Divorce Lawyers in London
Getting a divorce is a process that can carry a tremendous amount of emotional baggage and, when children are involved, the focus shifts to making this transition as easy as possible for the little ones.
|Who can file for divorce in the UK?||
Those married for over one year, when the relationship has permanently broken down and it is legally recognised in the UK
Divorce for same-sex marriages with the help of our divorce lawyer in London (Yes/No)
– original marriage certificate or a certified copy,
– proof of name change,
– proof of address
|Divorce fee (imposed by the authorities)||GBP593|
|Legal aid for paying the fee||Yes, for those who have a low income (subject to conditions and additional documentation)|
|Joint divorce application conditions||
When both parties agree to the divorce and when none is at risk of domestic abuse
|Divorce application methods in the UK||
Online or by post with the help of our divorce lawyer in London
|Divorce when one of the spouses is incapacitated||Yes, when another party (family member, close friend or other party) is appointed to make the decisions during the divorce for the spouse lacking mental capacity.|
|Conditional order application||
The conditional order is required to prove that the court has no objection to the divorce. Our divorce lawyer in London can help you apply.
|Final order application||The final order or the decree absolute is applied for in order to end the marriage.|
|Legally binding arrangements||
Yes, for example in case of dividing money or property
|Conditions for ending civil partnerships||
A court application is submitted when the parties have been in a civil partnership for more than a year.
|Legal separation in the UK||
It can be submitted via a court application when the parties are married/in a civil partnership for less than a year. It allows for the needed time spent apart to decide to end the marriage or civil partnership.
When the marriage was not legally valid (both parties were under 16 years of age, closely related or already in a marriage or civil partnership)
|Services provided by our divorce lawyer in London||
– complete assistance during the divorce application,
– special assistance for child and property division arrangements etc.
Legal separation and divorce are two separate options for couples who, irrespective of their particular reasons, do not wish to live together anymore. Understanding these two options is quite important before starting the process, as the separation may prove sufficient in some cases.
Our divorce lawyer in London specializes in family law, with a focus on separation and the divorce procedure in England and Wales, and can assist you if you have decided to take this step.
Understanding the conditions for divorce is important as couples are bounded by a set of legal requirements, such as for their union to be legally recognised in the United Kingdom as well as having to have been married for a minimum duration.
Our team of family law solicitors in London is here to assist you when one stage of your life together has ended, and our lawyers can do more for you than simply help you get the divorce papers through. We understand that this can be a difficult time and we support our clients who not only need to readjust but also need to solve other important legal matters such as maintenance or the distribution of assets. Clients who are looking to work with top divorce lawyers in London can reach out to our experts.
The steps for getting a divorce in England and Wales
A couple can choose to file for divorce in England and Wales when the following conditions are met:
- they have been married for more than one year;
- the marriage is legally recognised in the United Kingdom (included here are same-sex marriages);
- the relationship is irrevocably broken down;
- one or both of the former spouses is a permanent UK resident.
Meeting these requirements is a key step and applicants should note that the conditions are different in Northern Ireland or Scotland. Our divorce solicitors in London can help you with additional information and can help verify that these conditions apply in your case, especially in the case of expat divorce.
Often, when deciding to get a divorce, people will look to work with one of the best divorce lawyers in London and this is understandable. If you are considering a divorce, the following steps are important:
- Check the conditions: have you been married for at least one year and is your marriage recognised in the UK? you should start by checking if you meet these requirements;
- Make the initial arrangements: you and your former partner can discuss the arrangements for your children as well as housing and the division of property; our divorce solicitors in London can help during this stage;
- Apply for the divorce: you can do so online or by post and this will include a fee; special conditions apply when one of the spouses is mentally impaired;
- Apply for decree nisi: this step takes place when the other spouse does not defend the divorce petition;
- Finalize the divorce: this is the “decree absolute” and it can be applied for 6 weeks and 1 day after the date of the decree nisi.
The grounds for divorce, presented by our divorce lawyer in London
Five reasons or facts are accepted as grounds for divorce in England and Wales:
- Adultery: when the husband or wife has committed adultery; this is no longer valid if the couple continued to live together for more than 6 months after the disclosure date;
- Unreasonable behaviour: physical violence, verbal abuse, drunkenness or drug addiction, refusal to make the shared living expenses;
- Desertion: the husband or wife has left for at least two years prior the date of the divorce;
- two years separation: when the couple has ceased to live together for 2 years prior to the divorce application and they both agree to this step;
- five years separation: when the couple was separated for at least 5 years before filing for divorce; this can take place even if one of the parties disagrees.
