Family disputes and separations can cause immense stress to all concerned. We understand this, and make every effort to offer a sensitive approach, while looking for the best practical solution.

We offer a free first appointment to discuss the issues and advise a way forward. Please note that we are not a Legal Aid practice. We will, however, advise you whether you are likely to be eligible for Legal Aid and if not, give you an estimate of the likely costs involved.

When any relationship breaks down there are often very complex financial issues to be resolved. We can advise you on how to deal with property held in joint names and we will always try to reach an agreement with your former partner without the need for a full hearing before a Judge. We can advise you about Court proceedings if they prove necessary.

We understand how important it is to resolve these issues quickly and we will help you collate and present any information that is required by the Court.

We are here to advise you about the issues that affect you.

Here is a brief explanation of the legal elements of divorce, separation and the dissolution of civil partnerships.

This is the legal process of ending a marriage. A couple can only start divorce proceedings if they have been married for more than one year. As the law stands at present, there is only one ground for divorce. You must prove that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that you must be able to show one of the following facts:

Your spouse has committed adultery and you find it intolerable to live with them

Your spouse has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them

Your spouse has deserted you for more than two years

You have already lived apart for more than two years and your spouse consents to the divorce

You have lived apart for a continuous period of more than five years

The divorce itself will take approximately six months to conclude. The court will have to be satisfied that all arrangements for the children, such as housing, maintenance, residence and contact are acceptable before the final divorce paper, the Decree Absolute, can be granted. You are free to remarry upon Decree Absolute. Financial matters can be resolved either before or after Decree Absolute.

Even though your marriage may have irretrievably broken down, you do not have to start divorce proceedings. However you may wish to consider formalising your separation and to try and resolve issues relating to children and finances

You could have a Separation Deed or Agreement drawn up which is a contract between both partners which deals with all aspects of the separation. However both parties must voluntarily agree the terms

A Judicial Separation is a procedure very similar to divorce, except at the end you would not be free to remarry. This kind of separation gives the court the power to make orders about children, property and other financial matters. This form of separation is not common, but could be used if one partner has an objection to divorce on religious grounds or if the couple have not been married for one year.

We all want the best for our children. When a relationship breaks down one of the most distressing aspects is making decisions about where your children will spend their time.

We are experienced in dealing with these matters. We can help you reach agreement about how you want to bring your children up following separation.

Where agreement cannot be reached we will help you with the Court process so that the Court can make an Order in the best interests of the children.

There are a variety of Orders available to the Court including residence orders, contact orders, prohibited steps orders – which would prevent things such as a child being removed to another Country – and specific issues orders, which might deal with particular issues relating to a child’s upbringing such as a change of surname or issues relating to their education.

We understand how important it is to get the arrangements for your children in place and we will work with you to achieve this quickly.

A simple, straightforward divorce where both parties agree need not cost a great deal. However, if any complications and difficulties arise more time and work will be required, and the final bill may well be higher. During your first interview we will give you full details about our charges and the likely cost involved.

We can also advise you on the following:

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Co-Habitation Agreements

Declaration of Trust

Property disputes.

With an increase in co-habiting couples nationally we are seeing more and more people turning to Solicitors if their relationship breaks down and they are unable to agree a satisfactory division of the proceeds of sale of the property.

We will work hard for you to ensure that you achieve a fair settlement in relation to your interest in the property.

Crofts Solicitors - we talk to you, not at you