Going through a divorce or a separation is a difficult and distressing time. Many relationship breakdowns also include children and financial issues that need to be considered. Getting the right legal advice at the earliest opportunity can help your divorce to go ahead faster and with less conflict, saving you time, money and stress.
Our specialist Family Law team will provide friendly, practical, confidential advice for all aspects of your divorce. We can help to reduce much of the emotional stress during what is likely to be a very traumatic time while making sure you can bring your relationship to an end in the best way for your interests and those of your loved ones.
If you own property or other assets, you will want to ensure that any agreement reached about how to divide them is fair and reasonable. You will want to achieve financial security for you and your children. Our highly experienced divorce solicitors can provide the best possible advice, assistance and support to help you achieve this.
If you have children, you will want to ensure that they are protected from the relationship breakdown as much as possible. You will want to know that they will be properly cared for and supported in the future. We offer empathetic, practical help and advice to help you get the best outcome for you and your children.
If there are problems or disagreements, we will try to ensure an amicable settlement is reached through options such as negotiation, mediation and collaborative law, allowing you to avoid Court proceedings wherever possible. If the Court’s assistance is necessary, we will support and advise you through the process, helping you to achieve the best available result.
The Divorce and Finance Team at Wolferstans includes a number of accredited experts who have been specifically trained to handle cases involving businesses, pensions, shares or other complex assets. The decisions that you make during your divorce could affect the rest of your life.
How much will your divorce cost?
All clients are, of course, concerned about incurring legal fees. We can advise you fully about our hourly rates and the estimated cost of any work you instruct us to do on your behalf. Details of this will be discussed with you at your first appointment and throughout your case.
Fixed fee initial consultation
At Wolferstans we offer a fixed fee initial consultation for £150 plus VAT. This includes an initial meeting with one of our experienced lawyers which is followed up by a written summary of that advice.
We find that this structure ensures that we are able to give our clients full and detailed advice on their case from the outset, which really isn’t the case where free initial appointments are offered. Our structure means that from that meeting onwards, you become our client and also gives you the opportunity to meet your lawyer and make sure you are confident in them.
Hourly Rates for Divorce Lawyers
We can act for you in all areas of Court proceedings on the basis of a pre-agreed hourly rate. The overall cost for your divorce will therefore depend on how much time the matter takes.
We offer various hourly rates depending on the level of experience of the person who is doing the work with VAT added to the hourly rate. You will be asked to pay an amount up front before the work starts and will then be billed on a monthly basis. This helps you to stay on top of the costs of your divorce.
Better Financial Outcome than the client expected
Our client had been involved in divorce proceedings many years ago with other solicitors and had reached the decree nisi stage. She then resumed living with her husband. Her old solicitors assumed they were back together and closed their files.
Four years later the couple fell out again. She was told by her husband she could just apply for decree absolute and that as the house had been sold, the proceeds divided equally and there were no other assets, that nothing further could be done. She fortunately contacted Wolferstans.
How wrong her husband was. Firstly, she could not just apply for decree absolute as she had been living back together again for more than six months. We had to dismiss the old Petition, and she had to start again with a new Petition. In relation to financial matters, although the house had been sold, it had been a long marriage, and the husband had built up a big pension. After issuing Court proceedings the Client received a pension sharing order of over £200,000 which would make a massive difference to her in her retirement.
Emergency action helps wife
The client initially instructed Wolferstans after moving back to the UK from Germany where they had been living with their two young children. She fled as a result of domestic violence and upon the husband’s return to the UK at Christmas that year a number of further threats were made against the client. Wolferstans therefore secured the protection of a non-molestation order for the client to ensure that her and the children were safe.
Divorce proceedings were issued, and the husband indicated that he felt no need to instruct a solicitor. He was a litigant in person. He did not respond to letters and the client thought that the financial issues arising from the divorce would never be resolved. This included the family home which was in the parties’ joint names and which the Husband was refusing to discuss. The husband also had a pension, the value of which he was not willing to disclose. Wolferstans issued financial proceedings which went to final hearing. The husband failed to engage throughout and the Court awarded the client the house and a share of the husband’s pension.
The husband then refused to sign the house over to the wife and Wolferstans issued enforcement proceedings. Wolferstans invited the Judge to sign the transfer of the house in place of the husband and in doing so also obtained a costs order for the husband to pay the client’s legal fees for failing to comply with the court process.
Why you should avoid a DIY divorce
A client instructed me after being divorced for more than seven years. He was previously in the army and received a gratuity and army pension. His ex-wife found out about this and made a claim to the court for a lump sum of money from his pension. This client thought that as they had been divorced financial matters had also been dealt with.
I asked him if he had a copy of the financial court order to which he replied “We didn’t do a financial agreement. We didn’t want to spend the money on mediating this or hiring a solicitor to draft the agreement.”
I advised him that financial claims do not end on divorce but on either the court dismissing them or when the ex-spouse dies or remarries.
I advised the client and got him a good settlement and all future financial claims against him dismissed.
It’s so important for people to know that although a do it yourself divorce may be cheap, it is no substitute for expert legal advice and you will not be protected against financial claims.
Wolferstans LLP is a limited liability partnership, registered in England and Wales (registered number OC433921) which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority with number 811913. (Plymstock Office SRA number 819159; Plympton Office SRA number 819160). The SRA’s Standards and Regulations can be viewed here. A list of the members of Wolferstans LLP, and of their professional qualifications, is available for inspection at our registered office: 60/66 North Hill Plymouth Devon PL4 8EP. We use the word `partner` to refer to a member of the LLP or an employee or consultant with equivalent standing and qualifications. Data Protection Register Entry Number ZB009475 with an expiry date of 14 March 2022.VAT Registration Number 144043893.