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  • Overview

    Our divorce lawyers are here to help

    The breakdown of a marriage or relationship is a difficult experience for all involved. Whether you are the one who has made the decision to end the marriage; your partner has told you they would like to separate or you come to a joint decision to divorce, you will likely be dealing with conflicting emotions and have a range of concerns and questions. 

    You will no doubt want to minimise the pain and stress caused and focus on finding the best outcome for you and your family, especially any children involved. You may also have concerns about protecting your assets or ensuring you receive your fair share in the divorce. 

    If you are separating without being married or in a civil partnership, you may also have questions over your legal rights, especially in terms of financial support and arrangements for children.

    Why a good divorce lawyer can make the process easier

    Our expert divorce lawyers always try to take a collaborative approach and never lose sight of the long-term interests of both the adults and children involved. We help guide you through the whole process, offering practical, straight forward advice on all aspects of divorce and separation,  including: 

     

    Our support does not end once any divorce and accompanying child and financial arrangements have been agreed. We also regularly assist clients with post-divorce issues such as:

    • Non payment of financial orders
    • Changes to child arrangement orders
    • Dealing with new relationships and their impact on financial and child arrangements 

     

    Wherever possible we will try and help you resolve issues without the need to go to the family court, through the use of mediation and collaborative law. However, in some cases it is necessary to make use of the family courts to resolve issues and we have extensive experience of guiding clients through this process, as well as strong relationships with specialist family law barristers.

    What are the stages of divorce?

    The divorce itself is only one aspect in the process of ending a marriage or civil partnership. There are generally three strands to consider, which are handled independently of each other and can be finalised at differing times. These are the divorce, child arrangements and financial settlements

    On 6 April 2022 the new law in relation to divorce came into effect, which enables couples to divorce without attributing blame. What are the key changes with no fault divorce?

    The language used is being update: 

    • ‘Decree Nisi’ will become a ‘Conditional Order’
    • ‘Decree Absolute’ will become a ‘Final Order’
    • ‘Petitioner’ (the person submitting the application) will become the ‘applicant’
    • It will no longer be possible to base an application for divorce on adultery or unreasonable behaviour.
    • Couples will no longer have to be separated for a minimum period of time to apply for a divorce without attributing blame. 
    • All divorce applications will be based on the statement that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. 
    • There is no need for the applicant to provide any reasons to explain why the marriage has broken down. 
    • The statement that the marriage has broken down irretrievably cannot be contested by the other party, so there will be very few cases where an application for divorce can be challenged.
    • Couples can make a joint application for divorce if they choose to.
    • There is no automatic option for the party applying for a divorce to claim the costs of that process from the other party, although they can still make a separate application to the court for this in appropriate cases.
    • Applicants will have to wait at least 20 weeks from the date that the divorce application is issued before they can apply for a conditional order and they will have to wait a further 6 weeks from the date of the conditional order before they can apply for a final order. This means that the divorce process will take at least 26 weeks from the date that the application is issued, and probably slightly longer than that.

    How long does divorce take?

    Under the newly enacted Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, which came into force on 6 April 2022, a divorce is likely to take approximately 6 – 8 months. This estimated timescale can vary depending on for example, the level of co-operation from the respondent (the non-petitioning spouse), concluding financial arrangements and more increasingly, delays caused by the courts. This timescale is in respect of the divorce suit only. It usually takes much longer to conclude a financial settlement and to resolve disputes relating to children issues.

    How much does a dirvoce cost?

    The fee for an online divorce is currently £593. If one instructs solicitors to represent them, their fees (exclusive of the court fee of £593) are likely to be in the region of £700 - £1,000, plus VAT.
    The costs involved in negotiating a financial settlement, and/or concluding child arrangements will be significantly more.

    How to apply for divorce? 

    If you wish to file an online divorce petition without instructing a solicitor, you can use the government website www.gov.uk.  Alternatively use our live chat facility or phone 0892 510000 to speak to someone about how you would like to move forward. 

    How can a lawyer help me through my divorce?

    At Thomson Snell & Passmore, we truly value our clients and the support we can provide to you, which is why we make it our mission to ensure you are completely satisfied with our services. Your divorce lawyer will not only offer professional legal support, but will handle your wishes and intentions with compassion and respect. We appreciate this is not an easy time for you or your family and will do our best to alleviate any stress and help you through this time.

    With offices in Tunbridge Wells and Thames Gateway we regularly help high net worth individuals, business owners and individuals who are based in, or work in, London.  Our experienced team of divorce lawyers have the structure and experience to deal with the most complex of situations for our clients.

