The legal
process —
what we do.

From decree nisi to decree absolute,
we help you get a fair deal.

There are two parts to a divorce: The financial settlement and, when there are children, the children’s arrangements. These are dealt with separately by the courts.

In both cases, finalising arrangements by mediation is always available to both parties and is our recommended path.

Further, the courts prefer that all child related issues are resolved in private mediation because it is believed this will deliver the best result for the children’s welfare and provide a lasting solution.

We will first outline the court financial settlement process, including our role at each stage. This encompasses many of the processes needed for divorce in general including some of the children’s matters. We will then do the same for the children’s court process.

Divorce is an emotionally turbulent time. We will also help you deal with the swings and roundabouts so you can avoid saying or doing anything in the heat of the moment that might sabotage the right outcome.

Divorce Petition/Decree Nisi

This is a straightforward administrative process that begins the divorce.

Our role:
It’s a simple matter to file these forms with the court. You can do this yourself with our guidance or it can be done by low level solicitors.

Devise your game plan:

Whether you’re the one filing for divorce or you have received a divorce petition, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed. You’ll need to devise a game plan. If you act quickly and strategically you can increase the chances of a fair and fast resolution.

Our role:
We’ll help you come up with the best strategy to resolve matters at this early stage, or at the very least ensure a fair outcome as quickly and for as little cost as possible. As well as the areas described below, from now on, we’ll act as a sounding board and project manage your divorce, to take as much stress off your shoulders as possible. This will allow you to make critical decisions with a clear head.

Choose your legal team:

The right legal team is imperative for a successful outcome but there are good and bad players in the profession and it’s often hard to know who to trust. The legal profession as a whole is something of a members’ club, one that’s not always welcoming to outsiders.

Our role:
We’ll help you find the right solicitor and a barrister who is smart, completely believes in you and is prepared to fight to the end. We’ll steer clear of actions that lead to unnecessary costs, take on the work we are best equipped to do and keep a tight rein on the instructions the solicitors and barristers are provided. We’ll avoid the endless costly letter exchanges that often end up doing more harm than good and can provide cross examination material for the other side.

Financial disclosure:

Both parties will be required to undertake a full financial disclosure of all assets and liabilities and provide living budgets for themselves and their children. Both also need to provide a summary of their financial position before and during the marriage, including any historic documentation required.

Our role:
Financials are a clear strength of ours, and we take a hands-on role in leading this work, ensuring it is completed quickly and efficiently with full, frank and transparent disclosure. We explain this requirement fully here (link to financial disclosure section), including how to ensure everyone discloses correctly, overcoming difficult disclosure issues like complex trust structures, taxes and the possibility one party is attempting to hide assets.

Interim arrangements:

During the early stages of the court process, interim maintenance needs to be agreed. This is to ensure that each party has the necessary funding to live, look after children and pay legal costs prior to final settlement.

Our role:
First, we work to get an agreement between the parties and avoid a costly court battle. Using our accounting and finance skills we calculate the financing requirements for each party and then mediate interim financing. If a court process is required, we will gather the appropriate and compelling supporting evidence you need at this stage to prove your interim needs.

FDR:

The FDR is a requirement set by court and the last formal opportunity for a financial resolution before trial. Here, offers between respective parties are made before a judge. A judge cannot make a final ruling at the FDR, but they will give you an indication of how the final hearing judge might rule. With this indication you can make an informed offer. This stage is where the vast majority of divorces settle without the need for a final hearing.

Our role:
We’ll put our skills and experience as negotiators to work on your behalf, going through both parties’ financial disclosure and budgets and recommending offers you can table to see if we can achieve a settlement. We’ll present the appropriate and compelling supporting evidence you need at this stage to prove your offer is fair and reasonable.

Prepare for trial:

We’re now preparing for the final trial where the sitting judge will decide on the fair and reasonable financial split. This is the time to make an open offer, present your arguments and finalise witness statements including yours; gather expert and any other evidence, financial or otherwise, to support your view of a fair financial split.

Our role:
Our entrepreneurial instincts and business acumen will identify your sound and honest justifications and present the evidence to support them. Summarising your argument and the cross examination of the other party is the barrister’s job. We continue to voice our views but at the same time we concentrate on the evidence.

Our main job at this stage is to ensure all evidence required is fully researched, analysed and documented including the financial analysis. This is where our entrepreneurial, commercial experience and technical backgrounds really come to the fore. We are analytical and used to thinking outside the box, which means you will have the right evidence to support your case.

The end result? A rock-solid argument with all supporting evidence laid out logically and transparently.

Trial:

This is where you will be cross-examined, and your barrister will argue on your behalf in front of the judge and cross examine your ex-partner. Being cross-examined is stressful and emotionally very difficult. You’ll need to be prepared, both factually and mentally, if you’re going to perform at your best and convince the judge of your position.

Our role:
This is where the rubber hits the road. We’ll help you prepare thoroughly for cross examination with appropriate analysis and review. Mental strength comes from being fully prepared and confident in what you need to say. We’ll get you there.

Decree Absolute:

This is a straightforward administrative process that officially ends the marriage.

Our Role:
It is a simple matter to undertake the necessary paperwork to file these forms with the court. This can be done by yourself with our guidance or by low level solicitors.

