Divorce Solicitors in Caernarfon, North Wales

Fixed Fee Legal Aid Available

If you have decided to divorce or are considering the future of your relationship, we can help. We understand the difficulties you may be facing during this time, and our team of expert divorce solicitors is here to offer you the support and guidance you need. With our wealth of experience and dedication to client satisfaction, we are committed to making the divorce process as amicable and stress-free as possible.

Our specialist fixed-fee divorce lawyers will help you through every step of your divorce process and offer you support at each point. Our experienced divorce solicitors can also help you with settling disputes regarding your children.

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Divorce & Family law solicitors

We aim to make the divorce process as swift as possible as this can be a distressing time.

It is important to view your divorce in 2 parts: 

  1. The actual divorce and

  2. The financial settlement

We can conduct your divorce on a fixed-fee basis

No-fault divorce

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 reformed the divorce process by removing the concept of fault.

The act was passed in June 2020 and came into force on 6 April 2022.

This new legislation:

  • Replaced the ‘five facts ‘ that constituted the grounds for divorce allowing couples to divorce without assigning fault

  • It removed the possibility of contesting the divorce

  • It also introduced an option for a joint application

  • A new clearer ‘plain English’ language is now used changing ‘decree nisi’ to conditional order and ‘decree absolute’ to final order

These changes also apply to the dissolution of civil partnerships.

Family Law Legal Aid Funding Available

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Divorce Proceedings

Our divorce solicitors can guide you through the entire divorce proceedings, from filing the initial application to obtaining the final order. We will handle all necessary paperwork and liaise with the court on your behalf, making the process as smooth and efficient as possible.

The Divorce Process

To commence divorce proceedings:

  • You must have been married for over a year

  • Your marriage must have broken down irretrievably. 

  • The marriage is legally recognised in the UK

Filing a divorce Application

  • Firstly, the divorce application needs to be filed, usually online.

  • The application is made by the person wanting to initiate the divorce, although the new rules allow the application to be made jointly by the parties if both agree to the divorce.

  • The application will confirm that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.

  • To file the application, you need your original or certified copy of your marriage certificate. If married outside of the UK, you may need a certified translation of  the marriage certificate into English.

Acknowledgement of Service

The court will send a copy of the divorce application to your spouse along with a with another form for them to complete called an Acknowledgement of Service which will confirm they receive the papers and ask whether they agree to or intend to dispute the divorce. 

Your will have to provide a genuine legal reason if they choose to dispute the divorce. They cannot  dispute the divorce just because they do not want the divorce or to simply delay the divorce process.

Conditional Orders and divorce

If the court receives back the acknowledgement of service and there is no legal reason to dispute the divorce, then you can apply for the conditional order (formerly known as the Decree Nisi).  This is where the judge reviews at your application for divorce. You must wait 20 weeks from the date of the divorce application being issued to apply for the conditional order.

Final Order

The Final Order (formerly known as the Decree Absolute) can be applied for after six weeks of the granting of the conditional order.

It is of vital importance to be aware that until the final order is granted, you and your spouse remain legally married which can have financial implications with your estate if you were to die. 

Consequently it may be wise to make a Will early in the divorce process.

Family Law Legal Aid Funding Available

Book a free consultation

The Divorce Process

To commence divorce proceedings:

  • You must have been married for over a year
  • Your marriage must have broken down irretrievably. 
  • The marriage is legally recognised in the UK

File a Divorce Application

  • Firstly, the divorce application needs to be filed, usually online.
  • The application is made by the person wanting to initiate the divorce, although the new rules allow the application to be made jointly by the parties if both agree to the divorce.
  • The application will confirm that your marriage has broken down irretrievably.
  • To file the application, you need your original or certified copy of your marriage certificate. If married outside of the UK, you may need a certified translation of  the marriage certificate into English.

Acknowledgement of Service

The court will send a copy of the divorce application to your spouse along with a with another form for them to complete called an Acknowledgement of Service which will confirm they receive the papers and ask whether they agree to or intend to dispute the divorce. 

Your will have to provide a genuine legal reason if they choose to dispute the divorce. They cannot  dispute the divorce just because they do not want the divorce or to simply delay the divorce process.

Conditional Order

If the court receives back the acknowledgement of service and there is no legal reason to dispute the divorce, then you can apply for the conditional order (formerly known as the Decree Nisi).  This is where the judge reviews at your application for divorce. You must wait 20 weeks from the date of the divorce application being issued to apply for the conditional order.

Final Order

The Final Order (formerly known as the Decree Absolute) can be applied for after six weeks of the granting of the conditional order.

It is of vital importance to be aware that until the final order is granted, you and your spouse remain legally married which can have financial implications with your estate if you were to die. 

Consequently it may be wise to make a Will early in the divorce process.

Financial Settlement Upon Divorce 

We cannot conduct this element of your divorce on a fixed fee as the time spent negotiating a financial settlement can vary so much depending on the value and complexity of the matrimonial assets. We help you in this process on ‘time spent’ basis.

