Advice For You

Divorce Solicitors

Divorce can be one of the most stressful things you will go through and at Pearson our family and divorce solicitors understand it can have an effect on every aspect of your life. Obtaining good quality legal advice at an early stage is crucial as there have been some recent changes to how divorce is handled in the courts.

Our professional and friendly team of family lawyers aim to help reduce the impact it has on you and your family.

How we can help with your divorce proceedings

There is so much to think about if you are considering divorce and separation, having a friendly chat with someone who can help is a start. You will need a specialist lawyer you feel comfortable with, who you can trust and who can guide you through the process. Getting the right divorce solicitor is crucial and we have solicitors who are members of Resolution and are Law Society accredited in Family Law and Children Law.

Our aim is to help steer you through the process calmly and efficiently and answer any questions you may have along the way, such as:

  • what about the children?
  • what happens with the pensions?
  • what happens to the family home?

Our specialist divorce lawyers are with you every step of the way, whether it’s a straightforward split, or a more difficult disputed separation with complex financial, pension or property issues, as well as childcare arrangements.

Our professional team have years of experience working with couples who are thinking about separating or who have received divorce papers and have been trusted by hundreds of clients.

No Fault Divorce

Many clients will have read about no fault divorce which came into effect in April 2022. This is new legislation covering all aspects of the divorce process as you may know it.

The No Fault Divorce rules came into effect on 6th April allowing separating couples to bring their marriage to an end without the need for a ‘blame game’ situation.
Under the new law, separating couples will no longer have to prove the irretrievable breakdown of their marriage by alleging blame, e.g. that a party has behaved unreasonably or has committed adultery. This will hopefully lead to couples seeking a more amicable separation when both parties agree that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and they can present a joint application for divorce. We can take you through the process and make sure the deadlines are met and all appropriate paperwork completed.

The Act also removes the ability for any party to contest a divorce.

In order to make the separation process easier to understand there have been a number of language changes to the terminology used by the Family Courts and also used by our divorce solicitors.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 changes outdated phrases in the divorce, dissolution, nullity, and separation process and so some of the language you have been used to hearing or reading has now changed.

The aim is to make it simpler and more accessible to those outside of the legal profession and aligns with the language used in civil partnership proceedings. A breakdown of the terms, the previous term used and the meaning can be found below.

Previously known as a divorce petition

An application is the physical document/digital form submitted to the court to apply for a divorce, to dissolve (end) a civil partnership, annul a marriage or civil partnership or get a (judicial) separation (also known as a legal separation).

Previously known as a Petitioner

An applicant is the party to (which means a person in) the marriage or civil partnership who submits the application to the court. They will be known as the applicant throughout the process and in a sole application, the other party will be known as the ‘respondent’. In a joint application, the parties applying together will be known as ‘applicant 1’ and ‘applicant 2’.

Previously known as Decree Nisi

A conditional order (Decree Nisi) is a document that says that the court does not see any reason why the parties cannot divorce, end the civil partnership, or annul the marriage. This can be applied for after the 20-week period has expired.

Previously known as a Decree Absolute

A final order is a legal document that ends the marriage/civil partnership. 43 days (6 weeks and 1 day) must pass from conditional order before the applicant can apply for a final order. If this is applied for after 12 months from the conditional order being made, the applicant will have to explain the reason for this to the court.

Once received, the parties will be able to re-marry or enter another civil partnership. This document should be kept safe as it will be relevant for a number of different things, for example applying for a new passport, applying for a driving licence, student finance applications and vehicle registrations.

Previously known as Defended

It is now only possible to dispute the divorce on very limited grounds including jurisdiction, validity, or the subsistence of the marriage. Proceedings may also be challenged on the ground of fraud or procedural non-compliance. This language has changed to dispute as it is no longer possible to defend the divorce/dissolution itself.

Previously known as (Judicial) Separation Decree

A separation order is a document that confirms that the parties to a marriage are legally separated. We have updated this language which brings it in line with that used for civil partnerships (known currently as a separation order), and to be consistent with the other terminology changes we are making to divorce proceedings above (such as removing decree references).

Previously known as Decree of Nullity

A nullity of marriage order is the document that declares that the marriage is void or voidable (this means that no valid marriage exists or existed between two parties).

The nullity of marriage order is in the first instance conditional and then made final. We have updated this language to bring it in line with that used for civil partnerships (known currently as a nullity order), and to be consistent with the other terminology changes we are making to divorce proceedings above (such as removing decree references).

Divorce Proceedings

If you have been married for a year and your marriage has irretrievably broken then the divorce process now takes place online. There are however there are strict rules surrounding the service of the divorce application which if not adhered to could result in you having to reissue your application (and pay the court fee of £593 again). A sole or joint application can be made and we can advise you as to which type of application is the most appropriate depending on your situation.

Children in Divorce

Children are quite rightly the focus for our team in most cases as it is crucial to protect them from conflicting parents.  We can advise couples seeking a divorce on appropriate child care arrangements and child maintenance issues.

Finance Settlements

You may need advice regarding property, pensions, business and other financial issues as a result of your divorce.  Divorcing couples need to be aware that financial settlements are not automatically dealt with through the Court process. The right to claim financial provision does not automatically come to an end in divorce and as such, it is important to seek advice.

Once the Final Order (previously known as Decree Absolute) has been granted it is always advisable to update or make a Will to ensure that your assets are distributed as you wish. Following the Final Order you will lose your right to inherit from your spouse therefore it is essential that you review your Will to reflect your wishes.

How to get a divorce

Have a chat with one of our team, every client is unique and our team can advise on what action you need to take, assess your circumstances and offer specialist legal advice on your situation.  We can arrange meetings at any of our offices in Oldham, Milnrow, Failsworth or North Manchester, by telephone or video call.

Our approach is caring and professional, we are focused on understanding your individual needs and committed to offering you the best legal advice and support you need through a stressful time.

We outline our costs clearly for you and a specialist Divorce Solicitor will work alongside you.  Our team have the knowledge, combined with the expertise to ensure that all your issues are resolved as quickly, constructively and cost-effectively as possible.

How much does a divorce cost?

All our fees are transparent, we tell you in advance of the divorce costs involved so there are no surprises along the way.

Clients often initially think divorce is expensive and consider cheaper options, but getting it wrong can be costly in the long run and you may not get the financial settlement you deserve.  We offer a variety of payment options which you can discuss with your team during the initial consultation.

The family law team are based across our offices in Oldham, Milnrow, Failsworth and North Manchester (Junction 22 of the M60).

How can we help

Call us today on 0161 785 3500 today to discuss your situation and how we can help you. Email the team or use our online enquiry form and we will call you back.