services to unmarried couples who may need legal assistance.
If you feel that you need legal advice or help with an ongoing situation, please contact one of the team today on 0333 3445 548.
“Miss Manzoor is an exceptional solicitor. She was my solicitor for my divorce family matter. Without her professionalism, we would not have achieved the positive outcome that we did. After the litigation and proceedings, I find now that I am able to start a new chapter in my life. Thank you for supporting me through such a difficult time.”
Divorce & Relationship Breakdown FAQ
What are my options for divorce?
• 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 can co-operate, this can be a quick and less stressful way to agree on 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 must be in the same room. However, mediation can often help establish a respectful and civilised relationship, especially if children are involved.
Negotiations can occur between your solicitor and your partner’s solicitor to reach an agreement without court proceedings being started.
There are two essential 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 and financial issues. 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 divorce terms.
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 agreement. It is usually quicker and more flexible than going to court.
Our expert legal team is highly experienced in representing people in all aspects of the process, including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorces, as well as in court-led divorces. In addition, we work closely with mediators and are happy to recommend some highly trained professionals in this area.
To find out more about these options and how we can help, call us on 0333 3445 548.
How long is the divorce process?
However, if you find it difficult to reach an agreement, have a lot of issues to resolve, or need to attend a court hearing, it can take much longer.
Every case is different, so it is important to get expert advice to get an idea of how long your divorce might take. When you have your first consultation, we will recommend how long the process may take.
What are the grounds for divorce?
There is only one ground for divorce: an ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is proven 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 occurs when one partner leaves the other without their knowledge or agreement.
Usually, the grounds for divorce and the guilt of either party will not impact your financial settlement or the arrangements made for your children, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.
On 6th April 2022, a new No Fault Divorce process will be introduced in the UK. This reform will introduce a new, notification-based system that consents to a divorce without having to confirm one of the five reasons for irretrievable breakdown.
The new legislation will be complete within a six-month period to allow for a period of reflection before a final decree of divorce is made.
Under the new process a divorce will complete within a six-month period, this is to allow for a period of reflection before a final order of divorce is made.
Our legal team can help guide you through this process, explaining things in plain English, giving you all your options and advice on what best suits your circumstances. Our team will always work with you to seek the best outcome for you and your family.
What is the process?
There are six stages to the divorce process:
1. First, 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.
2. The court sends the divorce documents to the Respondent and the Petitioner.
3. 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?’.
4. The Petitioner applies for a decree nisi – an order by a court stating the date a marriage can end unless a good reason not to grant the divorce is produced.
5. The court issues a Certificate of Entitlement confirming when the decree nisi will be pronounced. The court grants the decree nisi and sends a copy to both of your solicitors.
6. 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, particularly if the Respondent indicates they will 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, giving you all of your options and advice on the best to suit your circumstances. Our team will always work with you to seek the best outcome for you and your family.
Please see the downloadable graphic on this page and for more advice on the divorce process or any aspect of family law, call us on 0333 3445 548.
Will I have to go to court?
However, you are both required to try and reach a satisfactory agreement over both the arrangements for your children’s care and finances before taking the case to court.
Our experienced team can help you and your partner try to reach an agreement, if necessary, with the use of mediators. Mediators can help you and your partner discuss your situation transparently and constructively. We can also provide you with family therapists, counselling services divorce coaches and psychologists for extra support.
Out-of-court agreements are typically cheaper and quicker than going to court, making them less stressful for all involved.
If the out-of-court processes do not 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. In addition, 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.
What is a no-fault divorce?
The no fault divorce will remove the requirement to provide proof for the breakdown and will introduce joint applications in addition to sole applications. Contesting a divorce, dissolution or separation will be removed under the reform and divorce terminology will be changed, for example, Decree Nisi will become a Conditional Order, Decree Absolute will become a Final Order and the Petitioner will become the Applicant.
How long will a no-fault divorce take?
Twenty weeks after this date, you will be asked to confirm if your intentions remain the same. If the answer is yes, the court will make a Conditional Order, followed but change to by a Final Order six weeks later.
No-fault divorces will come into effect on 6th April 2022.
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0333 3445 548
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