When you feel that your marriage may have broken down, do not rush into a decision that affects the rest of your life without talking to us so that you can make an informed decision on the way forward. The team here at Brendan Fleming will offer you initial 30-minute advice on a fixed fee basis of £60.00 when you have or are about to separate and you have difficult decisions to make. It is easy to focus on your partner’s behavior particularly if they have a new partner and it is easy to focus on “who is to blame” but bad behavior on the part of your ex is not likely to play a part in any financial settlement as the Court are not usually influenced by how the parties behave towards one another when it comes to sharing out money.
If your spouse is deliberately doing something to hide assets or his financial spending is extreme or exceptional this could be seen as deliberately doing something to avoid paying you a reasonable settlement and may have an impact on your case. The Court has powers to make orders to freeze accounts in exceptional circumstances and any party not disclosing any assets is particularly frowned upon. If you suspect that your spouse is disposing of capital or savings for instance then you can ask the Court on an urgent basis to secure the funds pending the outcome of your financial proceedings.
The team at Brendan Fleming will offer you a fixed fee to deal with your divorce once discussing with you that you have the grounds to satisfy the Court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage and assuming it is an uncontested divorce this will cost you a fixed fee of £495 plus VAT together with a payment to the Court in respect of their fee for filing the Petition which is £550. As the petitioning party you must pay these fees in the first instance and you would then seek an order that your ex pay a contribution towards these costs and seek an order if they do not agree. Remember that your Marriage Certificate is filed with the court with your Petition and will not be returned to you.
If you are in a position where you cannot agree what will happen with your home and other assets including pensions then you have the option to discuss these issues and provide full and frank disclosure of your assets to each other in Mediation. If Mediation is not successful and you are unable to come to any agreement then you do have the option to issue an application for financial provision where the Court will consider what will happen to your home. whether there should be a division of any other assets or investments, whether there should be a pension sharing order and whether maintenance for you or for you to pay maintenance to your spouse is appropriate, (in addition to child maintenance which is a separate matter) The likely cost of proceedings depends upon your individual financial situation and the extent of the assets involved in your case. You will be provided with an estimate of the likely costs before any proceedings are issued and in some circumstances again we can deal with matters by way of an agreed fee which would include providing a schedule of the work that we intend to carry out for that fee. We do deal with matters in this way on an interim basis so that you can be aware of the work that will be carried out and so you can pay for the proceedings, stage by stage and be fully aware of the cost involved before any action is taken or continued.
We can assist if you wish to act in person in your divorce or financial proceedings. You will be advised in face to face meetings and we will assist with completion of forms and documents at that meeting. We will not correspond with any party or the court directly but we can draft documents and correspondence alongside the advice. This is done at the meeting in the office face to face when you will be charged for the actual time spent with one of the Team and you will need to pay that charge at each meeting and will be provided with a receipt and invoice confirming what work was done on your behalf.
The Courts can make several different types of Orders. These include: –
Please bear in mind that there are some things that the Court has no power to do. In particular: –
Before making any Order, the Courts must consider the following factors.
There is a duty of “full and frank” disclosure in financial proceedings by both parties.
Even if you have agreed with your partner what will happen with the house and other assets such as savings and pensions, it is still beneficial for you to obtain an order to ensure that your agreement can be implemented and that neither of you can make any further claims against each other in the future. Even if you have no property or assets to divide it is in your interest to obtain a “clean break” order to ensure that no claim can be made by either of you in the future if circumstances change, one party has a windfall for instance and in theory if you do not have your claims against each other dismissed, even after you are divorced, an application can still be brought before the Court for their consideration in the future. Remember also if there is any prospect that you may remarry particularly if you are the Respondent in the divorce, any financial order must be made before you remarry or you may be barred from making any claim upon the matrimonial assets.
The costs would be dependent upon the amount of work that would be required to oversee and finalise the agreement. We would be able to provide you with a fixed fee to deal with matters by agreement and to provide you with the appropriate consent order and other documents that need to be filed at Court to enable your clean break order to be obtained.
