Ian Walker – Solicitor/ Mediator/ Arbitrator/ Managing Director
We have one of the largest and most experienced teams of divorce specialist solicitors and mediators in the South-West.
Our team has been recognised as a leading team of family lawyers in the South-West respected publication – the Legal 500
Divorce can be a very emotive and difficult time, not just for the couple, but also for their children and other family members.
Couples invariably separate because they are not getting on with each other or because they have grown apart.
Marriage gives legal rights to the couple. Bringing the marriage to an end requires at least some degree of legal process. Normally this is obtaining the Decree Absolute – which formally brings the marriage to an end as well as a Final Financial Order. (This can be a clean break).
Ideally the arrangements for any minor children will be agreed and there would be no need for these to be formalised in a court order. However, some parents cannot agree what the arrangements for their children will be after separation – and a court will need to decide.
Understanding what is fair
If you are separating from your partner and/or are thinking about getting divorced, or if your former partner has started a divorce process – we are able to help you.
Good legal advice and representation is about assisting clients to achieve a fair settlement whilst at the same time seeking to avoid unnecessary conflict and cost.
Call our experienced Family Law Solicitors, Divorce Lawyers or Mediators now
Lauren Preedy – Senior Solicitor – Head of Divorce and Relationships Team
Avoiding unnecessary conflict
It is too easy for couples to become involved in drawn-out, nasty and expensive disputes.
Our divorce team has considerable experience. Our team members are all committed to the principles of Resolution and includes three Chairs/Past Chairs of Resolution’s regional groups.
These principles are about maximising the use of negotiation where appropriate (including through mediation, collaborative family law and principled negotiation), but if necessary taking court action – but doing so in a principled and reasonable way.
We are here to protect your finances
Good negotiation is as much about the gathering of evidence and presenting reasoned and reasonable proposals as is good representation in court.
Paul Jacobs FCCA – Finance Manager – Our in house accountant
Whilst we have considerable legal expertise we are not regulated financial advice. (We are regulated as lawyers). We therefore work with appropriate financial experts who can include actuaries, accountants and financial planners to properly understand the finances of a couple so that we are better able to negotiate or persuade the court what constitutes a fair settlement.
We have the benefit of having within our own team and in-house accountant. This is Paul Jacobs.
Paul is financially literate and in addition to his role in assisting with the smooth running of our business, Paul also works with our divorce team.
Whilst Paul is not able to give financial advice – he is able to act as a link between our lawyers and finance professionals and assist in the interpretation of financial documents and also so that we can best identify when a financial expert is needed and who the best financial expert will be.
family law or with the assistance of family mediation), but if this is not possible – then decisive action through a court process may be the only way. We have years of expertise in assisting clients with complex cases involving children.
The importance of taking legal advice.
There is a lot of information on our website. However all cases are different. It is important to take legal advice at an early stage.
We are conscious that couples can get into a mess if they try to agree what to do without having received legal advice.
Couples can also get into a mess if they agree to things without there having been full financial disclosure.
Taking legal advice is about gaining knowledge to enable you to make informed decisions. Having a good solicitor will assist in making good decisions. A good solicitor is not emotionally involved. They will give good advice with an outsider’s perspective.
It is normal for each of the couple to pay for their own costs in connection with a divorce and resolving the wider issues.
The potential costs of a divorce can be very worrying.
We are open about our charges. We have always published our standard charge rates on our website. We are also committed to monthly billing to assist you to keep on top of costs.
We are also happy to consider fixed fees. There is more about all of this on our funding pages.
We are happy to talk to you openly about how your case will be funded.
Sometimes clients will take out a litigation loan from companies who will lend money in the knowledge that an asset will be sold (e.g. a home) as part of the overall divorce process – which will mean that the lender is repaid.
Generally delay and unnecessary conflict lead to costs rising. The best way to keep costs down is usually to move matters forward but in a principled way and through negotiation where that is possible. Where negotiation is not possible because the other party appears unlikely to be able to recognise what is a reasonable solution – then the best way forward is normally to push proceedings forward (avoiding unnecessary side disputes) to the stage where the Court is able to assist an a reasonable outcome being achieved.
More on this topic
Our pages on divorce finance include reference to Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. This section contains the criteria that the court must take into account when deciding a case or determining whether an agreement is fair.
Pensions are often the single largest asset after the family home for divorcing couples, yet there has been inconsistency of approach to pensions across England and Wales and a considerable shortfall in understanding. This report from the Pensions Advisory Group (PAG) is intended to assist the Judiciary and legal professionals.
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