Derby Divorce Solicitors
Ranked in Tier 1 for all family law matters
Our specialist divorce solicitors in Derby are part of a team ranked in the highest tier for family law matters by independent legal guides. The Legal 500 praised our national family team for giving “The quality of service that would be expected of a magic circle firm”. With over 20 years’ experience in the market, we offer expert legal advice for divorce.
If you’re based in Derbyshire, give our friendly divorce lawyer a call to see how we can help you. We can offer you high quality divorce legal advice and representation equal to top UK firms, without the high cost.
Our approachable solicitors are there for you through every stage of a separation or divorce. Using our extensive skill and knowledge, we will help you to get your life back on track. Our Derby divorce solicitors offer the highest standards of professional representation – they are also sensitive and discreet.
How much does it cost to get divorced?
A divorce can be quite straightforward unless the divorce is defended or there are difficulties in agreeing upon what ground the divorce is going to be based. . Most divorces cost in the region of £600 – £1,500 plus VAT depending upon the level of seniority of the lawyer dealing with the matters and the complexity of the issues. There is also a Court fee of £550.
The divorce process and paperwork does not deal with the financial issues nor any arrangements for the children.
How long does it take to get divorced?
An average divorce takes in the region of 3-6 months to complete, but we would not advise you to apply for Decree Absolute to finalise your divorce until the financial issues are resolved. In those circumstances the divorce can take longer to finalise meaning that Decree Absolute is not pronounced for 9 to 12 months, sometimes longer.
How will the assets be divided?
Once we have identified what the assets are with you, we will work with you and advise you about how to achieve a fair division of the matrimonial assets. We will review which of the assets are “matrimonial” and how these can be divided to meet the Section 25 Matrimonial Causes Act 1972 criteria which includes looking at what would be fair and just, reviewing your respective ages and assets, looking at the pension provision, reviewing any health issues either of you have and ensuring that the children and your own needs are met in so far as capital, housing, pension and income are concerned. There is no one answer about the division of assets and often there are several solutions that may work for you. This is an area of law where our advice will be very specific and detailed.
Is it worth having a prenuptial agreement?
The law regarding prenuptial agreements has developed over the last 10 years significantly. The Court are now, in light of developments in the case law, giving great weight to prenuptial agreements that satisfy the following criteria:-
a) Being signed at least 28 days before the marriage.
b) Both parties having had independent legal advice.
c) The agreement being based on full financial disclosure.
d) The agreement being fair and reasonable.
Any agreement that does not enable one party to meet their needs is unlikely to be upheld by the Court if there is a later divorce. Agreements that are fair and enable both parties to meet their needs stand a good chance of being upheld by the court.
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Do children always live with their mother?
Where children live following separation or divorce is for parents to agree. If parents cannot agree where the children should live and what is in their best interests, the Court can be asked to intervene. In deciding what order to be made the Court always keep the children’s welfare as their paramount consideration. This can be clarified by taking statements from the parties, obtaining independent reports from either a CAFCASS Officer or Social Services (or third specialist party). There is no presumption that children will live with their mother, and the Court presume that it is best for the children to have a relationship with both parents unless there is a risk of harm associated with that relationship continuing. Before going to court the Judge will have expected the parents to attend mediation to try to reach an amicable agreement unless for any reason mediation is deemed as inappropriate.
How can I keep my costs down?
If you are worried about the legal costs you are incurring it is worth thinking about the way in which your issues are being resolved. There are a number of alternative dispute resolution options which will keep you out of Court. Court can often be the most expensive way to try to resolve disputes. Mediation, collaborative practice and arbitration offer alternatives to the Court process which can be cost effective options.
If Court proceedings are the only option available to you, it is worth making sure that you use your lawyer for the most important issues and on points where legal assistance is clearly needed. Using your lawyer for emotional support is not sensible and using specialist help where this is appropriate will keep your legal costs down focusing instead with your lawyer on the legal issues that they can assist you with.
How do we sort out the arrangements for our children?
This can be done by the two parents sitting down and agreeing everything themselves, attending mediation, negotiating through solicitors or through a Court application if this becomes necessary. The arrangements can be detailed in a parenting plan or a Court Order. A court will not make any orders about children if the parents can agree matters between themselves.
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Throughout your divorce, our Derby divorce solicitors will be empathetic and supportive. We will put together the right divorce team for your case, helping you to achieve the best outcome.
Your appointed divorce solicitor will guide you towards the best outcome for you and your family. By resolving your divorce without the need for court proceedings, we aim to reduce costs and delays. Dispute resolution such as collaborative law, mediation, solicitor-led negotiation or arbitration can be tried first to help keep you out of court.
If you have to go to court, our expert divorce lawyers can be trusted to help and support you every step of the way. We also have particular expertise in complex cases involving business trusts and pension assets. The knowledge of our tax, trust, property, employment and company lawyers helps you keep costs down, while at the same time providing you with the specialist advice complex cases require. Not all family law firms have the same strength of this divorce advice under one roof.
Why Choose our Derby Divorce Solicitors
- We’re located on Nottingham Road, just a short drive away from the city centre
- Our lawyers are ranked by the official legal directories as one of the UK’s leading family law teams
- We are renowned for avoiding costly litigation by reaching financial agreements, without the need to go to court
- If your divorce needs to go through court, we will offer robust representation, support and clear advice throughout the process
- We offer a range of competitive fees to suit your financial circumstances, while still offering city expertise
Diana Copestake – Divorce Partner based in Derby
Diana Copestake is a Partner based at our Derby office, specialising in divorce law. She has over 35 years’ experience in advising people on all aspects of family law. Diana has particular expertise in helping people deal with the financial consequences of marriage breakdown. She can help with family businesses, companies and pension provisions, as well as having a wealth of knowledge in issues relating to children.
Diana is a member of Resolution and is a trained collaborative lawyer – offering you the choice of trying to resolve the matter without court involvement. She aims to achieve constructive legal solutions in a quick, cost-effective manner. If court is the only option, she is more than capable of representing you.
Examples of family law cases by Diana Copestake
- Successfully advised and guided a client through the court process where the only asset was his company interests held in Europe. This enabled him to retain those company interests free of claim.
- Successfully assisted a client who had come to England from the USA with no assets. Diana helped her to secure a lump sum payment to enable her to purchase a property in the UK following the breakdown of her marriage.
For further information about our Derby divorce solicitors, please contact Diana Copestake, Partner, on 0845 272 5674 or submit a secure enquiry form.
“Freeths has a ‘very highly regarded family law team’, which includes Judith Speed and Diana Copestake, who are ‘incredibly experienced’ and ‘a massive asset’.” (Legal 500)
“I really do appreciate your guidance and help throughout what has been a difficult time. You were always calm, assured and steady which left me plenty of room to be the exact opposite at times.”(Client)
‘Doing the right thing’ is at the heart of Freeths. Find out more about our excellent client service and the strong set of values that guide the way we work.
Talk to us
Freeths are a leading national law firm with 13 offices across the UK. If you have a query about our services or just want to find out more, why not give us a call?
Contact: 03301 001 014