Divorce and Family Law Solicitors Leeds
The Best Divorce & Family Solicitors in Leeds Near You
We have received over 2000 5-star client reviews for our quality law service. Our experienced family lawyers are client-focused and aim to give you the support you need through this difficult time in your life.
If you are experiencing a family breakdown, there can be many different competing emotions at play. Whether you are going through a divorce or ending a civil partnership, this often doesn’t just affect you and your partner, but also your children and wider family.
This is why many people find comfort in receiving support from an expert family law solicitor to alleviate some of the stress that comes with the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership.
Working for clients from our Leeds office and using technology to act for clients all over the country we can discuss your situation and provide advice on the divorce process, complex financial situations and advise on the arrangements for your children.
How can we help with your family dispute?
Our Legal 500 profiled family lawyers are operating at the highest level to give you the most pragmatic and cost-effective legal advice.
What is a no-fault divorce?
A no-fault divorce allows a married couple to divorce without apportioning blame for the breakdown of the relationship.
This new divorce law came into effect on 6th April 2022. It does not require you to give a reason for your divorce application. Instead, you only need to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.
How has this changed the law on divorce?
Before no-fault divorce law came into effect, you had to cite one of the following reasons in your divorce application:
- Unreasonable behavior
- Two-year separation with consent
- Five-year separation without consent
Under the old laws, you had to apportion blame to get a divorce or wait two years to divorce without giving one of the above reasons.
No-fault divorce means you do not have to wait, or apportion blame, and it is more difficult for your ex-partner to contest.
Is the new no-fault divorce process quicker?
The new law is simpler, but not necessarily quicker as there is a built in 20 week “cooling off“ period. Early legal advice will allow you to assess the right time to make the application for divorce.
Do both parties have to agree to a no-fault divorce?
A no-fault divorce does not require both parties to agree.
You can make the divorce application on your own and your spouse has 14 days to respond to the petition. However, they cannot contest the divorce except for certain legal reasons.
You can also make a joint no-fault divorce application if you mutually agree.
What are the grounds for divorce in the UK?
There is only one legal ground for divorce in the UK - irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.
“Irretrievable breakdown” means that the marriage has broken down permanently, and there is no hope of fixing it.
No-fault divorce law only requires you to complete and submit a statement of irretrievable breakdown to start the divorce process.
You do not need to provide further proof or facts around the separation or how your spouse may be to blame.
You can give the statement of irretrievable breakdown jointly or alone. If you do it independently, your spouse cannot contest unless they are objecting to:
- The validity of your marriage
- The court’s jurisdiction
For you to apply for divorce on the grounds of irretrievable breakdown, the following must all be true:
- Your marriage is more than 12 months old
- Your relationship is broken down permanently
- The UK legally recognises your marriage, including same sex marriages
What are the financial consequences of divorce?
What financial settlement you are entitled to in a divorce depends on the individual circumstances of your case.
The law around financial settlements on divorce can be complex, to assess. The best way to ensure you achieve a fair result is to ensure you take specialist legal advice early. Our family law team will help you by advising you how you find out what assets and income there are, and what you can expect from a settlement.
Are all of the family assets shared on a divorce?
This can depend on where the assets have come from. The court can separate out matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets. Matrimonial assets are assets such as pensions, properties, investments, businesses, or savings which you have built up together during your relationship. Non-matrimonial assets can include an inheritance, or assets brought to the relationship. These can also be taken into account, and can be shared, depending on your circumstances.
The court wants to ensure all of your financial needs are met, as far as possible, and particularly that the needs of children are provided for.
The courts consider a range of factors when deciding what you are entitled to, including:
- The needs of the you, your spouse and your dependent children
- Your standard of living during the marriage
- The current income of each party and your potential earning capacity
- The duration of the marriage
Our team can help you assess what income and assets there are. They can then advise how your needs can be met, and what a fair share of the assets is.
Read our guide on Divorce Splitting Assets
Is there a formula for assessing my financial settlement?
There is no formula for this. Each case is considered on its own individual circumstances. Whether your assets are modest, or you are someone of high net worth our family law team have the expertise and experience to advise you and help you navigate a settlement.
Do I have to go to court to get a financial settlement on divorce?
Most clients who we advise do not need to go to court. Our aim is to assist you to negotiate a fair settlement. Sometimes the court process is needed to achieve this, either to get the financial information needed for you to assess your position, or to get a fair outcome. We can represent you in court proceedings where this is the right thing for you.
