If you want the best divorce advice from a team of solicitors with a huge range of experience in dealing with the issues surrounding the end of a marriage, then look no further than Higgins Miller. We’re specialists in family law, which means we regularly deal with issues such as financial settlement, children disputes and prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, all of which can sometimes play a part in divorce proceedings.
The key to our ability to offer the very best divorce advice is that we combine an empathetic approach to the highly emotional nature of the divorce process with a commitment to staying completely up to date with any changes in divorce legislation. Only by being able to provide detailed and timely advice in a manner which is easily understood will we be able to make sure our clients work toward the best possible outcome. We understand how painful the divorce process can be, and how complex matters can become when issues such as shared property, business interests or children have to be factored in. In all cases we aim to work toward the quickest agreement possible, and if an amicable settlement isn’t possible, we will ensure that our client meets all of their obligations and, just as importantly, receives the kind of treatment they are entitled to.
A recent news story which may come to impact upon the divorce cases which we handle in the future concerned an announcement by Justice Secretary David Gauke that the government would be opening a consultation on the reform of divorce laws. The main intention of this process is to reform the current laws in such a way as to eliminate the need for fault on the part of either partner to be established.
Although reform of this kind has been called for over a period of many years – and was actually included in the Family Law Act 1996, but not enacted by an incoming Labour government – it is thought that the recent announcement was triggered by the well publicised case of Owens v Owens. This was a Supreme Court ruling which stated that a 68 year old woman had to remain married to her husband against her wishes.
This decision was a reflection of the current state of the law, which states that the couple in question have to blame each other for the divorce using grounds such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour or desertion. Even if both parties agree to the divorce, they have to demonstrate that they’ve been living apart for a minimum of two years, and if one of the parties contests the divorce – basically saying they don’t want it to go ahead – then this period becomes five years.
The suggestion put forward by the government is that people would be able to notify the court that they intend to divorce their partner, and that the spouse in question would not have a chance to contest the divorce. Other suggested changes include keeping the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as grounds for divorce, without either partner having to prove that the other party has acted in a particular manner, and with no requirement for the couple in question to have lived apart for a set period.
The main aim of the change would be to remove much of the conflict from the divorce process, and to increase the likelihood of couples, on accepting the end of a relationship, being able to reach an amicable agreement. Given that the best divorce advice, and the kind we always dispense, should be offered with similar intentions, this is a shift which we welcome, and we intend to follow the results of the consultation process, which lasts until December 10th, very closely indeed.
If you’d like to take the best divorce advice or have a question on any aspect of the end of a relationship, then please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. We’ll provide a 20 minute appraisal free of charge, and if you want to find out more we’ll offer a first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about running up extensive legal costs before properly deciding on your course of action. If you want to find out more about our wider charging system then please take a look here.