Relationship breakdowns are never easy to deal with due to the emotions often involved. It is a difficult process but we at AWH Solicitors will help and guide you through this process step by step and advise you on the legal aspects of the decisions that you make.
We understand that you will need someone at your side that you can trust and we will be there with you. Our family law team will have your best interests at the forefront and will do their best to make the whole process simple and as stress free as possible.
You can expect to receive legal advice that is confidential and personalised to your needs, with a focus on achieving a result that’s right for you and those you love.
UK Divorce Procedure
In order to file for divorce you will need to prove your marriage has broken down due to adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion or that you have already been separated for more than two years.
To start the divorce procedure you must file a divorce petition form, pay the fees and submit your petition to 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 that cannot be resolved a court process must follow. 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 we can whilst ensuring they receive a deal that is best for them. If we do need to go to court we can defend the clients’ rights and plead their case, guiding them through the entire process.
Common Legal Matters in Marriage and Divorce
Often the most difficult aspect of divorce is the division 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 person wants to remain in the property they must find an agreement with the other party to ensure the value is distributed equally.
If children are involved the resolution to any property dispute will always be in favour of them. One parent may be able to stay in the house until children turn 18 before selling, even if the other parent is in disagreement.
Disputes regarding child arrangements
Child disputes can occur as a result of disagreements regarding where children will live, visitation rights, parenting plans and child maintenance.
Making arrangements for children during the divorce is often a very emotional and difficult process and is preferably handled outside of the courts. Only if no agreement between spouses can be reached will child custody issues be heard by a judge, which can often be prevented by mediation and negotiation.
Family solicitors can ensure the agreements you reach are legally binding by drafting a 'consent order'. After both parents have agreed the consent order will be signed of by a judge provided they believe you have acted in the best interest of the children and there are no concerns for their safety.
If all options of negotiations have been exhausted and your dispute does reach the court, a judge will make a decision on which arrangements both parents need to adhere to. The judge will always keep the child's best interest in mind, and will take into account the child's preferences where possible.
Unfortunately domestic abuse still commonly occurs in the UK. The Office of National Statistics has published data showing that an estimated 1.9 million people suffered from domestic abuse in the year ending March 2017 in England and Wales alone.
It is often assumed that only women can be the victims of domestic violence, however this seems incorrect as 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.
Family law solicitors can support and guide you towards long-term solutions ensuring your safety and rights are protected.
Living in the UK on a partnership visa
If you are an immigrant living in the UK on a partnership visa, and your stay in the UK is dependent on your relationship our immigration solicitors can provide additional support. They will be able to assist you in applying for visa extensions, indefinite leave to remain or even asylum depending on the specifics of your situation.Read more about our immigration services
A prenuptial agreement is set out as a contract between the two people before they enter their marriage. This contract sets out how they will want to divide their assets in the event of a divorce.
Prenuptial agreements are legally binding and, unless they are judged to be unfair by a court, enforceable at the time of a divorce.
Having a prenuptial agreement in place will give you the peace of mind that your assets are protected and fairly divided at the time of your divorce.
As the negotiations on asset distribution have been concluded before your marriage, a clean separation is much more likely with a prenuptial agreement in place.
Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, however set up after a couple is already married. The same as the prenuptial agreement, the postnuptial agreement clearly describes how assets are divided in the event of a divorce.
A postnuptial agreement might be of interest to you if you initially got married without any agreement in place. Even though you are currently happily married, it is always recommended to have a plan in place in case your relationship does sour. Agreeing to and signing your postnuptial agreement will give you and your partner peace of mind that your futures are secure and will help you avoid a messy divorce, if it ever did come to it.
When a couple divorces or separates they need to divide their assets fairly. They need to assess which agreements they have put in place, if any, prior to their marriage and which assets they accumulated during their time together.
With the right guidance and support you can often reach an agreement through the initial stage of settling your finances which includes negotiations and disclosure from the two parties.
