Getting early advice is crucial. We can advise on how best to reach a
settlement or explain the court process to you.
We are members of Resolution and as such, are committed to working in a
progressive, mindful manner through the divorce and associated proceedings.
Process of Divorce:
If you are married, the process
whereby your marriage is brought to an end is called Divorce. There is
only one ground for seeking a divorce and that is that the marriage has
irretrievably broken down. You must rely
on one of the five facts set out in the legislation as proof of the marriage
breakdown. They are:
- Adultery (Divorce only)
- Unreasonable Behaviour
- 2 Years Separation with Consent.
- 2 Years Desertion
- 5 Years Separation.
We will guide you through the
options and draft the necessary paperwork on your behalf. And progress the
divorce to the first stage which is known as a “Decree Nisi”.
A minimum of six weeks after Decree Nisi the Petitioner can apply for the second and final stage of Divorce known as “Decree Absolute”.
There will usually be financial
issues that need to be resolved so that the matrimonial property and assets can
be divided up and maintenance for partners and/or children can be
arranged. This often takes some time to agree and the “Decree
Absolute” is usually delayed until the financial agreement has been finalised.
Often it is the dividing up of the
matrimonial property and assets which is the more complex and time consuming
part of the process. Hopefully you and your partner will be trying to reach an
agreement and we are happy to explain the law and give you help and assistance
to enable you to negotiate an agreed settlement which is workable and thereby
save on legal costs.
If you are unable to reach an
agreement on dividing up the property and assets we are able to give you
pro-active advice or steer you towards the various ways in which your matter
can be settled.
We are pleased to now offer a
Fixed Fee Divorce at Keelys. We will
represent you as Petitioner in the Divorce for a fixed fee of £750 plus VAT and
Court fee of £550, as Petitioner where the case is not defended (extra charge will
apply if personal service is required) and £350 plus VAT as Respondent (not
defended). Full terms and conditions
will be supplied before work commences.
We are happy to have a meeting with you at an early stage to outline your legal rights and to guide you
Reaching an agreement or settlement of
how to divide up the matrimonial property or assets including the former
matrimonial home, pensions and whether maintenance is payable, is often the
more difficult part of the whole divorce process. Obtaining of a Decree
Absolute does not resolve the financial matters between you and your spouse.
The Decree Absolute only brings your marriage to an end, all financial matters
have to be settled by a separate order.
Hopefully you and your partner will be
able to reach an agreement with each other as to how to divide up the
matrimonial assets; but it is important that the agreement reached is fair and
is enforceable and will not be overturned at some future date. It is important
that you get legal advice at the earliest stage possible so that you can know
your legal rights and obligations and so that the negotiations with your
partner can be entered into in confidence knowing that you are properly dealing
with all the issues and have not missed out any crucial points.
We are happy to have a without
prejudice meeting with you at an early stage (even if you are not ready to
start the divorce process) to outline your legal rights and to guide you to the
points which you should consider and to give you the general advice which will
help you to decide your next step. You are under no obligation to take matters
any further and the meeting will hopefully put your mind at rest and explain
clearly and straight forwardly what could otherwise be a worrying and confusing
series of issues.
There are several ways in which you can agree the division of matrimonial assets including:
- Solicitor negotiation
- Collaborative Law
- Court proceedings.
If you and your partner do reach an
agreement (with or without legal advice and help) we would very strongly advise
that the agreement is recorded in a “Consent Order”. This will ensure that
financial issues are finalised properly and that neither of you can re-open the
issue at some future point. Without this “Consent Order” either of you could at
any stage in the future issue proceedings and ask the court to divide up the
assets which you and your partner have at that point in time (not what you had
when you separated or divorced!).
Divorce financial settlements
Most financial settlements are resolved through negotiation but if that is not possible or the finances are complex due to there being business assets or valuable pensions, then it may be necessary to issue court proceedings. Throughout those proceedings there are opportunities to still reach an agreed settlement and we will advise you throughout with the intention of settling matters on a fair and reasonable basis wherever possible.
All sorts of factors and circumstances can and will be taken into account in deciding how the matrimonial property and assets will be divided. We will advise you of all of those circumstances which may then lead to you to settling matters in a way which you would not have otherwise considered or have been aware of. The division of assets on divorce is likely to be one of the largest and most complex transactions that you ever have to deal with and we are there with many years of experience and specialisation in this area of law to guide you successfully through the process and hopefully reach an amicable equitable resolution which takes all of your personal circumstances into account and provides you with a tailor made settlement designed specifically for you.
Family Law Team
The Court charges a fee for a divorce. It is currently £550. If you are eligible you may be able to claim a fee exemption for the court fee
We at Keelys then offer fixed fee divorces. If we are representing you as Petitioner (the person asking for the divorce) we charge £750 plus VAT plus any Court fees payable.
If we are acting for you as Respondent, the fees is £350 plus VAT.
These fees do not include attendance at Court or representation in defended divorces.
Many online services now exist offering fixed fees for divorces. We at Keelys are here to sit with you and spend time on your case in person. We are qualified solicitors with a combined experience of over 20 years. Our services are assured and safe.
Currently (although no fault divorce is on the horizon) the only ground for a Divorce is that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’. The prove this the Court sets out 5 facts and you must choose one of them. They include:
- Unreasonable Behaviour
- 2 years separation with consent
- 2 years desertion
- 5 years desertion
We can discuss with you which fact is most appropriate for you. We have successfully petitioned on behalf of clients on each of these facts.
If a Court is asked to issue a Divorce by one of the parties to the marriage and that person can prove the fact petitioned on, then the Court will issue a divorce.
We as Solicitors for the Respondent can ensure that the process does not damage the Respondent in any other proceedings and potentially in respect of costs, so it is always worthwhile seeking legal advice if you are Respondent and are struggling with the idea of a divorce.
A meeting with one of our Solicitors will be all that is needed to start the process. Thereafter you will be guided step by step through each stage with the full knowledge and reassurance that we will know how to conduct your divorce.
Only a final Decree of Divorce will end the marriage. A Legal Separation may be suitable if you and your spouse are opposed to a divorce for whatever reason.
A Consent Order dealing with your finances in finality can only be made upon Decree Nisi of divorce and only become effective at Decree Absolute. If you need finality to the financial claims a divorce is necessary.
The Court’s operate a ‘no order presumption’. If you and your spouse can agree the arrangements for the children between yourselves or with our help, then a Court will not make an order.
We are highly experienced in resolving the issues around children and who they live with and spend time with.
If agreement cannot be reached we can assist you in an application to the Court to obtain an order that meets the welfare of the children. We can provide lots more information about this during the process if necessary.