Anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse regardless of age, gender, marital status, sexuality and ethnicity.
Domestic abuse takes many forms, but it is always about your abuser having control and power over you. Unsure of whether you or someone you’re close to is a victim of domestic abuse? These guidelines provide helpful advice.
We can help you and your children get protection from the courts from a violent partner or spouse (Non-Molestation Order) and keep you safe in your home (Occupation Order)
If you have received a Non-Molestation Order or an Occupation Order from the court, we can advise you on how to deal with this in a sensible manner whilst taking steps to protect your position in respect of future proceedings in relation to the house and the children.
Perhaps divorce is a step too far and not right for you at this time. Some couples decide to separate for two years instead, to make sure that a divorce is what they really want.
If you remain separated for the full two years this can be used as a ground for a divorce.
Before you separate, you should enter into a written agreement called a separation agreement. This details how financial assets are to be dealt with.
A separation agreement is the best way to protect your financial position and is something we can help you draft. A well-drafted separation agreement can be incorporated into a binding, final agreement should the separation result in divorce.
Divorce procedure explained
Before starting the divorce procedure, you must be certain your situation qualifies for a divorce.
The basic legal requirements for a divorce are:
- You need to have been married for at least one year and one of you has to have been resident in England or Wales
- The court needs to be satisfied that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, usually by relying on one of the following:
- Two years separation (with consent)
- Five years separation
There are instances where your marriage is not valid and does not exist despite that it is legally void in nature. We can assist you to get a declaration from the Court that the marriage never took place.
The simple mechanics of the process – the divorce procedure explained.
The divorce procedure is simply a matter of the court making two decrees.
The first is a Decree Nisi which says that the court believes there are grounds for a divorce and that the correct legal process has been followed.
The second is the Decree Absolute and is the legal document that ends the marriage. You must wait at least 43 days (six weeks and one day) before applying for a Decree Nisi to be made Absolute.
The basic steps involved in the divorce procedure are:
- File for divorce – one of the parties (the Petitioner) prepares a divorce petition and sends it to the court who then sends it to their husband or wife.
- Acknowledgement & answer – the husband or wife prepares a separate legal document which says whether or not they will contest the divorce.
- Request for a Decree Nisi – assuming the petition is uncontested, the Petitioner’s solicitor prepares a request for a Decree Nisi and sends it to the court.
- Pronouncement of the Decree – if the court is satisfied with the grounds and the process has been followed, the court will make this first decree in court. There is usually no need for either party to attend.
- Application for Decree Absolute – After a period of at least 43 days (six weeks and one day) the Petitioner applies to the court to make the Decree Absolute.
- Decree Absolute – if satisfied with the process, the court makes this decree and ends the marriage.
Financial Dispute Resolutions
Following divorce the parties need to resolve their matrimonial finances in terms of Settlement and where there are properties involved. The parties finances and assets have to be divided and what each party gets as capital is determined by the Family Courts. We can assist with FDR where each party puts forward their case and their proposals for settlement before the judge.
Transfer of Property or Right of Occupation
Our fees for divorce depends on whether it is a contentious divorce or non-contentious one. For a non-contentious divorce we charge from £1200.00 which includes the Court Fees and necessary disbursements. However, for a contentious divorce we charge from £1200.00-£3000.00 depending on the amount of work done.
We charge from £2500.00 depending on the amount of work and hours spent on the matter.
Child Arrangement – Section 8 Applications
Contact (how often the child spends with each parent)
Contact is considered the right of the child, rather than the parent. Disputes often arise in relation to children; such as who they live with and how often they see each parent.
We can help you to agree contact arrangements with your former partner or spouse and if a dispute arises, we can guide and help you through any necessary court application.
Residence (where the child lives)
Residence is often mistakenly referred to as ‘custody’ and is concerned with where the children live. This does not have to be one place.
We can help you agree where the children live, or if an agreement cannot be reached, we can guide and represent you in any court application.
If you feel that there is a very real risk that your partner or spouse may abduct your child, we can help you to take the urgent and necessary steps to prevent this. Or, if the abduction has already taken place, we can issue an urgent application at court for your child to be returned.
In these cases, prompt action is key and we would recommend that you seek legal advice immediately.
If you do wish to leave the country with your child, you need the consent of every person who has parental responsibility. If consent is not given – for holiday or a more permanent relocation – then the court will need to grant leave. We can help you with the process of obtaining leave and guide you as to what evidence will be needed to persuade the court to grant leave. Taking the law into your own hands is not the best way forward.
Sometimes disputes can arise in relation to
- Medical issues
- Religious concerns
- Surnames of children
We can help you to resolve these issues and if an agreement cannot be reached, we can guide and represent you in any necessary court application.
Our Fees and Charges
|Divorce – Non-contentious||£1200 – £2000|
|Divorce – Contentious||£2000 – £4000|
|Child Arrangement Order – Section 8 Applications||£1500 – £3000|
|FDR Proceedings||£2500 – £10,000|
|Non-molestation order & Occupation order||£2500 – £5000|
- Child support agency issues
- Childcare issues
- Financial issues arising out of divorce and separation
- Contract disputes
- Domestic violence
- Care proceedings
- Wills / Estate planning