Much of our work at the Family Law Practice is about supporting and guiding our clients through the difficulties that often follow a relationship breakdown. We have no doubt that you will have your own questions for us but here are a few of our most frequently asked questions.

What will it cost me to see a solicitor?

We offer an initial consultation with a solicitor to help you consider your options  for £180.
You will come away with advice on your own difficulties, how best to resolve matters and an idea of the likely costs.
This is a one off appointment and you are under no obligation to instruct us after this.

When could I have an appointment, I work full time and getting time off is a problem?
At the Family Law Practice we will always try to accommodate the needs of working clients and wherever possible we offer ‘work friendly’ appointments for our clients.

How long does a divorce take?
On average a straightforward divorce should take around 5 to 6 months. However, as with most things delays can happen. For example, your wife/husband may not confirm receipt of the divorce papers by signing the form sent to him/her by the Court; or the form may not be completed correctly. At all times we will keep you up to date on what is happening. If there are issues surrounding property or money then the conclusion of the divorce proceedings may be delayed until these have been satisfactorily resolved.

Will I have to attend court?
It is unusual for any person undergoing divorce proceedings to have to attend Court. The vast majority of divorces go through undefended and so are conducted by post. If one party defends the divorce then attendance at Court becomes necessary. Defended divorces are the exception rather than the rule.

How do I stop my partner being violent towards me?
We can advise you how best to protect yourself and the children in situations of domestic violence it is often necessary to consider all the possible options and to act quickly to protect you and your family. Where necessary we will make emergency applications to the Court.

What about the children?
If you have children then it is very important that their lives are affected as little as possible by the separation. The children need to know that no matter what troubles you are going through, you love them just as much as ever. It is the parents themselves who often make the best arrangements for the children. However, we all know that this is not always possible. We will help you to achieve the best possible outcome for you and the children. We offer a sympathetic approach to all situations involving children and will give you a realistic indication of what would happen if a Judge were to decide such arrangements.

What will happen about the home?
Often when a relationship breaks down there will be money or property to be shared out. The simplest and cheapest way is by reaching an amicable agreement but for whatever reason this may not always be possible. If you need to know more about your entitlement then we at the Family Law Practice can help. Our help can be anything from advising you, writing letters on your behalf or preparing agreements. We can also arrange for you to attend mediation as another way to try and settle matters without having to go to Court. If all else fails then we will advise and represent you through the Court proceedings.

We are not married will this make a difference?
In respect of the future arrangements for the children the fact that the parents are not married will not make any real difference. Matters concerning children proceed on the basis that everyone should seek a result that is in the best interests of the children. In relation to finances and to property then the law does distinguish between couples who are married and those who are not. We will advise you on how to secure the best possible outcome whether you are married or not.

Does it have to ‘get nasty’?
No, it does not. We know that relationship breakdown can be a time of heightened emotion and at the Family Law Practice we will try to keep the stresses on you to a minimum.

What should I bring to the first appointment?

• Photograph evidence of I.D. such as your Passport or Driving License
• A utility bill in your name for your address
• Any letters or papers you have received from solicitors or the Court
• Your Marriage Certificate if you wish to issue divorce proceedings

Useful Links
Parent Line Plus
Women’s Aid
HMCourts Service
National Archives
Home Office Crime
Community Legal Advice
Advice Now
One Plus One
Department of Work and Pensions