Divorce law UK
UK divorce procedure
In order to file for divorce our divorce solicitors need to prove that your marriage has broken down. This may be due to adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or separation for a period longer than two years.
The formal divorce procedure begins when you file a divorce petition form. You can pay the fees and submit your petition at your local divorce centre.
If both parties agree with the petition, before or after informal or formal negotiations, the divorce can go ahead. However, if disputes occur and they can’t be easily resolved, your case may go to court.
Court hearings can take up a lot of your time, and are often very stressful and emotional. We always aim to help our clients avoid the courts where this is possible, whilst getting the deal that is best for them. If we do need to go to court we can defend your rights and plead your case, guiding you through the entire divorce process with ease.
What our divorce solicitors can help with
Divorce and property disputes
Often our divorce solicitors find the most difficult aspect of divorce to be the sharing of assets, in particular the family home.
Depending on your situation you may wish to sell the property and divide the profits, however more complicated situations often occur. If one of you wants to stay in the property you need to find an agreement so the value can be shared equally.
If children are involved any property dispute will always be resolved in the way that benefits them best. One parent may be able to stay in the house until the children turn 18, even if the other parent doesn’t agree.
Divorce and disputes regarding child arrangements
Child disputes can easily occur if you disagree about where your children should live, visitation rights, parenting plans or child maintenance.
Making arrangements for children during a divorce is often a very emotional and difficult process, and much better handled outside of the courts. A judge will only hear child custody issues if you can’t reach an agreement through mediation and negotiation first.
A divorce solicitor can help ensure the agreements you reach are legally binding by drafting a ‘consent order’. After both parents have agreed the consent order, it will be signed off by a judge. They will only do this if they believe you have acted in the best interest of the children and aren’t concerned about their safety.
If you’ve tried everything else and your dispute does go to court, a judge will decide on the arrangements. Judges will always prioritise your child’s best interests, and take their preferences into account where possible.
Help from divorce solicitors after domestic abuse
Unfortunately, domestic abuse is still common in the UK. The Office of National Statistics estimates that 1.9 million people suffered from domestic abuse in the year ending March 2017 in England and Wales alone.
It is often assumed that victims are always women, but over 710,000 men reported being the victim of domestic abuse in the same year. Anyone can become a victim of domestic abuse, no matter their gender, personality or behaviour.
Our family law and divorce advisors can support and guide you towards long-term solutions that protect your safety and rights.
Visa issues after divorce
If you are an immigrant living in the UK on a partnership visa, and your stay in the UK depends on your relationship, our immigration solicitors can provide extra support.
They will work closely with your divorce solicitors and are able to help you apply for visa extensions, indefinite leave to remain or even asylum, depending on your situation.
Financial settlements and divorce
When a couple divorces or separates they need to divide their assets fairly. Any agreements that were put in place prior to their marriage need to be assessed, along with all the assets they have gathered during their relationship.
With the right guidance and support you can often reach an agreement through this initial stage of settling your finances. Our expertise in family law means we can help bring this about through negotiations and disclosure from both parties.
Sometimes couples cannot reach an agreement. In these situations, a clear framework of processes has been set out. It is not hard for things to become complex and emotional at this time. Money and assets are sensitive topics for most people. Our expert family law solicitors in Manchester are here to advise and guide you through everything. We can help you reach the outcome you deserve.
Advice on pre-nuptial agreements from our divorce solicitors
A prenuptial agreement is a contract between two people drawn up before they get married. It sets out how they want to divide their assets in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are legally binding. Unless a court decides they are unfair, they will be enforced if you get divorced.
Having a prenuptial agreement in place gives you both peace of mind that your assets are protected and will be shared fairly.
Because the negotiations on asset distribution have already finished before your marriage, a clean separation is much more likely with a prenuptial agreement.
Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, but are set up after a couple is already married.
Just as with a prenuptial agreement, the postnuptial agreement clearly outlines how assets will be shared in a divorce. You may want a postnuptial agreement if you got married without any agreement in place. Even though you are currently happily married, a plan would protect both you and your partner if you ever broke up.
Having a signed postnuptial agreement gives you and your partner peace of mind that your futures are secure, helping to avoid a messy divorce down the line.
A divorce solicitor will always advice couples to get a pre- or post-nuptial agreement in place. If for any reason your marriage does break down, the process to divorce can often be simplified by having such an agreement.
Divorce solicitors’ help with separation or dissolving a civil partnership
Dissolving a civil partnership
Ending a civil partnership is very similar to ending a marriage through a civil divorce. However, there are some important differences that need to be considered.
Our divorce solicitors have extensive experience supporting clients going through a dissolution or annulment of their civil partnership. We can guide and support you during the breakdown and help dissolve your civil partnership. All our expert advice will be tailored to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Separation of unmarried couples
When unmarried cohabiting couples separate they don’t have the same rights as married couples.
Many people think that after a certain amount of years of living together, unmarried couples are recognised as ‘common law wife or husband’ and treated in the same way as married couples. This is unfortunately not true.
Property disputes for unmarried couples
Separating and splitting assets belonging to an unmarried couple is highly complex, especially when property is involved.
As an unmarried partner you need to provide proof that you are entitled to the property or part of the value of that property, if it wasn’t in your name. If the property was in both names, issues can occur if one of you refuses to leave or doesn’t wish to sell.
For this reason it is always in your best interest to manage your separation carefully and with the expert guidance from our family law solicitors.
Divorce Solicitors in Manchester and Blackburn
From our Manchester and Blackburn offices, our family law solicitors can assist you with your family law and divorce law matters. We can further assist you with financial arrangements, child arrangements, consent orders, occupation and non-molestation orders and cohabitation and separation agreements.
To find out more about how we can help you with your divorce, get in touch.
Starting the process couldn’t be more simple!
- Contact us Get in touch however suits you best and arrange a consulation with one of our solicitors
- Meet an expert You’ll meet the expert solicitor assigned to your case and discuss all the necessary details
- Authorise Once we’ve got all the details of your case and you’re happy to proceed, just give us the go-ahead
- We get to work It’s time for us to get to work! We’ll set up your file on our system and get to work right away
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