Legal help for unmarried and married couples in Tiverton and Newton Abbot

Divorce & Relationship Breakdown

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Family Law

Divorce & Relationship Breakdown

The breakdown of a relationship is an upsetting and emotional time. At Beyond Legal our team of qualified family lawyers have years of experience in dealing with these cases. Most clients want a quick and inexpensive divorce with minimal distress.   You will find us sympathetic and sensitive to the issues you are facing. Most importantly, we support you with practical and clear advice to deal with these issues and the decisions you will have to make throughout. You will find us robust in our dealings with others on your behalf. Our absolute commitment is to keep in mind the best outcome for you, and your children. At Beyond Legal we have years of experience in dealing with divorces across England and Wales, as well as nationally and internationally. Cases can, and often are, dealt with remotely using the very latest virtual means of communication. It is not necessary for you to instruct a lawyer who is local to you. Avoid city rates by contacting us.

Grounds for Divorce

A divorce cannot be applied for until a couple has been married for at least one year. Divorce proceedings are started by filing a divorce petition at court.The party who files the divorce petition at court is known as the ‘petitioner’.The other party is known as the ‘respondent’. At Beyond Legal we offer fixed fees for uncontested petitioner and respondent divorces.

There is only one legal ground for divorce, which is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The petitioner must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by establishing one of the following five facts:

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • Desertion
  • 2 years separation with consent
  • 5 years separation (no consent required)

The Government is keen to introduce a ‘no fault divorce’ and a change in this area of the law is in the pipeline.Until then we are left with having to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down based on one of the five facts.At Beyond Legal we can advise whether you and/or the other party have grounds for a divorce. 

Do I need a Family Lawyer?

Most people, once separated, acknowledge that the marriage has broken down.Despite the commonly held belief that it does not matter who issues divorce proceedings, this can have a bearing on who pays the legal costs and which party controls the timing of the divorce. For these reasons it is imperative that you seek legal advice from us before divorce proceedings are issued.

The court will not automatically consider children or financial issues within divorce proceedings unless specifically requested to do so by one of the parties to the divorce.It is vital that the petitioner’s financial claims are included in the divorce petition at the outset otherwise the court will have no jurisdiction to deal with financial matters unless requested to do so by the respondent, or a separate application for permission to apply is made (at an additional cost) by the petitioner later on.You will need to discuss with one of our highly experienced family lawyers whether any action needs to be taken in respect of children or financial matters.

How long will my divorce take?

An undefended divorce will normally take between 4 – 6 months. However, it is often the case that the court will not finalise the divorce until a final order has been made regarding finances. It is therefore important to seek legal advice as early as possible.Delaying financial negotiations can significantly delay your divorce being finalised by the court.

Will I have to attend court?

If the divorce is undefended neither party should have to attend court in relation to the divorce.Court attendances may be required if proceedings are issued that concern children or finances.

Ex-Pat Divorces – Can I get a divorce in the English courts if one of us is no longer lives here?

In most cases, yes. It depends on where you and/or your spouse are domiciled and where you are habitually resident. Our team of expert family lawyers can advise you.It is often of benefit to clients to issue divorce proceedings in the English courts because the proceedings are quicker and cheaper than in many other jurisdictions. Also, the English courts may award a party a more generous financial settlement than courts where different laws apply. This is no doubt how London earned its status as divorce capital of the world!

How do we resolve arrangements for our children?

At Beyond Legal our team of qualified and highly experienced family lawyers can advise you concerning children issues arising from a divorce or separation. The court will not deal with these arrangements unless a separate application is made.

How do we resolve our finances?

At Beyond Legal we specialise in financial issues arising from a divorce or separation. Our expert team of family lawyers can advise you concerning financial settlements and financial remedy proceedings.
It is important to understand that finalising your divorce does not automatically finalise the financial aspect of your case. It remains open to either party to apply to the court for financial relief from their ex-spouse, even after they are divorced, if a clean break order has not been sealed (approved) by the Court. We are here to advise you.

Family Law Matters

At Beyond Legal we offer a competitively priced Fixed Fee Divorce service. Work that falls outside the fixed fee package will be charged on an hourly basis. You will be fully advised about costs at your free initial no-obligation appointment.