How we can help
To start a divorce one party to the marriage needs to send to the court a petition for divorce setting out the reason for the marriage ending. The reason is often one of adultery, unreasonable behaviour or that there has been a period of separation for two years or five years. The person who starts the divorce also has to send to the court their marriage certificate and pay a court fee at the rate set by the court.
The court will send a copy of the petition for divorce to the other party who is required to complete a form which acknowledges receipt of the petition for divorce and asks them to state whether they agree to the divorce proceedings or not.
The majority of divorces progress on an agreed basis which means that attendance at a court hearing can be avoided. However, attendance at a court hearing can be required if one party objects to the divorce proceeding or a dispute arises over who should pay the costs of the divorce proceedings.
If a divorce proceeds smoothly, it can take between five and eight months to obtain a decree absolute ending your marriage.
If you start a divorce you may also need to consider the financial aspects of your marriage. When a divorce is started, the court has the power to make various orders if it is asked to do so by either party. These include orders for the payment of income from one party to the other, the transfer or sale of a property, the payment of a lump sum of money or an order sharing a pension fund.
Before agreeing to the terms of a financial
settlement it is important to exchange financial
documentation to make sure that full details of incomes, savings, investments and pension provisions are
made available. This exchange of documentation can take place in a variety of
ways such as on a voluntary basis, through solicitor’s correspondence, at
family mediation meetings or if it is ordered by the court.
If the terms of a financial settlement can
be agreed then it should be recorded in a Consent Order approved by the court
so that it becomes legally binding and enforceable. Where appropriate, a Consent
Order can also contain Clean Break clauses which are paragraphs in the Court
Order that prevent any further claims being made for financial provision.
In some cases it is not always possible to
reach a financial settlement and one party makes an application to the court
for a financial order. When such an application is made, the court will ask
both parties to complete a standard form which gives full details of their
financial position. The court will also set a date for an initial hearing to consider
the application. Negotiations can take place throughout the court process but
if an agreement cannot be reached then a final hearing will be set by the court
at which both parties will be able to put their arguments before a Judge so
that a final decision can be made.
Our lawyers are experts and practice within the Law Society's Family Law Protocol. We actively seek to resolve issues in a manner that minimises financial and emotional impact whether by agreement, through Mediation or through the court process.
Fixed Fee Divorce
As an independent firm, we can be flexible in how we approach your matter and will work closely with you to deliver our very high level of expertise in a personable and cost effective way. We offer a Fixed Fee divorce package where the fee can be agreed at the outset offering you peace of mind. Visit our Pricing page to find out more.
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‘The service provided by Hatch Brenner was truly excellent. Richard Dilks was incredibly supportive throughout my whole divorce process. His professionalism, experience and positive attitude made a very difficult and emotionally disturbing process bearable and helped me to cope emotionally with the highs and lows of the divorce process. I would unreservedly recommend Richard to anyone who requires someone to represent them through divorce.’
‘My solicitor delivered without exception. We could not have asked for a better team or result.’
‘I always feel I'm getting the best advice I possibly can.’
‘I am very satisfied with the service I received. Efficient and professional.’
Please contact one of the team to discuss your specific requirements.