Our specialist Family Team are able to offer advice and representation for every aspect of family and matrimonial law including:

  • Financial Disputes on divorce/separation
  • Disputes involving children following divorce/separation
  • Childcare Proceedings
  • Co-habitation
  • Pre-marital Agreements
  • Domestic Violence
  • Separation Agreements

We are renowned locally for approaching what can be very sensitive and stressful issues in a professional yet sympathetic manner. We offer a fixed fee package for most family matters and we are contracted by the Legal Aid Agency to provide representation with Legal Aid, where available.

Please contact either Martin Shipway or Thomas Harrison on 01253 824216 for an initial discussion.

Fixed Fee Divorce
  • Matters can be dealt with by post or by personal attendance at the office.
  • We see your divorce through from start to finish.
  • You speak to the solicitor dealing with your case not a call centre.

Costs in the fixed fee divorce are likely to be as follows:
  • Our fees £500.00 plus VAT plus any disbursements which may apply.

This package includes the following services:
  • Drafting and preparing the Petition
  • Arranging for documentation to be issued at Court
  • After your husband/wife is served, notifying you and then dealing with the drafting of the Application for Decree Nisi and Statement in Support.
  • Applying for Decree Nisi
  • Applying for Decree Absolute

This package will not be available in the following circumstances:
  • Where an amended or further petition is required or there is a change of instructions or grounds
  • If matters were contested (i.e. not agreed) by your husband/wife
  • Where we have substantial difficulties in serving the other party with the divorce documentation
Child Care
If your marriage or relationship has broken down we can help to make arrangements about the children in an amicable way. If matters are not agreed then mediation may be able to assist. If it is necessary you may need to apply to the Court. We can assist you to apply to the Court for them to reach a decision as to:
  • Who the child should live with.
  • How much time the other parent spends with the children .
  • Who has the right to make important decisions about the children (Parental Responsibility).
  • If you are concerned about a child being removed from your care then we can apply to the Court for an Order preventing them from doing that without having permission from the Court.
Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence is defined by LASPO (Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012) as “any incident of threatened behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other”.

Domestic Abuse can take a number of forms such as:
  • Physical Abuse.
  • Harassment.
  • Threats.
  • Sexual Abuse.
  • Emotional and Mental Abuse.

Victims of this type of behaviour will often need support from the police and other specialist services such as Womens Aid and Victim Support. You may also be able to obtain protection from the Courts to prevent the abuser from coming near you or to force them to vacate the home. These orders are dealt with under The Family Law Act 1996 and the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. This act gives the Court powers to grant two orders:

  • Non-Molestation Order.
This prevents the abuser from harming you or your child(ren)

  • Occupation Order.
This Order indicates who can live in the family home and order the other person to leave the property. The abuser could be arrested should they breach the terms of the Order and prosecuted through the Criminal Courts.

We can help in these situations. As part of our service we can offer the following:
  • Legal Aid (to those who are eligible).
  • Free ½ hour interview.
  • Fixed Fees (if not eligible for Legal Aid).
Property & Financial Matters
Legal Advice should always be sought before agreeing to any financial settlement to ensure that the agreement is fair. Financial matters that often need to be agreed upon divorce can include:
  • Division of Property.
  • Division of Pension.
  • Division of Assets.
  • Joint Debts.
  • Financial Provision for Children.
  • Maintenance.

Although Property and Financial issues can be dealt with at the same time as the divorce proceedings they are not dealt with within main divorce proceedings themselves. It is important to note that a Decree Absolute does not dismiss any financial claims between the parties.

As members of Resolution we will attempt to reach an agreement through careful negotiation without the need to attend Court. If an agreement is made between the parties then this can be formalised in an agreement called a “Consent Order” which is then settled by the Court. This dismisses any future financial claims by either party

Financial Remedy Proceedings:

Financial matters can be resolved amicably but if Court proceedings are necessary proceedings may need to be issued. These are known as “Financial Remedy Proceedings”. Eventually it would be up to the Court to decide on a fair settlement. The settlement reached is then contained in a Court Order. However, matters can still be agreed between the parties whilst Court proceedings are ongoing without the need for the Court to intervene.

Factors which are considered in financial settlements:

The Court would look at a variety of factors such as:
  • The welfare of any children under 18.
  • The current and future earning capacity of either party.
  • The financial needs of the parties now and in the future (including housing needs).
  • Any physical or mental disability of either party.
  • The standard of living enjoyed by the parties before the divorce.
  • The length of marriage and ages of the parties.
  • Any financial contributions made by either party.
  • Any contributions such as caring for the children and looking after the home.
  • (In rare cases) any conduct or bad behaviour of either party.

For further information of Property and Finances go to our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact or experienced specialist team on 01253 824216 or email us.
Pre-Marital/Pre-Nuptial Agreements
These are agreements made between those contemplating marriage or entering into a Civil Partnership. The content of a Prenuptial Agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce, break up of marriage, separation or dissolution of a Civil Partnership. These agreements are now given increased recognition in English Law.
This may be made before the marriage or Civil Partnership and there are strict conditions that have to be met. The position is therefore that if your circumstances warrant, you should consider this and if you would like more information on this please contact Martin Shipway on 01252 824216 or email us.