Starting divorce proceedings does not mean that you cannot attempt to reconcile with your partner provided that the Decree Absolute has not yet been applied for. A reconciliation of less than 6 months only puts the divorce proceedings on hold, it does not stop them. If your reconciliation proves to be successful then you can apply to dismiss the Petition and ask the Court to return your marriage certificate.
If you have not dismissed the Petition and you reconcile for more than 6 months and your marriage breaks down again, then you would have to file a supplemental Petition or cancel the previous proceedings and start again.
You can enter into a Separation Agreement particularly if you wish to agree financial matters before you seek to divorce in the future. Maybe you have no grounds to divorce or you are intending to separate for 2 years and divorce then. The way that this can be achieved is for a written document can be drawn up which will incorporate the agreements reached by you both. Commonly such agreements deal with information that the parties to the marriage intend to live apart and will outline agreements with regard to the arrangements for the children, whether there will be payments of maintenance and what will happen to the matrimonial home. All these matters need to be incorporated into any Separation Deed so that a formal order can be obtained as and when you eventually divorce. Whilst there are no restrictions on what can or cannot be included in such an agreement, it is important to bear in mind that should either party make a future financial application to the Court, the Court is not necessarily bound by the financial arrangements that have been agreed to in the Separation Deed. However, if both parties have the benefit of legal advice and have provided full disclosure of their financial position before the Deed has been finalised then it is unlikely that the Court would overturn that agreement particularly if it had already been implemented by the time of divorce.
It is beneficial for you to have a Solicitor who specialises in family law and/or has a specialist department that deals with your particular situation. Take advantage of an initial fixed fee appointment so that you can meet the fee earner who will have conduct of your case so that you can be confident that he or she is approachable and that you feel comfortable with them as you will want someone you can relate to and trust to guide you at this difficult time. Take along a list of questions so that you don’t feel too stressed about the first meeting.
There will be costs involved in any dispute and of course if proceedings are issued for divorce or other remedies, there will be court fees to pay. You can assist your Solicitor in reducing the costs that you may incur by providing them with all documents that are requested from you, in particular, financial documents such as bank statements and keep all your financial documents preferably in a ring binder in date order for when they are needed and this will save considerable time in collating documents and obtaining copies. Discuss with your Solicitor when you meet other ways that you can assist to keep costs to a limit and what written information you can provide to assist. Always be ready to compromise if you can which may avoid some costs.
There is only ground for divorce and that is to prove to the court that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. To satisfy the court that a marriage has irretrievably broken down you would have to prove one of 5 facts. The most common basis for issuing a petition immediately upon separation is on the basis of the Respondent’s unreasonable behaviour or the Respondent’s adultery.
Alternatively, you can proceed with a petition if you have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 2 years before the issuing of the Petition but your husband or wife would need to consent to a divorce on these grounds.
You could present a Petition on the basis of 2 years desertion but you would need specialist advice before proceeding on this basis.
The final fact will be if you have lived apart for a continuous period of at least 5 years before the filing of the Petition and you could then proceed without your wife or husband’s consent in this instance.
There is no provision for Legal Aid or funding to finance a divorce. If you have a low income you could possibly apply for a “fee exemption” in respect of the court fee for issuing your Petition but this depends on each individual person’s finances. At Brendan Fleming Solicitors we pride ourselves in being transparent with our fees and we will discuss with you at your initial fixed fee appointment a way forward to meet the legal fees which you will invariably have.
It is always difficult for the combined income to stretch to provide for two households. If a voluntary arrangement cannot be agreed between you upon separation as to the level of support that is required, then if your case warrants an application spousal maintenance, you can apply to the court for an order which would be based on needs but also on your respective incomes. It is always beneficial to attempt to reach an agreement as to voluntary support whether directly with your partner or by attending mediation but there are options that you can take if you find yourself in that position.
The court do not become involved with arrangements for the children unless there is a dispute between the parents. You will be encouraged to work towards a shared care arrangement for the children to ensure that they have regular contact with each parent. If there are issues relating to the children and their place of residence or how much time they spend with the other parent, then you should consider advice from a specialist child arrangements solicitor who will attempt to negotiate an agreement with you or guide you to consider mediation or other ways to resolve matters before considering the issue of formal proceedings unless there are any childcare concerns or other issues that require immediate remedy.