Devise your game plan:

The divorce is underway, and you are concurrently dealing with both the children’s arrangements and the financial settlement. If you act quickly and strategically you may have a chance to resolve both matters quickly.

Our role:
We’ll help you come up with the best strategy to resolve the children’s arrangements at this early stage, or at the very least ensure a fair outcome without unnecessary cost and time. Resolving children’s matters is very emotional and it’s important to get the best outcome for the children as quickly and sensitively as you can. If you act strategically and don’t delay, there may be a chance to resolve both matters sooner rather than later and avoid unnecessary suffering for your children. As well as the areas described below, from now on, we’ll act as a sounding board and project manage your divorce, to take as much stress off your shoulders as possible. This will allow you to make critical decisions with a clear head.

Pick your legal team:

Together we will have already carefully selected the right legal team for the financial process. It is likely the solicitor will remain unchanged, however not all barristers deal with both financial and children matters or are equally skilled at both.

Our role:
As with selecting the team for your financial settlement we ensure you hire an experienced barrister who will fight to the end to protect your children’s wellbeing.

MIAM:

Before proceeding with the court process the court requires that you have considered a mediated solution seriously. The MIAM process ensures you have exhausted this possibility.

Our role:
We assist through this process and determine if there is a realistic opportunity to solve the children’s matters through mediation. Settlement through mediation is one of our core strengths and we leave no stone unturned to resolve matters quickly, efficiently and with the best possible outcome for the children. We will help with your argument, witness statements and prepare the evidence required at this stage to support your argument.

Court application:

This is the formal process to communicate to the court that you wish the courts to rule on the children matters.

Our role:
It is a simple matter to undertake the necessary paperwork to file these forms with the court. This can be done by yourself with our guidance, or by low level solicitors.

DRA:

The DRA is the last formal opportunity for a resolution before trial. This is a requirement set by the court with the hopes that matters can be finalised here. Sitting before a judge, solutions between respective parties are made. A judge cannot make a final ruling at the DRA however, he or she will indicate how the final hearing judge might rule. This lets you make an informed decision.

Our role:
We’ll put our skills and experience as negotiators to work on your behalf and see if we can achieve an outcome that is optimal for the children. We will prepare the appropriate and compelling supporting evidence you need at this stage to prove why your proposed solution is in the best interests of the children. At the same time, we will work through both parties’ proposals and see if any common ground can be found.

Prepare for trial:

We’re now preparing for the final trial where the sitting judge will decide what the best solution for the children is. This is the time to finalise your arguments, finish gathering witness statements, expert evidence and anything else that can support your view.

Our role:
Our background and sense of fair play will identify your sound and honest justifications and prepare and present the evidence to support them. Writing your argument and the cross examination of the other party is the barrister’s job. We continue to voice our views while focusing on the evidence.

Our main job at this stage is to ensure the right evidence is fully researched, analysed and documented. This is where our core strengths come to the fore.

The end result? A rock-solid argument with all supporting evidence laid out logically and transparently.

Trial:

This is where you will be cross-examined, and your barrister will argue on your behalf in front of the judge and cross examine your ex-partner. Being cross-examined is stressful and emotionally very difficult. You’ll need to be prepared, both factually and mentally, if you’re going to perform at your best and convince the judge of your solution.

Our role:
This is where the rubber hits the road. We’ll help you prepare thoroughly for cross examination with appropriate analysis and review. Mental strength comes from being fully prepared and confident in what you need to say. We’ll help get you there.

The emotional
process —

Staying sane during the most
stressful time of your life.

Litigation is not designed to be pleasant. Divorce litigation is even more difficult as it is also ending a relationship and potentially involves contentious children issues. It’s a hard road and it takes enormous mental strength and resilience to reach the end with your sanity intact. Staying sharp and on the ball is the key to making sensible decisions at each critical juncture.

Throughout the divorce process, it’s essential to stay calm and focused, even when you feel like you are being stretched to your emotional limits (and you will!). A poor state of mind can lead to knee jerk reactions, lashing out and disastrous cross examination. This will diminish your chances of a positive outcome.

Our role:
We’ll help you stay strong and positive. While we are passionate about righting injustices, we are equally dedicated to your emotional well-being during this difficult process. We’ve been there, we understand and we’ll work with you through your darkest times to get the right result. If you feel you could use professional help dealing with the emotional process, we are very happy to make recommendations.

GET IN TOUCH

The emotional
process —

Staying sane during the most
stressful time of your life.

Litigation is not designed to be pleasant. Divorce litigation is even more difficult as it is also ending a relationship and potentially involves contentious children issues. It’s a hard road and it takes enormous mental strength and resilience to reach the end with your sanity intact. Staying sharp and on the ball is the key to making sensible decisions at each critical juncture.

Throughout the divorce process, it’s essential to stay calm and focused, even when you feel like you are being stretched to your emotional limits (and you will!). A poor state of mind can lead to knee jerk reactions, lashing out and disastrous cross examination. This will diminish your chances of a positive outcome.

Our role:
We’ll help you stay strong and positive. While we are passionate about righting injustices, we are equally dedicated to your emotional well-being during this difficult process. We’ve been there, we understand and we’ll work with you through your darkest times to get the right result.

GET IN TOUCH