Divorce is never easy, but when it comes to dealing with practical issues, such as where your children will live and how to divide your finances, having expert legal advice can make things much simpler and less stressful.
Our London divorce solicitors can offer you clear, sympathetic legal support, allowing you to end your marriage and make arrangements for the future in a way that matches your personal needs and priorities.
We can assist with initiating and responding to divorce proceedings, making arrangements for children and sorting our financial settlements, usually without the need for court proceedings. Our efficient, compassionate approach means we can get the right outcome for your divorce while minimising the emotional fallout for you and your loved ones.
Why choose Huggins Lewis Foskett for your divorce proceedings?
With many decades of experience guiding people through every stage of divorce and separation, we can offer you the expert legal advice and dedicated personal support you need to make it through this difficult time.
We place a strong emphasis on removing unnecessary conflict from divorce and can almost always help you get the right outcome for you and loved ones without the need for court proceedings.
Our team includes members of non-confrontational family law network Resolution reflecting our commitment to this more amicable approach to divorce and to all aspects of family law.
We are skilled in handling more complex matters, such as complex financial settlements, international divorce and challenging children law matters.
The cost of divorce is an important issue and we always aim to keep our pricing clear and competitive. Some aspects of divorce, such as submitting a divorce application, can be completed on a fixed-fee basis and we also offer flexible payment plans allowing you to defer our fees until after a financial settlement has been agreed.
Our divorce law expertise
Initiating & responding to divorce proceedings
If you wish to start divorce proceedings, we can help you to fill out and submit your divorce application, making sure there are no errors or other issues that could potentially hold up the process. We can advise you in relation to either making a sole or joint application with your former partner.
If your former partner has acted as the applicant and has completed a sole application, we can also advise you in relation to confirming the receipt of the application by completing and sending back an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form.
Making arrangements for children
Where you have children with your former partner, deciding where they will live and what contact they will have with each parent can be a very emotive subject. This can be further complicated where there are issues such as domestic abuse or one spouse planning to move away which needs to be taken into account.
We can advise you on all of your options, with shared care increasingly the norm. Our divorce solicitors can advise you on making shared care arrangements, keeping your children’s best interests at the forefront throughout.
Reaching a financial settlement
Working out a financial settlement is often the most critical issue for allowing you to make a clean break from your marriage. However, it is also frequently the most complex issue to resolve, especially where there are high value or complicated assets to deal with, such as pensions, businesses and foreign investments.
Our London divorce lawyers are highly skilled in dealing with challenging financial settlements, including for mid and high net worth individuals and those with international ties. We can help you to quickly get a fair settlement in place through methods such as negotiations between solicitors, meaning court proceedings are rarely required.
Mediation is another popular form of ADR frequently used for divorce. Again, the process involves you and your former partner sitting down for a number of meetings to discuss the details of your divorce.
However, unlike with collaborative law, you do not have your own lawyer in the room with you. Instead, the sessions are chaired by as neutral mediator, whose role is to help guide the process, keep things productive and defuse any potential for conflict.
Any agreement you make through mediation will be recorded in a written document, which our solicitors can review for you to ensure if reflects your best interests. We can also advise you before you start mediation and between sessions, so you have a clear picture of your legal position and where there may be room for compromise.
Our divorce fees
Depending on your circumstances and needs, we may be able to assist with some elements of your divorce on fixed-fee basis. This typically includes straightforward matters such as drafting, filing and responding to divorce applications and applying for a Consent Order to formalise any financial settlement you have agreed voluntarily.
For more complex matters, such as making a financial settlement or agreeing arrangements for children, we will generally charge according to our set hourly rates. These rates will depend on the complexity of the issues involved and the level of legal expertise required.
For an indication of our costs, please take a look at our hourly rate.
Wondering how to pay for our legal services? See the options for funding your case.
No fault divorce
As of April 6th, 2022, divorcing couples in the UK are now eligible to apply for a no fault divorce. Under the new law, divorcing parties are able to apply for a divorce without blaming their partner for the breakdown of the marriage. With the introduction of the new legislation there have been several key changes to the divorce process, including:
- Couples can apply for a joint divorce application
- Spouses no longer have the option to contest a divorce (except in very limited circumstances)
- The Decree Nisi has been renamed the Conditional Order
- The Decree Absolute has been renamed the Final Order
- Divorcing parties must wait for twenty weeks to receive a Conditional Order, and 6 weeks to receive a Final Order
- The previously required reasons for divorce (adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, and separation) have been removed
What are the grounds for divorce?
The sole ground for divorce is the irretrievable breakdown of marriage. The divorcing parties do not need to offer a reason for the ending of the relationship. Divorcing couples can simply submit a statement as part of the divorce application to confirm that the marriage has broken down.
How long does a divorce take?
A divorce can take as little as 26 weeks to process and finalise, however, it many cases, couples can expect lengthier divorce proceedings. Whilst couples are waiting for the Conditional Order, and later, the Final Order, they’ll have the opportunity to negotiate their finances and childcare arrangements. Such arrangements may be drawn-out, dependent on complexities or conflict.
Will I need to go to court for a divorce in the UK?
It is possible to get divorced without going to court, however it depends on the circumstances surrounding your divorce. Family mediation services are a useful way to help divorcing couples negotiate their finances and childcare. If couples cannot agree on these arrangements, they may need to attend court to finalise these matters. If you need support to organise your finances, and negotiate with your ex- partner, our divorce solicitors at Huggins Lewis Foskett can assist you.
How are finances split in divorce?
The starting point to separate finances in a divorce is an equal split, however, it is quite rare that finances are divided 50/50. The financial circumstances are assessed using Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The act establishes that finances should be split fairly between both parties, based on principles of sharing, need and compensation.
To divide the finances fairly, both parties, and the court authorities involved, must consider:
- The needs of each person, including current needs, obligations, future needs, and responsibilities
- The financial resources, income and earning potential of both individuals
- The length of the marriage, and how old both individuals are
- The lifestyle of each party before the breakdown of the marriage
- How each individual has contributed to the marriage, in terms of raising any children, taking care of the home, and financial contributions
- Any physical or mental disability that affects either person
Do I need a solicitor to get a no fault divorce?
You can apply for a no fault divorce without consulting a divorce solicitor. However, there are certain legal risks involved, which is why it’s highly advisable to get legal support. Our solicitors at Huggins Lewis Foskett can support clients throughout various stages of the divorce process, including:
- Legal assistance to apply for an individual or joint application.
- Guidance to meet the timeframes and obligations associated with the process
- Advice on dividing finances, and support to negotiate with your ex-partner
- Legal guidance to make legally binding childcare arrangements
- Settling disputes, or support with court proceedings if certain disputes cannot be resolved
- Implementing the Conditional Order and the Final Order.
Who can apply for a no fault divorce?
Anyone can apply for a divorce in the UK if they have been married for over one year, and their marriage has irretrievably broken down.
How do I apply for a divorce?
To apply for a divorce, you’ll need to complete a divorce application form, either as a sole applicant, or jointly with your ex-partner. Next, you’ll need to send the application to the Court, including your marriage certificate, and a court fee. Before you complete and submit your application, it’s advisable to contact a divorce lawyer, for legal guidance and advice.
How much does a divorce cost?
The court fee to obtain a divorce is £593. If you are receiving legal advice throughout the divorce proceedings, you’ll also need to cover these fees. The legal expenses will depend on your case, how complex your finances are, and whether you need to attend court.
Our London divorce law team
Speak to our divorce solicitors in London today
Need sympathetic, expert legal help with any aspect of your divorce?