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boutique family law firm, civil partnership

Why choose Winrow Solicitors to help me with my divorce?

We will deal with your divorce quickly and sensitively. We will also attempt to achieve a conclusion that has the least impact on everyone, especially your children.

Our aim will be to allow everyone to be able to move on with their lives as amicably as possible.

Our principal solicitor, Ian Winrow, is labelled as the ‘Peoples Champion’ following more than 15 years of representing clients through the Citizens Advice Bureau.

He has lectured at Bangor University’s School of Law and is perfectly placed to advise and represent on matrimonial issues.

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Ian Winrow - Experienced Solicitor at Winrow Solicitor

Ian Winrow
Founder & Solicitor

Does the length of my marriage affect the divorce settlement?

Long marriages do pose their own unique problems when it comes to the divorce settlement.

They can include issues regarding pensions and earning capacity if for example you have given up your career to look after children or are nearing retirement age.

What is a long marriage?

There is no definitive definition of what constitutes a long marriage, but one of say 20 years would be considered a long marriage. Also, a short marriage that was proceeded by a long period of cohabitation might also be classed as a long marriage for these purposes.

The duration of the marriage plays a critical part in the division of property as well as the level of spousal support.

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How do the assets get divided on divorce?

In a long marriage the starting point is an equal split of assets, in a short marriage the assets brought to the marriage may be reflected in the split.

What Courts have considered relevant in financial settlements?

  • The parties ages and the duration of the marriage,

  • Incomes and earning capacity of each party,

  • Their assets and financial resources,

  • Each parties future financial needs in the foreseeable future,

  • What contributions each party has made during the relationship can also be considered (especially so in a short marriage),

  • The standard of living enjoyed by the family before the divorce,

  • Any physical or mental disability of the parties, and

  • The welfare of any dependent children.

Either spouse can begin financial proceedings once divorce proceedings have been initiated.  This is both in respect of a divorce on marriagecivil partnership dissolution or proceedings for a judicial separation.

How long do financial proceedings take?

This is impossible to answer. Much will depend on whether agreement can be reached quickly. If this happens then there will probably be no need to attend court and the matter maybe resolved in weeks rather than months.

If one or both parties cannot agree a settlement, then attendance at court maybe be required to ask a Judge to decide the split of assets. It may take over a year before a court makes an order as to the division.

However, the majority of cases do settle by agreement at an early stage which can avoid the parties having unnecessary costs.

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What documents do I need to prepare in order to divorce?

For the divorce itself, you need your marriage certificate. For the settlement part of your divorce, such as pension value, bank statements, house values and mortgage statements, will be needed.

How much does a divorce cost?

We currently do a fixed-fee divorce for an uncontested divorce of £795.

The court fee is £593. Divorce becomes expensive if it goes to court for a judge to decide the outcome.

The financial settlement is conducted on an hourly rate as it is impossible at the onset to know whether an agreement can be quickly achieved or whether it can take years and require a Judge to make an order for the settlement terms. Consequently, it will be much cheaper if both parties agree on a swift agreement.

Who pays legal costs in divorce?

Often both parties pay their costs. However, it is possible to apply for costs of the divorce and in some circumstances the settlement costs.

Does divorce always result in a 50:50 split of all assets?

This depends on the length of your marriage. In a long marriage (7 years and more), the starting point is a 50:50 split. Although, deviation from this can occur in certain circumstances, say where the provision for children is concerned.In a short marriage (under 7 years), it is more likely that division will move more towards what you ‘put in’ you’ take out’. Differing circumstances might result in a different level of the split.

How long does it take to get a divorce with a divorce solicitor?

The time it takes for your divorce to be concluded depends on a number of factors.

If all goes well, without unnecessary delays and court hearings, your divorce could be concluded in as little as 3 months.

However, if you find it difficult to reach an amicable agreement with your former partner, and the matter being heard before the court, it can take much longer. Sometimes it can take up to 2 years.

The financial settlement could take weeks, months, or years depending on how long it takes to reach an agreement.

Divorce and child arrangements (formerly child custody)

It’s always better for the child if parents can can agree the living and contact arrangements amicably.

If agreement cannot be reached or one parent denies contact with the other parent, then an application to the family court can be made for a child arrangement order.

This is where an order will be made by the court to determine who the child lives with and the contact arrangements with the other parent (read more below).

If you need help with child arrangement/ child custody matters, our experienced children’s law solicitors can assist you.

When you separate or divorce, it is a distressing and emotional time. If you have a child, this can be even more stressful and can regretfully lead to a ‘tug of war’ for the emotions of your child.

Children can all too often be the silent sufferers especially when their parents do not consider their needs as a priority. They are especially vulnerable when the stability in their young lives is disturbed, and it is important parents come to an agreement over childcare and contact arrangements as soon as is amicably possible.

