Divorce Solicitor

Personal divorce solicitors offering you legal support and guidance through the challenging divorce process.

Providing legal advice for your divorce

Getting a divorce or going through a separation can be extremely difficult. Having to navigate through the practical and legal aspects of a separation or a divorce is an added challenge that you don’t have to face on your own.

At Goughs, our highly experienced divorce solicitors have a deep understanding of the emotional, practical and financial strain that can come from a divorce or separation. Having helped thousands of clients, we understand the importance of recognising that every situation is completely unique and should be handled with sensitivity, care and consideration. 

Key Contact

Thomas Boyce

Partner, Head of Family, Head of Agriculture & Rural Land

The role of a divorce solicitor

A divorce solicitor is there to help at every and any stage of the divorce process. From understanding the full picture, to helping to avoid any delays.

Our family and divorce services

There are lots of things that you will need to consider if you are going through a divorce or separation, some of which you may not have accounted for. Our responsibility is to make sure that you are fully informed and equipped to respond to your situation in the most effective way possible. That is why we offer support and advice in a variety of areas that will be beneficial to you.

Applying for a divorce

When applying for a divorce there are important documents you will need to fill in and submit off at the right time. Without these documents you may not be able to start the divorce process and any errors could have implications. To help you with this, we have a team of trustworthy divorce solicitors who can guide you through the process. By equipping you with the correct information and expert advice, there will be fewer issues down the road.

Related reading: 10 things to consider before divorce

Reaching financial settlements

Financial disputes during a divorce are a common struggle and we understand that reaching financial settlements can be a battle. We have a specialist team of divorce financial settlement solicitors that have a deep knowledge on the most beneficial and effective solutions that they can cater to you. Although being divorced in England and Wales legally ends the marriage, it does not take into consideration any financial commitments arising from the marriage, which is why it is essential that you resolve your finances alongside the divorce or separation. Learn more about financial settlements in divorce. 

Related reading: The financial side of high net worth divorces

Considering the welfare of your children

Family life as you know it will inevitably go through a huge change on separation, and the impact on the wellbeing of your children will be at the core of this decision. We know that your children matter to you, therefore they matter to us. Our divorce solicitors are experienced in finding solutions that consider the emotional and practical issues concerning all children involved. Making sure that this transition is as easy as possible for all parties involved is a top priority for us and our main aim is to provide support and guidance for the family unit as a whole.

Related reading: Making arrangements for your children

Providing collaborative lawyers

Sometimes, reaching agreements and resolving issues between you and your partner can be difficult. It can be hard and frustrating maintaining a civil and respectful relationship during this time and you may not be able to do this on your own. Collaborative lawyers are specially trained to help separated couples work together to reach solutions and achieve certain goals. The collaborative process works towards respectful and controlled communication between both parties and aims to keep core values and priorities such as children at the centre. To find out more information, please visit our collaborative law page.

Speak to a solicitor

Whether you are going through a divorce and need to instruct a solictor, or you have some questions that you would like a solictor to answer, we can help. You can call, email or come into one of our seven offices.

Call us

With seven offices around the South West of England, we have multiple offices you can call. 

Select the office to call

Email us

If you would like to drop us an email you can on info@goughs.co.uk

Visit us

With offices in Calne, Chippenham, Corsham, Devizes, Melksham and Trowbridge, you can pop in and see us. View office locations.

How does the divorce process work?

When looking into starting the process of getting divorced, there are lots of things to be aware of that can cause confusion. It is important for you to set realistic expectations of what this process might look like for you, to prevent any disappointment or unexpected issues throughout. We are here to provide you with the essential information as you make this decision so that you can fully understand each step of the process.

The divorce application

The person who is filing for a divorce (referred to as the applicant) needs to complete and submit the ‘divorce application’ to the court, alongside your marriage certificate (which can be done online). Once the court issues the application, it will be sent to the other party (referred to as the respondent).

The acknowledgement of service

The acknowledgement of service is a form that the respondent has to complete and return to the court within 14 days as a response to the divorce application. Once the court receives it, it will be forwarded onto the applicant for the next stage.

The conditional order

Once the applicant receives the signed acknowledgement of service and it has been 20 weeks since the divorce application was submitted, you will then be able to apply for the conditional order, the document which means the court has agreed to the ending of your marriage.

The final order

You have to wait a further 6 weeks and 1 day from the granting of the conditional order before you can apply for the final order. Once the time has passed and the final order has been issued, the marriage is legally and officially ended.

What are the financial repercussions of a divorce?

When you apply for a divorce or separation, there is usually a court fee. Generally, the applicant is responsible for paying the court fee. However, if it is a joint application, both parties will have to split the cost evenly. Currently, the standard court fee is £593. If you are unable to pay, there is help available from the government for specialist circumstances such as if you receive benefits or have a low income. Visit this link to check whether you are eligible to receive help with court payments.

Additional costs include the cost of a solicitor which is an individual cost that you are personally responsible for. These costs can vary, depending on the case, so it is important to have an honest and open conversation during the consultation process. Our team will then provide you with an estimate of the total before you commit to them to ensure transparency and to give you a fair option.

Am I eligible for a divorce?

In the UK, in order to apply for a divorce, you must have been married for a minimum of one year and this must be legally recognised as a marriage within the UK. 

Before 6th April 2022, you had to provide a reason as to why the marriage had broken down. Since the new no-fault divorce rule, the applicant no longer needs to place blame on the respondent or show another reason for the marriage breakdown. You simply have to state that you believe that the marriage has broken down irretrievably to apply.

