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Family law solicitors

If you are dealing with a divorce or separation, Harrowells team of family law specialists are here to achieve the best outcome for you

It is vital to understand where you stand legally before committing to any proposals, and it is advisable to get family law advice from a family lawyer at an early stage, before any decisions are made. At Harrowells we offer initial confidential appointments to all new clients so that you can discuss any concerns you have, work out with your solicitor what your main objectives are and find out the best way to achieve them.

The process of getting divorced or separating from your partner can seem confusing and intimidating, with lots of paperwork and legal details you need to get right. Our divorce lawyers will guide you every step of the way and provide all of the family law services you will need, making sure everything is done correctly, so you can formally end your relationship as smoothly as possible. 

We will also adopt a style that best works for you. Divorce does not need to be antagonistic and it doesn’t mean that we cannot work amicably and constructively.  What we will do is set out the options for you and let you tell us how you want us to handle things for you.  

We know that every divorce is different and managing your ex-partner can feel like an impossible task but our experience allows us to effectively manage even the most difficult and narcissistic divorces.   If you have experienced domestic abuse, it is important that you make us aware of this so they what we can ensure you are properly supported and that we give you the correct divorce advice.

At Harrowells we have a strong team of family and divorce solicitors, who are supported by the wider team.  You will always deal with the same members of staff who make it a priority to get to know you and your circumstances.  

We believe firmly in costs transparency so we will discuss the divorce solicitor cost and fees up front and ensure that we have a pricing plan in place to suit your budget.   We will discuss with you the option of fixed fee divorces and deferred fee arrangements to ensure that it remains affordable for you to instruct one of our divorce solicitors.

Legal 500 lawyers

Our expertise is recognised in the Legal 500, an independent annual assessment of the top law firms in the UK. The latest report includes the following very positive feedback:

‘One of my favourite family law firms in Yorkshire with two great partners in Lucy Phipps and Amy Foweather. They look after their clients with a soft but firm touch, good legal minds and an inner steel.’

‘Lucy Phipps is very able. Practical and down to earth she is easy to work with. Sound knowledge of the law and excellent instincts.’

‘Lucy Phipps Partner – one of my favourite solicitors. Good, no nonsense , unfazed and sensible but happy to take on all-comers.’

Family law solicitors client testimonials

We pride ourselves on adopting a focused and pragmatic approach and draw on a range of negotiating styles to achieve the right outcome for you. Read what our clients say about the expertise, support and commitment we bring to our work:

'I was very grateful for the very professional way Ella Dodgson and Rebecca Laffan dealt with my case and for all their help and advice at what was a truly terrible time. I can't thank them enough for all of their help and understanding and for them getting me through to the end.' 

‘Thank you for all your help along the way in giving me the confidence to stand up for what I am entitled to  and frankly coming away with a far better deal than I would have accepted.’

'You have represented me brilliantly, have offered very astute insight and counsel, and I have felt really supported by you. You've undoubtedly been the best 'fit' of a solicitor for me.'

‘Lucy Phipps was without doubt a very serious match for the opposing solicitor and a well experienced, calm, cool and highly professional representative for me. I am convinced that without her wise counsel, the outcome would have been very different and not as fair.’

‘I would like to thank you for your support throughout my case. Your expertise and timely responses really helped me to focus on managing the family rather than trying to deal with all of the issues surrounding my divorce.’

Contact our friendly, expert family lawyers

Whilst we are physically based in Yorkshire, because of our recognised expertise and effectiveness in dealing with divorce and family law matters, we regularly assist clients throughout the UK.

We are very happy to hold meetings by phone or video call as well as, for more locally based clients, at one of our network of offices across North and East Yorkshire. We can be flexible and schedule our initial meeting with you outside normal office hours if that better suits your circumstances.

We offer our specialist Family Law advice on a privately funded basis and this means we are unable offer our services on a ‘Legal Aid’ basis. We know that our clients don’t want to be surprised by solicitor bills, so we are open and realistic with you from the outset about how much we think your case will cost.

Contact us today to speak to a specialist family lawyer with the skills and experience to fight your corner and protect your interests.

Our family law services

Divorce

From preparing your Divorce Petition, to applying for the Decree Nisi and obtaining your Decree Absolute, we will take care of the process for you. 