What if I have agreed a settlement deal?
If you want us to, our expert family lawyers can advise you if the deal you have agreed is fair. We can also draft the legal documents to enable you to get a binding court order.
Can I agree whatever financial settlement I want?
You can, although our team can assist you to understand if this is the right deal for you. You will only be able to get a court order if the court considers the deal, you have agreed is fair.
Should I use solicitors for my divorce?
You do not need to use a solicitor for your divorce, however, there are many reasons why it is advised that you use a solicitor to handle your divorce, especially if your financial situation is more complicated.
Our divorce lawyers will explain the divorce procedure in a way that you can understand because they know how family law works and have experience dealing with a wide variety of cases.
A top divorce solicitor will help you assess the impact of the divorce and make key critical decisions during the process, as well as giving you the peace of mind that the legal procedures are being followed correctly.
A solicitor can advise on alternative dispute resolutions and help you agree on a practical solution for you and your family. This may involve avoiding having to go to court which can be time-consuming and stressful.
Your dedicated solicitor can handle finances and asset protection matters while you focus on moving on without worrying about paperwork or deadlines.
What is alternative dispute resolution?
There are a number of ways in which our team can assist you with settling your financial claims without going to Court, wherever you are based in the country. We can assist you to settle financial claims, or your child arrangements through round-table meetings, through arbitration or private dispute resolution hearings.
What if I cannot agree arrangements for my children?
Family solicitors can be vital, especially where children are involved. We have years of experience with the family court and can give you specialist advice on child arrangements and help you get the right child arrangements order. We can help you assess your and your children’s short and long-term needs and we can represent you in court if this is needed.
Can you act for me if I cannot come to your office?
Our family solicitors in Leeds can assist you with your divorce, financial claims and child arrangements wherever you are based, as long as your divorce can be dealt with by the court in England and Wales. Our team act for a range of clients living all over the country and we can travel to see you when required, and can undertake work by email and virtual appointments to suit you.
We also have a network of specialist valuers, accountants and barristers who we work with all over the country who can assist with your financial settlement or court proceedings where needed.
How can our family law solicitors help you?
Family law by nature is a very personal matter and everyone’s individual situation is unique.
As top divorce lawyers, our primary focus is building a trusting relationship with you so that you get the best possible outcome.
We do this through clear communication, specialist guidance, and in-depth knowledge of family law matters.
At Winston Solicitors, we understand that family is everything and when you are looking for solutions, you put the trust and confidence in us to deliver.
We will ensure that our compassionate lawyers are there to guide you through the whole divorce process from start to finish, as we appreciate that the legal process can be daunting.
Are your solicitors just for high net worth individuals?
No – we act for all families. While we can deal with complex cases involving business assets, trusts, family farms, pensions and overseas assets, we also act for many clients whose financial situations are more straightforward, enabling them to get the right financial outcome. Every client is equally as important to us and we operate at the highest level to ensure you get the right advice, at the right time.
Our family law team includes a range of lawyers so your costs can be managed at the right level for you.
Do you offer initial divorce lawyer consultations?
Yes we do. We offer a reduced fee for our initial divorce consultation (£180 including VAT for the first hour).
How much will my divorce and financial settlement cost?
We will work with you to agree a budget for your divorce and financial settlement. Each situation is different so there is no fixed fee for this. We do offer a reduced fee for our initial advice divorce lawyer consultation (£180 including VAT for the first hour).
Appoint a top family law solicitors in West Yorkshire
At Winston Solicitors, we know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to family law.
By appointing us, you will receive a professional yet sensitive service that will be molded to your personal needs.
We can assist with the following areas of family law:
Protecting your financial position
When you get married, in most cases your financial assets become open to a legal claim by your spouse.
Some divorces can involve complex assets both shared and individually owned. Our experience tells us that instructing a solicitor for such cases is vital, especially for high-net-worth individuals.
We are accustomed to dealing with complicated finance matters during divorce proceedings. Our vast amount of family law knowledge and experience shows that we can confidently represent you no matter how difficult the case.
I am getting married; should I have a pre-nuptial agreement?
This depends on your financial circumstances, but it is a key issue to consider especially if you:
- Have significantly more assets than your spouse
- Are marrying for a second time and want to protect the rights of your existing children
- Have a business and want to protect this
I am married, is it too late to think about a pre-nuptial agreement?
