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.

If you have received a divorce petition, or you are thinking of beginning the 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 Boston, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, London, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding 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 divorce solicitors can help you

Divorce proceedings

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

  • Initiating divorce proceedings
  • Responding to divorce proceedings
  • Dealing with a contested divorce
  • Applying for courts orders

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 and a contested divorce.

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 £550. 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?

Each case is different, but you should prepare for things to take up to six months. It could take longer, depending on the issues involved and on the level of cooperation given by your ex-partner. 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'?

'No fault divorce' will be available in England and Wales from Autumn 2021. This will change the way divorce works, meaning it will be possible to get a divorce without the need for either party to ‘take the blame’. This is a change from current rules, where one spouse must accept responsibility for the failure of the marriage.

Under the new rules, couples will be able to make a joint application for divorce where they both agree to end their marriage. Where the couple do not agree, one spouse will still be able to make a solo application and the other spouse will no longer have the right to contest the divorce (as they are able to under current rules).

The intention of introducing 'no fault divorce' is to make the process simpler, remove the potential for conflict and stop people being trapped in loveless marriages that they wish to leave.

What are the grounds for divorce under the current rules?

Under the current rules, there is only one acceptable grounds for divorce, which is that your relationship has irretrievably broken down. In order to prove this, you need to show that one of five possible reasons apply.

These are:

  1. Adultery – Your husband or wife has had sex with someone else of the opposite sex. This will not be a valid ground for divorce if, after having found out about the adultery, you carried on living with your partner as a couple for six months or more.
  2. Unreasonable behaviour – This could include a variety of examples.
  3. Desertion – Your husband or wife has left you, without your agreement and without good reason, to end your relationship. They must have been gone for at least two years in the last two and a half years.
  4. You have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to getting divorced.
  5. You have lived apart for at least five years – Your husband or wife’s consent to divorce is not needed in this situation; you can apply for divorce even if they do not agree to it.

Each of those reasons can demonstrate an irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. And that is what is needed in order for a court to allow you to divorce.

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 Boston, Grantham, Horncastle, Lincoln, London, Newark, Sleaford, Spalding 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.