Local family law solicitors in Piccadilly Circus with unparalleled expertise
With cases as sensitive as divorce and family law, you need a solicitor you can trust. Based in Piccadilly Circus at the heart of London, Osbourne Pinner is a team of experienced, fully qualified family lawyers that can help with your case.
From family law advice to fixed fee divorce solicitors, we cover all based to give you the expert advice and support you need every step of the way. Each case is treated individually, with a service that puts you first. Most importantly, we’re local, so our family lawyers are always on hand nearby when you need us.
When you’re looking for assistance with family matters, you only want to work with the best. At Osbourne Pinner, that’s what we’re committed to offering. Our law firm combines experience working with all kinds of family law cases plus expertise across the board when it comes to Divorce, Consent Order, Child Arrangements, Child Custody, Pre-Nuptial, Post-Nuptial Agreement and Financial Settlements.
Exceptionally high success rate and countless testimonials from previous and existing clients. We’ll always work to get the best possible outcome from your case.
Whether you’re considering divorce, or you need to respond to a divorce petition, Osbourne Pinner will add the experience and expertise you need to get things moving. We assist clients throughout the divorce process – from grounds for divorce through to settlement and custody – working towards the best outcome every step of the way.
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Grounds for divorce
Grounds for divorce is the first hurdle to end any marriage. Why exactly are you choosing to end your marriage? Broadly speaking, there is only one ground – which is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably.
However, the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage has to be backed up by one of five issues:
- Adultery – Your partner has cheated on you.
- Unreasonable behaviour – Actually the most common ground for divorce, unreasonable behaviour is anything that can show that your partner has become intolerable to live with. It can range from a lack of support or family disputes to financial recklessness or domestic abuse.
- Two years separation with consent – If both parties agree to the divorce, they can use two years of separation (living apart) as grounds for their divorce.
- Five years separation without consent – If one party doesn’t agree to the divorce, they must have been separated for at least five years.
- Desertion – The least common ground for divorce, desertion refers to a partner leaving the family home and cutting ties for at least two years – but still won’t consent to a divorce. However, given that you will need to prove that you didn’t want to the relationship to end, it’s often easier to use unreasonable behaviour as the ground for divorce.
It’s important to note that none of these grounds apply unless you have been married for at least a year. Also, you cannot use your own adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion as grounds for divorce.
Divorce and domestic abuse
While it’s a clear ground for divorce, domestic abuse can also occur as a result of the divorce proceedings. Partners may become angry about the whole situation or make threats about property and children. Whatever the case, we’ll provide the support and advice you need through this difficult time.
The divorce process
While you might want to take action straight away, divorce is a lengthy process. Within that, there are several steps to take. Our expert divorce solicitors will give you the information, support and assistance at every step of the journey…
The first step in the divorce process is a consultation with a divorce solicitor. An experienced, qualified member of the team at Osbourne Pinner will discuss the reasons for the breakdown of your relationship in a safe, confidential environment. You will be asked to provide details of the date of your separation, your family situation and your finances.
Within the consultation, you will be able to ask any questions you have about the process. Our divorce solicitors can advise you on the next steps and the best course of action given the circumstances, including your rights when it comes to children and finances.
All of the information gathered in the consultation will be used to prepare a divorce petition to submit to court. Your original marriage certificate will also be required to issue the divorce petition.
The petition will then need to be signed by the respondent (your ex-partner) once they receive it. They can choose to agree, defend or ignore the petition.
After the petition has been completed and processed, there are two more applications to make for the divorce:
Decree nisi – A provisional decree of divorce which is provided once the court is satisfied you have met the requirements.
Decree absolute – This brings your marriage to an end and replaces your marriage certificate. An application for the decree absolute will be submitted to the court six weeks and one day after the pronouncement of the nisi.
