Divorce and Separation

It is important you make an informed decision as to whether the step of instigating divorce or dissolution proceedings, or a permanent separation, is right for you. We can help guide you through each stage and support you every step of the way.

Our wealth of experience tells us that it is best to resolve matters in as constructive a way as is possible for the benefit of you and your wider family, especially any children. We encourage the use of mediation and the collaborative approach. We follow the Resolution Code of Practice. We focus on practical, cost-effective solutions.

Together we consider which option and route is best for you. We can signpost you to further support and other relevant third parties, such as family consultants and independent financial advisers.


Here are some of the different ways family financial matters can arise:

  • Upon the breakdown of a cohabiting relationship outside of marriage or a civil partnership;
  • On divorce;
  • On the dissolution of a civil partnership;
  • On a judicial separation;
  • Where a parent claims from the other parent to meet the needs of the child, or where a child makes a direct claim against a parent.

The way financial matters and claims are dealt with depends on your relationship status. Early advice is recommended so do please talk to us to ensure you protect your position.

All financial assets will usually be looked at, including your property, your income, your pensions and so on. We can talk you through the information that needs to be provided.


The welfare of your child or children is paramount. We know dealing with any children disputes can be particularly hard and emotionally challenging. We will support you every step of the way with pragmatic and sensitive advice.

We can advise on any such issues which might arise concerning your child or children as follows:

  • Agreeing parenting arrangements out of court by having a parenting plan;
  • Deciding how much time the children spend with each parent;
  • Applying to the court for the parenting arrangements to be determined, or responding to an application by the other parent;
  • Advising grandparents (and other family members) about what rights they have towards grandchildren;
  • Disputes over specific issues, for example the choice of school, holiday arrangements or whether the child should have a medical procedure;
  • Dealing with what happens if one parent wants to relocate to live abroad with the children after divorce or separation;
  • Child maintenance and other financial support for children.

Living Together

If you are considering living together as a couple it is important to consider the legal implications which may arise. You may be considering marriage or a civil partnership in the future. You may simply be wanting to test the water before making a formal commitment or you may have no intention of marrying or entering a civil partnership. Whatever your individual circumstances, early advice is essential to avoid unwittingly creating a legal consequence you never intended.

We can advise on cohabitation agreements and pre-nuptial agreements, as well as other options to set out your intentions.

Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial Agreements

A pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement is worth considering before or even after marriage or a civil partnership to have as much autonomy as possible over what would happen to your assets if you divorced later. We can prepare these agreements and advise you on them to help you decide if this is the right approach for you.

Your Options

There is an ever-evolving sophisticated suite of options available to couples who are separating or divorcing. We can help you choose which is the most appropriate process for you to resolve your family dispute.

There are probably more than you realised! Here are some of them:

  • Family Mediation – here is a leaflet about our Family Mediation service;
  • Collaborative process – here is a leaflet about our Collaborative process offering;
  • Family law arbitration;
  • Children arbitration;
  • Solicitor-led negotiations;
  • Court proceedings;
  • Early neutral evaluation.

At Godwins Solicitors LLP we are family oriented and sensitive to the practicalities of ending a relationship (and possibly beginning a new one) in difficult circumstances. From sorting out finances and property matters to issues concerning children; from civil partnerships to constructive negotiations, we can help. Just call us.

People: Sarah French (Head of Department)

See Also: Family Mediation, Wills, Residential Conveyancing.

To make further enquiries call the team on 01962 841484.