Military Divorce

Specialist family lawyers to the armed forces 

Specialist military divorce lawyer Wiltshire

What you should consider Goughs

At Goughs we have considerable experience in dealing with legal issues arising from the breakdown of relationships involving serving or former military personnel, their families, reservists, and current or former Ministry of Defence personnel. 

Our commitment to the armed forces

As part of our commitment to the Armed Forces community, we offer all members of the armed forces and veterans, spouses, reservists and MOD personnel:

An initial appointment free of charge

Face-to-face, by video call or by telephone, at a date and time convenient to you.

A discount of 10%

On all Goughs’ fees for work done on your behalf

Fixed fees

For some areas of work

Complete  transparency 

As well as full clarity on all our fees

Don't risk your
hard earned pension

Your specialist pension solicitor since 1882

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Getting divorced when in
the armed forces - FAQs

With British Forces stationed around the world (and of course serving at sea), this may be a real concern. Separation from family and friends can create a challenge to marriages and other relationships, and if things do become difficult you may also feel you don’t have anyone on hand to provide advice and support.

Fortunately, at Goughs we have plenty of experience in advising and acting for people spread around the globe. Many of our clients tell us that they find us invaluable as a listening ear and moral support, as well as their expert legal adviser. And, of course, they will need access to advice from a solicitor practising English law, as in family law matters it’s very likely that English law will apply to their situation.

It is vital to take advice from an English solicitor urgently if you have a family law problem abroad, because there’s a possibility that another legal jurisdiction (perhaps the country in which you’re stationed) may also have the power to deal with the situation, which may not be to your advantage.

When we can’t meet you face to face, our lawyers are very comfortable dealing with their clients by video call, telephone and email, and have extensive experience in doing just that.

We all have a few clients who we’ve never even met, because they are based some distance from our offices in Wiltshire – but that doesn’t prevent us from being with them every step of the way.

So, don’t feel you’ve got nowhere to turn. Get in touch with Goughs. And if you do return to the UK, come and see us – it’s always great to meet face-to-face.

It is not uncommon for the value of a spouse’s Armed Forces Pension Scheme (AFPS) fund to be the largest matrimonial asset.  How then should it be treated by the parties when trying to achieve a fair financial settlement?  The main options currently available are:

  1. Offsetting.  This is where the value of the pension fund is offset either in full or in part against the value of other matrimonial assets.  In a simple case, for example, the AFPS member might preserve a greater share of his or her pension in return for their spouse having a greater share of other assets.
  1. Pension Attachment (often referred to as earmarking).  This provides either a future lump sum or an income stream for the AFPS member’s spouse.  
  1. Pension Sharing.  The ex-spouse receives a pension credit and, in effect, becomes a member of the scheme.  This enables a clean break and provides good benefits at retirement, including the ability to take the pension income early (subject to scheme approval, reductions, and the minimum pension age). 

As there are many options and many variables, we may recommend advice is taken from a specialist actuary or pension advisor.

Philip Fowler

Very professional service

Very professional service - at a difficult time due to Covid 19.


Jane Weller


Helpful, prompt and efficient


Ms Michelle Fielding

I would definitely recommend Goughs

I definitely would recommend Goughs they were very efficient, very helpful and always informed us of what was happening in the chain.


Ms Kathleen Lucas

Thank you very much for doing a great job

Thank you very much for doing a great job as always, would recommend you for sure for being so efficient and getting the job done as quick as possible.


Very helpful

Very helpful. Advice clear with plenty of time for us to consider all the options before making decisions.


Mr Wood

Very thorough

Very thorough, and we also got forces discount.



Chambers & Partners

Chambers and Partners produces international rankings for the legal industry

Adept at handling complex divorce proceedings and related financial disputes. Regularly assists with challenging private law children cases. Offers further experience in negotiating pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements.


Legal 500

The Legal 500 is a research, ranking and publishing firm based in the UK

Goughs is a strong team that has strength and depth in its family law department. They are known for achieving good client outcomes and their good client care.


Russell Fitch

Great service

Great service, professional, great communication and handled what was a very sensitive situation with care and compassion.



Very calm and clear

My lawyer was very calm and clear and she put me at ease during a very stressful time. The outcome was exactly as I'd hoped.



Highly satisfactory

Thank you for all your help, guidance and understanding over the last 2 years. You and your team have been outstanding during a very difficult time and managed the case through to a highly satisfactory conclusion.


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Your armed forces family law team

Matthew Drew

Head of Family & Finance Partner

As head of Goughs Family Department, Matthew specialises in complex, high-value financial cases following on from divorce and separation.

Rhianna Cole

Senior Associate

Rhianna has over 11 years of experience as a Family Law specialist and greatly enjoys the different aspects and challenges of this area of law. Having joined Goughs in 2013, Rhianna progressed to Associate level before becoming a Senior Associate in 2020.

Mark Hood

Solicitor & Head of Armed Forces

Mark completed a twenty-year Army career in the Royal Logistic Corps as an officer before changing tack to pursue a career in the law. Mark has a particular interest in, and an understanding of the effect that life in the military has when facing relationship upheaval or other related family law problems.

Ross Phillips


Ross thrives on obtaining favourable financial settlements for his clients and achieving a fair outcome for parents who may be having difficulties managing childrens’ arrangements with their ex-partners.

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

Related Pages

Our armed forces sector

To understand more about how and why Goughs truly are the experts when it comes to offering legal expertise to those in the armed forces, head to our specialisms page. 

Financial settlements on divorce

Find out why it is so important to finalise your financial settlement at the time of your divorce.

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