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Divorce and separation solicitors

Supporting you through divorce or separation

Divorcing or separating from your partner is a life-changing event. Our divorce solicitors understand the distress and difficulties you may be going through and can support and help you throughout the process.

Arranging a divorce is usually quite straightforward, particularly if you and your partner have mutually agreed that the marriage is over. Difficulties are more likely to arise when it comes to resolving any practical issues related to the divorce settlement, such as how to separate, where to live, arrangements for your children’s welfare, and – of course – financial matters.

Our specialist divorce solicitors and family law team can help you untie your relationship and deal with any legal and financial complexities such as pension funds, offshore assets and family business matters. We will advise you on the best way to deal with your divorce, cost effectively and with dignity.

Try our relationship breakdown tool

Our Parting Ways tool is a great first step in guiding you through the legalities of a relationship breakdown. If your marriage, civil partnership or co-habiting relationship has broken down irreparably, our free easy-to-use tool provides an overview of what you need to consider from a legal perspective.

It takes a few minutes to complete and you will receive a guide tailored to your responses. You will not be asked for any personal information unless you decide you would like to speak with one of our solicitors.

Get your guide

International implications of divorce

If you or your partner is a foreign national, has assets overseas or your children reside outside of the UK, or will do so in the future, your international divorce solicitor will be able to advise you on how these issues could affect you.

For instance, within Europe, the country where your financial settlement is dealt with will depend on the nationality of whichever of you is first to issue divorce proceedings. This can potentially make a significant difference to the outcome of any financial negotiations, so it’s vital to take expert legal advice as soon as possible. Our family law solicitors are experienced in these areas and can provide the in-depth international expertise you need.

Legal separation

If you have decided to separate and don’t want a divorce (or are not ready to) you can still formalise the terms of your separation. We can help you to arrange a legal separation, set up solutions to protect your children’s welfare, and organise financial matters.

For example, to make sure you know exactly where you will stand after you separate, we can create a separation agreement for you, setting out:

  • How you wish to divide your property and other capital
  • Levels of child or spousal maintenance
  • Any other aspect of your financial separation that needs to be clearly defined.

Divorce financial settlements

We specialise in all aspects of divorce financial settlements, including pensions and trusts, as well as company and partnership interests. Our expertise is recognised by our competitors and the legal directory, Chambers UK.

Our divorce solicitors can also advise you on protecting or dividing assets related to a family farm or family business, helping you find the right outcome for both your family and your company.

If you need advice from specialists in other areas, we can consult our expert commercial law colleagues or draw on our strong links to counsel and expert third party advice.

The right legal advice for your circumstances

Every couple’s relationship, circumstances and finances are unique. That’s why it’s so important to receive expert advice from an experienced divorce solicitor based on your individual situation and the options available to you.

We have the experience and expertise to choose the right approach for your situation, which could be anything from collaborative law to firm litigious action.

Our divorce solicitors and family law team can help you whatever your circumstances, but we have particular expertise in complex divorces and arrangements – from complicated financial disputes to disagreements over access to children.

Thanks to our wide experience in this field, we will be able to advise you at the start how your case is likely to turn out and tell you how to reach the best outcome in the most cost-effective way.

Why clients choose our divorce solicitors

  • Sensitive and caring approach
  • Highly rated for family law in The Legal 500 and Chambers UK.
  • Members of Resolution, committed to its Code of Practice.
  • Trained collaborative lawyers and mediators
  • Broad and deep legal expertise across the firm
  • Competitive costs and tight cost control

Divorce and separation frequently asked questions

To help you understand the legal process in more detail, here are our answers to the questions we’re most often asked about divorce and separation. Still have questions? Please get in touch.

What do I need to get a divorce?

To get a divorce you need to have been married for over 12 months.

The good news is, you no longer need to prove to the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down on the grounds of adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years separation with consent, desertion or five years separation.

To apply for a divorce, you will need:

  • Your marriage certificate. If you do not have it, you can obtain a copy from a register office. (If it is not in English, you will need a certified translation.)
  • You and your spouse’s full name and address. If your spouse’s address is unknown, the court will expect you to show that you have made reasonable attempts to locate them and make them aware of the proceedings.
  • Proof of your name if you have changed it since getting married.

How much does it cost to get divorced?

