DivorceWimborne, Broadstone, Christchurch and Verwood
Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Dorset
If you are thinking about a divorce, you are not alone. It can be a very difficult and emotional time for all those concerned, which is why your choice of Divorce Lawyers is very important. At Harold G Walker Solicitors in Dorset, there is a team of Family Lawyers who are experienced in dealing with divorcing couples, as well as all the issues that arise from separation. These family lawyers work with clients across Bournemouth, Poole, and surrounding areas to help them find the best possible solutions to their marriage breakdown. They aim to minimise the conflict that often arises throughout the divorce process.
To understand your options a FREE initial 30-minute no-obligation appointment is available. This enables you to discuss your situation and concerns with one of the family solicitors or lawyers who are then able to provide you with several overviews of the process. This provides you with the opportunity to raise your concerns and answer any questions or worries you may have.
It would be very helpful if you could bring:
- Pen and paper to write down notes from the meeting
- List of specific concerns that you have
For further information please contact one of the family lawyers in the Family team.
Before beginning the process of divorce it is important that you are aware of all various options available to you from the outset. This way, you can choose the right way forward for you and your own situation. The options are set out below:
It is important to consider the possibility of reconciliation. Your Family Lawyer can discuss this with you and put you in touch with recommended specialists and counsellors who can provide counselling, both for individuals and couples.
This is where you come to an agreement yourselves by talking to each other directly. Even when you are both happy with the outcome, it is vital that you instruct a solicitor to explain the agreement once agreed. The solicitor can take steps to make the agreement legally binding for you.
We can help you access the assistance of a mediator to help you communicate and reach an agreement. The mediator is unable to give legal advice but can help you communicate and reach a fair settlement.
This involves a series of open discussions with you and the Lawyers present to reach a resolution with a commitment not to use the Court process.
Instructing a solicitor to pursue an out-of-court agreement which would be determined by the Arbitrator.
Going to Court
Instructing a solicitor to deal with proceedings at Court where a Judge will make a final decision.
Each of the options is right for different circumstances. Your Family Lawyer can explain the different approaches in detail for you and apply them to your own personal circumstances. You will then be in a position to make a well-informed decision as to the way forward.
The Divorce Process
Appoint a family lawyer to represent you on your divorce. You will need to provide your marriage certificate and also make payment of the Court Fees (currently £593).
The court will issue your divorce application and send documents to your spouse (known as “the Respondent”) or their solicitors, with an “Acknowledgement of Service” form.
Your spouse (the “Respondent”), or their solicitors, will complete the Acknowledgement of Service form, stating that your divorce application will not be disputed and submit it to the court. If the divorce is disputed (which is rare), a hearing in court will be required, with both parties in attendance.
The court sends the Acknowledgement of Service to your lawyers.
After 20 weeks from the start of your divorce, your family lawyer can apply for a Conditional order. The court officials will review the application for a Conditional order and provide a date when this will be granted usually a few weeks later.
On the set date, a Conditional order for divorce is granted. No one needs to attend the Court. When a Conditional order for divorce has been granted, you are still married but a Financial order can now be made.
After 6 weeks from the grant of a Conditional order, an application for a Financial order can be submitted. However, this might be delayed if Financial matters have not been finalised.
After the Financial order for Divorce has been granted, you are finally divorced but might still need to make sure a Financial order is properly implemented.
Divorce & Finance
The Final Order for Divorce officially ends the marriage between the parties, but it does not dismiss the potential financial claims that they have against each other or sort out where the parties are going to live. This obviously needs to be dealt with. Decisions have to be made on property, pensions and maintenance issues. This can include whether or not the property will be sold and if not, who is going to live in it and whether or not maintenance will be paid to one of the parties, for them and/or the children.
Both you and your spouse must disclose your income and assets to each other. This ensures that everything is taken into account and nothing is concealed. Once an agreement is reached regarding the financial division and any future arrangements, the solicitors draft a Consent Order, which is signed by both you and your spouse, and sent to the court for the Family Lawyer to approve.
If a figure for child maintenance cannot be agreed upon, then it will be necessary to apply to the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) for an assessment.
Resolving Financial disputes like this can be complicated, the experienced Lawyer in the Family team will advise you and explain your options clearly.
Divorce & Children
Where children are involved, hopefully, an agreement can be reached between the parents. Should you be unable to agree then mediation should be considered, however, if this proves unsuccessful, then the court may intervene which may involve one or both parents applying for a Child Arrangement Order.
Fixed Price Divorce Package
All clients receive a FREE initial 30-minute no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation. The Divorce Lawyers at Harold G Walker also offer a fixed-price divorce package both for the Petitioner and Respondent.
- Acting for Applicant – total fixed fee £1,673:
- Solicitors fee – £900 + VAT (£180)
- Court Fee – £593
- Acting for Respondent – total fixed fee £450:
- Solicitor’s fee – £375 + VAT (£75)
- Court fee – nil
- But, in some cases, the Respondent can be asked to also contribute towards the Applicant’s legal costs for divorce
- And also, whether acting for Applicant or Respondent:
- Every endeavour will be made to ensure the costs of divorce remain within the fixed fee;
- However, in the event of either party failing to cooperate with an undisputed divorce, then further work might be required and charged on a PAYG basis (at the current rate of £250 + VAT (£50) = £300 per hour;
- Therefore, in the event of any difficulties, any additional costs beyond the fixed fee will be discussed in advance.