If you are able to reach an agreement with your partner as to your property and financial matters whether by direct negotiation, negotiation through your Solicitor or during mediation then you can present an agreed order to the court which outlines the settlement which you have both agreed to and which will be accompanied by financial forms completed in brief to assist the court before they consider making an order reflecting the terms of your agreement. This is known as a Consent Order and can be filed with the court once signed by both parties and it is normally dealt with by the Judge without the need for a hearing.
Not necessarily if you have not contributed towards the purchase price or towards the mortgage or paid for improvements that could increase the value. In certain circumstances you may be able to establish an interest in the property and you should always take specialist advice regarding this if your relationship comes to an end before accepting that you do not have claim particularly if there are children involved.
This is a phrase used by the media and there is no such thing as a common law marriage. If you are not legally married to your partner, then you have no automatic right in respect of his income property or pension provision. If you are in this position you should take specialist advice as to your position in the event of separation or death and in relation to any property that you may own jointly.
I approached Brendan Fleming because my previous solicitor was losing my case. Brendan kindly took the case on and since that day I have felt like a heavy weight has been lifted from my shoulders. He gave me hope that my children would be returned home and has been nothing but the complete professional. He has travelled from Birmingham to the South Coast to represent us and I totally understand why so many people recommend Brendan Fleming: he truly is one of the nice guys. I would recommend Brendan Fleming to anyone going through the situation that we have. Our whole family are eternally grateful to Brendan, what a guy!!
I just want to say thank you very much for everything you have done for me and my on. And I will definitely contact you again when the time comes. Eva, Smethwick I would like to thank your good self for the good work that you have done over the last few days, as you are the best of the best. I am very lucky to have had someone as good as you. Thank you so much. I will be recommending you to anyone that needs the help that you have given me and my family. To you and Brendan Fleming, thanks again. I know I got the best help from you. I would like to thank everyone that has worked on my kids’ case and for all the good work that you have all put into this case; specifically, Jack, who has done a lot over the last twelve months, both in person and by phone. I know you have done all you could for my family. You will never be forgotten. I would recommend you to anyone. You are the best in Birmingham.
I felt I was in a desperate situation and was really pleased that I was able to be seen straight away. All my questions were answered. I also felt reassured and that I had been given my self-belief back. “The prices at the Brendan Fleming Solicitors are very competitive. Usually solicitors can be quite intimidating but Brendan was very friendly. Craig Brendan Fleming Solicitors is absolutely brilliant, so much better than I could have expected. The support is fantastic, you are always kept informed and you really cannot fault them. Every member of staff gives a fantastic service. I have been thrilled with everyone. I would definitely recommend them. Charlotte I didn’t know what to expect as I have never dealt with a solicitor before. I found the service very professional and polite. Brendan Fleming Solicitors has ticked all the boxes so far.
After an appalling decision by the mediation and being badly let down by the solicitor representing me, I thought everyone was against me. I felt so low. Nobody cared. “Then a friend of mine told me about Brendan Fleming Solicitors, so I made an appointment. At the first point of call I met Brendan: he was very professional, reassuring and confident. He made me feel very welcome. He guided me through the process. First class service. I feel as if I can now move forward with confidence, now knowing, at last, that I have someone to back me up with my case. Thank god. I’ve had the first night’s good sleep in two months. Thanks again.”
Brendan fought extremely hard for my daughter; she would have been very proud of him had she been there in the court room: any child would be proud of they way he fought. Children everywhere should know what he did for my daughter. I had two previous solicitors, neither of whom fought for me; but Brendan did. Firstly, he believed in me when other solicitors didn’t; but secondly, he fought so hard on my behalf. He looked into my case and spotted vital things that the experts had missed. He fought with sheer hard work and determination. I have never seen a better family lawyer in my life and can’t thank him enough. I couldn’t have had anyone better and I would recommend him to every mother. This is more than just a job to him. I can’t get over it. All I can say is that he is an angel from Heaven.