    Please get in touch with our expert team if we can help in any way. We have also put together a divorce support hub,  where we answer many common questions about the divorce process.

     

      

  • Related Client Stories

    Negotiating a financial settlement in which your spouse lives and works abroad

    Joanna is acting for a client in ongoing divorce and financial proceedings. While our client is based in the UK, their spouse lives and works abroad.

    Instructing experts in relation to pensions and foreign assets on divorce

    Anna has been acting for a client in financial proceedings. The client is financially vulnerable, having predominantly been reliant on their spouse’s financial support during the marriage.

    Dealing with foreign assets on divorce

    Anna acted for a client with regard to their financial proceedings. The client had multiple assets outside of the UK. During proceedings, the value of these assets and various foreign liabilities were contested.

    Future valuation of companies and pensions on divorce

    Desmond acted for a client in divorce and financial proceedings through collaborative law. The case involved multiple pensions and a shareholding in a company which was likely to increase by several millions of pounds in the future.

    Transfer of money during a divorce and the involvement of international companies

    Desmond acted for a client in divorce and financial proceedings. The parties’ family home was put up for sale shortly after the parties separated and a buyer was found.

    A divorce, financial and child proceedings

    Joanna Pratt acted for a husband with regard to divorce, financial and children proceedings.

  • Latest Updates

    Arbitrating financial settlements in divorce: should I consider it?

    Arbitrating financial settlements in divorce: should I consider it?

    My partner and I own a home together but we are separating. We are not married, where do I stand with regard to the property?

    What changes are being introduced with the new ‘no fault’ divorce law?

    Keeping divorce out of court: the increasing popularity of mediation

    Thanks to Edward Fennell for including a piece from our Head of Family Joanna Pratt in his latest Legal Diary.

    How mediation can help all the family during separation and divorce

    One area where mediation can be particularly useful is in helping to resolve issues around child arrangements and some mediators are qualified to see children as part of the mediation process. Mediators can also help signpost families to additional resources and support as appropriate, such as family counsellors or CAHMS.

    What to consider when you want a divorce

    You may have been unhappy for months, but not known what to do and then after much thought decided to tell your spouse that the marriage is at an end. They may have expected the conversation but equally they may be totally shocked and hurt by your decision.

    What should you do if your spouse wants a divorce?

    It is often the case that one person decides before the other that the marriage is at an end. They may have thought about it for weeks or months before they made that thought public. If you are the person who hasn’t made that decision, it can come as a huge shock. Here, Helen Waite outlines the steps you can take and why there is no need to be rushed into any decisions.

    Divorce: what are the alternatives to court?

    The court service is not at its best. After the closure of over 80 courts, before the pandemic, centralised telephone lines and court services, less staff and more applications, it isn’t working as well as it should.

    Thomson Snell & Passmore supports ‘Good Divorce Week’, offering new guide to separating families

    The family law team at Thomson Snell & Passmore is offering parents a free guide, containing advice and information to help them put children first during a separation or divorce

    How do I cope with a later-life break-up?

    Bill and Melinda Gates are to divorce following 27 years of marriage. They announced that after three children and having established a successful foundation that they “no longer believe we can grow together as a couple”. 

    Best practice in family cases

    Harry Golding outlines best practice when it comes to family law.

    What are Deeds of Separation and when might I need one?

    A separation agreement is a document that you can make when you want to stop living together as a couple. They can be used by married or unmarried couples, as Anna Woodhoo explains in this article.

    Good Divorce Week: Top Tips from a Family Lawyer for a Smoother Separation

    Today is the start of Resolution’s Good Divorce Week. In this article, Helen Waite outlines key ways to help keep the divorce process as smooth as possible.

    Latest figures on divorce rates in England and Wales

    The Office for National Statistics has issued the latest figures on divorce in England and Wales. Harry Golding from our family team explores the findings here

    Divorcing – Why you should make a will

    If you and your spouse decide to separate and/or commence divorce proceedings, it is always advisable to consider making a will.

    Agreeing arrangements for children following separation

    On 22 April 2014, child arrangement orders came into force. These orders specify who a child will “live with” and who a child “will spend time with”.

    Commentary on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill as it heads for Royal Assent

    Commentary on the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill as it progresses through Parliament

    Sarah Keily, partner in our family team, offers her insight.

    COVID-19 and remote mediation

    Whilst it has for years been possible to deal with the divorce paperwork online, the procedure for dealing with financial and children issues has historically required both parties to attend hearings.

