News & Events
Why Legal Separation is Less Stressful Than Divorce?
If you and your legal partner wish to go your own ways, then separation is a more straightforward and less stressful path than divorce can be.
Divorce can be particularly difficult if – for instance – adultery needs to be demonstrated. Many couples recognise their time together is at an end without that kind of drama and pain.
Legal separation applies to civil partnerships as well as marriages. And it can be used as a way for a couple to take time and discover if they really do want to proceed with ending their marriage or civil partnership. It may be that time apart is needed to make that decision for sure.
What makes a legal separation distinct and different from a divorce or ending a civil partnership? The key is that there is no necessity to show the relationship is broken down irretrievably, past the point of no return. And there can be other reasons for a legal separation:
- When a partner objects to divorce on religious grounds.
- When the marriage or civil partnership has lasted less than a year.
If those do not apply, the grounds for separation need to match the requirements for divorce or ending a civil partnership. In this context they are described as ‘facts’, and one (or more) fact is sufficient grounds for separation to be legally granted:
- Being sexually unfaithful.
- Unreasonable behaviour, which could include physical or mental cruelty, verbal or bodily violence, and financial irresponsibility.
- Desertion: one partner has left for two or more years. (You could have lived together for up to six months during the time, but that time together would not count towards the two-year minimum.)
- If you have lived separate lives for at least two years, not living or sleeping together in the same home, then a letter signed by the other partner will allow legal separation.
- If separate lives has already been the case for five or more years, then your partner’s consent – by letter or otherwise – is not necessary.
The government form designed for a situation like this is called a D8. It is 16 pages long. 3 copies need to be sent to the relevant Regional Divorce Centre, and the sender will also need one for themselves.
To accompany the completed D8, a certified copy of the marriage or civil partnership certificate is required. A fee of £365 is payable for the process of legal separation. Assistance may be available towards that total which is covered in the section on Support With Fees.
Fixed Fee Divorce & Family Services
Please see below a range of fixed price services, including fixed fee divorce, which are aimed at providing cost effective solutions to your Family Law situation.
01159 704 180
We aim to keep costs to a minimum, and wherever possible reduce the emotional and financial strain our clients feel on separation.
All our Fixed Fee Divorce and Fixed Fee Children’s Services are detailed below:
Half an hour consultation advice
Half an hour consultation advice and advice confirmation letter
One hour consultation advice
One hour consultation advice and advice confirmation letter
Level One – Petitioner Uncontested Divorce
First half hour face-to-face appointment with Solicitor. Whole Divorce, to include completion of Forms, issuing Petition and obtaining Decree Nisi and ultimately Decree Absolute. Only with full co-operation of spouse. (Does not include finances or children advice and unforeseen costs such as translation of marriage certificate, tracing of spouse, service of papers on spouse).
|£500 + Court Fees|
Level Two – Respondent Uncontested Divorce
First half hour face-to-face appointment with specialist Solicitor who will assist you in completing the acknowledgment of service and will provide information in relation to the divorce generally. (Does not include any children or finances advice).
Financial Matters in Divorce
First half hour face-to-face appointment with Solicitor. Drafting a Consent Order – no assets. We will not be involved in any negotiations or giving any advice about the agreement reached, as to whether it is fair or appropriate. We will draft the documentation in accordance with your instructions and provide this with information to enable you to proceed and lodge this at Court. Will include assisting to complete Statement of Information form.
First half hour face-to-face appointment with Solicitor. Drafting a Consent Order following agreement reached via Mediation or otherwise. Assisting with completion of statement of information. We will not be involved in any negotiations or giving any advice about the agreement reached as to whether it is fair or appropriate. We will draft the documentation in accordance with your instructions and provide this to you with information to enable you to proceed and lodge this at Court.
Level One – Applicant in Children Proceedings
Up to one hour assisting and completing application forms with Specialist Lawyer and information provided. (Not including lodging at court or any further advice thereafter).
Change of Name Deed
Parental Responsibility Agreement
Preparation of Statutory Declaration or Officially required letter
We aim to provide the best possible service to meet your individual needs.
If you can’t find a fixed fee for your particular enquiry please call us on 01159 704 180 or contact Sanctuary Law online.
NB At each interview our fixed fee terms are provided.
Financing Divorce Proceedings
At Sanctuary Law, we want to simplify the costs surrounding divorce and civil partnership dissolution.
Court Fees for Divorce Proceedings
Court fees, which the Petitioner – the person filing for divorce – pays are fixed in England and Wales. These amount to:
- Court fee for filing your divorce or dissolution – £410.
- Court fee for filing for a judicial separation if you do not want to formerly end your marriage or civil partnership for personal or religious reasons – £365.
- Application for a consent order recording your agreed financial arrangements and making them legally binding – £50.
- Application for a financial order asking the courts to decide how to divide your finances and other assets when you have been unable to reach an agreement – £255.
Different fees apply in Northern Ireland and Scotland.
If you are claiming certain benefits or if your income and savings are below a particular amount you may be eligible for help paying your court fees. Detailed information about this is available on the Ministry of Justice website.
Sanctuary Law Divorce Payment Options
In terms of solicitor’s fees, Sanctuary Law offers a range of payment options so that you can select the right solution for you. There is a tailored service for private paying clients – ideal for more complex cases – while our fixed fee service offers a range of service levels so that you can pick one that suits your situation and budget with prices starting from £125.
Sanctuary Law – Designed Legal Services for Family Law and Divorce
Our Family Law and Divorce Solicitors / Case Workers will meet you for an initial face to face appointment and discuss your concerns and individual needs. We can then agree a list of actions with a framework for costs to give you confident that your case is being dealt with at an appropriate level in a professional and timely manner.
We will act on your behalf throughout the whole of your matter, either by correspondence with a third party, or Court Proceedings. You may contact your Solicitor / Case Worker directly by email and telephone, if a face to face appointment is not convenient for you.
Legal Aid for Family and Divorce Services
At Sanctuary Law Solicitors, we understand that divorce is not only a difficult time emotionally, but can also be a financial challenge. Whilst we are not funded by Legal Aid, we will sign post you to other Law Firms that can support you with financial assistance should you prove to be eligible under the rules.
Fixed Fee Terms
The work stipulated above does NOT include the following:
- Disbursements. These are any fees you have to pay out to any third parties, including, but not exhaustive – translation of documents, process server fees, Oath fees, Expert fees, valuation fees, or tracing fees etc.
- Time spent in examination of documentation (prior to any court appointment, for example) (if level 5 Court appointment, this will only cover the original court application C100, and the Court Order). This does not cover perusal of documentation and an additional charge may have to be agreed prior to work being carried out.
- Drafting documentation unless expressly stated in the relevant level.
- Lodging documentation either at Court or with other Solicitors unless expressly stated in the relevant level.
- Correspondence/telephone calls/emails either between Sanctuary Law / fee earner and yourself, or Sanctuary Law / fee earner and third parties.
- Receipt of documentation/correspondence on your behalf.
If any examination or perusal, correspondence, drafting, advice, representation or advocacy is requested other than that provided for in the fixed fee levels, then this will fall under our Designed Service and will be subject to a separate invoice.
Please note that all fees are payable in advance of the work being undertaken.
In the event of inconsistencies between the Fixed Fee Additional Terms as set out above, the Engagement Letter and the Sanctuary Law Solicitors Terms and Conditions of Business then the documents shall take precedence in the following order:
- Fixed Fee Additional Terms
- Engagement Letter
- Sanctuary Law Solicitors Terms and Conditions of Business