We have been exchanging e-mails with Denise Robertson from TV’s This Morning, who holds Brendan Fleming in the highest esteem. We sent several e-mails telling her of our situation with our 3 children being taken into foster care. She was very supportive & understanding of our circumstances. As a result of Denise’s help, Brendan took on our case at a very late stage, when no other solicitors were willing to proceed with matters further and for that we cannot thank him enough.
I am very pleased with Brendan. He doesn’t fail you at all. You walk out of there more than happy. I am quite a nervous person but, with the way that Brendan is, I always feels so more assured.” Gemma was brilliant as well.
I have had my 5 children removed from me. The day I came to Brendan Flemings for help, I passed out outside the office. I was in a very dark place and felt that suicide was my only answer. Today, because you listened to me, because you believed in me and because you supported me, I am now a far cry from the woman who first walked into your office. I have a positive outlook and I am thinking in terms of ‘when I have my children back. I know I have a fight in front of me but now I know I have someone in my corner who believes in me, which makes all the difference.
I watched the video of Brendan at the Stop Forced Adoption conference and thought ‘I want him to be my solicitor.’ After the appointment with Brendan, I felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
More was done in one appointment with Brendan than my previous solicitors did in nine.
After being plunged into what can only be described as the most traumatic situation an innocent mother can experience, I made a call to Brendan Fleming solicitors. It turned out to be the best call I ever made. I was overwhelmed by the kind and friendly attitude of Sue Hayes who handled my call at a most unsociable hour and who gave me very practical advice at a time when I was highly emotional and not thinking straight. She gave me the strength to fight against a very confusing system and to get my daughter home where she belonged. Brendan Flemings were my solicitors from 1987 until 2001 and I couldn’t have wished for a more pro-active, professional team. Brendan himself was so reassuring during what was often a very stressful time of my life. My sincere thanks to him and all of his team. I have children who are, in the main, happy and well-balanced, now with children of their own. I am proud of them all and none of it would have been possible without you. Thank you.
I went to Brendan Fleming on the recommendation of a friend and I wasn’t disappointed in my choice. I met with Annette Woodall and she talked me through all the costs of what a divorce could be which can be a little intimidating at first. Then I left it too her and she done all the work necessary to complete my divorce whilst managing to keep the cost down too less than £900! You hear a lot of stories about high solicitors charges but Annette got me a great result while avoiding to break the bank!
I was recommended to Annette by a family friend who had previously worked alongside her and highly regards her and her work. From the first meeting, I felt extremely comfortable dealing with Annette and appointed her immediately. Her no nonsense, matter of fact and down to earth approach was refreshing as was her wealth of experience. I had previously met a couple of other solicitors to enquire about handling my divorce, but none of them made me feel as at ease as Annette did. Her no nonsense approach was extremely reassuring particularly when I had to deal some demands my ex-husband made after mediation had taken place and the financial arrangement signed. She was able to advise me and reassure me – it was great to have someone who was ‘on my side’.
I feel confident that I will be able to get the result that I want with Jennifer as my solicitor. The case is going well and I am always kept up to date with what’s going on. The advice given is fine.
I am very pleased with the service. I have no complaints. I am very happy with Annette.
I was very pleased with the service I received from both Annette and Brian. They were both efficient and were good at putting me at ease. Brendan was also very efficient and pleasant in his manner.
Annette has helped me in my divorce over a period of one year. She is really professional and I am very confident in her. She is very straightforward in her explanations, always making things clear, even though it is a very complicated divorce. I am given the best advice at all times and I am really happy with her service.
Annette was brilliant, she talked through everything. She said that obviously divorces are very daunting and scary but Annette always talks things through and makes sure that I understood what was happening and has always been amazing throughout the process. I always felt fully updated and loved the fact that anything which didn’t make sense to me or which I didn’t understand was explained.
I was recommended to Annette at Brendan Fleming by a colleague as I was seeking an expert in legal divorce proceedings. Annette and her team provided an excellent service throughout the process. They were always responsive and pro-active but most importantly sensitive to my requirements and very practical and objective in their guidance and support. I would certainly recommend Annette and her firm to anybody seeking a professional and yet personal service.