    Child Maintenance and coronavirus – What are the implications?

    Grandparents and their grandchildren

    Grandparents often have a special relationship with their grandchildren, but when relationships break down the unfortunate reality is that grandparents do not have any automatic right to see their grandchildren. 

    Keeping Divorce Out Of Court: Why Mediation Matters

    Kirstie Law recently shared her thoughts on mediation with Wealth & Finance magazine

    How to protect your interest in a business during a divorce

    Despite the best intentions of the spouses and their legal representatives, divorce is often a traumatic and difficult process. Divorce proceedings are frequently complicated and protracted and the animosity between the parties will often increase where there is a family business.

    What happens when an ex-spouse does not abide by the terms of a settlement?

    Over recent weeks there has been some surprise in the world of family law at the decision made by banker Kerim Derhalli to pursue his former wife - Jayne Richardson Derhalli - for ‘back rent’ in relation to her occupation of the former £6 million matrimonial home in London, and maybe slightly more surprise at the fact the application has so far been successful.

    What happens to a family business in divorce?

    We look at some of the ways in which the courts in England and Wales approach the family business within divorce proceedings.

    Enforcement of financial orders within divorce proceedings

    Family lawyers are feeling more positive that the Government is going to revisit the ways in which financial orders within divorce proceedings can be enforced. If amendments are made, it will make it more difficult for obstinate spouses to avoid meeting their obligations. 

    Ending the ‘Blame Game’ – The Need for Divorce Reform?

    Giggs drop bid to gag reporters

    Partner, Kirstie Law from our family team speaks to The Times and comments on the privacy of Ryan Giggs' divorce.

    FAQ: Family

    Reflections on a business owner’s sale of company shares to fund a divorce

    Joanna Pratt, Partner in our family department speaks to global wealth management reporter WeathBriefing and discusses a case in which a business owner sold a large block of shares in a company to fund a divorce settlement.

  • Insights

Newsletter sign up

I would like to receive newsletters, event invitations and publications from Thomson Snell & Passmore by email on the following topics (tick all those that apply) and consent for my data to be processed for this purpose.

We respect your privacy and want news to be relevant. To either, click here or update your preferences by emailing us at info@ts-p.co.uk. Your personal data shall be treated in accordance with our & .

Get in touch

By submitting an enquiry through 'get in touch' your data will only be used to contact you regarding your enquiry. If you would like to receive newsletters from Thomson Snell & Passmore please use the separate form below.

At every stage in instructing TS&P (and I have used them for Residential Conveyancing, Family Law and Employment Law) I have always been very impressed with the quality of the people I have dealt with. Keep doing what they are doing and they will keep my business as well as be warmly recommended by me.

Client

I found Sarah very approachable and her advice pragmatic. She immediately understood my situation and I felt comfortable in sharing information about my situation. The written advice that followed was easy to understand and I felt clear about my options.

Client

Their technical and experiential knowledge in divorce law and experience in presenting legal arguments at court are real strengths.

Client

The 'very personal' family team is 'always accessible' and 'very knowledgeable.'  

Client

They are sensible and realistic in their expectations, practical, tough and yet fair - they get good results.

Client

They are sensible and realistic in their expectations, practical, tough and yet fair - they get good results.

Client

They just led the way for me, steered the way for me through it...I didn't have to worry about anything they just were very proactive.

Client

During the initial meeting with Helen, she had a manner about her that was reassuring and professional. I knew the company she represented was expensive, but felt absolute confidence in her to deliver if it was required.  

Client

Helen was very patient with me, as she often needed to translate documents from legalese to layman. The advice was always solid, but commensurate with the outcome I was seeking.

Client

Helen Waite carried out my instruction, she listened to what I wanted/needed. She kept me well informed on what was happening or not happening.

Client

Helen kept me informed, listened to what I wanted to say, achieved a great outcome for me.

Client

I feel that the compassion and determination of Sarah gave me hope and a will to push through such a painful time. I felt very confident in her letters and phone contact. She also made me laugh, which was hard at the time.

Client

The most reassuring and professional service you could get. Everything felt real and true, no false hopes but always reality which is what you need through emotional times,

Client

Very efficient and pleasant to deal with.

Client

Demonstrated a good understanding of the current laws pertaining to my particular case and ensured that my best interests were represented.

Client

Sarah came highly recommended via a family friend. I am based in the USA and was looking for an attorney that could handle a UK-based legal matter for me.

Client
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