Specialist Divorce Lawyers To Advise and Guide In Difficult Times
The divorce lawyers at Hopkins Law are some of the most respected and experienced in the UK. We strive to resolve family disputes in a conciliatory manner by negotiated agreement. However, where court proceedings are necessary, we have the expertise to run such cases decisively and effectively.
A common misconception is that no fault divorces are available. This is not the case, as without a separation of at least two years (and unless both parties agree) or at least five years it is simply not possible to obtain a no-fault divorce.
The two most common grounds for divorce tend to proceed on adultery or unreasonable behaviour. In all cases, we are able to act in a discreet manner, minimising distress for both parties.
We Have Expertise In Dealing With Dissolution Proceedings of Civil Partnerships
Separation Solicitors Who Look After Your Best Interests
When a couple separates there are various provisions for dealing with the complications regarding financial matters, property and children. It is therefore essential to obtain advice to make you aware of the legal implications of your situation.
There are many misconceptions regarding the separation of married and cohabiting couples. At Hopkins Law, our specialist separation lawyers will run through your situation and your options, bringing you a better understanding of the steps you may wish to take.
Reasons you may consider contacting Hopkins Law regarding separation
Your spouse may have decided to separate from you
You may feel that a short break may benefit your marriage to enable reconciliation in the future
A cooling off period – breathing space
You and your partner are not ready to divorce or are not able to
You may already be living separate lives
You may view it as a stepping stone to divorce – or you suspect it’s the intention of your spouse
Hopkins Divorce Lawyers
Accepted Grounds For Divorce
To prove irretrievable breakdown, the Petitioner must establish one or more of the following:
- that the Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent (adultery);
- that the Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent (unreasonable behaviour);
- that the Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition (desertion);
- that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition and the Respondent consents to a decree being granted (2 years separation by consent);
- that the parties to the marriage have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately preceding the presentation of the petition (5 years separation).
Fixed Fee Divorces
For privately paying clients seeing one of our selected specialist solicitors, we charge £600 plus VAT and disbursements (including court fees) for a straightforward divorce with no ancillary issues involving children and/or finances or other complicating factors.
In all cases the court will charge a petition fee (currently £550 )unless you are in receipt of benefits or have a low income, in which case you may be eligible for a fee exemption for all or part of the court fees.
If you find yourself in any of the above situations or your partner has sought a divorce then it’s time for expert legal advice – we can advise you on your situation and your options.
Frequently Asked Questions
By filling in a form called a Petition and taking it to any Divorce County Court or to the Principal Registry in London.
There is only one ground for Divorce that being that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The Court will accept one or more of the following factors as proof:
i. That your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them;
ii. That your spouse’s behaviour has been so bad that you can no longer bear to live with them;
iii. Your spouse deserted you at least two years ago;
iv. You have lived apart for at least two years and your spouse agrees to a divorce;
v. That you have lived apart for at least five years.
You must both have your permanent homes in England or Wales when the petition is commenced or
You must both be living in England or Wales when the petition is started or
You must both have had your last home in England or Wales and one of you must still be resident here when the petition is started or
You or your spouse must be living in England or Wales when the petition is started or
You must have been living in England or Wales for at least a year on the day the petition was started or
You must have your permanent home in England or Wales and have been here for at least six months on the day the petition is started.
No – provided either of you satisfy the residence requirements as set out above.
You may have to pay a Court fee to issue the Divorce petition and to apply for the Decree Absolute. You may not have to pay the Court fee or only a contribution to the Court fee depending on your circumstances. For further information or to apply for a fee concession, download form EX160A at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk.
You can contact the office of the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the District in which you were married. You will have to pay a fee and they will let you know how much it is.
You will need to have this translated by an expert who will swear / affirm that the translation is accurate.
You can start your petition in any Divorce County Court or in the Principal Registry in London. A list of Divorce County Courts can be downloaded at HMCS.
No – only those who still need your care and financial support because of their age and circumstances. The Court will be concerned with any child who was born to you and your spouse or who has been treated by you as though they were born to you who is under 16 years of age or between 16 and 18 and still at college or full time school. These children are referred to ‘as children of the family’ and include children you have both adopted but does not include foster children.
The Court must consider the arrangements you propose for the children after the divorce. The Court can, in exceptional circumstances, hold up the Decree Absolute until satisfactory arrangements are made for them.
No – the financial matters do not need to be agreed but it is very wise to do so especially as you may lose the right in certain circumstances to have your financial situation considered by the Court.
Yes – provided you lead completely separate lives whilst under the same roof eg, you sleep in separate bedrooms, carry out your own domestic duties, cook, eat socialise etc separately.
An undefended Divorce will usually take between four and six months.
If you cannot find out from asking family and friends you may need to engage the services of a tracing agent. We can assist you in this regard. There will be a fee payable and the amount will depend on the individual circumstances.
You can carry out a search of the Central Index of Decree Absolutes at the Principal Registry of the Family Division. There is a Court fee payable.
Yes – please email us for further details.