Annette Woodall proved to be invaluable in my recent family disputes she was experienced , dedicated and understanding, I felt even though she was under pressure from the other side , Annette kept her cool and pressed ahead in a professional and reliable way I would highly recommend Annette’s services to anybody who has had the unfortunate twist of fate and who find themselves needing representation in the Family courts , I can not praise her enough and remain eternally grateful that I was represented by somebody who gets the job done.
I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you Salvia, for all of your efforts. You were very understanding, empathetic and non-judgmental regarding my situation and handled the case very well. I would definitely recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors to anyone looking to be represented by a high-quality professional service.
I was first attracted to Brendan Fleming by their philosophy of non-confrontation in divorce and a conciliatory approach as described on their website – and goodness knows divorce is a stressful process – so I found this rather appealing. Annette Woodall represented me and I cannot praise her highly enough. She epitomises the Company’s values and I found her to be both rigorous and hardworking in helping achieve a workable and realistic outcome. She was always the consummate professional, exploring all angles and making sure nothing was overlooked and never baulked at going that extra mile. Annette also showed great compassion and humour that helped me retain my sanity in the divorce process. I would not hesitate to recommend Annette as a highly skilled, personable and professional divorce advocate.
I would like to say a big thank you to Brendan Fleming Solicitors and especially Charley Kelly for all the help and support over the last three years. I first contacted Brendan Fleming Solicitors in 2013 when the local authority were seeking removal of our son. Charley Kelly is great, she gave us great support she’s there day and night she has done all the statements attending court always there when we need to ask advice she never judges she tells us the truth she never hides anything she thought for a year with us to get our son home we have now had him home for two years on a care order plus parent reg now the local authority are trying yet again to remove our son and we have yet again turned to Brendan Fleming Solicitors as we know from experience this firm is 100% about keeping children with their families.
Your company has helped me out so much and I’d come back again again and again. I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me out with my case…and I am so glad that Charley Kelly ain`t leaving cuz she is really good at her job
Without your support and fantastic knowledge into the care system etc and doing all the ‘behind the scenes’ work to fight for me and my children I wouldn’t be here in a better place. I’ll always be grateful to you and Mr Pearce.
My husband and I appreciate all the support and hard work very much that both Dawn and Gemma gave us during what has been the most traumatic experience of our lives to date. It will never be forgotten…. Despite never being directly accused of anything ourselves, we have had two of our children removed and in some way still feel as though we are guilty until proven innocent. It has been hard to comprehend. Perhaps I could give credit to your organization for being ‘that listening ear at a time in need,’ being readily available at all hours, going above and beyond the call of duty and supporting us. At times, I’ve been sick of the sound of my own voice; God only knows how Dawn and Gemma must feel. They are a credit to your business, representatives to be proud of and they never fail to impress. A genuine thank you from us both.”
Dawn, I can’t find the words to express how I feel about what you have done for my family. I can’t thank you enough. If only I knew than what I know now: that the most important thing is to have a good solicitor. And you are the best: I never would have got my boys back if it weren’t for you. I have learned so much in the short space of time in which you represented me. Thank you till the end of the numbers.
You have done so much for me and been there whenever I needed to speak. I have included a picture of my daughter which you can keep if you like as reminder of how happy you have made her mummy and how happy I am that I decided to go with your firm. Thank you so much, Dawn. There will never be enough I can do to repay you.
I get on really well with Dawn; she will help me whatever the problem. We meet up every week. Her work is brilliant: I feel so much more support than I did from my previous solicitors. I’d definitely recommend her for employee of the week; she is a great solicitor.
Dawn is absolutely wonderful. I wish we had gone with her from the start. Compared to her, our previous solicitors were ‘professional losers.’ I would definitely support an application for Dawn to be made employee of the week – she deserves it.
Dawn is absolutely fantastic. I would never have got so far without her and now I am really close to getting my daughter back. I would not be where I am now without Dawn and Brendan. Dawn works every hour God sends to help your case. I keep recommending them to other people in my situation. Keep up the good work!
