Divorce, Dissolution and Separation

Whether you are married or in a civil partnership, the consequences of the breakdown of a relationship are often highly emotive and confusing and can have far reaching effects on the family as a whole.

Whether you have made the decision that your relationship is over, or you are still contemplating, it can be emotionally exhausting and financially draining. We will guide you through the process of the options available to you in plain English and provide you with value for money for our services.

Our ethos is to assist you through these difficult times to find the right strategy for you. Our emphasis is on giving you the best advice for your unique situation to enable you to deal with the decisions that you will have to make during the various stages of the divorce or dissolution process. We strive to achieve the best possible outcome for your needs whilst minimizing the distress caused to all parties involved.

The Finances

If you have come to the conclusion that your marriage or civil partnership has broken down, often the most stressful and contentious matter is the division of matrimonial assets. There are various options available to you and we will assess each case individually in an attempt to reach a final agreement in the most cost efficient way.

Voluntary Disclosure

In all divorce cases there has to be some form of financial disclosure. The most cost effective and amicable way is by way of voluntary disclosure. During voluntary disclosure both parties agree to complete a financial statement known as a Form E and once this information has been exchanged, negotiations can take place in an attempt to reach a financial agreement which is right for you.

Formal Proceedings

In the event that negotiations break down or, as in some more acrimonious cases, they are barely started at all, formal financial proceedings are the last resort. The first stage of this process is to attend mediation (unless you can satisfy the court that one of the exceptions apply. For example that one party does not reside in England and Wales). If an agreement cannot be reached via mediation the next step is to issue a Form A to kick start the formal financial proceedings. At this point both you and your spouse will be subject to a court’s timetable and you will both be ordered to file with the court and exchange with each other your financial disclosure by way of Form E.  An initial hearing, known as a First Appointment Hearing will be listed where the court will provide further directions for you and your spouse to comply with.

Throughout formal proceedings, the court continually encourages you to come to a settlement. However if this cannot be made, a second hearing known as a Financial Dispute Resolution Hearing will be listed to encourage a resolution.  The majority of cases do settle at this point however a small number of matrimonial disputes cannot be settled and continue to a Final Hearing.

The most obvious point that most client’s forget about when caught up in an emotional entanglement with their soon to be ex-spouse is that, essentially, the legal fees are all coming out of the same pot! At Kleyman & Co, we pride ourselves on remaining focused on reaching a sensible agreement early on to avoid costly, stressful and lengthy formal financial proceedings.

For information on costs please see Divorce Costs.