However, breakups can and do become acrimonious and cause an unseen effect on children. If you simply cannot agree on what arrangements to put in place for your children or what you have agreed has broken down, then you can use a trained mediator to help you prioritise what is best for your children.

Sometimes the hurt and mistrust that follows a breakup prevents parents from agreeing ongoing arrangements for their children, If this is the situation you find yourself in then you may have to let the Family Court decide those arrangements for you.

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The Family court can make orders about who a child shall live with and contact arrangements with the non-resident parent. 

The Court will make its decision based on what is considered the best interests of the child with its welfare being of paramount consideration.

The Court starts by saying it’s in the child’s best interests to know both of its parents so if you are being denied contact by the other parent be assured the court will normally order contact to take place.

However, the court may take into account factors as domestic violence when making an order and will consider anything that would put a child at risk of harm. 

The Court can make what is called a ‘specific issue order’ when parents cannot agree for example:

  • A decision as to what school children go to.
  • What religion they should follow.

An example of this type of order maybe preventing one parent from taking a child to live in another country.

If these are some of the problems, you are experiencing then call us for a free 30 minute consultation.

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Contact our Divorce Financial Settlement Solicitors for Bangor (Gwynedd), Anglesey, Conway & Caernarfon Today

If you require further legal advice or would like to speak to one of our solicitors contact the family law team at Winrow Solicitors today.

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Discuss your divorce with a solicitor now

Other Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce

There is just one ground for divorce – the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage. This can be based on 1 of 5 facts: 5 years separation with your spouse, 2 years separation by agreement, desertion, adultery, and unreasonable behaviour.

A divorce must be seen in 2 parts – firstly the divorce and secondly the financial settlement.

Very briefly, the divorce requires a petition to be drafted and sent to the court. The court will then send a copy to your spouse, who will send back to the court an acknowledgement of service (it can be more complicated if this is not sent back).

Once this is received, the Decree Nisi can be applied for and once granted after a further 6 weeks, the Decree Absolute can be applied for. It is important to note that until the absolute is granted, you are still married.

The financial settlement element can be concluded quickly without the need for court attendance, if a swift agreement can be achieved. If not, this element of your divorce can take years and require the court to make an order on the terms of the settlement.

<p>There is no definitive answer as it depends on your circumstances.</p>
<p>Deciding to remain separated and not divorce will have implications on your family in a number of ways, but mainly financially.</p>
<p>Until you are legally divorced, your accounts and financial responsibilities will remain connected. “This can have consequences, if one person stops repayments on their mortgage, for example,”</p>
<p>Moreover, if you only separate, you are still legally married and therefore cannot remarry.</p>
<p>If you own a house as joint tenants and you pass away, the house will automatically go to your spouse.</p>

<p>Yes, you can as it is more to do with where you or your spouse are in habitually residence.</p>
<p>If, for example, you married abroad but were born and have always lived in England or Wales, then you can divorce there.</p>

<p>If both you and your spouse agree, your divorce can be a relatively simple process without the need to attend court.</p>
<p>The actual financial settlement, however, can become more complicated where a number of assets exist, and agreement of their division can become acrimonious requiring the court to make a decision.</p>
<p>Again, if an agreement to the division of assets can be reached quickly with your spouse, then this can be simple without the need of court attendance.<span class=”Apple-converted-space”> </span></p>

<p>The length of your marriage can determine how pensions are dealt with.</p>
<p>In a long marriage, your pension (which can in some cases be very valuable) will go in the ‘pot’ along with all other assets for division. So, part of your pension may be transferred to your spouse as a balancing sum if, for instance, a jointly owned house is transferred to your sole ownership.</p>
<p>The starting point of a long marriage is a 50:50 split of all assets.</p>
<p>In a short marriage, the division will be more likely to be ‘what you put into the marriage; you take out’.</p>
<p>There is no easy answer to this question as each case will be determined on its own facts.</p>

<p>The length of a marriage is a big factor in this.</p>
<p>If one spouse receives an inheritance and over time it gets intertwined within other matrimonial assets, say to build a house extension, then in a long marriage that inheritance will probably be seen as joint assets.</p>

<p>A mediator can help to agree on the division of assets but is not strictly necessary.</p>

<p>The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 (“The Act”) will come into force on 6 April 2022.</p>
<p>Under current law, the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage (based on the 5 facts listed above) must be cited by one spouse for the divorce proceedings to go ahead.</p>
<p>The Act, designed to enable married couples to issue divorce proceedings without assigning any blame, means you will only have to state that your marriage has irretrievably broken down making the divorce process easier.</p>
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<p>The Act also means that one spouse can no longer refuse a divorce if the other wants one.</p>
<p><strong>If you are considering a divorce and would like to understand how these new plans and the No-Fault Divorce will affect the process, please contact our team. </strong></p>
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Sharon Rausch

Lisa Baker

Evi Creebsburg

John Allsop

– Ultra Precision Structures Surfaces Ltd

Myrla Yutuc