While you cannot have a pre-nuptial agreement, you can have a post-nuptial agreement. This might be important if, for example, you:
- Are about to inherit
- Are taking on a stake in a family farm or other business
- You and your spouse are considering a separation
What our clients say about our family law service
We are proud to say that we have an impeccable reputation with our family law clients. We know this because they have kindly given Winston Solicitors over 2000 5-star reviews.
Our clients say that:
- We are committed to resolving matters in a cost-effective way
- We have years of experience dealing with complex family matters
- We reduce the stress and anxiety that family issues can bring
At Winston Solicitors, we put our clients first, and providing a 5-star service is at the forefront of our every decision.
Our family law service provides:
- Tailored legal solutions to suit your needs as your case is sensitive
- A cost-effective service
- Late evening appointment openings so that we can fit around you
- On-site parking for ease of accessibility
- Wheelchair access
- An office space outside of the centre of Leeds
- City centre meeting rooms if more convenient
- Virtual on-line appointments
How to contact our best family law solicitors in Leeds
At Winston Solicitors, we understand that going through a divorce or dissolution is a stressful and life-changing experience. Every situation is different and so we aim to treat your individual case with the utmost sensitivity and compassion.
If you are considering a divorce and need advice about your personal situation, we are here to support and guide you through the process. Get in touch with us today. We are always happy to help you.
Alternatively, complete our contact form for further information on our family law services and we will get in touch with you.
We are based in Leeds, for more information on how you can get to us visit our contact page and look below the form.
Choose a Private Law Team for Expertise, Quality and Service
A great family lawyer looks at the person first, advises on their needs, and seeks solutions that they find workable. You can find a good divorce lawyer by looking at client reviews to see whether other people received a good service from them.
Also, a good divorce lawyer will provide information on their website about how they can help you and what they can offer as part of their service.
Having a recommended divorce lawyer that has a lot of experience with a multitude of cases will usually mean that they are able to best advise you.
A consent order in family law is a legal document that states that a couple agrees on how their assets and income will be divided in a divorce or separation. A consent order can also include details regarding child maintenance too.
When you get a divorce or separate, part of the process is coming to an arrangement on how your assets will be distributed. In some cases, it may not be possible to come to an agreement perhaps because the separation is not amicable, or you have competing interests.
In some situations, couples are able to agree on how their assets should be divided between them.
Assets refer to money, savings, property, investments, pensions and other items of value.
Where couples can agree, a consent order makes the agreement legally binding so that neither party can contest it later down the line.
You should have a solicitor to draft a consent order to ensure that it does what you want it to and is legally binding.
Family law in the UK is the law surrounding family issues such as divorce, children and financial settlements.
Family law areas can include divorce, dissolution, separation, child arrangements (what was called child custody), dealing with financial family disputes, adoption, distribution of assets, domestic violence and contact with your children.
Family law does include divorce along with other areas such as child arrangements and financial distribution of assets.
Deciding what happens with the children in a divorce is called the child arrangements.
These can either be decided between the parents perhaps individually or through mediation.
If the parents cannot agree on the child arrangements, the court may have to intervene. If the court decides on the child arrangements including where the child will live, it will consider the age of the children, their needs, and preferences where they are old enough.
It will look at how their needs can be met educationally, financially, and emotionally, along with other factors. The court will make arrangements that are in the best interests of the children.
Yes. A no-fault divorce does not require you to provide any reason for a divorce. You only need to confirm the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. You do not need to lay any blame on your partner before applying, and your spouse has little room to contest it.
If you have decided that you want to end your marriage or civil partnership, it is a good idea to seek legal advice before doing so, so that you know where you stand and you understand the process. You can get a divorce or dissolution (for civil partnerships) after you have been married or in a civil partnership for 1 year.
Before making your divorce application, you must choose whether to do it on your own or apply jointly with your spouse.
You can apply alone in either of the following situations:
- Your spouse disagrees that you should divorce
- You think your spouse will not cooperate or respond to the court’s notifications
At each stage, you must confirm your intention to continue with the process.
To jointly apply for a divorce with your spouse, both of these conditions must apply:
- Both of you agree that you need a divorce
- You are not at risk of domestic violence
You can apply by post or online. At every stage of the divorce process, both of you must separately confirm your willingness to proceed with the application. If your spouse stops responding, you can continue with the application as an individual applicant.