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Family & Divorce Solicitors

When a relationship breaks down, it can turn your world upside down, both emotionally and financially. With a solicitor from Napthens on your side, the first thing you can expect is someone that listens.

As experienced family law and divorce lawyers, we recognise that your situation and needs will be unique to you. We’ll strive to achieve an amicable resolution, but provide you with the robust representation you need to safeguard your interests.

Your divorce may impact on your business assets, or you may have children to consider.  Regardless of your circumstances, we can provide the specialist advice that’s best suited to your needs.

Contact our specialist team of family lawyers today for:

If you would like to speak to a member of our family team for advice or to arrange an initial no obligation discussion, please make an enquiry or call us for an informal chat. You may find our Step by Step Guide to Divorce or Legal Guide to Family and Relationship Issues useful.

I cannot thank you all at Napthens enough for the care, support and advice I have received. I feel in safe hands and well looked after. Gabriele

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  • Family & Divorce FAQs
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I have worked for all of our married life, whilst my partner stayed at home to raise our children. As a result, I have a considerable pension fund and my spouse does not. Now that we are separating, will my partner be entitled to a share of my pension?
Pensions are considered as part of the assets of the marriage. A pension will either be dealt with by way of a Pension Sharing Order which would mean that the pension would be divided into two separate pension pots. Alternatively, your spouse may be awarded more of the available capital to compensate for the loss of entitlement to your pension.

I want to ask my spouse for a divorce. On what grounds can I do this?
If you have been separated for less than two years, a divorce would either have to be on the basis of adultery or unreasonable behaviour. If you have been separated for more than two years, you can petition on the basis that you have been separated for two years and that both parties consent to the divorce. Should you have been separated for more than five years, you can petition on this basis and will not require the consent of your spouse.

My partner and I are separating. How will our assets be divided?
Your assets will be divided by agreement if you are able to reach a settlement. If not, the court will be asked to decide, and when reaching a decision they will consider the needs of any children, the duration of the marriage, the income of both spouses and their earning capacity, the ages of both parties and the contribution each has made to the assets. Both spouses will be expected to fully disclose their financial circumstances to each other.

My partner and I have decided to get married and it has been suggested that we should get a ‘pre-nup’. What is this and do we need one?
A pre-nuptial agreement records how you agree to divide the assets in the event that the marriage should break down. It is important to seek legal advice about the benefits of a pre-nuptial agreement and to ensure that the agreement is to be binding. Pre-nuptial agreements may be particularly beneficial to couples that have been married before and may wish to protect their assets for their children, or for couples that have received significant sums by way of inheritance.

My son and daughter-in-law have got divorced and the children are going to live with her. How can we make sure we will still get to see our grandchildren?
Grandparents may seek contact with their grandchildren through the courts although, first they must try to reach agreement through mediation.  If no agreement is reached then they require the court’s permission to make an application.

My spouse and I have separated and I want to issue divorce proceedings. What is involved in the process and how long will it take?
Divorce proceedings will usually take approximately 6 months from issuing your petition to Decree Absolute being pronounced. When the proceedings are issued your partner will receive a copy of the petition from the Court and an acknowledgement of service form which they must complete and return. When your partner returns the acknowledgement of service form it will be necessary for your solicitor to prepare a statement on your behalf. Your solicitor will then be in a position to ask the Court to fix a date for your Decree Nisi to be pronounced. Once your Decree Nisi has been pronounced you must wait six weeks and 1 day before applying to the Court for Decree Absolute to be pronounced. When your Decree Absolute is pronounced your marriage is dissolved.

My spouse has told me they want a divorce. What will happen to the children?
When a couple separates, the court would not become involved in the arrangements for children unless there was a dispute. If you and your former partner are not able to agree on arrangements for the children, such as where they will live and how regularly they will see your former partner, then the case will first be referred to mediation.  If an agreement cannot be reached through mediation, then the court may be asked to make an order. The court will base its decision on what is in the children’s best interests and may also seek the children’s views, depending on their age.

My spouse is divorcing me. Will we have to sell the house?
This very much depends on the value of the house and any mortgage secured against it. The court’s primary concern when deciding whether a property should be sold will be the needs of any dependent children. If a sale of the property would result in it not being possible to adequately re-house you and the children, then it is unlikely that the property would be sold whilst the children remain in education.

For a Divorce (if you are the Petitioner)

If the divorce is undefended our fixed fee is £495 + VAT (£99) + Court fees (£550)

What does this cover?

  • Preparation of Divorce Petition
  • Preparation of the Statement of Arrangements for Children
  • Preparation of the Request for Directions for Trial and supporting statement following receipt of the other party’s Acknowledgement of Service
  • Forwarding your Decree Nisi
  • Applying for your Decree Absolute and forwarding to you
  • We will update you at each step. In addition to the above, your fixed fee will cover up to 2 hours discussion with you by phone, email or in person.

For a Divorce (if you are the Respondent)

Our fixed fee is £250 + VAT (£50)

What does this cover?

  • Meeting with you to discuss the Divorce Petition and Statement of Arrangements for Children
  • Writing on your behalf in relation to costs being claimed against you by the Petitioner
  • Completing the Acknowledgement of Service
  • Notifying you of the Court date for pronouncement of the Decree Nisi
  • Forwarding your Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute

Are there any additional costs?
Sometimes problems may occur, for example if the Respondent does not sign the divorce papers.

In some cases, the Petitioner may seek to claim recovery of costs from the Respondent, and whilst if acting for a Respondent we would try to negotiate a reasonable compromise, these costs may ultimately be payable by you.

We will keep you informed of any potential additional costs before carrying out work so that you can make appropriate decisions.

Our fixed fees do not cover advice on more complex issues relating to disagreements over children or financial aspects of your divorce. However, fixed fee packages are available for these services.

  • Ann Hallmark
    Family & Divorce
  • Helen Lucking
    Head of Family & Divorce
  • Lisa McLachlan
    Family & Divorce
  • Sharon Emslie
    Family & Divorce
  • Stephen Betts
    Tax Specialist
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