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Divorce and Separation

Divorce and separation are both undoubtedly emotionally charged situations, with plenty to consider from start to finish. Our divorce solicitors in Hampshire, Dorset and Surrey are highly experienced, nationally recognised and accredited, providing a fully supportive service to reduce conflict while empowering you to act promptly and with confidence.

The process of divorce and separation has many different aspects and there can be a number of issues. Our team will provide separation and divorce legal advice and can assist with filing applications with the court and agreeing on divorce financial settlements and arrangements for children. We will always ensure you are aware of your legal rights and guide you through each step of the process.

At Dutton Gregory Solicitors, we have a wealth of collective expertise, skill and knowledge, having assisted a wide pool of clients through life’s challenges.

No divorce and separation are the same, each faces its own nuances, so our solicitors provide a bespoke service that aligns with your needs and desired outcome. We take the time to carefully understand your circumstances, personalising our advice and approach to get the right outcome for you.

Our divorce and separation expertise

Our experts can provide proficient divorce advice and hands-on support with matters including:

  • Divorce proceedings
  • Judicial separation
  • Separation agreements
  • Divorce and separation financial settlements
  • Child arrangements

Get in touch with our divorce solicitors

Our divorce lawyers can advise clients nationwide from our offices in Bournemouth, Chandler’s Ford, Poole, Winchester and Woking.

To arrange an initial consultation, you can contact your nearest office using the links above or fill in our quick enquiry form and we will get back to you soon.

How our separation and divorce solicitors can assist you

Divorce proceedings

Should you wish to divorce your spouse, you can make a joint or sole application to the court, which will need to state that the relationship has irretrievably broken down. If you are applying as a sole applicant, the court will forward a copy to your spouse and await an ‘acknowledgement of service’ form, confirming their understanding.

Our divorce law solicitors can guide you through the application process, making sure everything is correctly filled out, so there are no delays in obtaining your divorce. We will also assist with applying for the Conditional Order and Final Order.

Judicial separation

This is rare, as the parties remain married although they are recognised by the law as being legally separated. Financial Orders can be made to deal with maintenance, property and capital, but as they remain married, the court cannot deal with pensions. Sometimes a couple will have a Judicial Separation Order, which can be later used for divorce after judicial separation.  

Our solicitors will advise you of your legal rights, clearly explain the steps involved in obtaining a judicial separation and assist with the preparation of the judicial separation papers.

Separation agreements

It is sensible to have a separation agreement prepared by a solicitor who will outline how the financial arrangements are to operate in the future. Sometimes, it is possible to deal with all future financial arrangements, which can subsequently be confirmed by a Divorce Court. However, as with Judicial Separation, pensions cannot be split or shared because only a court may make a Pension Sharing Order.

Should you choose to instruct Dutton Gregory for your separation agreements, we will ensure you are fully informed on what the agreement entails and the benefits and implications it can impose. Our team will draft a robust separation agreement and guide you through negotiations should they be necessary.

Divorce and separation financial settlements

When a couple divorces or separates, they are required to make an agreement concerning their finances. Until a financial order or divorce financial settlement order has been granted, the divorced couple will remain financially linked until they remarry or enter a civil partnership.

Our separation and divorce lawyers have assisted clients from all backgrounds and circumstances with making arrangements for their finances. We help clients arrange mutual agreements where possible, but should the court’s assistance be necessary, we have a positive track record of securing the outcome our client desires.

Child arrangements

During divorce or separation, parents will need to make provisions for their children through child arrangements. This will determine where the child or children will live and the amount/type of contact each parent will be entitled to.

We encourage our clients to seek amicable agreements where possible, helping to maintain strong co-parenting relationships as well as parent-child relationships. We can support clients through the various types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) approaches, including negotiation and family mediation, but should a Child Arrangements Order be necessary, we will assist with preparing a strong argument and represent you during court hearings.

