Separation and divorce solicitors

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Forward thinking divorce and separation solicitors

Divorce or separation is never easy at any stage of your life. You may well be worried about your future, particularly how you’ll cope financially. At such an emotional time it can be difficult to see the best way forward. That’s why many people find it helpful to consult an experienced divorce and separation lawyer.

Royds Withy King Family Department are highly recommended in the “The Times Best Law Firms” 2019 survey

Divorce and separation legal advice tailored to your situation

Sometimes obtaining a divorce can be fairly straightforward, however it is important to consider the implications and how these changes can impact on you and your loved ones. It may well affect your life in ways that you might not have anticipated. For instance, your personal status may change and this may affect previous entitlements. By taking our advice at an early stage you can be better prepared .This can help to protect you and your family and safeguard your future interests.

What will happen after you contact us?

There are two main ways to get in touch with our specialist divorce solicitors. When you contact us via email, we will immediately receive your enquiry. We can then quickly pass it onto the most qualified member of our team who will then contact you at a time that is convenient. We aim to respond to your emails within one working day.

Alternatively you call us directly via the number at the top of the page and speak to one of our highly qualified call handlers. They will talk to you about your situation and then pass on your details to a specialist solicitor. We can then arrange to speak to you and begin the advice process.

Our solicitors will carefully review your personal circumstances to make sure that they give you all the right advice. They might be able to help you achieve a fast and simple divorce. Or if your situation is a little more complicated, we can help to protect you and your interests during any court proceedings.

You are our number one priority throughout the process. We will support you to secure a settlement that prepares the way for your future well-being.

The Family Team's Credentials

What the team is known for: Highly experienced at taking on financial remedy cases. Focuses on settling issues through collaboration or mediation where possible, and through litigation if necessary. Active representing guardians in public law care proceedings. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “They are highly skilled and committed professionals who work incredibly hard and diligently for their clients.” “They provided an excellent service in a very straightforward and non-technical way.” Notable practitioners: Richard Ellis (Band 2) enjoys a strong reputation for his public children expertise, and is also skilled at taking on matrimonial finance cases. He is hailed by one commentator as “phenomenally good and a great advocate.” Sharon MacDonald (Band 3) frequently represents high net worth clients on alternative dispute resolution proceedings, such as mediation and collaborative law, associated with complicated finance matters. One client reports: “She was very thorough – all the paperwork was correct down to the minutest detail. She obtained a wonderful result for me.” Jon Toogood (Eminent Practitioner) handles matrimonial finance issues in the context of divorce cases, and is a skilled arbitrator and collaborative lawyer. One client praises his “excellent technical knowledge, very good commercial awareness and very good bedside manner.” Katherine Lauder is a Recognised Practitioner.” Chambers 2017 South West

“What the team is known for: Well-known team in the Oxford market, with substantial experience in divorce and financial remedy matters involving complex assets. Also advises on public law children cases, including those involving allegations of non-accidental injury. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients): “A really good outfit, and universally likeable.” Notable practitioners: Mark Phillips (Band 3) is experienced advising in divorce and financial remedy matters, especially those involving complex assets such as pensions and business interests. One source says of him: “He is very intellectually able, and has a pleasant, persuasive way about him.” Head of the Oxfordshire family team Simon Bassett (Band 3) is particularly active in matrimonial finance cases. One source reports: “I’ve been really impressed with his ability to think creatively around the financial cases, and to look for solutions that aren’t obvious.”” Chambers 2017 Oxford and Surrounds

“Royds Withy King is ‘one of Bath’s leading family law firms’ for collaborative law and mediation, and department head Richard Ellis has ‘a fantastic reputation’ in care proceedings. Also recommended are Sharon MacDonald and Jon Toogood, and newly promoted senior associates Katherine Lauder and Rebecca Stevens.” Legal 500 2016 South West

Simon Bassett is ‘a consistent high performer, particularly in matrimonial finance’. Legal 500 2016 South East

At a very difficult and stressful time, I was made to feel at ease with their knowledge, reassurance and friendly, proactive outlook. I would have easily been persuaded to continue an impossible and damaging situation if it had not been for their help, advice and constant support.
Royds Withy King - family team


Many couples want to consider their options before proceeding with a divorce. If you do decide to separate, rather than go down the divorce route right away, often couples draw up a document to record any agreement regarding financial matters, children and plans to divorce or not, this is known as a deed of separation, or a separation agreement. We would always recommend obtaining advice before signing such document, as it is likely that it will be relied upon if a divorce takes place at a later stage.

A judicial separation does not end a marriage. It is rare for couples to take this step; however, not all couples wish to end their marriage or civil partnership right away. There may be exceptional circumstances, such as religious, cultural or personal reasons that you may not wish to obtain a divorce.
Judicial separation is a formal marital separation; therefore, marital obligations come to an end. A judicial separation has three main effects;

  • You no longer have a duty to cohabit (although realistically speaking, one spouse cannot legally compel the other to live with them)
  • The Court can make certain financial orders
  • If one party dies intestate, their property devolves as if the other party to the marriage had died. Therefore, the surviving party will not benefit. A will remains unaffected, unlike the position on divorce.

One of our specialist solicitors can advise on your specific circumstances and the implications of a judicial separation.

You have to be able to show the court that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that either one, or both of you, feels that you cannot remain married to each other. Either of you can apply to the court in England and Wales for the marriage to be dissolved, if you have been married for at least one year and that one of you has been a resident here for the year before your application is made. The application sent to the court is called a Petition. You need to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down by one of the five following facts: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years separation by consent, desertion, five years separation.

Contact us for a free, no obligation chat and we can begin the process and start to help you today.