Frequently Asked Questions
Family Law FAQs
General Family Law
Do you have to go to mediation before family court?
In most cases, you will be required to attempt mediation before issuing proceedings and attending Court. However, there are certain circumstances in which you will be exempt such as when there has been domestic abuse, if you need protection or if the matter is urgent. This is not an exhaustive list, and we can provide further advice in relation to whether you will be exempt.
How much does a solicitor cost for family law UK?
The fees charged by a family lawyer are dependent upon what assistance you require and the type of case it is. Many factors can impact the cost, such as the complexity of the case, whether it is contested or whether it can be agreed upon quickly. We do offer some fixed fee packages and refer you to our fees page. For work that is carried out at an hourly rate, fee estimates will be given to you at the outset following your initial appointment.
How much does family court cost UK?
This will depend upon a variety of factors, including what type of case it relates to and at what point it can be settled. We have a duty to act in your best interests, including bringing your matter to a conclusion in the most cost-effective way possible. If there is scope for negotiation and settlement, we will always encourage this to prevent unnecessary costs. We can also discuss payment plans with you if appropriate.
What happens at the first family court hearing?
This is specific to which type of proceedings you are involved in. However, the usual purpose of a first Hearing within family proceedings is for the Court to give directions about the next steps that will assist in bringing your case to a conclusion.
What is a family law solicitor?
A family lawyer specialises in and practices family law. They are there to provide advice, assistance, and guidance and to represent your best interests concerning all aspects of family law, including financial remedy matters, divorce, injunctive proceedings, separation and Children Act matters.
What questions to ask a family law solicitor?
Many questions will run through your mind when you go through an emotionally difficult time. There is no such thing as a stupid question, and we are here to help you and answer any queries you have during the initial appointment and during your case.
Where are family lawyers based?
We act for clients nationwide and have offices in both Gloucester and Cheltenham, and our family law team will be available to meet with you at your preferred location.
Find out more about our family law services here.
Divorce and Separation
Do both parties have to agree to a divorce?
Following the introduction of the 'no fault divorce' in April 2022, parties can apply for a divorce either on a sole basis or a joint basis.
How do I start the divorce process UK?
You can start the divorce process by making a divorce application online. We offer a fixed rate for a procedural divorce for £600 + VAT, and there is a Court fee of £593. This includes making the application through to the conclusion of the divorce when the Court pronounces the Final Order.
How long does a divorce take?
On average, it takes around 4-6 months to deal with the procedural divorce. However, it usually depends upon the financial matters and at what stage this can be concluded.
How much does divorce cost if both parties agree?
We offer a fixed fee to deal with a procedural divorce. This is £600 + VAT and disbursements if you are the applicant and £400 + VAT if you are the respondent. Many solicitors charge an hourly rate, and you could end up paying in excess of £1000 + VAT and disbursements for your divorce.
What are the stages of divorce?
The process begins by lodging your divorce application with the Court. Thereafter, the respondent will receive an Acknowledgment to complete. Once completed, the applicant can apply for the Conditional Order, and finally, the Final Order will be pronounced, ending the marriage.
What is the new divorce law in UK?
The 'no fault divorce' was introduced in April 2022 following many years of discussion and campaigning. This has now removed the need to lay blame at either party's door and is conducive to a financial settlement and, most importantly, arrangements for the children.
What questions should I ask a solicitor about divorce?
The most common questions relate to process and cost. We will explain the divorce process, whether you are the applicant or the respondent, guide you through the process and deal with it on your behalf for a fixed fee.
Find out more about our divorce and separation services here.
Child Law Legal Services
Can a parent stop a child from seeing the other parent?
If you have genuine safeguarding concerns and believe the children are at risk of harm in the care of the other parent or guardian, then in certain circumstances, you can exercise your parental responsibility to prevent contact immediately. However, that is not a step to be taken lightly, and you must have legitimate concerns. We can advise you about whether that is the best option in your circumstances.
Can you get a child arrangement order without going to court?
You can apply for a Child Arrangements Order to the Court by consent if you have reached an agreement with the other parent/guardian, however, the Court may still list a Hearing to ensure that they are satisfied with the proposed arrangements and that you understand the implications.
How long is a Child Arrangement Order valid for?
It is usual for a Child Arrangements Order to last until the child reaches the age of 16; however, it can be longer in certain circumstances. It can also be varied upon application to the Court.
What is a typical child arrangement order?
That is entirely dependent upon circumstances, and there is no such "typical" order as it is child focused and whatever is in the child's best interest. The Court's first consideration is the welfare of the child, and there is a checklist of factors that the Court will consider.
