Divorce and other family law problems can cause enormous worry. In fact, research way back in 1967, found that it ranks as the second most stressful life event that an adult can go through, exceeded only by the death of a spouse.
We strongly suggest you consider getting legal advice at an early stage to put your mind at rest and to safeguard your position.
Your divorce – how our Solicitors can help.
Not sure where you stand? Don’t suffer in silence – our specialist family law team offer a variety of free advice
- FREE initial phone advice – just call us to find out where you stand
- FREE first half hour appointment – so you can meet one of our team face-to-face – to see if we are the right solicitors to represent you
- FREE family law surgery – just drop into our Amesbury (for the address see below) office any time between 2 PM and 5 PM any Wednesday afternoon for free specialist family law advice from one of our expert team. No appointment is necessary. No obligation – no strings attached.
A complete family law advice service
Our team have many years experience of every aspect of family law including the following issues surrounding divorce
- Getting Divorced – we can guide you through the whole process from the initial letter to your partner to the Decree Absolute when your marriage is legally dissolved
- The Division of Family Assets and Finances – this is often the most difficult part of any divorce. But rest assured we have plenty of experience and will help you get the right financial settlement.
- Children’s issues – we can help you if you cannot reach agreement with your partner as to where the children will live, the level of contact for the second parent and plans for their future care
Here at Bonallack and Bishop, we have been strong supporters of both family mediation (and collaborative law) for many years.
That’s why two of our family law team in Wiltshire are jointly trained family mediators/lawyers [one of the team is also a fully accredited collaborative lawyer) and are committed to finding solutions for clients who are undergoing divorce which avoid the stress, bitterness and expense that is typically associated with divorce proceedings..
Family mediation (and collaborative law) encourage both parties to work together to reach mutual agreements for the disputes involved in their divorce. In some cases, the acrimony between the two parties may be too great for such approaches to be effective, however, we find that those couples who are willing to co-operate save a lot of time, hassle and money.
It certainly doesn’t work for everyone – but if the two of you are prepared to compromise and work together to find a solution that everyone can live with, it can be quicker cheaper and much more stressful. And there’s government research to back up that view.
Mediation is particular helpful where there are older children involved – for them to see that their parents can work together for the family’s best interests.
If you would like to know more about family mediation, get in touch with out specialist family team today and remember – your initial phone advice and first thirty minute appointment are absolutely FREE
Picking your Divorce Solicitor
Below are some tips to help you in your decision:
- Choose someone that you get on with, like and trust
The majority of divorce solicitors will offer you a free initial consultation. This may be fact-to-face, but is sometimes on the telephone. Although the initial consultation is short, it will give you a chance to get to know them a bit better. You can then make a more informed decision about whether or not you could see yourself working with them throughout the case. As you will be working closely with them and confiding in them through this distressing period, it is important that you both get on well. Treat is as a chance a chance to “interview” them – to see if they are the right choice to represent you
- How competent are they?
You need a specialist family lawyer who is experienced, professional and competent in their field. Remember that they will be dealing with issues that involve a great deal of emotion. You can either get recommendations from people you trust, or look at client testimonials online. This will help you come to a more informed decision. You mshould consider picking a family lawyer who is also a trained and accredited collaborative lawyer or family mediator – we have both a collaborative lawyer and 2 jointly qualified family mediator/lawyers.
- What will it cost altogether?
Different firms charge different prices. Just remember that the cheapest option is not usually the best, particularly when making the important decision of choosing your family law solicitors.
Find out as much as possible about fees at a very early stage. For example, it is important to establish how payments are made and how often, and if the firm offers monthly billing or other payments. Sometimes there may be things that you can do to keep costs low, such as using a more junior lawyer to carry out certain tasks (if this is practical and incurs lower charges). Or, as we do, they may give you tips on how to cut the cost of your divorce. However, find out who is dealing with your case so you are not passed around different people in the firm, as this can be very frustrating.
- It’s up to you
Ask yourself these questions.
- Can you see yourself working with this family lawyer?
- Do they understand you and your needs regarding the case?
- Are they proactive enough to effectively represent you?
- Will they help you make tough decisions that will affect your future and the future of everyone else involved in the divorce?
Good divorce solicitors don’t come cheap – so use your judgement to choose the solicitor who will do the best possible job for you.
What To Think About If Divorce Looks Likely
Although it may sound rather cold-blooded to think about practicalities when your marriage is breaking down, divorce is stressful enough as it is. You certainly don’t want any extra problems, so you owe it to yourself to get everything in order. As soon as things look as if they’ve reached the point of no return, you need to seriously consider the following.
1. Think about your children’s best interests
Divorce can hit children particularly hard. Sadly, this is sometimes compounded by their parents using them as bargaining chips in a rather cruel game of one-upmanship. Decisions about custody and access are always distressing, but most parents will want to put their children’s best interests first. Pay serious attention to these decisions, as the rights of your children will have a major impact on your divorce settlement as a whole.
2. Divide up your assets – and your debts
It’s surprising just how many joint assets you can accumulate over the course of a marriage. What happens to the contents of joint bank and savings accounts when you divorce? How will you divide pensions benefits, share dividends, insurances and so on? These will all form part of the divorce settlement. Likewise, who is responsible for any debts you might have? Did you run them up together, or are they down to one person?
3. Think about your credit rating
Following on from the above, take steps to ensure that your personal credit rating isn’t affected by your divorce. This might sound heartless, but it’s surprising how many people suddenly find themselves downgraded because their ex-partner has gone on a spree with a joint credit card that hasn’t been cancelled. Make sure all joint finances are transferred into sole names at the earliest opportunity.
4. Make sure you know what’s happening with your house
The marital home is likely to be the biggest asset you share between you, so make sure you know what happens to it after the divorce. Will you sell it and split the proceeds? If so, in what ratio will those proceeds be split? If one partner remains in the house, will they need to buy out the other’s share?
Going through a divorce in Wiltshire? Looking for the right solicitors? Call for FREE Initial Phone Advice and a FREE 1/2 Hour Appointment
Our specialist family lawyers represent clients throughout Wiltshire from our offices in Salisbury and Amesbury. Contact us today
Bonallack and Bishop, Bonallack and Bishop
Rougemont House, Queensberry House,
Rougemont Close, 5 Salisbury Street,
SP1 1LY SP4 7AW
Tel: Salisbury  422300 Tel: Amesbury (01980) 622992
Our Salisbury Office