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Divorce & Family Law

Our team of divorce lawyers based at our offices in Nicholas Street, Chester and 31 Hoole Road, Chester have considerable expertise and experience in assisting clients deal with divorce, child arrangements, financial settlements, prenuptial agreements. We understand that situations centering round the breakdown of a marriage can cause emotions to run high so we make sure that we deal with difficult issues sympathetically and sensitively.

We can advise on the division of family assets economically and efficiently, both in high and lesser value cases, with emphasis on resolving tax consequences and pension issues.

We advise on the consequences of the break-up of civil partnerships and cohabitation relationships and how to split assets between the parties.

What are the grounds for divorce?

When a petitioner applies for a divorce, he or she must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. To this end he or she must provide evidence of any of the following:

  • Their spouse has committed adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour from the spouse
  • The spouse has deserted the petitioner for a period of 2 years
  • Both petitioner and spouse have been living separately for more than 2 years and both
    parties agree to a divorce
  • Both petitioner and spouse have lived separately for at least 5 years so are able to
    divorce whether or not the spouse agrees

What is the divorce procedure?

The procedure itself can be completed within 6 months so long as both parties agree and no one defends it. Firstly, a petition that sets out the details of the marriage, any children and the grounds for divorce is sent to court along with a fee and any accompanying documents that may be required.

The court issues the petition and sends it to the spouse, known in law as the respondent. They are required to inform the court whether or not he or she intends to defend the matter. If not, the divorce can proceed (almost all divorces are not defended).

Next, the petitioner files an affidavit at court, with a formal request for divorce. The Judge will then consider all the information and, if satisfied, can proceed to decree nisi which is the first stage. There is no need to attend court for the decree nisi.

After six weeks and a day has lapsed, provided the Respondent does not object, the petitioner can apply for the decree nisi to become a decree absolute. Once the decree absolute is given the marriage is dissolved.

Finance and the Law

Various orders are available to ensure that you and/or your children will be provided for during your break up and following your divorce. Financial provisions can still be applied for if you are not divorcing your spouse. The court must consider certain principles and case law has helped to demonstrate what the likely outcome of divorce and dissolution of a partnership is to be and with our expert approach we can help guide you so that you make the right decisions

Our breadth of experience means that we will use our expert approach to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients.

For further information or advice please call 01244 311 633 or email advice@bartletts.co.uk