What is the most common child custody arrangement?
This depends on what is in the best interests of your children. We can advise you about the likely outcome based on your circumstances. It is worth noting that there is a presumption that there should be involvement from each of the parents in a child's life.
Who pays court costs in child custody uk?
The default position in Children Act proceedings is for each party to meet their legal costs, and whoever makes the application will be liable for the Court fees.
Find out more about our child law legal services here.
Finances on Divorce and Separation
Can you write your own financial agreement?
Meeting the requirements when drafting a legally binding Financial Remedy Order can be a minefield for a layperson. If you and your spouse have reached an agreement and wish for this to be embodied into a legally binding document, then we offer a fixed fee in the sum of £850 + VAT to prepare the Financial Remedy Order
Do both parties need a solicitor for financial order?
Each party doesn't need to have a solicitor for a Financial Remedy Order; however, it is always wise to instruct a solicitor to represent your best interests and ensure that the terms of the agreement adequately reflect your requirements.
Do I need a solicitor for a financial order?
You are not obligated to instruct a solicitor regarding your financial matters. However, it can be challenging for a layperson to draft an Order that is binding, provides adequate protection and is in a format that the Court will approve. If you want to proceed with a Consent Order, we offer a fixed fee in the sum of £850 + VAT which is highly competitive in the Gloucestershire area.
How long does a financial settlement take in court?
This is dependent upon what stage a financial agreement is reached. You could have reached an agreement with your spouse over a 'kitchen table' discussion, at mediation, in correspondence between solicitors or during a contested Cout process. We will give you timescales and cost estimates dependent upon what path you have taken.
Is a financial agreement legally binding?
If a financial agreement is embodied into a Financial Remedy Consent Order and approved by the Court, it is a legally binding document. It is, therefore always worthwhile instructing a solicitor to prepare this on your behalf to protect you in the future and to ensure it is binding.
Find out more about our financial settlement services here.
Pre – nuptial and Post – nuptial Agreements
Are prenups legally binding?
Although pre nuptial are not technically legally binding, the Court will give significant weight to them if each party has fully disclosed their financial position and each party has received independent legal advice. It provides adequate provision for each party in the event of a divorce.
Can you write your own prenup UK?
A prenup only carries weight if each party has had independent legal advice. It is, therefore, wise to instruct a solicitor to prepare the prenup and advise you on the same to ensure that it is a format to which the Court will give weight.
Do I need a lawyer for prenup UK?
You do need a lawyer for a prenup, given consideration will only be given to it if you have received legal advice. We offer a fixed fee for a prenup in the sum of £1500 + VAT.
Does a prenup protect your money?
If adequate financial provision is made for both you and your spouse in the event of a divorce, then a Prenup can protect the assets you brought into the marriage.
Is a postnup as good as a prenup?
A postnup carries just as much weight as a prenup. Still, we would always advise that you enter into this as soon as possible after marriage, given significant events such as the birth of children can impact the validity if it is not accounted for. We offer a fixed fee for a postnup in the sum of £1500 + VAT.
What are the disadvantages of a prenup?
A prenup will not necessarily be binding as currently; the Court can make financial orders on the breakdown of a marriage. It is also difficult to account for children who may not yet be born, and the Court's primary concern will always be ensuring that a child is secure. A prenup cannot predict what will happen during the marriage, and significant changes in circumstances may occur, and therefore it will need to be reassessed.
What cannot be included in a postnuptial agreement?
A prenup cannot dictate what the child's arrangements shall be following the breakdown of a marriage, nor can it oust the jurisdiction of the Child Maintenance Service.
What does a prenup not cover?
A prenup will not cover the arrangements for the children in the event of separation, given consideration will be given at that time regarding what is in the child's best interests. We can advise you further in respect of what can and cannot be included.
What makes a postnuptial agreement valid?
Following a decision of the Supreme Court in 2010 (Radmacher v Granatino), the Court said: 'The court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is freely entered into by each party with a full appreciation of its implications unless in the circumstances prevailing it would not be fair to hold the parties to their agreement'. Each party should have full disclosure of the other's asset base, have their own legal advice and understand the implications of the agreement.
Find out about our pre-nuptial and post-nupital agreement services here.
How can we help?
Contact our Solicitors
Langley Wellington is a forward-thinking law firm acting for clients nationwide. Whatever your legal requirements, we are here to help.
Get in touch with our Solicitors today. Call one of our offices on the numbers provided below, or fill out our contact form here.