Leading UK Family Law Solicitors

Darton Law is an experienced family law firm dealing with all aspects of separation, divorce, civil partnerships, nuptial agreements and children issues. Fixed fee divorce available!

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Family solicitors & divorce lawyers services

A relationship breaking down can be extremely stressful and daunting. Therefore, the experience can be made less traumatic and acrimonious by instructing an exceptionally committed family law legal team to assist you. Our family law team at Darton Law will work towards reaching an agreement between parties by avoiding confrontation where possible, but still ensuring that our client’s best interests remain paramount. If it is necessary for matters to progress towards Court proceedings, our team will provide excellent representation in order to achieve the best results for you.

You will be provided with specialist advice in relation to what should happen to your finances, division of property and any matters concerning the children of the family. Our family law firm team will offer you the support you require as well as a high level of professionalism through this highly emotional time. We have developed a reputation for being approachable, friendly and for consistently exceeding our client’s expectations whilst maintaining ethical and socially responsible standards.

We provide expert advice in the following areas:

  • Divorce and separation matter
  • Financial Settlement for both spouses and children
  • Cohabitation
  • Civil partnership
  • Children – Private Law ( disputes between family members)
  • Children – Public Law ( disputes involving social services)
  • International child disputes including Child Abduction and removal from the jurisdiction.
  • Domestic Violence

We now are able to offer clients family legal aid. Family legal aid covers the following areas;

  1. Divorce and finances
  2. Private Children Act Proceedings
  3. Care and Adoption Proceedings

However, not everyone is eligible for legal aid. In order to be eligible you have to pass a means test (which is based on income) and a merits test. If you claim certain benefits the you will meet the means test. If you earn an income evidence will need to be provided for your application to considered by the Legal Aid Agency.

The merits test is usually met if it is in the interests of justice for legal aid to be granted and there is evidence of domestic violence, this can be through a criminal conviction at Court, a non-molestation order, a GP letter or letter from a refuge. Legal aid can also be granted in cases where people suffer from mental health issues. Again, evidence of this has to be provided.

If you are unsure as to whether you can apply for family law legal aid, then please contact either Ranjit Siddle or Kate Maddison and they will be able to advise you accordingly.

You are welcome to contact us by e-mail or telephone to seek our specialist advice on Family Law & Children Law. We assure you that your matter will be dealt with in strict confidence.

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In England & Wales, there is only one ground for divorce which is the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage. This can be evidenced by proving one of five facts: adultery, unreasonable behavior, desertion, living apart for more than 2 years with consent and living apart for a minimum of 5 years without consent.

This section is related to: family law

The person applying for a divorce (the ‘petitioner’) will have to pay a fee of £550 on sending a divorce application to the divorce centre.  Other costs include solicitor’s fees.  There will be additional fees if matters relating to finances and children are to be resolved.  The most cost effective way to resolve these issues is to come to an agreement without the needs for Court Proceedings.  Trying to avoid an acrimonious divorce, is also beneficial for the mental and physical health of the parties.  Unnecessary and protracted proceedings can cause high levels of stress and anxiety.

This section is related to: family law

A child can decide where they want to live from the age of 16, unless there is a Child Arrangements Order specifying their residence until the age of 18.

This section is related to: family law

While it is possible to give estimates, it is impossible to predict the exact duration of the divorce process.

It is possible for the divorce process to take as little as 4 – 6 months if both parties agree to the divorce and on what basis to apply for one (uncontested divorce).  Contested divorces, disagreements on children and finances and delays in actions required by the petitioner or respondent can slow the divorce process considerably.

On average, it can take most couples approximately one year from submitting the divorce petition, until decree absolute is pronounced and the marriage dissolved.  This is mainly if issues relating to finances and children are required to be resolved.  After reviewing the specifics of your situation, a divorce lawyer will be able to provide you with a clearer understanding of how long your divorce will take.

There are many ways in which the financial issues can be resolved between parties. The most low cost way is for the parties to come to an agreement themselves or through mediation. If this is not possible, negotiations can take place between solicitors. The purpose of these methods is to reach an agreement and a financial order can be drafted. In the event that an agreement cannot be reached, Court proceedings will need to be issued.

If an agreement can be reached between the parties and a financial order os required to be drafted, most solicitors will prepare this via a fixed fee arrangement. In the event that matters are resolved via negotiations through solicitors, there will be an hourly rate fee applied to settle the matter. In addition, there will be a Court fee of £50 which would need to be paid.

Should the matter require issuing Court Proceedings, then the costs can escalate quickly. There are usually three hearings within financial proceedings. Costs up to the first hearing would be circa £5000. The costs up to the second hearing, would be approximately £10,000 and should the matter progress to a final hearing, costs can amount between £30,000-£40,000.

In principle, Courts do not like to interfere in matters relating to children, including resolving contact issues.  The Court’s rationale generally is that both parents need to be involved in raising the children and separated parents should be able to make decisions between them making the children’s needs paramount.   Should an agreement not be able to be reached, the nest step is mediation.  If mediation fails, Court proceedings will need to be issued for a Court to make the decisions the parents cannot.  Should matters progress towards Court proceedings, this would escalate costs.

The adjustment of assets/finances covered by the financial court order may include the following:

  • property
  • money
  • shares
  • savings
  • pensions
  • debts
  • children/spousal maintenance

Normally, the behaviour of your spouse including adultery or unreasonable behaviour does not affect the divorce financial settlement. The grounds for divorce you use to obtain a divorce have no bearing on your financial settlement. Extreme behaviour may be taken into account by the court, for example, if one partner’s violence has had a lasting effect on the other. If one partner recklessly or deliberately sabotages the financial position, for example, by spending recklessly or destroying assets, this could also be taken into account.

This page is related to: family solicitor, family law, family lawyers, divorce solicitors, family law firm

What do our clients say about us?

Used recently and couldn’t have been more pleased. Prompt, friendly and professional. All sorted and walked away feeling details explained and I could stop my worries.

Miss S, Staines upon Thames

As first time buyers, we had our Conveyancing done with Darton Law and I couldn’t have wished for a better service. We were completely clueless about the process but Anne, James and Darren kept us informed throughout, and took all the stress out of the experience. Many people told me how the “legal” part of house buying was the worst bit, however I couldn’t disagree more, everything went through seamlessly and we exchanged and completed exactly when we wanted to. Thanks to everyone in the team! Will definitely use Darton again in the future.

Miss W, Chessington

Thank you to all the team at Darton Law – you gave me my life back.

Mrs R,Shepperton

The service was very approachable and friendly. I was kept informed at every stage of the proceedings. Very impressed with the professional service of the partnership which lead to a very satisfactory outcome.

Mr W, Stanwell

I was able to contact at any time and always given a response. I knew what happening with my case every step of the way. I was totally impressed with the whole service provided by Darren and his colleagues and he also took the time to explain things to my family. Myself and my family could not be happier – not a single bad thing to say.

Miss H, Uxbridge

It was made very easy for me to understand. I now understand the hard work and time which was put into preparing the defence for my case, it was brilliant.

Mr P, West Molesey

Outstanding I was very happy with the firm.

Mr F.