Family Law Solicitor
Divorce and Consent Orders, Separation Agreements, Advice on Financial Aspects of Divorce, representation at the Family Court, implementing Financial Settlements
If you’re looking to divorce, or if you’ve received a divorce petition or divorce papers. I can provide guidance on completing the divorce petition or responding to a divorce petition.
(If you are seeking a no-fault divorce and have not been separated for two years or more at present you still have to wait, until autumn 2021, even though legislation removing fault from the divorce process has been passed in the House of Commons. The indicative timetable for implementation in autumn 2021.)
Until the implementation of the new legislation there is only one ground for divorce and that is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
To satisfy the court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown the petitioner must prove one of the following five facts, I can advise you about how to complete the divorce online @gov.uk Unless you have been living apart for two years or more the only two grounds that you will be able to rely on are based on facts (a) ‘adultery’ or (b) ‘behaviour’. ‘Adultery’ is an act of sexual intercourse with a person of the opposite sex. To be able to rely on this in the divorce the adultery must have happened in the six months before separation or at any time after separation. There is no need to name the person with whom the adultery took place or indeed to involve them in the court proceedings.
The test for ‘behaviour’ is subjective and it does not need to consist of extreme behaviour. A combination of less obvious behaviour can be sufficient. I can assist you with preparation of the behaviour allegations, even if you are preparing the divorce petition yourself.
Regularising your separation
If you would prefer to regularise your separation without actually divorcing there are two options available:
1. judicial separation;
2. separation agreement.
This involves a court procedure which is virtually identical to that which applies to a divorce. The essential difference is that the court pronounces a decree of judicial separation rather than a divorce and therefore you and your spouse would remain married. The main reason people choose judicial separation over divorce is if pension benefits or other financial prospects are lost on divorce.
Many couples prefer to reach an agreement about financial matters arising out of their separation without involving the court at all so that the divorce financial arrangements are dealt with on an amicable basis. The way this can be achieved is for them to sign a written document which incorporates the agreement they have reached. Commonly, such agreements deal with confirmation that the parties to the marriage are to live apart and the manner in which any maintenance and property issues are to be dealt with. Whilst there are no restrictions on what can or cannot be included in such an agreement, it is important to bear in mind that if either person makes a subsequent financial application to the court, the court is not bound by the financial arrangements in the separation agreement.
Financial settlements and Property Division
I can provide expert advice on the financial aspects of divorce and financial settlements, help you reach an agreement, refer and advise you through family mediation, or prepare and represent you through the Court process if you cannot agree.
Application to Court for a Non-Molestation Order, or an Occupation Order
If you need to apply for a court order to protect yourself (known as an injunction) following domestic violence and you meet the associated persons criteria I am ready to help with the whole process. To begin with to fill in the form to apply for an injunction, the FL401 form.
Then to apply to the court to order your partner not to use or threaten violence against you, or to be excluded from the property in which you both live.
(Some victims of domestic violence may qualify for legal aid. I do not participate in the legal aid scheme and are, therefore, only able to act for you if you instruct me on a private basis.)
Based in North Somerset I provide legal services to clients mainly in the Weston-super-Mare, Clevedon and Bristol areas but also throughout England and Wales.
See below, to learn more about the services that I offer, including advice & assistance on the financial aspects of divorce, pension sharing orders, and injunctions.
Family law and divorce expertise
Bristol divorce and family lawyer
Laurence Holmes is a member of The Law Society of England and Wales.
Laurence Holmes is recognised as a professional by and authorised and
regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under practice number 261769.
Registered office Laurence Holmes Solicitors, Elms Farm, Brinsea, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5JL
Laurence Holmes is registered with HMRC for Value Added Tax under number 701 1066 00.
Get in Touch
*All information displayed on the Laurence Holmes website is informational and shall not be deemed as legal advice. If you’re currently dealing with an individual legal situation, you’re invited to contact me through email or by phone.
Laurence Holmes Solicitors, Elms Farm, Brinsea, Congresbury, Bristol BS49 5JL
Laurence Holmes Solicitors
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