Am I eligible for a divorce?​

Instruct a specialist divorce solictor to help secure your future

Your local family solicitor since 1882

Divorce and separation FAQ’s

Because divorces now take place online, it is possible to go through the divorce process without a divorce solicitor. This is often referred to as a DIY divorce. However, divorce solicitors are able to bring valued and trusted advice to your individual situation that will relieve the pressure off your shoulders and ensure that your situation is taken care of in the most professional, considerate and effective way possible.

Using a divorce solicitor will help you to save valuable time and ensure that you have considered areas that are often overlooked such as your will, property settlements, financial disagreements and more.

Every divorce solicitor is different and it is important that you find the right one that suits your individual situation. Booking a consultation with a solicitor before hiring them will help you get more of an accurate depiction of what that service can do for you and your family.

Not all stages of a divorce requires a solicitor. In fact, it is possible to get divorced or separated without one. However, we are firm believers that investing in a solicitor can be extremely beneficial and will make the process more efficient.

However, hiring a divorce solicitor does not mean you are compelled to work with them throughout the whole process. You have the option of paying for the services that you need, which in your case, might not be the whole package. You can decide how much or little input you want a solicitor to have. For example, if you only need advice for the beginning stages of the process, you can. Or if you have gotten as far as issuing the final order but you haven’t taken care of your financial settlements and you want to bring in a solicitor for that, you can.

As of 6th April 2022, you no longer have to provide a reason as to why the marriage had broken down. However, before then, you had to testify that the reason your marriage had broken down was compliant with one of the 5 grounds of divorce:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Separation for 2 years with consent
  • Separation for 5 years with consent
  • Desertion which is when someone’s spouse has left without consent or good reason for at least 2 years

However, the new no-fault divorce rule means that the petitioner no longer needs to give a reason that complies with these grounds. They simply have to state that you believe that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.

The divorce or separation process will always take a minimum period of 26 weeks. In general, it takes 7-12 months for the divorce to be complete, depending on any complications that may occur, how busy the courts are and how long the paperwork will take to fill out, submit and process. Paperwork that is completed by a divorce solicitor decreases the chance of error and is more likely to be accepted by the courts which could positively affect the speed of the process.

Divorces can no longer be contested due to the ‘no fault divorce’ law that came into force 6th April 2022. This means that if the respondent wanted to decline the completion of the divorce application, they legally are not allowed to do so.

However, you are able to contest in exceptional legal circumstances which include jurisdiction, an invalid partnership or marriage or if the marriage or partnership had already legally ended. If you are unsure as to whether you are eligible to contest, please seek legal advice from our divorce and separation solicitors before responding to the application.

The only legally required fee for a divorce is the court fee that is currently set at £593. It is the responsibility of the person who sent the application (the applicant) to pay these fees. However, if it is a joint application, the cost must be split evenly between the two parties.

Other optional costs include that of a divorce solicitor which can vary from case to case. Make sure to get in contact and book a free consultation to see how we can help you and give you an accurate estimate of the legal costs required.

Each person is responsible for their own personal legal fees.

The house is usually considered as a marital asset, regardless of who actually owns it and the starting point is usually to consider the net equity being shared equally. However, that is not always the case, as one party may retain the house as their own as part of the financial settlement, if they require it to meet their needs and the needs of any dependent children. In short, there is no simple answer and it will differ for every separating couple.

Our clients rate us as excellent

Chambers & Partners

The team is extremely thorough and client-focused. They are willing to go the extra mile and think outside the box.

P B, Corsham

Thank you for all your help, guidance and understanding. You and your team have been outstanding during a very difficult time and managed the case through to a highly satisfactory conclusion.

T H, Chippenham

I could not have wished for a more professional dedicated team, I am so grateful for all their help and support, I would highly recommend Goughs solicitors to family and friends.

Legal 500

The practice is very unique in that the service is so personal and impeccable. Attention is given to ALL detail and communication is frequent and timely.

TH

I could not have wished for a more professional dedicated team, I am so grateful for all their help and support, I would highly recommend Goughs solicitors to family and friends.

Your divorce & separation team

Abbie Winters

Solicitor

Alice Blackmore

Senior Associate Solicitor

Amelia Inglis

Solicitor

Georgia Holmes

Associate

Georgina Catlin

Associate Solicitor

Hannah Francis

Solicitor

Mark Hood

Associate Solicitor & Head of Armed Forces Sector

Matthew Drew

Managing Partner & Finance Partner

Abbie Winters

Solicitor

Megan Solomon

Trainee Solicitor

Hannah Francis

Solicitor

Georgia Holmes

Associate

Amelia Inglis

Solicitor

Natasha Miller

Solicitor

Matthew Drew

Managing Partner & Finance Partner

Rhianna Cole

Senior Associate

Mark Hood

Associate Solicitor & Head of Armed Forces Sector

Georgina Catlin

Associate Solicitor

Natalie Kemp

Senior Associate Chartered Legal Executive

Thomas Boyce

Partner, Head of Family, Head of Agriculture & Rural Land

Ross Phillips

Partner

Alice Blackmore

Senior Associate Solicitor

Why work with Goughs?

Local since 1882, with an excellent reputation

First-class, effective service

Largest solicitors in Wiltshire

Seven offices throughout the county

Nationally accredited law firm

Recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners

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