Divorce Law

The formalities of the marriage process are matched by strict rules about when and how a couple may divorce. If you think that your relationship has irretrievably broken down, talk to us. We’ll advise you on the steps you should take, and we’ll be alongside you when you take them.

Our family law specialist has many years’ experience in the legal, practical and emotional aspects of divorce. We have one simple aim: to help you bring your marriage to a formal end as quickly and simply – and on the best possible terms – as possible.

We can provide clear, practical guidance for all of the issues involved in the end of marriage, including initiating and responding to divorce proceedings, as well as making financial settlements and arrangements for children.

We recognise that every client’s circumstances are different, requiring a tailored approach that matches your needs and concerns. We’ll get to know your situation and work with you to make sure that your future, and that of your loved ones, is taken care of.

Speak to our family law solicitor in Axminster, Chard or Lyme Regis today by calling 01297 32345 or use the link at the top of the page to make an enquiry.

Our divorce and family dispute resolution services

Our family law solicitor can guide you through every step of the process of legally ending your relationship, as well as helping to resolve the practical issues surrounding divorce and separation, such as financial settlements and arrangements for children.

Divorce proceedings

We can guide you through the entire legal process of your divorce, including preparing and submitting your divorce petition, corresponding with your ex-partner and their lawyer and applying for the decree absolute that formally ends your marriage.

With our expert guidance, we can minimise the likelihood of any mistakes that could see your divorce application rejected, ensure that the grounds you cite for your divorce are sufficient to satisfy a judge and help avoid or quickly resolve any other issues that threaten to delay your divorce.

What are the grounds for divorce?

In England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce: that your marriage has irretrievably broken down.  In order to prove this to the Court you must show one of five facts to be true. The five facts are:  

  1. You have lived apart for at least 5 years 
  2. You have lived apart for over 2 years and are both in agreement to the divorce 
  3. Your partner has committed adultery 
  4. Your husband or wife has deserted you for at least 2 years 
  5. Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot be expected to live with them 

Will I have to go to Court for a divorce? 

It is not very often that a party to a divorce petition is expected to attend court in relation to the divorce itself. The divorce process is generally administrative. At the time you are divorcing there may well be other matters that need to be considered, such as arrangements for children and financial matters. These issues may require you to attend court but if you instruct a solicitor who is a member of Resolution then they will encourage a non-confrontational process wherever possible and consider with you alternatives to court such as reaching an agreement between yourselves, mediation, arbitration and collaborative law. 

How long does a divorce take? 

This timescale will vary in each case depending on circumstances but provided everything runs smoothly, is straightforward and the solicitors you each instruct are efficient then the conclusion could be reached in 6 months. If there are other matters being dealt with alongside the divorce, such as financial issues, then there may be circumstances in which a delay in finalising your divorce is appropriate. 

How much does a divorce cost and who pays for a divorce? 

The solicitor you have instructed will be able to provide an estimated cost at the outset including any anticipated disbursements. 

In order to start a divorce there is a fee of £550 payable to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service but there may be assistance available if you have a lower income or are in receipt of benefits.  

With regards to who foots the bill, it is best to reach an agreement regarding the costs of the divorce at the outset to avoid any conflict. Depending on what grounds your divorce petition is based on and the individual circumstances surrounding this you may be able to apply to have some or all of your costs covered by your husband or wife. If you are hoping for these to be covered by your husband or wife then it is best to discuss this with the solicitor you instruct during your first consultation. 

Do I need a solicitor for a divorce? 

There is no requirement to instruct a solicitor to represent you in a divorce. It is something you should strongly consider, however. Instructing a solicitor provides you with benefit of receiving professional, tailored advice. Where there are other matters to consider alongside the divorce such as arrangements for children or financial issues then this advice can be particularly important, as can knowing that any documentation has been properly prepared.   Whether it would be beneficial for you to instruct a solicitor is completely down to your individual circumstances and something you can discuss with a solicitor you are considering instructing. 

Financial settlements

There are often a number of different financial considerations to sort out when getting divorced, including what should happen to the marital home, how any savings, investments and other assets should be divided and what, if any, maintenance should be paid between spouses.

Our family law solicitor is experienced in resolving these issues. We can help to ensure you get a fair settlement that works for you and your loved ones as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

Arrangements for children

Deciding what should happen to any children you and your partner have together is often one of the most contentious issues during divorce. The emphasis always needs to be on the wellbeing of your children, while protecting your right to a meaningful relationship with them.

We can help you explore your options and negotiate a solution amicably with your ex-partner wherever possible, or support you in taking court action where required.

Make an enquiry

To discover more about how our divorce solicitors can help you, please make a no obligation enquiry by either calling us on 01297 32345 or by making a free online enquiry