Divorce, Annulment and Judicial Separation

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Divorce, Annulment and Judicial Separation


We recognise that divorce can be a very stressful, demanding and emotional process. It is a time when you and your family’s lives can be thrown into chaos. The process can be complex and difficult to manage, so we are on hand to guide you through the process - leaving you to focus on making the important decisions for your future. The service we provide is tailored to your circumstances with a view to providing you support during this immensely difficult time.
The expert services we provide also include helping you with the vital linked issues, such as your home, finances and children

Judicial Separation

This is an alternative to divorce and is a process for you to declare that you and your spouse are separated. It is normally used in cases where you do not want to divorce for religious reasons or if you are still within the first year of your marriage (if so, you cannot get divorced). This would mean that although you are legally married you would not be under the legal obligations of being married. If you require our expert assistance, contact us to discuss the matter.
If you do not want to procced with a Judicial Separation, we can advise you on a Separation Agreement before Divorce
Judicial Separation

Separation Agreement

It may be the case that you do not seek to divorce your spouse but still want to separate and make a formal agreement regarding your personal matters (i.e. financial and children matters). We can help you to reach an agreement with your spouse and place this into a formal documentation. These documents are not in themselves legally binding, but they are a formal contract which can be used in Court and later an application can be made for them to be turned into a consent order. Our team of experts can advise you on the merits of such an approach.
These types of agreement can cover a range of issues such as: houses, property, childcare arrangements, mortgage and bill payments, debts, savings etc
Separation Agreement


This would be an order by the Court that your marriage was never valid, and your status reverts to as it was prior to marriage. This can be done at any time after your marriage but will only apply in certain situations. It would end your marriage and would be an alternative to divorce. This procedure will normally arise in unique circumstances so contact us and we can advise if this applies in your circumstances
The linked matters, such as the financial and children matters would need to be dealt with and we are on hand to help you with these (see: Financial Settlements & Children Matters)

Call now for our expert legal advice

We have a friendly team of experts on hand to assist you with your problems.
We do NOT charge you to initially discuss your matter and explain how we can help you.
In routine divorce case, we charge a FIXED FEE of £550.00 plus VAT for our services. The Court fees are payable separately. If you are eligible we can help you to make an application reduce Court fees.
There is no harm in picking up the telephone and contacting us to try to help you get through this difficult time. We look forward to your call!
0161 250 7771
07546 785 771

Expert Legal Assistance from Divorce Solicitors

Our team of experts are waiting to hear from you regarding your circumstances. The services we provide are tailored to you. We understand the difficulties that you face when a relationship breaks down. It is important for you to ensure that you have the best possible legal representation to fight for you and assist you to achieve a fair outcome. Our team intends to provide clear and cost-effective advice - with court proceedings being a last resort. We aim to negotiate matters which can lead to matters being resolved without unnecessary costs, disputes and proceedings.

The service we provide will assist you step by step through what can often be the most difficult of times for you and your family. We work hard to achieve results for our clients and are ready and waiting to assist you with our specialist advice.
We also assist with linked matters such as children or financial matters. Please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to discuss how we can help you.
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We believe that everyone needs to be heard. It's your turn.

Start the divorce process now 

The faster you act, the sooner you can begin planning for the future. Our solicitors can advise on how to divorce legally and secure the best chance of favourable terms. Just tell us what you’re hoping for. We’ll keep divorce costs down with a free quote, and give you an idea of your next steps. 

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Our divorce solicitors make separation simpler 

You’ve already had to face the dissolution of a relationship. So whether you’re requesting a divorce or are coming to terms with your partner’s wishes, we want to make it as easy as we can. Optimal Solicitors are here to take some of the time, stress, and second-guessing out of your divorce proceedings. 

We take an honest, sensitive approach to these cases. We’ll analyse the grounds for divorce, bring all the right documents together, build a financial settlement in your favour, and if children are involved, put their needs first. Optimal can also take communication off your hands, both with the court and your partner’s solicitor, if you need us to.  

We have extensive experience in many kinds of separation, including those for annulments and civil partnerships. In just a few months, you could put the past behind you and move forward with your life.

Find a divorce lawyer you can rely on

Bringing up the past can be difficult, even if your relationship has simply come to a natural end. We’ll advise you sensitively on the best course of action and, where necessary, draw on our wider knowledge of family law. From childcare responsibilities to issues such as domestic abuse, we cover it all.  

