Divorce Lawyers in Hertfordshire & Luton

We are widely respected divorce & separation lawyers serving the Hertfordshire & Luton areas.

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01582 765111

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Leading experts in divorce, separation & family law

Divorce can be a highly emotional and distressing time in an individual’s life, and without quality legal advice, can often lead to devastating personal and financial impacts on you and your family.  

Let us help make this difficult period easier for you.

At Taylor Walton, we have handpicked some of the most experienced and widely accredited divorce lawyers and family solicitors in Hertfordshire & Luton. From our offices in Harpenden, St. Albans and Luton, our team of highly qualified divorce lawyers can offer you legal advice and support on all matters relating to divorce and separation, including on sensitive issues such as domestic violence and arrangements involving children. 

Our Testimonials

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.’ 

Where we are based

Our divorce lawyers and family solicitors have two offices based in the Hertfordshire area (Harpenden & St. Albans) and one in Luton, Bedfordshire.   

If you wish to get in touch with one of our specific offices, visit our Contact page for more details. 

Some of the divorce and separation issues that we can advise on include:

  • Division of financial assets 
  • Collaborative law 
  • Child custody arrangements 
  • Child maintenance plans 
  • Separation of unmarried couples 
  • Alternative Resolution 
  • Domestic violence & abuse 
  • International family law 
  • Prenuptial & postnuptial agreements 

Our approach to divorce matters

We believe our divorce lawyers are different because we understand firsthand that not every divorce or separation case is the same. When you use the services of a Taylor Walton divorce lawyer, you can be assured that we will treat your case as individual, and will work with you to find the best possible solution that suits your unique needs. 

No case is too difficult or complex for us – in fact, our divorce lawyers in Hertfordshire and Luton have between them decades of experience working on hundreds of divorce cases with people of all genders, sexualities, religions and ethnicities.

If you wish to find out more about our services and how we can help you, we offer discreet and confidential consultations both in-person or via phone and Microsoft Teams/Zoom/Skype at a time and place that suits you. Ring our office directly on 01582 765111 or fill in the contact form above if you wish for us to ring you back directly. 

Meet our Family Law Solicitors

Ben Twitchen

Family law
Partner
01582 714609 ben.twitchen@taylorwalton.co.uk

Natalie Beese

Family law
Family Law - Partner
01582 765111 natalie.beese@taylorwalton.co.uk

Will Mercer

Family law
Family Law - Partner
01727 845245 william.mercer@taylorwalton.co.uk

Olive McCarthy

Family law, Management
Family Law - Partner & Arbitrator
01727 818519 olive.mccarthy@taylorwalton.co.uk
Amelia Scippo

Amelia Scippo

Family law
Family Law - Solicitor
01582 765111 amelia.scippo@taylorwalton.co.uk

Anna Patsalides

Family law
Family Law - Solicitor
01727 845245 anna.patsalides@taylorwalton.co.uk

Emily Woodhouse

Family law
Family Law - Solicitor
01582 714606 emily.woodhouse@taylorwalton.co.uk

Fay Goodwin

Family law
Paralegal
01582 714610 fay.goodwin@taylorwalton.co.uk

Ethan Diver

Family law
Trainee Solicitor - Family
01727 648456 Ethan.Diver@taylorwalton.co.uk

Laura Woolard

Family law
Family - Solicitor
01727 845245 laura.woolard@taylorwalton.co.uk

Lauren Windsor

Family law
Trainee Solicitor - Family
Lauren.Windsor@taylorwalton.co.uk

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a divorce lawyer?

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. 

What are the grounds for divorce?

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 deception. 
  • 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.  
Does getting a divorce lawyer make the process more hostile?

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. 

How do I get divorced?

The five key stages to divorce in the UK are as follows: 

  1. Decide on the reason for obtaining a divorce (see ‘What are the grounds for getting a divorce?’) 
  2. Complete a divorce petition 
  3. Submit the divorce petition and fee to a divorce centre either online or via post 
  4. Once the petition has been acknowledged by your spouse, then you must apply for a decree nisi 
  5. 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). 

How quickly can I get divorced?

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.  

I am in a same-sex marriage or civil partnership; does this make a difference to how we divorce?

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.  

What do I do if my ex-spouse is violent?

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. 

Does my spouse have to agree to the divorce?

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. 

What do I do if my spouse refuses to agree to the divorce?

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 need express consent/admission to an affair 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. 

Can I get legal aid for divorce?

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. 

Do both parties have to pay for a divorce?

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. 

Will I have to go to divorce court?

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.  

What is collaborative divorce?

Collaborative law is a legal practice that enables couples to work with specially trained collaborative lawyers in order to avoid having to lash 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. 

Get in touch with our divorce lawyers in Hertfordshire & Luton

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