Our child arrangement solicitors can provide expertise on circumstances including:

  • Voluntary child arrangements
  • Child Arrangements Orders
  • Specific Issue Orders
  • Prohibited Steps Orders
  • Parental responsibility
  • Special Guardianship Orders

Frequently asked questions about divorce and separation

What is the new law for divorce in the UK?

Since April 2022, divorce in England and Wales has been governed by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. There are several changes to the law, including the removal of the five accepted reasons for divorce, one of which previously needed to be given in the divorce application in order for a divorce to be granted.

Additionally, divorce terminology has changed, including:

  • Decree Nisi – Now referred to as the ‘Conditional Order’
  • Decree Absolute – Now referred to as the ‘Final Order’
  • Divorce petition – Now referred to as the ‘divorce application’
  • Petitioner – Now referred to as the ‘applicant’ (‘joint applicants’ if the couple apply together or ‘sole applicant’ where only one spouse is applying)
  • Respondent – Where a sole application was made, this is the legal terminology used for the spouse who did not submit the application

Who pays for a divorce?

The spouse who makes the divorce application is responsible for paying the court fee. However, this is often split during joint applications. Each party is also responsible for paying their own legal fees should they seek the assistance of a solicitor during the proceedings.

How much does divorce cost?

During divorce, there are a couple of costs to take into consideration, including the application fee, which is currently £593 and is payable to the court. How much the legal fees cost entirely depends on the complexity of the matter and which law firm you appoint.

For more information on our legal fees, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with a member of the Dutton Gregory family law team.

How is money split in a divorce?

During divorce, the involved parties are responsible for arranging the division of finances. This can either be amicably decided between the involved parties or by the court, which will make a legally binding decision based on particular factors that are set out under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

Who gets the house in a divorce?

There is no specific indication as to who is entitled to the family home during divorce. It will depend on the circumstances. The division of finances is always based on the financial needs of each party and, if there are children involved, their needs go above all else.

There are several ways a property can be dealt with during divorce. For example, one person could stay in the home and buy the other’s share, the property could be sold and split or the primary caregiver could remain in the family home until the children are old enough to leave home.

Why choose Dutton Gregory for your divorce or separation? 

Real relationships of value

At Dutton Gregory, our firm is committed to providing the best divorce and separation legal advice to clients across Hampshire and Dorset. Our team are friendly and approachable, striving to create close professional relationships. We aim to always be there should our clients need assistance. 

Personal service

We get to know each client and their unique circumstances. Our divorce solicitors will treat you as an individual, making sure the approach we take reflects your concerns and the outcome you need to achieve.

Award winning and nationally accredited

Our team of solicitors include a published family law author, award winners and nationally recognised and accredited professionals. We can boast a previous Hampshire Law Society Solicitor of the Year, a Sears 500 recognised solicitor and The Law Society’s Child Law, Family Law and Advanced Family Law Accreditations.

As well as providing legal advice, our solicitors are confident and capable advocates, meaning that they will be able to support you throughout your journey, from the initial meeting and throughout any court process.

Solicitors you can rely on

Our family law team have worked with a wealth of clients throughout Hampshire and Dorset, earning a strong reputation for outstanding service. 

When you instruct our team to assist with your divorce or separation legal matters, you can be confident we will provide an empathetic and supportive service for every step of the journey. We will always be available to address any questions or concerns you may have.

Our divorce and separation service fees

Our specialist divorce law solicitors understand the cost of divorce and separation can be daunting. That’s why we offer our clients a range of funding options best suited to their circumstances. 

In many cases, we can offer a fixed fee divorce service, meaning you know exactly what the cost will be at the outset.

Where the situation is more complex and contentious, we can work to an agreed hourly rate, ensuring you receive exactly the level of support you need throughout your divorce. 

Get in touch with our divorce solicitors

Our divorce lawyers can advise clients nationwide from our offices in Bournemouth, Chandler’s Ford, Poole, Winchester and Woking.

To arrange an initial consultation, you can contact your nearest office using the links above or fill in our quick enquiry form and we will get back to you soon.