Call our team

0151 252 6060

Our office is open from 9.00am to 5.00pm from Monday to Friday. However we will accommodate clients who are unable to meet during standard working hours by offering appointments on request from 8am until 7pm from Monday to Thursday. For clients where accessibility is a concern, we can also arrange home visits.

Divorce & Separation Lawyers

When a married couple separate they may decide to end the legal relationship that exists by virtue of the marriage by divorcing or separation.

If the parties were not married then although there is no requirement to legally bring the relationship to an end, there is still the practical issues to deal with such as finances, the family home, who will take care of the children and how often the other parent will see them. 

It can all seem very daunting but at Hughes Carlisle Law we have specialist lawyers who have the knowledge and experience to look after your rights and who are there for you every step of the way.

We offer free consultations and advice on the many different issues surrounding divorce, such as domestic violence, financial implications and disputes relating to the children.

Grounds For Divorce

There is only one ground for divorce and that it that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The person who starts the divorce proceedings is known as 'The Petitioner' and their spouse is called 'The Respondent'.

To satisfy the Court that that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage, the Petitioner must prove one of the following five facts:

  • The Respondent has committed adultery and the Petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the Respondent.
  • The Respondent has behaved in such a way that the Petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the Respondent.
  • The Respondent has deserted the Petitioner for a continuous period of at least two years immediately proceeding the start of the divorce.
  • The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the start of the divorce and the Respondent consents to a decree being granted.
  • The parties have lived apart for a continuous period of at least five years immediately before the start of the divorce.

Because of the requirement that the Petitioner must prove one or more of the above facts, it is therefore possible for a situation to arise where although it is clear that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, a divorce is not possible because neither party can establish any of the five grounds.

Our divorce solicitors will be able to provide you with solid advice and support, as well advising you on your rights, duties and entitlements.

How to Get Started

Call us now or complete our enquiry form online to book your free initial appointment to see how Hughes Carlisle can help you minimise the stress of divorce and separation. 


How much will it cost?

The first consultation is free but at this meeting, in addition to advising you generally, we will assess your eligibility for Legal Aid. Hughes Carlisle Law no longer offer a Legal Aid service but if you are eligible we will direct you to a firm in your area who hold a Legal Aid contract.

If you decide to instruct Hughes Carlisle Law on a fee paying basis then we will provide you with a cost estimate or in some cases, we may agree 'a fixed cost' divorce so you know from the beginning just how much you will have to pay. To help you plan your finances and to assist you in meeting your legal costs, we offer the option of payment by way of regular monthly standing orders.


How long will it take?

Provided there are no complications then the divorce process should take approximately six months although it is not unusual for issues regarding finance and children to continue after the divorce has been finalised.

Can I change my name?

The simple answer to this is 'yes' you can, but this should be done by way of a Change of Name Deed or a Statutory Declaration as various
authorities such as Banks, Passport Office etc will require formal evidence of the change of name before they will amend their records.

A Change of Name Deed is not expensive and is usually done on a fixed fee basis.