Leading experts in all aspects of divorce, separation & family law
Our divorce solicitors in Harpenden work quickly and conscientiously to secure everything that is important for your future, offering practical legal advice that helps you make informed decisions whilst avoiding unnecessary stress.
Whether it is you or your spouse petitioning for divorce, we understand how emotionally and financially challenging the process can be. Our divorce solicitors in Harpenden not only come with years of experience working with cases of all complexities, but have a proven client track record for success.
‘Ben Twitchen is an exceptional solicitor. Ben’s bedside manner and reassuring demeanour were greatly appreciated during a very drawn-out and convoluted case, and his intelligent approach, maven-like insight, and confidence under pressure were absolutely critical to getting the results required. Where financing became an issue, Ben was able to find solutions.’
’Will Mercer is solution focused, knowledgeable and knows what he is doing. He provides his clients with good, practical advice and thinks outside the box. He is efficient and effective in achieving successful outcomes. He always adopts a constructive and sensible approach, and encourages his clients to be child focused.’
‘Olive McCarthy has been amazing through my long acrimonious divorce. Calm, clear, empathic, bright, compassionate and always 100% on the ball.’
‘Well organised, professional and got the job done, always kept up to date.’
Why choose Taylor Walton Divorce Solicitors in Harpenden?
Widely experienced in all aspects of divorce and separation. Our team of divorce solicitors in Harpenden share decades of experience in all areas of divorce and separation. No matter how difficult or complex your circumstances are, our acute knowledge of UK family law will help you find a solution for your divorce and subsequent decisions involving financial assets and children.
Clear and concise legal advice free of jargon. We pride ourselves on our ability to help guide clients through the divorce process with ease. We will explain the important details to you in simple, easy-to understand language so that you know where you stand and can make an informed decision.
A service that you can trust. All our family law and divorce solicitors in Harpenden are members of Resolution – an organisation committed to resolving family legal issues in a non-confrontational way - meaning that you can trust our advice to be in the interest of both you and your family. Find out more about Resolution’s membership code and conduct policy here.
Keep you informed throughout the process. We provide ongoing communication throughout your divorce process, with availability via phone or email for further questions and ongoing support.
Will work with you to find the best possible solution. We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all approaches, as we understand that every divorce case and individual involved is different. We will listen to your concerns and needs to help find a solution that best suits you.
Competitively priced. We regularly review the prices of other firms in the area to make sure that you are never overpaying for services and are getting the most competitive rates from us.
Directions to our office in Harpenden
We are just a minute’s walk from Harpenden train station. If you are travelling by train, exit the station onto Station Approach, then walk north-west towards Station Road. Our office will be on the right-hand side.
If you are travelling by car, we have on-site parking available for clients. Just ensure that if you are using a Sat-nav, you include ‘TW House’ alongside our postcode, as this will help you find our parking facilities.
Proud to be serving the Harpenden area
At Taylor Walton, we take pride in helping individuals from our office in Harpenden, which first opened its doors in 2007.
Harpenden is a prosperous commuter town with a vast and impressive history, with the earliest signs of life dating back to the pre-Roman era. The town has seen significant changes over the past few centuries, particularly due to its strong transport links to London, which saw the town placed 7th in a list of the most valuable London commuter areas.
Today Harpenden boasts a rich economy, and many visitors will enjoy a rich experience thanks to its mix of commercial and independently owned shops, restaurants and parks and commons.
Meet our Divorce Solicitors in Harpenden
Ben TwitchenFamily Law
Partner - Head of Department
Natalie BeeseFamily Law
Will MercerFamily Law
Olive McCarthyFamily Law, Management
Partner & Arbitrator
Amelia ScippoFamily Law
Associate - Solicitor
Anna PatsalidesFamily Law
Associate - Solicitor
Emily WoodhouseFamily Law
Associate - Solicitor
Fay GoodwinFamily Law
Laura WoolardFamily Law
Associate - Solicitor
Lauren WindsorCommercial Litigation
Latest blogs on Family Law
Divorce Resources in Harpenden
Luton and South Bedfordshire Magistrates' Court and Family Court
Court close to Harpenden residents that deals with domestic abuse cases and other family legal issues. To find your nearest family court, visit the Gov.UK website.
- Luton Justice Centre
Closest court to Harpenden residents dealing with adoption, childcare arrangements, domestic abuse and forced marriage cases. Visit their page for contact and address details.
- Watford County Court & Family Court
Court close to Harpenden residents that deals with divorce hearings and childcare arrangements.
- Divorce Support Group in Hertfordshire
Ran by Divorce Care, this divorce support group runs weekly meetings in Hertfordshire for those recovering from or struggling with their divorce. Follow the link to find out more information about upcoming meetings.
- Herts Domestic Abuse Helpline
A registered charity serving domestic abuse victims in Hertfordshire. If you are experiencing domestic violence or are worried about someone who is, visit their site for informational resources and support.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may be wondering whether you need a divorce lawyer in the first place.
No one wants to pay hefty divorce fees, and if both parties can come to an agreement between themselves on specific legal issues (such as child custody and maintenance payments, division of financial assets etc.) then they can always apply for an uncontested divorce.
However, in most cases we would advise (even for uncontested divorce) that you seek legal advice to ensure that your application is reviewed, as a legal professional will ensure the likelihood of it being accepted by the UK courts and decide if the agreement is fair to both parties involved.