Not every case ends up in court either. We’ll do what we can to resolve matters amicably between you and your partner. We can arrange a mediator to support discussions over things like financial settlements, and will work with you to create a solid case to achieve the outcome you’re seeking. 

Throughout the process, we’ll assist you in: 

  • Changes to a will in the wake of separation – giving more of your estate to someone else, for example. 
  • Filling in the divorce application form with information from your marriage certificate and other paperwork. 
  • Coping with challenges if your partner doesn’t agree to the divorce. 
  • Deciding who will live with any children, if you have them, and what reasonable visiting rights might be. 
  • Applying for new visas if you rely on a marital visa for the UK. 

We’ve helped thousands of people, just like you, get the best outcome


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Why Optimal Solicitors 

Whatever you’ve been through so far, it’s important to have a clear sense of the future, deal with a divorce calmly, and focus on the rest of your life. It’s why we’re committed to collaborative law, if we can, using facts that can’t be argued with. 

But if your case has to be settled in court, we’ll be there to support you every step of the way. Our legal team will gather all the evidence needed to deliver a strong argument, and we’ll keep you updated as we move further through each stage of the divorce proceedings.

The last thing you want to have to deal with is the cost of legal representation. We do everything we can to keep the majority of your assets and save a lengthy court battle. Fast, solid legal work – as well as competitive rates – helps you avoid huge payouts. 
Legal advice should remove stress from your life, not add to it. As family law solicitors, we’re able to provide close, precise updates whenever you want us to. Flexible opening hours and availability by phone, video call, or email means we can work to your schedule. 
Trust us to clearly explain what we need from you in terms of documents and deadlines at each stage of the divorce. Meanwhile, we’ll get in touch with your partner’s legal team early on, which leads to better communication as proceedings get underway. 


It’s important to get a divorce right the first time. If you don’t get a solicitor, your partner may try to hide their assets or ask for more than they’re entitled to. There may also be faults in the paperwork – such as, for instance, wrongly completing the ‘decree nisi’ form to say that you want a divorce at all. You might even run into trouble around whether you’re able to get divorced, having not been registered in England and Wales. If you avoid legal help, you can unfortunately fall prey to these mistakes.
Usually, both of you will pay for your own legal aid. But there are plenty of exceptions. The person who asks for divorce is called the Petitioner, and the other partner is the Respondent. If the Petitioner is leaving because of adultery, poor behaviour, or desertion, they can ask for the Respondent to pay some or all of their legal fees. It will be based on a court hearing at the decree nisi stage.

To get divorced in England, you have to choose one of five main reasons. They are:

  • Adultery has occurred between you
  • You can’t live with their behaviour anymore
  • One of you has left the other already, at least two years ago
  • You’ve been amicably separated for two years and want to finalise it
  • You’ve been separated for five years, and they don’t have to agree to divorce

Additionally, you must have been married for over a year. If you’re the person seeking divorce, you’ll list the reasons on a D8 form, pay court fees of £550, and apply for a decree nisi at the same time.

The final court order is called a ‘decree absolute’. This follows on from a decree nisi, and takes your divorce from an intention to a legally binding decision. You’ll have to wait a minimum of 43 days after the decree nisi has been approved until you can apply for the decree absolute. The divorce will then be made official in two or three weeks, providing disputes don’t hold it back.
When you get divorced, it becomes part of public record. This means your solicitor will keep the decree absolute for six or seven years. Different firms have their own practices. Unlike wills and nuptial agreements, such a record is eventually destroyed when it passes this time limit.
Think of it as trying to prove that the marriage or civil partnership never existed, officially, in the first place. To do so, you have to show that there was some kind of deception. Maybe your partner was underage at the time, and didn’t tell you. Perhaps they committed fraud about themselves and their identity. They might even have been married to someone else when they married you. Annulments – if they’re legitimate – are far easier to move through the courts.

Get a clean break with Optimal at your side 

As specialist divorce solicitors, we’re driven by a need for speed, understanding, and a rigorous examination of what you want. So speak your mind, and tell us all about your situation. We’ll argue for everything that matters. 

0161 250 7771

Pick up the phone whenever you’re ready 

Leave your relationship behind and start anew

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