Dawn is truly a wonderful person, she has gone the extra mile for me and my children; she is always at the end of the phone, anytime of day or night; and has worked relentlessly to get my children back home to me. She always made me feel hopeful and is a complete professional and warm human being. Dawn arranged an Independent Social Worker Assessment which was in our favour, for which I cannot thank her enough. I know that it is only due to Dawn and Brendan, along with the work that we have done as a family, that my children are coming home. I am so happy!!
I am so confident in Dawn and Brendan. Every day I speak to them, I believe more and more that, one day soon, my daughter will be back home with me. They are very passionate about their jobs and I would recommend them to anyone as solicitors. I owe them so much already. They are fantastic.
At the appointment excellent advice was given and I am really happy with the service so far. Charlotte is dealing with my case and she is really helpful.
Thank you for believing me, the advice and support you gave me has meant that L-M gets to stay in my care. She means everything to me, you have changed our lives forever.
Thank you for all your help, I kept my son because of you. I will never forget that.
I just wanted to email to say thank you for the support. I have absolutely no doubt that if I had gone to a different firm or had a different solicitor, my child would not have come home to me. I am so grateful that you listened to me. I know there were some difficult conversations but I fully accept that they needed to take place. Your advice was spot on. I cannot recommend you highly enough!! Michaela is and was wonderful. Thank you always and forever.
I could not have done this without Michaela, she has undertaken so much work and progressed this case, it has not only helped me but the children so much, I could not be more happy with how I have been represented. Michaela has always kept me informed and explained the law and the process in a way that I understand. I would have no hesitation in instructing Michaela again in any other family matter and I would highly recommend her and the firm to others. Michaela has gone above and beyond, because of her work the children are now placed in my care.
Michaela Beale is an exceptional solicitor and were a member of my family to require the services of a lawyer in a care case, I would recommend her as a ‘go to’ representative. From the work I have done with her, it is clear that she is consistently practical and proactive. When challenging a local authority in a case, this robust approach is vital in ensuring that the clients position is optimised. Michaela’s judgement in proceedings is unparalleled and she always manages to combine efficient professionalism with a human touch.
My experience of working with Michaela has been absolutely positive. She keeps me up to date and responds quickly to my enquiries and requests. She is easy to work with and very courteous. It great working with her.
Michaela is really great. She is helpful and supportive and was there when I needed her. She did a great job.
Michaela is really good, helpful and very friendly. She has given me an excellent service and I would definitely recommend her to others.
Thanks to you and your team for all of your help: you are the best solicitor I have ever had!
Vicky and Michaela are very good and helpful. They always come back quickly with information I have requested and they are very accommodating to me.
Michaela was brilliant, she was absolutely fantastic and was a good sport who gave 100%. She was very helpful and explained things very well. My son has learning difficulties and Michaela explained things so well to him that he understood everything. She was very helpful and did an excellent job. I would recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors straight away.
Three years ago I would have never have dreamed that I would have all three children in my care. Michaela did an excellent job and managed to keep the children in my care. My advice is always listen to your solicitor. That’s what I did. 99% of the time Michaela was right; but if she said something that I didn’t agree with, we sat down, got our heads together and came up with a different solution. I have all three children in my care because I listened to my solicitor. I would definitely recommend Brendan Fleming Solicitors as firm; but in particular I would recommend Michaela as a solicitor and Ed Pearce in the Court.
I would like to say a big thank you to Brendan Fleming Solicitors and especially Charley Kelly for all the help and support over the last three years I first contacted Brenden Fleming solicitors in 2013 when the local authority was seeking removal of our son. Charley Kelly is great she gave us great support she’s there day and night she has done all the statements attending court always there when we need to ask advice, she never judges, she tells us the truth she never hides anything. Charley fought for a year with us to get our son home we have now had him home for two years on a care order. Now the local authority are trying yet again to remove our son and we have yet again turned to Brendan Fleming Solicitors as we know from experience this firm is 100% about keeping children with their families.