We understand that those seeking a family lawyer are typically under much stress and need to be confident that their issue is safe with their lawyer. Our family law department is proud to approach client’s matters with practicality and sensibility. You can rest assured that our sharp lawyers will seek the best outcome for you, whilst remaining sensitive to keeping dialogue open and promote agreement.

Our family team are experienced in all areas of family law, including ;- divorce, separation, co-habitation, pre-nuptial/post-nuptial agreements, child custody and child access, removal of children from the jurisdiction, abduction of children and domestic violence.

Finding the right lawyer for you is an important part of the process. We are based a short walk away from Hammersmith station and are easily accessible to all areas of London.

Matrimonial matters

Divorce can be a most stressful and emotionally challenging time, with many different issues to think about and resolve before you are able to finalise your divorce and cut your financial ties.

Consideration needs to be given to the potential sale or transfer of the family home, division of any pensions, maintenance for you or the children, and the living arrangements for the children.

With so many different issues to think about and resolve before you are able to finalise your divorce, let our Hammersmith lawyers take the stress away.

Our friendly and professional divorce solicitors can guide you through the entire process, helping your divorce go ahead as swiftly and smoothly as possible whilst ensuring a fair outcome for you and your loved ones.

Child matters

Children are the first concern for many during a relationship breakdown. When it is possible, we promote workable solutions and help to negotiate suitable arrangements for the children. We address issues such as who the children shall live with, how often they will have contact with the other parent, holiday and educational arrangements and other issues concerning the appropriate care of children. We also assist where there is a dispute, and a court order is required to prohibit the steps of one parent or determine an issue in despite between parents.

Speak to our family lawyers in Hammersmith

For friendly, expert legal advice on any aspect of family law, you can contact our family law team now by calling our Hammersmith office on 020 8735 9772 or using our simple contact form to request a call back.

Family and divorce FAQ’s

Where do I begin with my divorce?

Before you begin with your divorce application, you must first establish if you are entitled to a divorce. To be eligible, you must have been in a legally recognised marriage for over a year, within the jurisdiction of England and Wales, and your relationship has now permanently broken down.

If you are unsure about whether you are eligible, one of our divorce solicitors will be happy to advise you.

What happens if you agree to divorce?

We understand that not all divorces are contested, and you and your spouse may wish to work together and have a joint divorce. Our divorce solicitors are experienced in this area and will advise you on the next steps to take.

What happens if you don’t agree to a divorce?

With the new No Fault Divorce that came into effect on 6 April 2022, you can no longer stop a divorce going ahead if you wish to stay married. There are only very limited exceptions that allow you to contest a divorce. If your divorce was submitted before 6 April 2022, the old law will apply, and you may defend the divorce if you meet the requirements to do so. Speak to one of our divorce solicitors if you need further information.

Can I get divorced online?

Following the new No Fault Divorce that came into effect on 6 April 2022, all divorce applications are now done online via the HMCTS portal. You are required to create an account to submit an application, and to respond. One of our divorce solicitors can assist you with this.

How much does divorce cost?

There is a court fee of £593 that must be paid to submit your divorce application. If you are on a low income or in receipt of certain benefits, you may eligible for a fee exemption.

Legal fees can vary depending on whether or not your divorce is contentious.

When does divorce go to Court?

If you and your spouse cannot agree on how to split your assets, or you feel that you cannot communicate with your spouse to reach an agreement, you can apply to Court for the finances to be decided.

If you are not sure whether you need to go to Court, speak to one of our divorce solicitors now.

How long will my divorce take?

The No Fault Divorce which operates from 6 April 2022 is time restrictive. This means that you must wait at least 7 months for your divorce to finalise as there as now under the new law a mandatory 20 week cooling off period. If your divorce was submitted before 6 April 2022, it can take between 8-12 weeks to finalise.

Where there are assets which need to be divided, this can be resolved alongside with the divorce and if agreement is possible it may not delay the divorce.

Who gets what in divorce?

When you get divorced you and your spouse will need to divide your assets and separate your finances. How this is divided can either be agreed between the two of you with or without mediation or solicitor negotiation, or decided by a Judge in Court. Our divorce solicitors can help you understand what factors will affect any share of the marital finances and how best to try and resolve the finances.

Will divorce affect my pension?

A pension is considered a marital asset, and will be impacted by divorce. It is common to seek equality of pensions on divorce to ensure that both you and your spouse have a fair pension on retirement. This could mean that you can get a larger pension by sharing some of your spouse’s pension, or you may lose some of your pension. If you are concerned about the consequences for your pension speak to one of our divorce solicitors.

Can divorce force a sale of the house?

If your spouse applies for a divorce, either you or your spouse may need to move out of the house you live in. This could be temporary, or lead to a sale of the house. If you want to understand how this may affect you, speak to one of our divorce solicitors. We can assist in guiding you through any house sales / purchases as we work very closely with our conveyancing department here at Hubbard Pegman & Whitney

How does divorce affect children?

If you and your spouse have children, you will need to consider their living arrangements upon your divorce. Our divorce solicitors can assist you in formalising your agreement.

If there is a dispute with your spouse about the children, you may need to go to Court. Get in touch to find out what the next steps you need to take to get started are.

What is child custody?

