0345 604 4911

Divorce Solicitors

"Highly experienced and approachable."

Chambers & Partners, 2019

"Highly experienced and approachable."

Chambers & Partners, 2019
How we can help

If your marriage has broken down and you are facing divorce, you may feel upset, angry and anxious about the future. Getting divorced is a huge moment in anyone’s life so it’s important to take expert advice from an experienced team of family lawyers who can help ensure you get the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Divorce means difficult decisions on a range of matters such as access to children and the future of your business and financial assets. We can help to make sure that your best interests are taken into account during divorce proceedings, looking at your needs now but also in the future.

Our divorce solicitors can advise on suitable grounds for divorce and, if possible, work to achieve an amicable settlement without the need to go to court. Out-of-court divorce services we offer include:

  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Collaborative divorce
  • Arbitration

As well as being skilled negotiators, we have qualified mediators, collaborative lawyers and arbitrators who can work with you and your partner to agree a satisfactory outcome for both of you. Of course if an amicable settlement is not possible, we will support you through any court appearances and fight to protect your best interests.

We have particular experience in complex cases involving significant wealth, business interests and international elements. If you hold assets overseas, or you or your partner now live abroad, we can help you negotiate the added difficulty this can cause. You can rely on us to work diligently through any complex issues that arise in your case.

As pioneers in the legal sector, work by our leading lawyers has changed family law. In October 2015, we helped two women to challenge their divorce settlements at the Supreme Court, on the basis that their husbands had been dishonest about their financial circumstances. This successful challenge led to a change in the law.

If you would like to talk to us, in confidence, about how we can help with your divorce, please call us on 0345 604 4911, or contact us online and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

More Information - Divorce Solicitors
    • What Are The Grounds For Divorce?
    • There is only one ground for divorce: an 'irretrievable breakdown of the marriage'. This is proved by any one of five facts:

      1. Unreasonable behaviour – Conduct by you or your partner deemed sufficient to cause the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage
      2. Adultery – Defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse
      3. Living apart for two years (and both partners agree to the divorce)
      4. Living apart for five years
      5. Desertion for at least two years – Desertion takes place when one partner leaves the other without their knowledge or agreement.

      Usually, the grounds for divorce and the guilt of either party won't have an impact on your financial settlement or the arrangements made for you children, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis.

    • What Is The Process?
    • There are seven stages to the divorce process:

      1. A divorce petition must be filed with a court by you or your partner. Whoever does this is known as the Petitioner, with the other party referred to as the Respondent
      2. The court sends the divorce documents to the Respondent
      3. The Respondent files an Acknowledgement of Service – this includes answering questions such as 'do you intend to defend the case?' and 'do you agree with the ground for jurisdiction?'
      4. The Petitioner applies for decree nisi - an order by a court stating the date on which a marriage can end, unless a good reason not to grant the divorce is produced
      5. The court sends out a Certificate of Entitlement confirming the date on which decree nisi will be pronounced
      6. The court grants the decree nisi and sends a copy to both of your solicitors
      7. The Petitioner applies for a decree absolute after six weeks and one day has passed from decree nisi being granted. This decree is a final order from the court that officially ends the marriage, allowing each party to remarry. The Petitioner can delay in making the application for example if financial arrangements have not yet been finalised.

      See our Guide To The Divorce Process for more details of these stages.

    • How Long Does It Take?
    • How long it takes to process your divorce depends on a number of factors. If you are able to quickly come to an agreement with your partner without having to go to court, the whole process could be completed inside 6 months. However, if you find it difficult to reach an agreement, have a lot of issues to resolve, or need to have things put before a court, it can take much longer - sometimes up to 2 years.

      Every case is different, so to get an idea of how long your divorce might take it is important to get expert advice. We can give you an estimate of how long it will take at our first consultation. To set one up, call us today on 0345 604 4911 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.


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  • Ros Bever
  • National Head of Family Law
Meet the team
Martin Loxley
Martin Loxley Sheffield

"Absolutely fantastic", "nationally known, pragmatic, and a hard negotiator."

Legal 500, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

What If There Are Children Involved?

If you have children, it's important that their needs are prioritised throughout the divorce process. There are a number of decisions to be made involving your children, such as:

  • Where your child will live and how much contact you and your ex-partner will have
  • Where your child will go to school and who is responsible for any school fees
  • Child maintenance payments
  • The amount of contact your child has with its extended family

We have decades of experience in helping divorcing parents come to agreements about the future of their children, and we may be able to help you reach an amicable solution that satisfies all parties.

Some members of our team are on the Law Society Children Panel while others are qualified mediators, collaborative lawyers or arbitrators, so you can trust us to work sensitively to reach an agreement that puts your children first.

For more information on how we can help, please call us today on 0345 604 4911, or contact us online, for an initial consultation.

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What If We're Not Quite Ready To Divorce Yet?

If you would like to separate from your partner but are not yet ready to divorce, you can consider getting a Separation Agreement from a court. This will give you time to agree on your personal and financial arrangements prior to divorcing, or allow you to separate your finances and responsibilities in a clear and agreeable way before you separate.

There is also the option of judicial separation, which is where you have no more marital obligations to your partner, but you legally remain married. If you separate in this way, you will not be able to remarry until you get a divorce. The process is very similar to divorce and some people choose it for religious or moral reasons.

If you'd like to talk to us about the various options available to you, please call us today on 0345 604 4911, or contact us online.

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How Can I Protect Myself From Financial Claims In The Future?

There are a range of measures we can take to help you guard against receiving financial claims from your ex-partner in the future.

Firstly, if you get a court order that sets out how the financial claims have been settled between you and your ex-partner, then this will determine what if any claims can be made in the future.

You can also obtain a form of financial order known as a 'clean break', which means no further financial claims can be made by either you or your ex-partner in the future.

It is important to get a court order, even if you have agreed everything between you, as otherwise your claims against each other remain open indefinitely leaving you both vulnerable to future claims by the other person.

If you have any questions about our family law services, or want to know how we can help you and your family through what may be a difficult time, then please call us today on 0345 604 4911, or contact us online, for a consultation on your case.

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I live in Scotland, can Irwin Mitchell help me?

Our expert family law team works with a number of trusted partners to help our clients with family law issues in Scotland.

We’ll be your point of contact and manage the entire process for you throughout. You’ll get frequent progress updates and we’ll break down any legal jargon into plain English so you’re always in the loop.

To find out more about how we can help, give us a call on 0345 604 4911 or contact us online.

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