Having decided to end your marriage, you need to find a way to organise your affairs for the future wellbeing of your family. This will include deciding where everyone will live, agreeing financial arrangements and resolving disputes about children. The support of family and friends will be invaluable in this process, but so too will be having a divorce lawyer at your side who is committed to achieving the best possible outcome.
As a first step, checks will have to be made to ensure you qualify for a divorce. This includes proving you have been married for at least a year and that your spouse has either had an affair, behaved unreasonably or deserted you, or that you have been living apart for more than two years and both want a divorce or have been living apart for at least five years with no intention to reconcile.
Adopting a constructive and non-confrontational approach, the family law specialists at Hatten Wyatt Solicitors in Kent are here to guide you through every stage of the divorce process. We can help initiate or respond to divorce proceedings, as well as assisting you with reaching agreement on the issues that need to be resolved before you go your separate ways.
With our empathetic and pragmatic legal advice, we can help you achieve a positive outcome for your divorce that protects your interests and those of your loved ones – usually without the need for costly, time-consuming and stressful court proceedings.
Book an appointment with our divorce lawyers in Kent and the South East
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
Our divorce lawyers in Kent can assist you with every stage of divorce proceedings, including:
- Checking that you are eligible to apply for a divorce and advise you on how to obtain a legal separation where the eligibility criteria are not met
- Completing the necessary paperwork
- Supporting you in making suitable arrangements and in resolving disputes about children
- Helping you to apply for a parental responsibility order where you have no legal rights in respect of a child you have cared for
- Helping you to sort out financial matters and to resolve property disputes
- Advising you on making a will or updating an existing will in which your spouse may be mentioned
- Liaising with pension providers when there are issues around entitlement to split pension benefits
- Explaining the options available to help you reach an amicable agreement, including mediation or collaborative law
- Vigorously represent your interest if any aspect of your divorce ends up before the courts
We can also help with any issues concerning domestic violence or abuse.
Now the most common way to deal with issues surrounding divorce and separation, mediation allows you and your former partner to work together to find amicable solutions to issues such as separating your finances and making arrangements for your children.
Mediation involves a series of meetings between you, your former partner and one of our trained family mediators. The mediator acts as a neutral third-party, helping to guide the discussion and defuse any potential for conflict, keeping the process productive.
Mediation typically allows you to reach agreement on the practical decisions you need to make during your divorce, saving you time, money and unnecessary stress compared to dealing with your divorce through the courts.
Collaborative law offers an effective alternative to mediation and is commonly used where there are more complicated matters to resolve, such as complex financial matters.
The process involves a number of four-way meetings between you, your former partner and your respective lawyers (who must be trained in collaborative law). The goal is to negotiate agreements over a financial settlement, arrangements for children and any other issues that need to be resolved to allow your divorce to go ahead.
The advantage of collaborative law is that you will have the benefit of your own trained legal representative in the room with you during negotiations, giving you instant access to expert advice where there are more challenging matters to resolve. This can help the negotiations to progress faster while ensuring your interests stay protected at all times.
Our divorce fees
Fixed cost initial appointment
We offer an initial appointment to discuss your requirements from £95 plus VAT. We can then advise you of your legal options and the likely costs involved.
Fixed fee divorce
Many of our divorce services can be offered on a fixed fee basis, for example preparing and submitting a divorce petition and applying for a decree absolute.
Services such as mediation and collaborative law may be offered on a fixed fee per session basis.
For more complicated matters, such as dealing with complex financial settlements or court proceedings for divorce, we will agree a fee structure based on our hourly rates and ensure all work is agreed before any cost is incurred. That way you can stay in control of the cost of your divorce at all times.
Legal aid for divorce
Legal aid may be available in certain cases and is normally always available for defending care proceedings and taking steps to protect against domestic violence or child abuse.
Why choose Hatten Wyatt solicitors for your divorce?
Our Family Law team is headed by Avril Croud, a family lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in helping families to resolve issues surrounding divorce and separation. Avril is 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 Partner Deborah Nicholson and Associate Solicitor Carole Webb. Deborah has more than 30 years’ experience in family law and is a Resolution accredited specialist and trained collaborative lawyer. Carole has over 25 years’ legal experience and is a Resolution-trained Mediator and an Advanced member of the Law Society’s Family Law Panel.
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 benefit of our Conveyancing Quality Scheme (CQS) accredited Residential Property team, who can assist with matters, such as selling or transferring ownership of your family home and buying a new home, which often arise during divorce and separation.
Get in touch with our divorce solicitors in Kent & South East England
If you need help with any aspect of divorce, please get in touch with our sensitive, expert divorce lawyers to see how we can help.