Whilst often slow and unsatisfactory, in some cases the court process is the only option. If the facts of the case give rise to an untested area of the law, the court may be the only forum from which guidance can be sought. Our team provides representation at all levels. Where appropriate, advocacy will be handled by the solicitor with day to day conduct of your case, ensuring complete continuity. If a barrister is required we have close working relationships with the most competent Counsel in the country. We will form a team with Counsel and our client, working closely together and providing clear advice in the pressured environment of the court.
"Karin always provides a very efficient, client focused service and displays a very caring and supportive attitude.Karin regularly instructs chambers, from junior barristers to QC’s alike, and both the quality and cases are always of the highest level."
Steve McCrone Senior Clerk from 1 Hare Court, Temple, London
1.How long will it take to get divorced?
An undefended divorce will take about 4-5 months from the date of issue of the petition to pronouncement of decree absolute. Resolution of financial matters and other issues will run in parallel to the divorce process. if an application is made to the court for financial remedy this may take in excess of 12 months to be concluded.
2.How much will it cost?
The Petitioner’s costs of an undefended divorce will be about £1750 including VAT and court fee (£550). The Respondent’s costs will be significantly less. The petitioner may claim costs in relation to the divorce process alone (not including costs relating to Resolution of financial or child-related issues) from the Respondent. It is however more usual for those costs to be shared.
3.Will I have to pay my own costs?
The obligation to pay costs lies initially with the client. A Petitioner in divorce proceedings may claim costs (only relating to the divorce – see 2. above) from the Respondent. You may agree to share the costs of the divorce equally. In financial remedy proceedings each person will be required to pay their own costs except in the most exceptional of cases.
4.Will I have to go to court?
If the divorce proceedings are undefended and all other issues are resolved by agreement there will be no requirement to attend court. If an application for financial remedy is made there could be at least 3 court hearings, if the matter is not resolved by agreement beforehand, and both parties are required to attend each hearing.
5.How does the court process work?
A financial remedy application is a three stage court process:-
a) First Appointment (FDA) – dealing with disclosure and timetabling.
b) Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment (FDRA) – trying to reach agreement with the assistance of a judge.
c) Final hearing – adjudication by a judge at which both parties will give evidence. For Children Act proceedings there will be an initial conciliation appointment followed by the production of statements and reports. If agreement cannot be reached ultimately the application will be set down for final hearing before a judge, at which evidence will be given.
6.If I issue an application to court can I still try to negotiate a settlement?
At any stage before or after the issue of court proceedings matters can be resolved by agreement and negotiations will continue alongside the court process. Court hearings may be adjourned if necessary to allow negotiations to continue or to enable the couple to attend mediation.
7.Will the same judge deal with my case throughout?
The same judge will not be allocated to deal with a particular case throughout. It is in fact more usual to see a different judge at each court hearing. The judge who deals with the FDRA may not deal with the same case at final hearing.
8.Will I have to give evidence in court?
You may be asked questions at any time but you will not be required to give evidence or be cross-examined except at a final hearing.
9.If I reach agreement do I still have to go to court?
A written application for order by consent will be submitted to the court which the judge has to approve without the need to attend court. Any agreement must be within the bracket of what a judge will consider to be reasonable.