Family Matters

Tuesday 2nd December 2014


Sahida Ahmed, Marsden Rawsthorn’s Director and Head of the Family Division, answers some of the most asked questions in the field of family law

Marsden Rawsthorn is a dynamic, innovative and modern law firm, based in Fulwood and Buckshaw Village. Ambitious and forward thinking, their experienced lawyers and dedicated support team work with clients to fully understand their legal needs, simplify the complexity of their legal issues and find the most practical, cost effective and common sense legal solutions.

When it comes to family law, they offer a personal approach, which is designed to alleviate stress at a difficult time.

Why should I instruct a solicitor on the breakdown of my marriage?

It is important that you seek advice as to whether you wish to proceed with a divorce or judicial separation. This would depend on whether or not you consider your marriage to have irretrievably broken down. If so, on what facts will you base your divorce or judicial separation?

How long do I need to have been married before I can get divorced?

Twelve months is a minimum requirement.

How long will it take to finalise a divorce?

This will depend on the assets involved. Should you be seeking a resolution in respect of financial issues surrounding the marriage, it may not be in your interest to finalise divorce, as this may compromise your entitlement to any widower’s benefits, payable on the spouse’ death

What if my spouse refuses to divorce?

There are several remedies available to progress divorce proceedings in circumstances where the other party is being obstructive. This will depend on the facts upon which you base your divorce. However the main requirement for one to achieve dissolution of the marriage is that the court is satisfied that the marriage has ‘irretrievably broken down’.  

What happens with the shared home and finances?

The requirement for parties to make full disclosure is paramount. The division of assets will depend on the ages of the parties, earning capacities, relevant children, disabilities or illnesses, contribution to said assets and, ultimately, the needs of each party.

What fees do I have to pay, and when?

Fixed fees are available for each aspect of the process.

How would a solicitor help me gain contact to my child?

A referral to mediation can be made and legal aid may be available. Should mediation fail then a solicitor can assist in negotiating issues. Ultimately, an application for a child arrangement order, or any other suitable application, can be made.

Can I stop my ex seeing my child?

The presumption in law is that the child should have the benefit of a relationship with both parents. However, whether the child maintains contact with the absent parent depends on the circumstances. Should the child be exposed to safeguarding issues, this may affect the level of contact the child is to have with the absent parent.




Author: Sahida Ahmed

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