Our experts can help with:
Why choose Brethertons for divorce legal advice?
- The team is top ranked by leading client guides Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for our Family law expertise.
- Director of Legal Services Linda Jones is recognised as a Leading Individual and Senior Associate Josh Russell as a Rising Star in the field of Family law by the Legal 500.
- Chambers & Partners recognises Linda as an Eminent Practitioner, with Partner Simon Craddock being individually ranked for his Family law expertise.
- We work with litigation funding providers to cover the upfront cost of your divorce, so you do not need to worry about covering our fees while your case is ongoing.
- Unlike any other law firm we know, we offer free counselling to all of our clients going through a divorce and separation from our trained in-house counsellor.
- Our divorce law solicitors work with clients all across the country and internationally, using a blend of videoconferencing, email and face-to-face meetings to provide an accessible, highly personal service.
- We have many years of experience working with the most complex and high value separations.
- Our divorce lawyers treat every client with sensitivity and understanding.
- We establish strong relationships with our clients, building trust through a friendly and warm personal service.
Our divorce and separation services
Applying for a divorce or responding to an application is now relatively simple thanks to the introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce. This means you do not have to give a reason for the breakdown of your marriage and it is not possible to oppose a divorce application started by one’s spouse in all but the most exceptional circumstances.
However, it can still be reassuring to have an expert assist with the process and provide tailored divorce advice, as well as helping to make sure all stages are completed promptly. This is something with which our divorce solicitors will be happy to assist.
Civil partnership dissolution
Dissolving a civil partnership is much the same as divorce, with civil partners enjoying the same rights as married couples. The process is now effectively the same and is straightforward, and there are exactly the same issues to consider around finances and children.
Our team can provide expert support for civil partnership dissolution, including advice on some of the more niche issues that may arise, such as questions around parental responsibility.
Division of finances
The division of finances is often the most complicated part of a divorce or separation, with the outcome being critical for your financial security and that of your loved ones.
While, in the ideal scenario, it would be possible to agree the division of finances amicably, the reality is that this is often not straightforward, especially when there are substantial assets involved. Whatever approach is needed, our divorce solicitors will ensure your financial rights are protected and that you secure the best outcome possible.
In the majority of cases, you will be advised that the financial arrangements in relation to the divorce should be completed before the divorce itself is finalised.
If there is a dispute concerning the arrangements for children then there are options available which are dealt with separately to the divorce proceedings. Ideally, child arrangements would be made amicably through mediation with the co-operation of both parents, but sadly this is not always possible.
A separate application can be made to the court for a Child Arrangements Order if the dispute cannot be resolved by mediation. We can assist with both amicably negotiating child arrangements and court applications where required.
Many clients we work with need help with divorce where there is an international component to consider.
This might be where the couple married in England or Wales, but one or both of them now live abroad. It might also be where one or both of the separating couple have international assets. There can also be international issues in relation to children, such as where one parent wishes to relocate abroad.
Our divorce solicitors are experts in all international divorce matters, so can skilfully guide you through even the most challenging situations.
Separation for unmarried couples
Unmarried couples often run into significant challenges when separating. This is because they have no automatic legal rights towards each other’s property or other assets, unlike those who are married or in a civil partnership.
Our experts can advise unmarried couples on their rights during separation and help to find the best available outcome for both financial matters and those related to children.
Separation agreements where divorce is not an option
In some cases, divorce simply is not an option. This might be for religious, cultural or other personal reasons. If you find yourself in this situation, a legal separation may be the best option. This can allow you to start living separate lives with certainty over your finances and arrangements for any children you have.
Our experts can help with negotiating a separation agreement that sets out how these key issues will be dealt with, making sure your rights and those of your loved ones are protected. We can also advise on divorce after a judicial separation if this later becomes an option.
You are likely to experience many emotions such as fear, pain and anger, and our team has been specially trained to help you through this distressing time. We have a trained and qualified counsellor on hand to help you work through these emotions and try to make sense of your feelings.
Divorce and separation FAQs
How do I start divorce proceedings?
To start divorce proceedings, you need to complete an application form. You can either do this by yourself (a sole application) or with your spouse (a joint application). This form is now normally completed online, but you can request a paper copy if you prefer.
How much does divorce cost?
This will entirely depend on the case. Our divorce lawyers will be happy to discuss the likely cost of divorce with you during your initial consultation with our team.
How long does divorce take?
It now takes a minimum of six months for a divorce to be concluded due to two mandatory wait periods during the process (before applying for the Conditional Order and the Final Order needed to secure a divorce).
However, if there are problems resolving financial or children matters this may delay the conclusion of the divorce. You won’t usually have to go to court, as long as the divorce is not challenged by your spouse.
Who pays for a divorce?
This will depend on the circumstances, but the starting point is that each person will need to cover their own legal fees. If you need help with meeting the cost of your divorce, we can advise on accessing litigation funding. This is a highly useful and practical way to allow the divorce matter to progress without the worry of day to day funding.
The person making the application will usually pay the application fee, although where there is evidence of domestic abuse, it may be possible to apply to have this cost covered by the other spouse.
What are the grounds for divorce?
There is only one ground for divorce – the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Following the introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce in 2022, all that is needed to establish this is a ‘statement of irretrievable breakdown’ in the divorce application.
Previously, you had to give one of five accepted reasons to support this:
- Adultery (not applicable to same-sex infidelity)
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Desertion (where your spouse had left you for at least two out of the last two and a half years without your consent or a good reason and with the intention to end your relationship)
- Separation for at least two years (where both spouses agreed to the divorce)
- Separation for at least five years (with or without the consent of the other spouse)
This meant that either one spouse had to ‘take the blame’ for the divorce (if using the first three reasons) or there would be a lengthy wait (if using the final two reasons). The removal of the need to give one of these reasons has, therefore, removed a lot of potential for conflict in divorce proceedings.
Consult our divorce solicitors in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby
If you would like to speak to a solicitor with high level expertise in helping people through divorce and separation, please do get in touch. We’d be glad to help you.
We have offices in Banbury, Bicester and Rugby, working with clients across Coventry and Warwickshire, the West Midlands, Oxfordshire and nationwide.