The cost of a divorce will always depend on the complexity of the case in question. Average divorce costs can be high. However, one party will not necessarily have to pay the costs of the other. This is all dependent on the type of divorce you are pursuing.

If you and your partner mutually agree that your marriage is over, the cost of divorce is generally lower. Costs tend to increase if you can’t agree on important matters such as the financial settlement and childcare arrangements, particularly if it goes to court.

No matter your situation, we will always discuss the potential financial consequences with you.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

The answer is: it depends. The efficiency of the court in processing divorce applications may affect how long the process takes. Generally, if you go through mediation or collaboration, it can take less time than litigation.

In simpler cases – where the divorce is uncontested and there are no financial matters to resolve – it may only take a few months.

However, in more contentious and complex cases, typically revolving around children and/or finances, divorce can take a lot longer.

What is the divorce process in England and Wales?

The process varies slightly depending on whether you are a sole applicant or have applied jointly with your husband or wife. The timeframe for joint and sole applications is more or less equal.

According to government guidelines, the divorce process in England and Wales is:

  1. You submit your divorce application (either sole or joint)
  2. Your application is checked and if everything is in order, you and your spouse will be sent the necessary documents
  3. You must wait 20 weeks before you can apply for a conditional order (previously referred to as a decree nisi)
  4. If the judge agrees, you receive a certificate telling you the time and date your conditional order will be granted
  5. You will then have to wait 43 days (6 weeks and 1 day) before you can apply for a final order (previously referred to as a decree absolute)
  6. Once your final order is granted, you are divorced.

Will I have to go to court?

Going to court is usually the last resort in divorce cases. Resolving issues through mediation or collaboration often negates the need to go to court.

You may have to go to court if one party contests the divorce going ahead. Equally, disagreements over who pays legal costs sometimes need to be decided in court.

While the settling of arrangements for children and financial issues takes place separately from your divorce, you may need to go to court if they cannot be agreed on by both parties.

How are property and finances divided in a divorce?

Every divorce is different, and the court will use its discretion to try and divide assets as fairly as possible.

Divorce financial settlements can be the most complicated aspect of the process and an equal split in property and finances between the two parties will not be suitable in every case.

Dependent children and their needs will affect how the court decides to divide assets. Other factors that can have a bearing on the division of assets include:

  • The earning potential of each party following the divorce
  • The future financial responsibilities of each party
  • In cases including children, each party’s involvement in the family’s welfare – for example, unpaid childcare or maintaining the family home will be taken into account by the court.

Can we separate legally without getting a divorce?

You can. It is known as a ‘judicial separation’ and allows you to live apart while remaining married. You and your spouse will have to make arrangements for any children, money or property you share, usually with the help of a solicitor.

Legally separating from your spouse does not mean you cannot get a divorce later if you wish to.

Contact a specialist divorce solicitor

If you need legal advice on the breakdown of your relationship, call a divorce solicitor now on 0800 422 0123 or contact us online for a confidential initial consultation. We have specialist family law solicitors in London, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Southampton and Taunton.


They are thoroughly impressive from top to bottom, from excellent trainees through to partners. The moment you walk through their office door you get a good impression and they are wonderful to work with.

Chambers UK 2022

Your key contacts

Rayner Grice


Rayner advises on the issues that arise for an individual following the breakdown of a relationship in relation to divorce/civil partnership dissolution, their financial affairs and their children.
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Adam Maguire


Adam specialises in divorce and family law. He advises clients regarding all aspects of private family law including cohabitation, separation, divorce and related financial issues, disputes concerning children and nuptial agreements.
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Clare Webb


Clare has built her practice with a commitment to helping her clients resolve their issues in a constructive and conciliatory way. In doing so, she will always have regard to the longterm hopes and aspirations for the family as a whole, whilst of course protecting her client’s interest.
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Philippa Yeo


Philippa is committed to helping couples navigate all aspects of the legal process on the breakdown of their relationship in a pragmatic, collaborative and family-focused way including supporting couples to reach arrangements for their children and achieve healthy future co-parenting relationships.
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Latest news and updates

Divorce and family law

Protecting inheritance from divorce

Many consider that inheritances ought to be ring-fenced on divorce for the party to whom it has been left but the law is not that straightforward. However, there are steps which can be taken to minimise the risk of inherited assets being “invaded” in the event of a divorce.
Read more on Protecting inheritance from divorce

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