Family Law Services

Separation and Divorce Process

The breakdown of any relationship is always a very emotional and upsetting time and often a time for great confusion, uncertainty and fear of the future.

We all travel upon the same emotional road when a relationship breaks down but everyone is different and has individual problems to resolve. There are many practical and legal issues to deal with and it is reassuring to know that the person guiding and advising you has huge experience, and has successfully helped many clients through separation and divorce over many years.

You will find us discreet and sensitive to all the issues you are facing during the separation and divorce process. We will support you throughout a difficult time with practical and clear advice. Our commitment is to achieve the very best outcome for you and your children and to restore your confidence in facing the future.

If you believe that your relationship has broken down beyond repair you may wish to consider starting divorce proceedings or judicial separation proceedings. For same-sex couples you may wish to consider dissolving your civil partnership. It is usually beneficial to talk to us at an early stage because we very often help clients make a decision about whether or when to separate or divorce.

We have years of experience in negotiating, in mediating and also robustly dealing with other professionals during the adversarial court process if that is necessary. Many of our clients express great satisfaction with the outcomes which we achieve for them.

Ending the Marriage 

Upon divorce there are 5 facts which you can rely on to Petition for a divorce as follows :

  1.  Unreasonable behaviour
  2.  Two years` separation providing your Civil Partner consents to the dissolution
  3.  Five years` separation, without your Civil Partner`s consent
  4.  Desertion, for a period of two years or more.
  5.  Adultery

The Stages of Divorce

  1. You should first agree the grounds with your Spouse and agree who is to Petition. There is a court fee payable and it is sensible to agree the path forward so that there are no surprises to either party and there is an agreement upon who Petitions, upon what grounds, and who pays the costs.
  2. Once the above has been done the Court will issue the Petition and the respondent shall then be served with the Petition and a document called an Acknowledgment of Service. They must complete this document within 7 days of receipt and return it to the Court.
  3.  It is important that you obtain independent legal advice before returning the acknowledgment of service. Once the acknowledgment of service is complete then you can apply for a Decree Nisi which is a document approved by the District Judge approving the grounds for the divorce and that there is no reason why your marriage cannot be dissolved.
  4. The final stage of the divorce is applying for a final order which shall formally end your marriage. Again, it is sensible to take independent legal advice prior to doing this especially if you have financial matters to resolve between you and your spouse.


We provide fixed fees whether you are the Petitioner or whether you are the Respondent.

Our fixed fee if you are the Petitioner is £595 + Vat.

Included within that fixed fee is :

  • An Initial consultation
  • All correspondence
  • Preparing the dissolution paperwork for the court
  • Receiving the Acknowledgement of Service
  • Preparing the application for a Decree Nisi and filing that with the Court.
  • Applying for a Decree Absolute
  • There is also a Court fee payable of £593

If you require initial advice on financial or children matters then we can also provide advice however this would fall outside of the fixed fee.

If you are the respondent then we can also offer you a fixed fee and because there is less work then we charge fixed fees from £295 + Vat for the same.

Included within that fixed fee is :

  • An Initial consultation
  • Advising you and completing the Acknowledgement of Service
  • Receiving confirmation of the date of the Decree Nisi 
  • Receiving the Decree Nisi and then sending it to you with our advice
  • Receiving the Decree Absolite and then sending it to you with our advice.

What is not included in the fee?

1.   Any replacement costs for lost civil partnership certificates / licenses.

2.   Any translation of any documents required (if applicable)

3.   Any advice relating to financial matters or children matters

4.   Any particular complexities, for example in the event of a defended matter or one that is protracted or considerably delayed due to one of the parties. If this does occur then we would liaise with you and agree a way forward and advise on any specific costs that would become due.

Our family team includes members of the Family Accreditation scheme and Resolution and all team members undertake robust professional development on a continuing basis.

If you would like us to assist you please contact us to arrange an appointment or just telephone us to arrange a free no obligation telephone consultation regarding the best way forward to suit your particular circumstances.

What our clients say

Don't take our word for it...

Quality of service from Laker Legal in regard to selling our house was excellent, they were very friendly and worked very effectively.
Thank you!

Mrs C, King Hill, Kent.

“A devastating event brought us to call on Laker Legal. We were put in touch with Mr John Hirst, and from the first Moment we spoke to him we knew everything was going to be ok. Mr John Hirst, was always on the end of the Phone or Email, Kept in touch with us 100% of the time, and the support we received took so much pain off our family. All i can say is Thank you so much for everything you did for us."

Ms P - Maidstone

“I am very pleased with Laker Legal firm, my Solicitor John Hirst, was extremely helpful throughout the drawing of my prenuptial agreement. A very professional and knowledgeable approach yet warm, and friendly enough to feel comfortable with in a situation that can be quite uncanny to discuss or uneasy as per say. Thankyou again!

Mrs V – London

Thank you so much Richard, you have been so kind and patient with me when I have been at about the lowest point of my life after losing my wife, I can never thank you enough. I will also let my family know my wishes that Laker Legal Solicitors deal with my estate when that time comes.

Mr Y, Addington, Kent.

A big ‘thank you’ Richard from Steve and myself. Your time and attention you gave to both of us was remarkable. I’ve had dealings with many solicitors over the years, but have never received this level of service as you gave.

Mrs R – West Malling, Kent

Jessica Blacow from Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster pulled out every stop truly amazing lady / firm nothing was to much trouble I honestly felt like they was my friends not just a firm that wanted your money but a solicitor firm that cared with compassion I will use Laker Legal Solicitors Lancaster for all my needs in the future.

Mr T, Lancaster

Stephen – Just to say a massive heartfelt THANK YOU for all your work and support , not only on the sale of our business but the opening too.
You’re truly one in a million, and we appreciate all you’ve done.

Ms G & Ms K – Wheatley, Oxfordshire

Thank you for all your help and support over the last 12 months. You and the team at Laker Legal have been fantastic.
Sarah was lovely and really supportive yesterday

Ms. W of Leyland

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