Divorce and Separation

Relationship breakdowns may be a fact of life, but that does not lessen the emotional and practical challenges that they present. The key to getting through is to find the right people to help you.

The divorce lawyers at Chattertons are among the most experienced around. We deal with straightforward divorces, through to the more complex cases involving issues of domestic abuse, large and diverse estates, or an international element.

Each situation and each client is different; we never lose sight of that. Our experience in handling the legal aspects of all sorts of family breakdowns means that we offer the truly valuable advice, guidance, and reassurance that clients depend on.

On April 6th 2022, the previous UK divorce legislation was replaced with a reformed no-fault divorce law. As part of this reform, several key changes have occurred, allowing couples to access easier divorce proceedings for the benefit of both parties and any children involved.

Chattertons divorce lawyers are here to guide clients swiftly through these new divorce processes, with minimal friction and stress, so that everyone involved can swiftly move forward.

If you have received a divorce application, or you are thinking of beginning the application process yourself, talk to us. Our divorce solicitors will explain the next steps and discuss with you the potential and likely consequences of unpicking the family ties - including dividing assets and liabilities, as well as making arrangements for the future care of your children.

This early advice can set things off on the right footing. It is important to understand what divorce will mean for you and for other family members, and to have a clear idea about what will be required of you during the divorce process.

Our divorce lawyers will guide you through all of this and will be by your side as you go through your divorce. With our help, you will be able to move on - on the best possible terms.

Speak to our divorce solicitors

For expert assistance with divorce and separation, you can contact our local teams in BostonGranthamHorncastleLincolnLondonNewarkSleafordSpalding or Stamford.

To ask a question or request a call back at a time that suits you, please use our simple enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you quickly.

HOW OUR NO FAULT DIVORCE SOLICITORS CAN HELP YOU

DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS

Our divorce solicitors can help you with every stage of divorce proceedings, including:

  • Applying for a no fault divorce
  • Responding to divorce applications
  • Negotiating the division of your finances
  • Assisting you and your ex-partner with child arrangements

By making sure all necessary documents are prepared accurately and submitted promptly, we can help your divorce to go ahead as quickly and smoothly as possible. We can also help facilitate effective communication between both parties, reducing the likelihood of conflict.

DIVORCE FINANCES

Our divorce finance experts can help with:

  • Negotiating financial settlements
  • Referring to mediation to agree settlements
  • Family Court applications for financial orders

Using our expertise in non-confrontational dispute resolution, we can give you the best chance of achieving an amicable financial separation, while ensuring you get a fair settlement that meets your needs.

Find out more about how we can help with financial settlements.

ARRANGEMENTS FOR CHILDREN

Our divorce lawyers can help with:

  • Agreeing child arrangements (such as where your children will live, what contact they will have with a non-resident parent etc)
  • Family Court applications for a Child Arrangements Order
  • Child maintenance
  • Changing children’s names following divorce
  • Child relocation

Find out more about how we can help with arrangements for children.

OUR DIVORCE FEES

We understand the need to be clear on how we charge for our services. You will always receive a realistic estimate of costs upfront with no hidden charges to worry about. The court fee for divorce is £593. Our fees will be in addition to that. How much those fees will be depends on the how complicated your situation is, and what is needed in order to achieve the right outcome for you.

If you have any immediate questions about our fees, please do not hesitate to ask us.

To find out more about our fees, please take a look at our pricing.

WHY CHATTERTONS IS THE RIGHT CHOICE FOR DIVORCE AND SEPARATION

Our family lawyers have decades of experience dealing with both straightforward divorce and separation, as well as situations involving complex challenges, such as high value assets.

Members of our team are members of Resolution, a network of family lawyers committed to removing conflict from divorce and family legal disputes.

We can also offer the services of our Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accredited Residential Property team for any property issues related to your divorce, such as selling your family home, buying a new home and transfer of ownership.

HOW LONG WILL MY DIVORCE TAKE?

No fault divorce takes a minimum of 26 weeks (6 months).

Once the final order has been granted, there are additional aspects to take into consideration, including financial settlements and arrangements for children, if applicable. How long this will take to arrange will depend on the issues involved and on the level of cooperation given by your ex-spouse.