Unreasonable behaviour remains the most common grounds for separation and our divorce lawyer in London can help you if you are interested in filing for divorce for this reason.
Our London divorce lawyer can give you more details about these motives. It should be noted that, in case of adultery, if the spouse claiming divorce names the person the other has committed adultery with, then that person will receive copies of the paperwork.
A special situation is that in which one of the spouses lacks mental capacity. In this case, the spouse who applies for divorce will make a special submission that will indicate the fact that the partner cannot agree to the divorce and cannot take part in the divorce proceedings. This does not, however, mean that the divorce will take place in his or her absence. For this purpose, the husband or wife who is mentally incapacitated will need to have another individual appointed on his or her behalf, who will make decisions during the divorce process. This person is referred to as the “litigation friend” and he or she can be a family member, a close friend or another individual who is able to offer representation during the entire divorce proceedings.
When the husband or wife who is incapacitated does not have another individual who can act on his or her behalf, the “litigation fried” can be appointed by court. The Official Solicitor to the Senior Courts can act on the behalf of the mentally incapacitated wife of husband when there is no other option. This is a particular case in which working with the expert at our divorce law firm in London is strongly advised.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the following figures apply for divorce in the United Kingdom:
- in 2018 there were 90,871 divorces in heterosexual couples;
- the number of divorces decreased by 10.6% in 2018 compared to 2017;
- the average marriage period in opposite-sex couples in 2018 was 12.5 years;
- unreasonable behaviour was the most common reason for heterosexual divorce in 2018.
Child custody and maintenance lawyers
Sorting child matters can be complicated during a divorce, especially if the former spouses cannot agree on the terms that related to where the child or children will live, joint custody or the child maintenance amount.
At our divorce law firm in London, while we advise our clients to attempt one or several meetings during which we will assist them in negotiating these matters, we are always prepared to help then apply for a court order for child arrangements, specific issues, consent or prohibited steps.
Before you apply for a court order in England and Wales, you should know that you need to pay a fee of £215 (the amount valid at the date this article was written) as well as attend a meeting about mediation. This is the mediation information and assessment meeting, which is mandatory in most cases except those that involve domestic abuse or when the applicant is asking for a consent order.
The court arrangements order will be a court-issued decision on where the child will live, and the amount of time he or she will spend with each parent. It can also stipulate the type of contact the child is allowed to have with the parents, for example, phone calls. When the former spouses cannot agree on other matters concerning the child, such as what school he or she will attend, an application for a specific issue order can be lodged and it will address the matter related to the child’s upbringing. Our separation lawyers in London can give you more details.
When issuing a court order concerning the child or children, the judges and the magistrates will take into account the child’s wishes, and how he or she feels about the matter, his/her emotional, physical and educational needs, the age and background and the effect of the proposed changes. Moreover, they will also take into account each parent’s ability to meet the needs of the child.
Our team of lawyers specialising in divorce issues can help you submit, change or enforce an order. If you decide to change an issue once a court order has been issued, our team can help you include the changes and make them legally binding by drafting a new order and submitting its approval.
The team of experts at our divorce law firm in London can also help you calculate child maintenance based on the gross weekly income, according to the rates set forth by the Child Maintenance Service. For example, when the gross weekly income of the parent is between £7 to £100 then the weekly maintenance amount will be £7. We can help you calculate the maintenance amount when and your former spouse have agreed to shared care, as well as when you also have other children.
Many clients wish to work with the best divorce lawyers London in child-related divorce matters.
The division of assets, simplified when working with our divorce solicitors in London
Making money and property arrangements when you divorce can be complicated, especially if you and your partner cannot amicably reach a mutually beneficial settlement. When you need to agree on how to separate the assets acquired during the marriage and the finances, our team of divorce solicitors can help you.
You will most likely have to agree on how to divide your property, savings, pensions and investments, if any. One of the spouses can receive living expenses from the other and, as previously mentioned, child maintenance payments to help raise the children.
While you may be able to sort how you divide your part of your finances on your own, you should seek legal help, such as that offered by our separation lawyers in London, in the following cases:
- you took a loan for your former partner and they will not pay it or they are unable to pay;
- you and your former spouse have a business together and you cannot agree on how to divide; a team of top divorce lawyers in London is often sought to handle these sort of issues;
- you own a home together and cannot agree on how to proceed;
- you have a joint mortgage and cannot agree how much you should pay;
- you and your former partner drew up an agreement on how to divide the assets in the event of separation and they are not observing the terms.