Child custody is no longer the appropriate language to use. Parental responsibility, is the right to be involved in their life, be consulted in important decisions to do with their life and decide where they should live.

Do I have Parental responsibility?

Natural parents of children generally already have parental responsibility for their child. If you are the biological mother, you will automatically have ‘parental responsibility’. If you are the father and you are named on your child’s birth certificate, or otherwise you were married to the child’s mother at the time of birth then you will also have parental responsibility.

If you are unsure about whether you have parental responsibility, one of our family solicitors will be happy to advise you.

How do I get a child arrangement / live with order?

If you and your child’s father cannot agree on an arrangement for your child/children you can if necessary make an application to the court.

If you need to establish contact with your child, our family solicitors can help you with this process.

Can both parents agree to include the father on the child’s birth certificate?

If you are able to agree, you can apply to name the father on the birth certificate and he will therefore have parental responsibility for the child. If the parent seeking parental responsibility  is not the biological parent, you can also apply to include them in the child’s life so long as everyone with parental responsibility agrees.

Our family solicitors are here to help you understand parental responsibility and how it affects you.

How does child contact work?

When parents separate, the arrangements for any children they have together will need to be decided. This could either be an arrangement where the child primarily lives with one parent and sees the other for a defined period or the child can be cared for by both parents equally. This arrangement can be as tailored as required to meet the child’s needs.

To understand what kind of arrangements could work for you and your child get in touch with one of our family solicitors.

What if I want my child to live with me?

In deciding which parent the child should primarily live with, considerations should be given to what kind of arrangements will best promote the child’s wellbeing and development. If you and the other parent don’t see eye to eye on what this is, our family solicitors can help narrow the issues to encourage agreement.

Do I need to pay child maintenance?

If you are the parent that the child does not primarily live with, you will be expected to pay child maintenance. If you need some help in understanding how much you need to be paying, speak to one of our family solicitors.

When do I need to go to court to see my child?

If you and the other parent cannot agree, are not suitable for mediation, or there are urgent safeguarding issues in relation to you or the child, you will need to apply to make an application to the family courts to resolve the conflict. The court can also assist in issues such as changing the child’s surname, relocating with the child to a new place, or deciding whether they should undergo a medical procedure. This is called a specific issue order.

If you’re unsure whether you need to go to court, speak to one of our family solicitors.

I just got engaged, do I need a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement (prenup) is an important document that can help safeguard your assets in the case of a divorce. A prenup can include terms to determine how any assets you own or come to own should be treated in the event of a divorce. A Prenup is not at present legally binding but where the agreement is entered into and the requirements are complied with the law will usually uphold them. However it is important to recognise that this does not mean that if you enter into a prenup you are more likely to get divorced.

I am moving in with my partner, what do I do?

In England and Wales, there is currently no recognition of ‘common law’ partners. This means that no matter how long you have been together, you do not acquire a ‘right’ to your partner’s assets if they are not jointly owned.  In the case of separation or death, you will not be considered as a beneficiary to your partner’s asset. To protect yourself, it is best practice to have a written document such as a cohabitation agreement which you can present as evidence of your interest in any assets you feel you have a right to.

I am getting married / divorced should I reconsider writing / rewriting my Will?

Both marriage and divorce are a significant event that will impact your assets and inheritance. If you have not already done so since being married, you and your spouse should have a conversation about making or updating your Will. If you are divorcing any existing Will will be impacted and will need to be updated to remain valid. If you have any questions about making a Will our probate team can talk to you about this.

Do my husband and I need to have marriage counselling before we consider a divorce?

Divorce is a big step and will have a huge impact on your life. Prior to proceeding with an application for divorce we will want to be confident that your relationship has permanently broken down. Marriage counselling is a good tool of understanding whether your marriage has broken down, however it is not compulsory to engage in counselling if you have decided to divorce.

Is my divorce advertised / broadcast anywhere?

Divorce proceedings are private and your information will remain anonymous and will not be revealed to the public.

Can I keep my married name after my divorce or do I have to return to my maiden name?

You are free to keep your married name on divorce should you wish to do so. If you would like to return to your maiden name you do so by presenting your decree absolute to the relevant institutions following your divorce and possibly entering into a deed pole.

How much of my future earnings will my spouse be entitled to once I divorce?

During divorce the matrimonial assets will need to be divided in accordance with the law to assure a fair divide. Matrimonial assets are all assets acquired or built up during the marriage including properties, investments, pensions, income and savings. The same applies to marital debts. Upon divorce there will be an expectation to cut your financial ties and achieve a clean break, however in some circumstance one spouse may continue to financially support the other; how long this is for and how much the support is will be decided on a case by case basis.

If I have left the marital home am I allowed to return to the property until the divorce goes through?

There will be an expectation that if you have separated you will be living apart. However so long as there are no safety concerns for either party or children, or any court proceedings in place should you require access to the home you should be entitled to enter it.

Once my divorce goes through how long do I have to wait until I can remarry?

You can remarry as soon as you obtain your final order (formally decree absolute), subject to giving appropriate notice as required by the registrar marrying you.

Can anything be put in writing about the care of pets after a divorce?

You can include the care of pets in the event of divorce within your pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. This can also include provisions about the upkeep and cost of your pet during the marriage.



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