However, a clear framework of processes has been set out for couples who can not reach an agreement. These processes are complex and can become very emotional as money and asset distribution are sensitive topics for most people.
Our expert solicitors are here to advice and guide you through these complex financial settlement procedures and help you reach the outcome you deserve.Read more about financial settlements
Dissolution of 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 those going through a dissolution or annulment of their civil partnership.
We guide and support you during the breakdown of the civil partnership and help you make preparations to dissolve your civil partnership. We will support you throughout the process, offering expert advice to achieve the best possible outcome for you.
Separation of Unmarried Couples
Unmarried cohabiting couples do not have the same rights as married couples at the time of a separation.
It is often believed that after a certain amount of years of living together, unmarried couples are recognised as ‘common law wife or husband’, meaning they are treated in the same way as married couples. This is unfortunately not true.
Property Disputes for Unmarried Couples
Separating and splitting assets as an unmarried couple is often more complex, especially when property is involved.
As an unmarried partner you will 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 party refuses to leave or doesn’t wish to sell so profits can be divided fairly.
For that reason it is always in your best interest to manage your separation carefully and with the necessary guidance from our property dispute solicitors.
At AWH Solicitors we can offer fixed fee packages, as we know our clients prefer to know what they will pay from the outset.
Our platinum uncontested divorce package for the petitioner is only £450 plus vat plus the court fee.
Our contested divorce package
If you can't agree on a settlement with your former spouse our contested divorce package will likely be suitable for you.
- Initial consultation for 30 minutes about the divorce only and completing the divorce petition with you
- Reasonable correspondence with you, the court and the other side in respect of the divorce proceedings
- Drafting the divorce documents, namely; divorce petition, application for decree nisi, statement in support for decree nisi and application for decree absolute
- Keeping you informed throughout in respect of the divorce process
Our platinum uncontested divorce package
Similarly to our contested divorce package, we offer a platinum fixed fee package for the respondent in uncontested divorce proceedings for only £275 plus vat.
- Initial consultation with you for 30 minutes
- Preparing the 'Acknowledgement of Service Form'
- Checking court papers
- Advising you of the Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute once received from the court
What is not included in these fees
If during the divorce process any of these factors arise you will no longer qualify for the fixed fee divorce package. If this occurs we will immediately discuss matters with you to agree a new fixed fee structure with you.
In cases where the divorce is defended, we are prepared to offer fixed packages but will need to discuss and review your case with you to tailor a package that will suit you.
- Obtaining a duplicate copy of the marriage certificate
- Having the marriage certificate translated
- Fees charged by a bailiff/process server in serving the divorce documents on the respondent
- The costs of amending the divorce papers once they have been lodged at court
- If acting for the respondent the costs of applying to the court for the decree absolute
- Dealing with any issues in relation to the relationship in connection with the children, finances, property or domestic violence
- The costs of tracing a party
- Attending court in respect of the divorce proceedings
- Enforcing any costs order
Please be aware that cost may differ depending on your personal circumstances.
Our Promise to You
Approachable and friendly solicitors
We are committed to delivering a truly personal service that puts you and your wishes first. Our team will always be on hand to support you, regardless of the time or location.
Award-winning service across our fields of expertise
Our high standards of service are applied consistently across all of our departments. Regardless of your enquiry, you can expect to receive the best legal advice delivered in a sympathetic manner.
Advice tailored to your needs
We take the time to listen to your needs and offer guidance that is best suited to your current situation.
There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to any area of law; every case requires a tailored approach and you deserve a solicitor who understands this.
Outstanding customer service and care
Our reputation is largely built on the exceptional level of client care we continue to deliver.
Every case is handled with the utmost level of respect and many of our clients have recommended us after building an invaluable relationship with our solicitors.
Transparent on fees and processes
Transparency is very important to us as we want you to feel confident in our services.
We adhere to providing full transparency on fees, ensuring that you know exactly what you are paying for and keep you updated on the progress of your case along every step of the way.