If there are significant financial assets at stake or both parties are highly acrimonious towards each other (especially with couples who share children) then a family solicitor may be necessary to handle paperwork, explain the divorce process and negotiate with the other spouse and their solicitors.
The government has confirmed that the long-awaited Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill 2020, which introduces ‘no-fault’ divorces in England and Wales, will hopefully commence around 6th April 2022. Until then, in order to get a divorce, you must prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down based on one of four different grounds:
- Adultery – Either your ex-partner must admit that they had an affair formally, or you must provide evidence proving the infidelity.
- Unreasonable behaviour – Your ex-partner has or is behaving in a way that makes it impossible for you to live with them further. This is the most common reason many will use when filing for divorce, and some examples of unreasonable behaviour include physical and verbal violence, excessive alcohol or drug consumption or refusal to pay for shared living expenses.
- Desertion – Your spouse has left you for at least two years before applying for divorce.
- Long-term separation – If you and your spouse have been separated for two years and you both agree to the divorce, then you can apply. This changes if one party does not agree to the divorce – in this situation, you must be separated for five years before applying for divorce.
We understand that some individuals may be concerned that hiring a divorce lawyer will result in being taken advantage of, and processes becoming more hostile and drawn out than necessary so that the divorce solicitor can charge higher legal fees.
At Taylor Walton, all our divorce lawyers in Hertfordshire and Luton are members of Resolution – an organisation of family justice professionals committed to resolving family law issues in a constructive, non-confrontational way. Therefore, you can be assured that your best interests are always at the heart of what we do and that our code of conduct is professional and ethical.
Involving family solicitors in your divorce proceedings does not need to be hostile – in fact, our clients often report that hiring our divorce lawyer services made the process calmer and run more smoothly for them.
The five key stages to divorce in the UK are as follows:
- Decide on the reason for obtaining a divorce (see ‘What are the grounds for getting a divorce?’)
- Complete a divorce petition
- Submit the divorce petition and fee to a divorce centre either online or via post
- Once the petition has been acknowledged by your spouse, then you must apply for a decree nisi
- Six weeks after obtaining a decree nisi, you must apply for a decree absolute.
However, applying for a divorce does not automatically resolve financial matters or decisions involving children – this will need to be arranged separately in a settlement (a legally binding decision).
This will depend on a variety of factors, such as the length of the marriage, financial assets shared (such as housing, businesses, inheritances, pensions etc.) and how much each party agrees with each other regarding these terms.
If the marriage was short-lived, there are no financial assets shared or each party agrees to the same terms, getting a divorce legally finalised can take as little as 4 to 6 months. However, in the UK the average time it usually takes to finalise a divorce is one year.
The process for ending a same-sex marriage or civil union is the same for ending a heterosexual marriage bar one exception – you cannot use adultery as a reason for the divorce filing.
Protection from a violent spouse can be obtained through family court, including restraint orders and orders restricting the violent spouse from approaching the family home.
If you ever feel that your life is in danger or under threat from a violent spouse, we urge you to call 999 as your first course of action.
Whilst it is preferable for both parties to cooperate, if your spouse is refusing to acknowledge a divorce petition or agree to a divorce, there are solutions to go ahead with the divorce without their consent.
If there is no cooperation from them, then you have the option of issuing an unreasonable behaviour petition and getting them personally served. However, if they do not respond to this, you can proceed whether they choose to engage or not.
If your spouse refuses to agree to the divorce, there are still options available for you to still proceed, however it relies on the grounds you submitted as the reason for the divorce.
If you cited unreasonable behaviour, 5-year separation or desertion, then you can proceed with the divorce without their consent – providing that you can show evidence that they have been notified of the divorce proceedings beforehand.
However, this changes if you are basing your divorce grounds on adultery or a 2-year separation, as for these reasons the court will either need express consent/admission to an extramarital affair or evidence (e.g. video footage) and the return of an Acknowledgement of Service to the court to proceed.
If you are unable to get these from your spouse, then you will need to change your reason for petition to continue with the divorce proceedings.
Legal aid is only available to specific cases, such as marriages where there was domestic abuse or child welfare issues. If social services were ever involved, this can help your case for getting legal aid.
Find a legal aid advisor on the UK government website here.
Usually both parties will be liable for their own legal costs - in exception to the court fee (currently around £593) which is often paid for by the individual filing the petition to divorce.
However, if the divorce petition is based on unreasonable behaviour or adultery, it is possible to make an application where the party at fault pays all the legal costs. The usual course of action, however, is for all divorce costs to be split between the two parties.
Do note however that these costs only apply to divorce proceedings – other legal arrangements, such as division of assets or child custody and maintenance agreements, will have to be organised separately, and will have their own unique costs.
If both parties cannot reach an agreement through mediation or collaborative law methods, then court intervention may be necessary. However, if you and your spouse can amicably come to agreements about financial settlements and any shared children, then you can usually avoid court hearings altogether.
Prior to the court stage, however, your solicitors will usually attempt other methods to help you and your spouse come to an agreement, such as mediation, arbitration or collaborative law practices.
Collaborative law is a legal practice that enables couples to work with specially trained collaborative lawyers in order to avoid having to thrash out the issues in court and achieve a settlement that best meets the needs of both parties and their children.
The voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (also known as a participation agreement) that binds each other to the process and disqualifies their respective lawyer's right to represent either one in any future family-related litigation.
If you are interested in finding out more about Taylor Walton’s collaborative divorce service, speak to one of our team today for a free and confidential consultation.