Comprehensive family law services near you
No two families are the same. That extends to the complex issues faced by those families – emotionally, financially and legally. To deal with family law, you need legal assistance that’s tailored to you. That’s exactly what we provide at Osbourne Pinner, starting with six key areas of family law:
The entire divorce process typically takes around six months. However, this is largely dependent on the complexity of the divorce. Children, finances and non-cooperating partners can seriously prolong the process. On the flipside, a couple without children who have an amicable split can expect a shorter timeframe. Whatever the case, having the right divorce solicitor on hand will make things as quick and hassle-free as possible.
Both parties will need a solicitor in most cases of divorce. They will represent your best interest throughout the process and make sure you get a fair deal when it comes to finances, children and other aspects.
If you have both agreed that you want a divorce and the split is very amicable, you might not both need a divorce solicitor. However, it’s still recommended to use a shared solicitor to help you navigate the divorce process and keep things organised.
Initially, the cost of the divorce is covered by the Petitioner – the person filing for divorce. However, if you feel aggrieved in doing so, you can apply to have costs covered fully or in part by the Respondent. This is particularly common in cases where blame is attributed, such as adultery, desertion or clear unreasonable behaviour. If successful, the Respondent will be ordered to pay those costs in the Decree Nisi.
Strictly speaking, you do not need your partner’s consent to file for divorce. There are several grounds, such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour and separation for over five years, which don’t require consent. However, not having their consent will undoubtedly make the process longer.
There is no set amount or proportion of assets or finances that either partner is entitled to in a divorce. However, the starting point for any divorce, broadly speaking, is a 50-50 split. This split will only be adjusted if it is deemed fair and with good reason. Factors that can affect this split include the welfare of children, financial obligations of each party, expected standards of living and in some cases the conduct of each party.
The grounds for divorce do not usually affect the division of assets. While it may seem logical that someone who has committed adultery is entitled to less, this is simply not the case in the eyes of the court. All financial settlements are completed in line with the Matrimonial Causes Act (1973), meaning grounds for divorce are practically irrelevant.
Being separated for two years is the only way to divorce without any fault, while separation for five years is often the easiest way to divorce without consent. The most critical factor is proving that you have lived in two separate households continually for the full two- or five-year period.
You can technically claim to be separated while living in the same home. However, this is much harder to prove and will of course require consent.
Not in the majority of cases. You will only need to attend court if the divorce is contested or if proceedings are commenced for a dispute over finances.
The process for divorce is much easier if the other party consent to divorce. However, if they are simply ignoring the paperwork then it is still possible to obtain a divorce.
Yes, you will need the original marriage certificate to lodge the petition with the court. If you do not have it then a replacement can be ordered. In exceptional circumstances then the Court can make on order to accept that there was a marriage without a record.
Unfortunately, not. Couples are required to be married for a least a year prior to commencing divorce proceedings.
Yes, but you will first need to attempt to resolve the dispute via mediation first unless there are circumstances which would make this inappropriate e.g. domestic abuse in the relationship.
An order made by a Judge where both parties have agreed to a financial settlement and seek the approval of the court.
This is usually done following the exchange of mutual financial disclosure which must be full and frank by both parties. There are two main types of cases; sharing cases and needs cases. We can advise you further on this dependant on your individual circumstances.
No. The grounds for divorce are not considered relevant to the court and normally do not affect the division of marital assets.
The Decree Nisi is a document which confirms that the court is satisfied that you have met the legal requirements to obtain a divorce. Once this has been granted the Court has the power to grant a financial order.
The Decree Absolute is the final decree of divorce which legal dissolves the marriage. Once this has been granted then the parties are free to remarry.
You do yes. The Decree Absolute triggers the Consent Order. The Consent Order will not come into effect until the Decree Absolute.
If you made a will whilst married and then subsequently divorced then whilst your will remains valid, your ex-spouse would no longer be able to benefit from it. Your will is read as if your former spouse had died on the date of the Decree Absolute.
Obtaining a Home Rights Notice can protect your right to occupy the family home if your name is not already on the legal title. We can advise you further in relation to this.