Skip to content

What do our Divorce Solicitors specialise in?

Divorce is the legal process to end a marriage. If your relationship with your spouse is difficult or has broken down, you may first consider talking to a Counsellor or engaging in Mediation to see if the marriage can be saved. If it can’t, then the family team at Sweeney Miller solicitors can advise and guide you through the divorce process that, if uncontested by your spouse, broadly breaks down as follows:

  • Apply to the court for a divorce
  • If your spouse has petitioned, responding to the petition to acknowledge
  • Apply for a decree nisi, the document confirming that the Court sees no reason why you should not get divorced
  • After 6 weeks and one day, go back to Court and ask for a decree absolute, making your divorce final.

Seeking legal advice at the start can ensure this process runs smoothly and quickly.

Separation without Divorce

Sometimes called Judicial or legal separation, this process is similar to divorce but at the end of it, you will still be married. If you are not sure if you are ready to divorce or there are religious or cultural reasons why divorce would be inappropriate, then a legal separation could be an option. This is an agreement between you both to set out how you will live and how your property and finances are managed following the separation. The separation process involves:

  • One of the couple applies to the court for a separation
  • Depending on whether the petition is agreed or contested, the court will formally approve the separation
  • Family finance arrangements can be made, and decisions made regarding any children
  • There can be issues surrounding pension arrangements with judicial separations.

It is important to get professional advice as soon as possible to help you decide which route to follow.

Civil Partnership Dissolution

As with divorcing couples, separating Civil Partners will need to apply to the Court for a dissolution. The legal processes are broadly the same as divorce with the same entitlements in terms of property, maintenance payments, pension and arrangements for the children. Sweeney Miller is experienced in dealing with all aspect of Civil Partnerships and can guide you through the dissolution process.

Will I have to go to Court?

If you and your spouse agree to the divorce, it is possible to avoid Court, saving stress, time and money. If you can’t agree on how best to separate, the divorce solicitors at Sweeney Miller Law will represent you in Court, offering advice and guidance along the way.

What about the children?

Understandably, separating couples will aim to have as little impact on any children involved as possible. Our child custody lawyers are experienced in dealing with child arrangement orders, as well as specific issues such as going on holiday, relocation and grandparents’ rights.

What else do I need to know about divorce?

Matrimonial finances and assets must be finalised in a legally binding Clean Break Consent Order if you want to protect yourself from any future claims your spouse may make. We can advise you about the implications of splitting up and protect your interests with our team who specialise in divorce and financial settlement, divorce and splitting assets and divorce and pensions.

Divorce and legal separation both affect any Wills that you may have. If you never had a Will, then your ex may be able to claim on your estate if you die. We have a team of wills and probate solicitors who can ensure that your wishes are met after the split.

How much will a divorce solicitor cost?

Generally, in divorce cases, each side is responsible for paying their own legal bills. We understand that no one wants to be stuck in a long, protracted court battle with their ex, leading to mounting legal bills.  The family law solicitors at Sweeney Miller are proactive and offer pragmatic advice to help keep your case moving along.  With our experience, we recognise when a case is losing momentum and ensure that any hold-ups are quickly dealt with, providing robust representation when needed, enabling you to move on with your life.

If you are concerned that you won’t be able to pay for our help, we can work with you to agree on a payment plan.  Assessed on an individual basis, we may accept deferred payments made upon the sale of a property or once the family financial arrangements are agreed.  We want to help you find a way to fund your legal costs, whilst ensuring that you receive the best possible advice and support. We will advise you of all the options and likely costs involved as your case progresses, so there are no surprises.

With offices in Sunderland and Newcastle, our family lawyers work with clients across the North East. For a free no-obligation first discussion please get in touch:

Divorce Solicitors in Sunderland: 0191 568 2050
Divorce Solicitors in Newcastle: 0345 900 5401

Find out more with our related blog posts:

  • Very efficient, informative service. Explained clearly points I did not understand or questions I had. 5 stars!

    Miss J of Barking
  • Amazing service! I’ve moved house several times and this has been the best firm I’ve ever used.

    Mr & Mrs B of Newark
  • Dear Michael,

    Many thanks for all of your help and support over the last few months. We have been extremely impressed and are looking forward to working with you all again in the future.

    Best wishes and thanks again.

    Mr L of London
  • Stephanie, this is to express my appreciation to you and the entire team that helped with my mortgage. I am very grateful for the professionalism displayed throughout.


    Mr A of Ipswich
  • Elly – Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

    I actually wanted to thank you, you have been brilliant through the whole process. Thank you for being clear with me. I will gladly refer you to friends and family 🙂

    Mr & Mrs M of London
  • Being in our 60’s buying another property was daunting to say the least but Damien made everything uncomplicated, can’t believe how smooth everything went.

    Mr & Mrs M of Chester Le Street
  • Abbey –  On behalf of myself and all my family,  we are extremely grateful for your professionalism and support during this stressful process for us. We are very happy to have our first house and we couldn’t do this without your help. Thank you!

    Miss A of Rugby
  • Hi All,

    I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all, for all the hard work you have periodically contributed over this rather long journey we have had together.

    I was very worried about going with a solicitors which wasn’t local but ohhh how I was wrong. I genuinely don’t think we could of done better and we will recommend your firm to everyone.

    Kara!! You are amazing and thank you for going completely above and beyond in the last 6 months. We never once felt like just money signs and actually felt like you cared and shared all our ups and downs with us.

    Thank you all again for everything.

    Much Love

    Miss D & Mr C of Dudley
  • Special mention to Alys Terebenec  who dealt with our sale and purchase in an excellent manner. Keeping us up to date at all times and explained the process on the way.

    Mr and Mrs W of Sunderland
  • Kara, we would like to say a huge thank you for helping us with our sale and purchase. This was the first time we had sold and purchased a property, we had no clue as to what to do but your explanation of things and the communication you kept with us made it much easier. I would also like to thank David Turk, Zarah Rowntree, Emma Hunter, Isabelle Levitt and Chloe Slater for the work and correspondence in the last days before the completion and making the final few days go smoothly. We will definitely be requesting the services of Sweeney Miller and also recommending you to friends and family in the future.

    Mr and Mrs E of The West Midlands
  • I have used Sweeney Miller’s conveyancing services twice this year. Once to oversee the sale of my apartment & subsequently to manage all matters in relation to a complex housing purchase. Throughout, all staff I dealt with were knowledgeable, courteous and efficient in handling my case and the queries I had. 

    A law firm that takes pride in delivering excellent customer service.

    Mr H of London
  • Thank you so much for the speedy and professional services I received from you. I really appreciate the clear and prompt communication – especially over the phone. I’ve already recommended Sweeney Miller to others 🙂

    Mr P of Newcastle
  • Lois – could you please pass on our thanks for a great service for the purchase of our property, you couldn’t have been anymore helpful and kept us informed all the way through the purchase.

    We will be recommending you to any friends or family who need your services.

    Mr and Mrs C of Gloucestershire
  • Stephanie – Thank you to you and your team for all your professional support and faultless communications. Much appreciated.

    Mrs D of Devon
  • David – this is just to thank you for your excellent service which you (and Alex) provided in completing a variety of matters on behalf of the family.

    Mr P of Sunderland