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Divorce & Relationship Advice

Call 01579 343165 for your FREE initial appointment.

A young couple sitting on their bed with their backs to each otherThe prospect of divorce action can be daunting, but the process need not be difficult with the right professional advice.  Caunters has considerable experience in this area and is able to assist clients in the resolution of these problems by way of advice and mediation in a sympathetic and understanding manner.  Our dedicated Family Solicitor will be there to guide you through the process, steer you clear of the legal pitfalls and offer sensitive but independent advice.

It is more important to find a Solicitor who is approachable, sympathetic and provides advice you understand. We are here to help.

At Caunters we believe firmly in seeking to retain the maximum assets within  the family unit.  We aim to provide a fair and conciliatory, non-confrontational solution to issues that arise as a result of a family breakdown or crisis.  Where this is not possible we will litigate firmly to ensure that your interests are fully protected. We practice within the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol and the Guidelines of Resolution formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association.

We will litigate firmly to ensure that your interests are fully protected.

We understand concerns about legal costs and will address these with you at the earliest opportunity.  We never lose sight of the emotional cost of relationship breakdowns, especially those involving children.  For parties whose funds are tied up in the matrimonial assets, we are able to offer deferred payment schemes.

Get the right advice

An older couple who aren't speaking to each otherCost is not the only important issue, particularly for a sensitive divorce case. It is more important to find a Solicitor who is approachable and sympathetic and provides advice you understand. Call us for a free initial appointment. We are here to help.

Not all relationship issues end in divorce…

but if this is the resolution you seek we will explain the process to you, start the divorce action for you and once it is underway, keep you informed of any developments.

What we will need to have or know:

  • The reasons you want a divorce;
  • If you are living apart from your husband or wife and when you separated;
  • The names and ages of any children who are part of the family;
  • The children’s current and future living arrangements;
  • The current contact arrangements between parents and children;
  • A list of your assets, savings, income and pension arrangements and those of your husband or wife;
  • Your marriage certificate;
  • Any other relevant documents, names and dates.

These details will help us decide what grounds you might have for a divorce and help us to estimate what the timescales, costs and results of your case might be.

In order to obtain the divorce you must have been married for at least one year and be able to demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by relying on one of the following grounds:

  • Your husband or wife has committed adultery;
  • Your husband or wife’s behaviour is such that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them;
  • Your husband or wife has deserted you;
  • You have been separated from your husband or wife for two years and you agree to divorce;
  • You have been separated from your husband or wife for five years or more.

We will give you more details of each of these sets of circumstances at your initial appointment.

The process

A young couple looking upset with each otherIf you are applying for the divorce we will usually write to your husband or wife to inform them that you are intending to start divorce proceedings.  This letter will also recommend that they get independent legal advice if they have not done so already.

We will then prepare the divorce petition and send it to the Court who will forward it to your husband or wife for their reply.  If you have children under the age of 16 (or over 16 and in full time education) you will need to fill in a form called a “statement of arrangements for the children”.  This asks for details about who they will live with, where they are educated and what your plans are for them including contact.

If you have received a letter from your husband or wife’s solicitor then we will request a copy of the petition and advise you on the contents and the divorce process.

When your husband or wife has replied to the petition you will need to confirm your intention to go ahead with the divorce application by making a statement in support of your petition which is sent to the Court.

Once the Court is satisfied that you are entitled to the divorce it sets a date and time for the judge to pronounce decree nisi.  You do not need to attend Court for this.  It is simply a statement from the Court that the divorce can proceed and that the divorce papers are approved.  You are not actually divorced at this stage. If you have not agreed with your husband or wife who will pay the legal costs of the divorce the Judge pronouncing decree nisi will make the decision for you.

Six weeks after the decree nisi the person applying for the divorce can have the divorce made “absolute”.  This legally dissolves the marriage.  However it is usually more sensible to wait until financial matters have been resolved before finalising the divorce in this way.