The sensitivity and expertise to help you
Getting a divorce or dissolution is daunting, but with the right support, it can just be life’s next big adventure. Our dissolution and divorce solicitors specialise in helping people sort things out without high levels of stress or conflict.
At WSP Solicitors, we know that relationship breakdown is a horrible experience to go through. This is a huge period of change, so it’s normal to feel uncertain and unconfident about it all. You’ll likely be concerned about working out financial arrangements that are fair to you and making sure that your children’s lives aren’t disrupted too much (if you have any). These tasks aren’t made any easier if you and your ex-partner don’t get on.
We are here to make everything easier for you. Our friendly and reliable team can help you with:
- Getting a divorce
- Civil partnership dissolution
- Financial arrangements
- Child arrangements and parental responsibility
- Separation Agreements/Deeds of Separation (if you and your ex-partner would like to spend some time apart before deciding to officially get a divorce or dissolution)
Whether you and your ex-partner get on or there is ill-feeling between you, we believe that divorce and dissolution don’t have to result in lengthy, expensive court proceedings.
We help the vast majority of our clients arrange fair financial settlements and positive co-parenting plans amicably out of court, so you can move on with your life faster and with less stress.
Contact our civil partnership dissolution and divorce solicitors in Gloucestershire
For expert divorce and dissolution advice, please contact your local WSP branch in Gloucester, Stroud or Dursley today.
If you have a quick question or would like to request a call-back, you can also use our quick online enquiry form.
For our full range of family law services, please click here
How our divorce and civil partnership solicitors can help you
We will discuss the options available to you to help you find the best way forward and, where possible, to agree that with your spouse or civil partner.
Divorce petitions and civil partnership dissolution applications
So long as you and your ex-partner both agree to the separation, the legal process of ending your marriage or civil partnership is usually a paper exercise more than anything. The process itself usually takes 4-6 months and involves drafting, submitting and responding to papers received from the court. It’s not usually necessary to attend court to bring your marriage or civil partnership to an end.
The legal basis for divorce or civil partnership is that your relationship has broken down irretrievably, which is demonstrated to the court by reference to “facts” such as unreasonable behaviour, adultery or separation for two or five years.
This law is changing soon. From April 2022, couples won’t have to rely on the “facts” to get divorced or end their civil partnership. This new law is called “no-fault divorce”. However, if you want to get divorced or end your civil partnership before April 2022, there’s probably no point in waiting for a no-fault divorce unless you’re worried that your ex-partner will object to your petition. Contact us for advice if you do have concerns.
Civil partnership dissolution and divorce financial settlements
A vital aspect of getting a divorce or civil partnership dissolution is sorting out your finances. After years or even decades together, it’s likely that you and your partner’s finances will be tightly interwoven.
Dissolution and divorce law also says that financial arrangements must be fair and put the welfare of your children first. This means that the final financial arrangement may not necessarily reflect the legal ownership of money and property within your relationship and may not be a 50-50 split.
We can help with:
- Negotiating fair financial settlements out of court, covering things like:
- Who should keep the family home (or whether it should be sold now or in the future)
- How savings, investments, stocks and shares should be split
- How pensions should be shared and split
- Agreeing spousal maintenance, such as one-off lump sum payments and ongoing regular payments
- Agreeing child maintenance and financial provision for children
- Using methods of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and collaborative law to work out your financial arrangements
- Applying to court for a range of financial orders (if an out-of-court agreement is not possible)
See our Divorce & Dissolution Financial Arrangements page for more information.
Arrangements for children upon divorce or dissolution
Relationship breakdown can be very hard on children. It can be difficult to understand why their parents no longer want to live together; it’s common to feel caught in the middle and even like the separation is their fault (although, of course, it isn’t).
As a parent, you will want to make the transition as easy as possible for your children. As your lawyers, we’ll always make sure to put your children first and provide our legal advice with them and your parental interests in mind.
Our divorce and dissolution lawyers can help you make all the agreements you need to successfully co-parent with your ex-partner, such as agreeing where the children will live and how they will be financially provided for.
In most cases, we are able to help families reach these co-parenting arrangements amicably. But we are also able to help you go to court for a range of children-related courts orders if necessary, including:
- Child Arrangements Orders
- Specific Issue Orders
- Prohibited Steps Orders
Visit our Child Law Solicitors page for more information.
Not ready to get a divorce or dissolution yet?
If you and your partner do not wish to divorce or dissolve your civil partnership, you can consider other options, including an informal separation where we record any agreement you reach regarding finances, arrangements for the children and/or future divorce proceedings in a document called a Deed of Separation.
Judicial separation proceedings are another option and, although such proceedings are not common, they can be used in the first year of marriage/civil partnership where divorce or dissolution is not available. They are also preferred sometimes by people whose religious beliefs mean divorce or dissolution is undesirable.
Can our divorce and dissolution solicitors negotiate for you?
Negotiation is a huge part of sorting out divorce and dissolution matters, but it can be very worrying as you want to make sure the final outcome is fair to you. Our Family Law team are skilled negotiators and can help you throughout the process.
We can negotiate for you by letter, email, on the telephone or at round table meetings. We will advise you through each step and help you decide what to do. We will then contact the other person (or their solicitor) to try and agree on the best way to resolve matters for you.
What is mediation?
Mediation can be really useful at helping you come to agreements about things like financial arrangements and co-parenting plans. It is the process of working out divorce or dissolution matters with the help of a mediator.
The mediator is a neutral third party who helps you negotiate. They don’t take sides or tell you what to do. They guide your discussion and try to encourage you to come to a solution that works for everyone.
When going through mediation, it is helpful to have a family solicitor who can provide advice on the process and your mediation agreement. We’ll make sure the final agreement is fair and right for you. We can also help you make the agreement legally binding by applying to court for a Consent Order.
What is collaborative law?
Collaborative law is a process designed to help families find positive solutions to their legal problems. It involves attending a series of round-table meetings with your former partner to negotiate divorce and civil partnership dissolution matters. You both have a specially trained collaborative lawyer with you to help you negotiate and defuse any conflict.
You can also invite other professionals to your collaborative law sessions, such as financial advisors. For this reason, collaborative law is popular with couples who have more complex finances.
We have two specially trained collaborative solicitors who would be happy to talk to you about this in more detail.
What is family arbitration?
If more informal methods of negotiation and alternative dispute resolution are unsuccessful, family arbitration is a way to resolving issues without going to court.
Arbitration is a bit like the court process, but it is private and less daunting. It also tends to be faster than going to court. It involves attending a hearing or series of hearings before an arbitrator (normally an independent barrister or solicitor). You can present your case with the help of us, your family lawyers. Your ex-partner will also be able to present their case. The arbitrator will then make a binding decision about what to do.
Will going to court help with divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership?
Sometimes, an out-of-court resolution is just not possible. If you are unable to come to an agreement about divorce or dissolution matters with your ex-partner, or an out-of-court agreement is unsuitable for some other reason, court may be the best option.
For example, you may need a family judge to make an urgent order, or your ex-partner has applied to court and served you with papers despite your attempts to negotiate.
You can still make an agreement between yourselves once court proceedings have started. The family court process is designed to give couples as many opportunities as possible to make a voluntary agreement.
Court may also be better for you if there has been any domestic abuse in your relationship. Find out more about our domestic violence advice service.
Contact our divorce and separation solicitors in Gloucestershire
Contact our local offices in Gloucester, Stroud and Dursley for expert advice on divorce and civil partnership dissolution today. If you have a quick question or would like to request a call-back, you can also use our quick online enquiry form.