Divorce is an unsettling, emotional and very confusing time for all parties involved. It can be a total life upheaval if a sudden process, or a form of closure at the end of what may be a long road. Nevertheless, strong, accurate and dependable legal advice is key to exiting the process with the best outcomes achieved for all involved, regardless of fault and blame.
At Pengelly & Rylands, our divorce solicitors can provide the clear, sympathetic and pragmatic legal support you need to deal with every aspect of your divorce. We can help you to initiate or respond to divorce proceedings, as well as sorting out practical matters, such as arrangements for children and financial settlements.
We offer many decades of experience and accreditation from the Law Society in Family Law and Family Law Advanced, recognising our specialist expertise in dealing with divorce and related areas. As well as our legal skills, we also offer the sympathetic personal support you need to make dealing with these issues easier on you and your loved ones.
Book a fixed cost initial consultation with our divorce solicitors in Tenterden
We can also offer meetings by Skype for clients who have to travel extensively or who now live abroad. In exceptional circumstances, home visits can also be arranged.
How we can help you through the divorce process
At Pengelly & Rylands our divorce specialists will:
- check that you are eligible to apply for a divorce and advise you on how to obtain a legal separation should the eligibility criteria not be met
- complete all necessary paperwork
- work to reach a suitable arrangement between you both where there are children to be considered, for example custody and financial provisions
- help you to apply for a parental responsibility order where you have no legal rights in respect of a child you have cared for
- help you to sort out financial matters and to resolve property disputes
- advise you on making a will or updating an existing will in which your spouse may be mentioned
- liaise with pension providers when there are issues around entitlement to split pension benefits
- represent your interest should any aspect of your divorce result in a hearing before the courts
We also have devoted support pathways available should you or your dependents have been victims to the suffering of any sort of domestic abuse, be it physical or mental, which we can talk through with you if appropriate.
Removing the conflict from your divorce
This process involves you and your spouse having a series of meetings with a trained mediator to try to agree voluntarily how to resolve any points of conflict related to your divorce e.g. over arrangements for your children or separating your finances.
The mediator’s role is to facilitate the discussion and help to minimise any conflict, while encouraging you and your spouse to make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.
Mediation typically takes around three to five sessions to reach an agreement and is generally much faster and less costly that court proceedings.
Where there are more complex issues to resolve and you would like the support of your own legal adviser during negotiations, collaborative law can be a good option.
Over a series of four-way meetings, you, your spouse and your respective lawyers will meet to discuss any points of contention and agree solutions in a non-confrontational manner.
This can give you the confidence to deal with more challenging matters, such as complex finances, without needing to resort to court proceedings.
Grounds for divorce
First and foremost, the grounds for divorce will have to be claimed, agreed and verified. The grounds for divorce can be laid out against one of the five legally recognised reasons once your marriage has been verified as being legally binding for a minimum of one consecutive year.
The five cases for a divorce petition are as follows:
- Adultery i.e. your spouse has been unfaithful with someone of the opposite sex (same sex infidelity instead falls under ‘unreasonable behaviour’)
- Unreasonable behaviour i.e. your spouse has behaved in such a way that you can no longer reasonably be expected to continue your relationship.
- Desertion i.e. your spouse has left you for at least two years out of the last two and a half years without your agreement or good reason and with the intent to end up relationship.
- Separation for at least 2 years i.e. you have lived apart for more than two years and both agree to a divorce.
- Separation for at least 5 years i.e. you have been living apart for at least five years, whether your spouse agrees to the divorce or not.
Our divorce fees
Fixed cost initial appointment
We offer an initial appointment to discuss your requirements from £100 plus VAT. We can then advise you of your legal options and the likely costs involved.
Fixed fee divorce
It may be possible to deal with some aspects of your divorce on a fixed fee basis, meaning we agree a single price to deal with a specific matter, such as preparing and submitting your divorce petition.
Other matters may need to be dealt with according to an agreed hourly rate, allowing you to pay for exactly the amount of time we are spending dealing with your divorce.
Legal aid for divorce
In some limited circumstances, legal aid may be available to help you meet the cost of your divorce. This is only usually an option where you or your children have experienced domestic abuse during the course of your marriage.
Why choose Pengelly & Rylands for your divorce?
Leading our Family Law team is Avril Croud, who offers over 30 years’ experience in divorce and separation matters. As a member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel and the family law support network Resolution.
Our family law team also benefits from the expertise of Deborah Nicholson. Deborah has more than 30 years’ experience in family law and is a Resolution accredited specialist and trained collaborative lawyer.
Our accreditation by the Law Society for Family Law and Family Law Advanced recognises our expertise across a wide range of family law matters, including more specialist services such as children law, international divorce and complex financial settlements.
We can also offer the services of our Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accredited Residential Property team for any property issues involved with your divorce or separation, such as buying or selling a home, transfer of equity and remortgaging.