Our team can also help you reach a financial agreement if you were not married but in a civil partnership. Even if you were in a civil partnership and not married, you will still need to come to an agreement regarding child maintenance if you have children.
When you cannot agree through negotiation or even mediation, you can ask the court to decide how your assets will be divided. Our solicitors can help you apply for a financial order and the legal document will offer a solution on how to divide all of the aforementioned assets. You can ask for a court financial order as soon as you have started the paperwork for the divorce and you and your partner will need to fill in a financial statement that includes a clear breakdown of your property, debts as well as an estimate of your individual future living costs.
If your former partner is ignoring your rights or refuses to negotiate, you will benefit from getting legal help and, if needed, make a claim in court assisted by our solicitors. This is a situation in which you will rest assured if working with some of the top divorce lawyers in London.
A divorce is a legal process and also a personal process. It is natural to have questions when first deciding to take this step. Whether it is mutual, or it is the with of only one of the spouses, the divorce will have several stages and many clients who seek legal help find that they need personalized solutions and, as a result, personalized answers to their questions. While no two cases are the same, our London divorce lawyer answers some common questions below.
How long will my divorce take?
There is no definite standard answer for this question. We advise our clients to expert a period of six months for this process. Of course, in some cases this time can be shorter (at four months, perhaps) and in other situations the proceedings will take longer.
When the parties do not agree, or when there are more complex financial and child matters to handle, the process will take longer. However, in most cases, within approximately one year, the former spouses will have finalized their divorce and are able to start building their new life.
Can I get a quick divorce?
While there is no former way to apply for a fast-track divorce in the UK, there are some steps you can take (jointly and separately) to ensure that the procedures will not last more than average. Some of the advice our London divorce lawyer commonly gives our clients is to prepare the documents in due time. When you work with us, we will give you a list of documents and the paperwork that you are expected to prepare as soon as possible. Handling this stage in a prompt manner will reduce the time and so will paying attention to submitting the divorce papers. If you correctly submit all of the documents the first time, there will be no delays that could have been easily avoided.
One of the most important issues is how you are able to agree with your spouse. If the two of you agree on the reason for divorce, and are generally reasonable, the process can be faster. If one of the spouses contests the grounds for separation, the divorce will not be a quick one.
How much will a divorce cost me?
As far as the costs are concerned, you will need to take into account the fees that you need to pay when you apply for a divorce. There is a £593 fee, not including the fees for legal assistance. Persons who are in financial difficulty or on a low income can receive legal aid in some cases.
Do I need to work with a solicitor right away?
You can choose to wait, however, we do recommend talking to our separation lawyers in London right away. This can not only shorten the overall time, it will also prove valuable along the way, especially if you particular family situation will demand expert legal assistance or counsel. Of course, the process will be easier if the divorce is mutually agreed upon, however, even so, you may find that your spouse, however accommodating, will choose to work with a lawyer and may not always agree on the terms for child custody or matter such as the future education of your child/children. Should such arguments arise, it is advisable to work with a solicitor in due time so that you will be able to negotiate with your spouse.
Why work with our divorce solicitors in London?
The divorce process carries a certain amount of emotional stress for the parties and this is amplified when children are involved. Getting specialized legal aid, such as the services offered by our divorce lawyer in London, can help ease this transitional period and will take your mind off handling the legal issues, allowing you to focus on the manner in which you will rebuild your life after the process is complete.
Being interested in working with the best divorce lawyers in London is natural as many former couples will wish to know that they are adequately represented in the process. This is why working with our team is advisable from the very beginning.
Before you decide to apply for a divorce in the UK, you and your former partner may wish to discuss a number of important issues, such as the general arrangements for looking after the children as well as the maintenance payments.
Our family lawyers in London can help you clarify any issues that may arise in divorce cases, especially when the couple did not separate in an amicable manner and the case is going to court. If this is the case, then the entire divorce process is expected to last longer and this can add additional unwanted stress on the children. Getting specialized legal aid, which can also include using a mediator, can help shorten the process and allow all of the parties to move on with their respective lives as soon as possible.
A divorce can be a challenging time and receiving professional guidance can help bring a sense of comfort for as one can rest assured that legal matters such as the division of assets are handled in their best interest.
If you need legal assistance from our divorce lawyer in London, please do not hesitate to contact us.