A good divorce lawyer will keep the momentum up and not allow the process to drag. They will also tell you about the likely timescale at the outset and as the case progresses.

CAN I GET A 'NO FAULT DIVORCE'?

Yes. 'No fault divorce' has been available in England and Wales since 6 April 2022.

WHAT IS THE NO FAULT DIVORCE PROCESS?

An individual can apply for a no-fault divorce, or both divorcing parties can apply together with a joint application, and the process remains virtually the same.

First, the applicants must submit a divorce application to the court. After a period of twenty weeks, the applicants can apply for a Conditional Order (formerly the Decree Nisi). Once the Conditional Order has been issued, the divorcing couple must wait for 6 weeks until applying for a Final Order (formerly the Decree Absolute). During the 6-week wait, the parting couple have time to negotiate childcare and finance arrangements. Once the Final Order is granted, the divorce is made legally binding.

HOW DO I RESPOND TO A DIVORCE APPLICATION?

If your partner has applied for a divorce, the court will send you a copy of their divorce application. You’ll need to complete the included ‘acknowledgement of service form’ and return this to the court within 14 days.

HOW DO I APPLY FOR A DIVORCE/DISSOLUTION?

To apply for a divorce, you must have been married for at least a year. It does not matter where in the world you were married, but you can only apply for a divorce in England and Wales if either you or your spouse meet certain residence conditions or are domiciled here.

THE GROUNDS FROM APRIL 2022

The divorce/dissolution application needs only to detail that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage. 

WHO CAN APPLY FOR NO FAULT DIVORCE? 

A joint application or a sole application can be submitted to the court. 

IS THERE A COURT FEE TO PAY?

Yes, there is a court fee payable of £593.

CAN SOMEONE WHO RECEIVES NOTIFICATION THAT DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS ARE ISSUED DEFEND THE DIVORCE?

Under the no-fault divorce law, the person who receives the divorce application does not have the opportunity to contest or defend the divorce.

THE TIMETABLE

A divorce will now take a minimum of 26 weeks unless the circumstances are exceptional. 

However, not everyone should apply for a Final Order in Divorce as soon as it is available, and you should make sure you have discussed whether you should do so with us. It may not be sensible to apply immediately if, for example, financial arrangements are not yet settled.

COSTS

In the past costs orders were available to an Applicant in a divorce.  Now, under the no fault regime, it would be an unusual case for cost orders to be made.

CAN ANY MARRIED PERSON GET DIVORCED?

You must have been married for at least 12 months before becoming eligible to divorce.

WHO DECIDES WHO GETS WHAT?

The starting point is that it is for you and your husband/wife to agree how you will divide your assets and liabilities. We recognise that that may not always be possible. If you are unable to reach agreement between yourselves (with the help of your divorce lawyer), a mediator may be able to work with you to achieve this. If that fails, the necessary decisions will have to be made by a judge in court.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR CHILDREN?

Children come first in divorce; they must be your priority. It is for you and your husband/wife to agree where your children should live and when and how they should spend time with their other parent. In difficult cases, or where agreement cannot be reached, the courts will put the arrangements in place, in your children’s best interests.

WILL I BE ABLE TO STAY IN THE FAMILY HOME?

Maybe. Again, it is for you and your partner to try and reach agreement on this as part of the allocation of assets. Sometimes, where finances allow, the parent who has sole custody of any children of the relationship will carry on living in the family home.

You should not assume that that will happen; other arrangements could be put in place. For example, you and your husband or wife could agree to sell the family home, split the proceeds of sale, and each buy a new house. Your divorce solicitor will be able to discuss the options for this, and all other aspects of the separation, with you.

EXPLORE OUR OTHER FAMILY LAW SERVICES

To find out more about the various family law services we provide, please visit one of the following pages

CONTACT OUR DIVORCE SOLICITORS TODAY

For expert assistance with divorce and separation, you can contact our local teams in BostonGranthamHorncastleLincolnLondonNewarkSleafordSpalding or Stamford.

To ask a question or request a call back at a time that suits you, please use our simple enquiry form and a member of our team will get back to you quickly.