In 2022 the law is changing and it will be possible to apply for a no fault divorce.  Until that change comes in, you can still apply for a divorce but will need to rely on one of 5 facts detailed above to prove your marriage has irretrievably broken down. Read more about our services relating to divorce

Financial Settlements

As a team, we have represented a full spectrum of clients and have dealt with divorces involving businesses, farming divorces and reaching financial settlements in situations where they are disparities in terms of income or pension. 

We have been very successful in achieving settlements for our clients in cases of complex and high value financial arrangements, including:

  • The family home
  • Properties
  • Businesses and Limited Companies
  • Farms and agricultural land
  • Pension schemes
  • Shareholdings and complex Shareholders Agreements
  • International divorce property and assets
  • Offshore Trusts

Financial matters tend to be arranged in parallel to the procedural aspects of divorce and the vast majority of financial settlements are successfully negotiated without going to court. The agreed settlement will be made legally binding by applying to court for a consent order.

We have considerable experience helping clients come to amicable agreements, negotiating settlements which work for every member of the family, even in complex scenarios involving businesses, agricultural matters, High Net Worth individuals, and overseas property.

Sorting out your finances upon divorce or separation can be a daunting task and an economically uncertain time. However, with the help of our expert family law solicitors, you will be back on your feet and moving towards the future with confidence and stability.

It’s always beneficial to start addressing financial matters as early on as possible to avoid you or your former partner encountering any difficulties. We will be by your side throughout the process, providing clear, practical advice about the best way to proceed and expertly negotiating with your former partner to come to successful financial settlement on your behalf. See more regarding divorce financial settlements

Arrangements for Children

Alongside many divorces, there is often a need to make arrangements for children and where they should live and how often they should spend time with their other parent.  Our team will support and advise you on what arrangement is going to work best for your family with the aim of reaching an agreement outside of court. Read more about arrangements for children

Change of Name

If you are separated from your ex and you want to change your name or that of your children, Harrowells can assist you with this.  We will prepare the necessary paperwork, arrange execution and advise you on how to register this with the relevant authorities. See more regarding change of name

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

If you are planning to live with or marry your partner, and you have different financial circumstances to one another, you may wish to consider reaching an agreement with them at an early stage about how you would like your assets to be divided if the worst were to happen in the future.

A prenuptial agreement can give the financial weaker partner a sense of security, whilst giving the financial stronger party the reassurance that the assets they acquired before the marriage (often inheritance, farming or family businesses) will be protected. See more regarding pre-nuptial agreements

Cohabitation Agreements

There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage; so it is important to understand that your legal rights are much less clear cut in the case of unmarried couples. For example, you have no automatic right to financial support or to a share of each other’s property or savings.

A cohabitation agreement can provide clarity and peace of mind for both parties in an unmarried relationship and means that, if the relationship does come to an end in the future, expectation are managed on both sides and there are likely to be fewer unexpected surprises or acrimony. Read more about cohabitation agreements

Separation Agreements

Whether you are married or not, a separation agreement can be drawn up to confirm what you will each receive from the assets. 

If you are not married a written agreement drawn up by our family lawyers will act as a contract between you and your partner and is often helpful if you have children or jointly owned property. 

If you are married but are not yet ready to divorce, drawing up a separation agreement can regulate how matters are to be in the intervening period and unless there has been a significant change of circumstances, this is likely to form the basis of any financial settlement reached when you do file for divorce. See more regarding separation agreements

Domestic Abuse

If you are in an abusive relationship or dealing with a former partner who is being difficult or threatening, it is important to take advice from a family solicitor. Domestic abuse can be physical, sexual, financial or emotional.  It can take on many different forms including coercive control and manipulation.

We support our clients who are divorcing a narcissist and have experience in managing the process with this in mind.   Alongside the family law services that we offer, our team work closely with divorce coaches, therapists and charities who can provide additional support to you during the process.

If you feel at immediate risk of harm then it may be possible to obtain a Non Molestation Order or Occupation Order to ensure that your ex is kept away from you whilst we finalise your divorce or separation. Read more about domestic abuse

Contact our friendly, expert divorce lawyers

Looking for clear, practical advice and support for any area of divorce law?  Our divorce law solicitors can arrange meetings at any of our offices, over the telephone or via video to suit you.