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Family Law

At Blakewells Solicitors we know that family disputes and breakdowns of a relationship can be very distressing to all, particularly when there are children involved. If you are confused and don’t know what to do or where to go, come to us and we will guide you through this difficult time in your life. We understand that a sympathetic and tactful approach must be followed to resolve your problems. Our solicitors will handle your case with sensitivity and care, and throughout the process we will provide you with one-to-one support. We will first listen to what you have to say and then explain the options you have. Once you come to a decision on what you want to do, we will strive to achieve the best outcome possible.

Our solicitors cover all aspects of family law and we offer an affordable solution to complex problems. If you require any advice on any of the following matters, call us and we will be more than happy to help:

Remember we are here for you in all of your needs, so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask.

Divorce Explained

Due to the ease of the procedure, divorce has become increasingly common in the United Kingdom. The procedure of divorce is fairly simple particularly in cases where it is undefended. It is not always necessary for the parties to appear in court as cases will often be dealt with on paper. 

One of the most common reasons given for divorce is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down.  The petitioning party will have to prove one of the following factors for a divorce order to be granted:

If one of the above factors exists then a divorce petition can be prepared and files at court. This petition will be served of the other party by the court. The other party will then have 14 days to return a form called an Acknowledgment of Service to the court along with the petition. If there is no response from the other party, in certain circumstances, the court can try and get round the problem. The court can make an order that service of the petition is deemed to have taken place if it can be shown that the other party has had the papers. A service agent may be hired to serve the petition.

When the Acknowledgment of Service is received, or the court has deemed service to have taken place, or there is proof of service from service agent, the petitioning party can then swear an Affidavit which confirms the truth of the contents of the petition. It will confirm the grounds which were given in the petition.

If the court is satisfied with the papers the court sets a date for pronunciation of the Decree Nisi. Both parties will receive notification of the date from the court.

The Decree Nisi will state that unless someone objects to one of the orders that are to be made, no one needs to attend Court. If the other party object to paying the costs of the divorce, the court may order them to appear before the Judge to argue why they should not pay.
Once 6 weeks and 1 day have passed from the date of the Decree Nisi, the petitioning party may apply to the court for the Decree Absolute. This can be done by completing a simple form and paying the appropriate fee. If there are financial issues that have not been resolved it is advisable that the Decree Absolute be delay. If one of the parties to the divorce applies for the Decree Absolute before finances are sorted out and the other party dies there may be a loss of financial benefit.

If the petitioning party does not apply for the Decree Absolute within 4½ months after the Decree Nisi the other party may apply to the court for a Decree Absolute. The courts will first wait to hear any arguments from any party who attends court before the Decree Absolute is made. However this type of hearing is rare. In a majority of the cases it is left for the petitioner to apply for the Decree Absolute when they are ready. If, for any reason, the petitioning party has not applied within 12 months then the court usually requires a simple Affidavit to be filed with the application for the Decree Absolute explaining the delay.

Contact us today and we will answer any questions you have.