Divorce and separation

Sensitive and pragmatic legal advice for clients going through a separation or divorce, including same-sex divorce and civil partnership dissolution.

We recognise that the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership is a huge event for any individual to come to terms with, with an impact that goes beyond domestic and financial arrangements.

Whether you're considering a divorce or separation and want to find out what's involved, or your  partner has started proceedings and you want to know what happens next, our expert solicitors can give the legal advice you need. We will provide advice and support to guide you through the divorce or dissolution process with as little distress as possible.

As members of Resolution, the family law association promoting a non-confrontational approach to family law issues, we encourage our clients to maintain a constructive dialogue in the interests of preserving a respectful ongoing relationship, which is  crucial in cases where children are involved. In our experience, this approach is more cost effective than litigation – although when necessary we'll advise you on pursuing a court-based settlement.

Financial advice on marriage and dissolution

Child support

We can advise on applications for child maintenance and assist in negotiations to reach child maintenance agreements on divorce/dissolution or separation.

We offer a free 30 minute consultation on divorce and separation matters.

Frequently asked questions

  • What do I need to do to get a divorce?

    We provide a free 30 minute consultation where we will discuss all your options with you. If you have been married for more than a year and either you or your spouse live in England and Wales, then it is open to you to seek a divorce. If neither you nor your spouse live in England or Wales, the court may not be able to deal with your divorce. It is important to establish that the court has jurisdiction so if you are in any doubt speak to one of our family law solicitors. 

    The ground for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and in order to prove this you must rely on one of five facts these are:

    1. Adultery.
    2. Unreasonable behaviour.
    3. Separation for 2 years with both parties' consent.
    4. Separation for 5 years without the other person's consent.
    5. Desertion.

    Our divorce solicitors can advise you on the best option for you and the best way of ensuring that the divorce proceeds smoothly without any objection from your partner. 

  • What documents do I need to file a divorce petition?

    In order to file a divorce petition, the court require your original marriage certificate or a certified copy which can be obtained from the General Register Office. There is also a court fee payable to the court when a Petition is filed which currently stands at £550.

    We will prepare a divorce petition for you stating upon which fact you believe the marriage has irretrievably broken down.

  • How long does a divorce take?

    The time a divorce takes to conclude can vary widely, however our specialist divorce solicitors will keep you fully updated in order to reduce the stress and worry that you may be feeling. Typically, we estimate from filing a petition to obtaining Decree Absolute takes between 4 and 6 months provided you and your spouse complete the necessary paperwork and file it with the court without delay.

    Once your spouse has acknowledged the divorce proceedings and is not defending the divorce, we will prepare all of the necessary documentation to obtain your Decree Nisi to include the necessary statement in support of your petition.  Once we have obtained your Decree Nisi, it is open to the court to consider any financial settlement that has been reached.

    Our family law solicitors are also experts in negotiating beneficial financial settlements and this advice can be provided alongside the divorce process. 

  • When am I considered divorced?

    The Decree Absolute is the final stage of the divorce proceedings and this can be applied for 6 weeks and 1 day after the Decree Nisi.  If your spouse is the person who has filed the petition but they have not applied for Decree Absolute then after a further 3 months you are able to make an application for Decree Absolute.  The court will grant the application unless there is good reason not to do so.  Examples of which are that financial issues have not been resolved.

    Our divorce solicitors will advise you on when to make the application as often it is in your interest to delay it especially if there are outstanding financial issues to be resolved.  Once the Decree Absolute has been granted, the marriage is at an end and both parties are free to remarry if they wish.

Weightmans backs reform of outdated divorce laws

Family law experts at national law firm Weightmans have filed their response to the government’s consultation into divorce reform.

Matthew Taylor
Matthew Taylor Solicitor
Insights
Contested divorce highlights need for law reform

Arriving with exquisite timing in the middle of Good Divorce Week – the annual awareness week of family law solicitors’ group Resolution – the…

Matthew Taylor
Matthew Taylor Solicitor

News
Keeping kids first helps minimise fallout from family breakdown

A local family lawyer is campaigning for a change in the law to reduce the fallout from divorce on children

Emma Collins
Emma Collins Partner

Insights
Universal credit – delays and the impact on divorced or divorcing couples

The BBC has reported that the Universal Credit (UC) rollout has been fraught with difficulties. The idea is that it will simplify an overcomplicated…

Linzi Perriman
Linzi Perriman Solicitor

Insights
Hart v Hart: Episode III – the saga continues

Matthew Taylor comments on the latest update in the long-running and notorious case of Hart v Hart...

Matthew Taylor
Matthew Taylor Solicitor

Insights
Is there really such thing as a 'quickie divorce'?

This week it was reported that presenter Ant McPartlin, and his wife Lisa were granted a 30 second divorce in London. Solicitor Linzi Perriman looks…

Linzi Perriman
Linzi Perriman Solicitor

Insights
Is there such a thing as an amicable divorce?

Divorce can be tough. It can be painful, unpredictable and by its very nature, an intense conflict between those involved. But can it ever be…

Linzi Perriman
Linzi Perriman Solicitor

Insights
A shift in the accepted legal understanding of what constitutes a marriage, valid or void

In English law, a marriage can be valid, void, voidable or a “non-marriage”, where the ceremony falls so far outside the bounds of what would be…

Eleanor Webster
Ellie Webster Solicitor

Share on Twitter