Family Law Specialist

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Cheadle, Stockport,
Greater Manchester

Family Law & Finances

Nicola Williams Solicitor

Nicola Williams Solicitor

financial family law for individuals and families

Separation and divorce services in an amicable divorce

Nicola Williams Solicitor
Nicola Williams Solicitor

Help for individuals and couples

I help separating or divorcing individuals and couples navigate the the family legal system.

As a consultant solicitor, I work within a nationally recognised law firm, whose London Team were shortlisted for the second year in a row for Family Team of the Year – London at the Family Law Awards 2021.

If you would like help working through your separation and divorce options (whether individually or together as a couple) I can help you.

Help for couples divorcing amicably

To use my services as a couple there are two options:

Option 1 – completely agreed

I offer traditional solicitor divorce services for couples as long as you are reasonably amicable and there isn’t any conflict of interest between you.

This means you must be agreed in principle on the way forward. You need to have a clear common purpose and a strong consensus on how that purpose is to be achieved. 

I can help you complete your divorce forms, or simply draft your financial agreement ready to submit it to the court at the end of your divorce. A financial agreement in divorce proceedings is known as a consent order. You can read more about the consent order service and the cost of consent orders here.

If you would like more information about how I can help you with your separation and divorce as a couple please arrange a joint free initial consultation.

Option 2 – nearly there but still some sticking points

If you’re not entirely agreed on the way forward, you might need some help getting that agreement over the line.

In those circumstances, I can’t help both of you as a solicitor without some assistance from a mediation service.

I can however, refer you to a mediation service and then can you come back to me to prepare the final documents once you have finalised your agreement.

If you would like more information on mediation, please contact me and I will arrange a free consultation with you to see whether your case is suitable for mediation.

How many couples actually have an amicable divorce?

First of all, let’s just debunk the myth that all divorcing couples end up in court fighting to the bitter end.

The fact is that the overwhelming majority of separating couples have a reasonably amicable divorce.

Here are some statistics from the government:

In 2021 there were 46,992 court orders made for financial provision at the end of divorce in England and Wales.

On average, over the 3 previous years (including the period of the pandemic) 112,364 divorces were started per year.

Roughly 42% of people starting divorce proceedings, ask the court to make a financial order.

And out of those 42% of cases, 74% were consent orders and a further 15% settled. That’s 89% of all financial provision orders in total that are consent orders (financial agreements).

Fewer than 5% of divorce applications ended up in court contesting their finances to the bitter end*.

95% of people managed to get divorced without the court intervening to make an order (other than an agreed order) as to how they should divide their money.

*figures taken from family court statistics quarterly 2021

How can I help you with an amicable divorce?

Save you time and stress searching forums on the internet for help with your divorce;

Demystify and explain the rules that will actually apply to you at different stages of the legal process of divorce and separation;

Show you how everything will fit together specifically in your case;

Help you gather and share your financial information (if you need to) safely, easily and economically;

Prepare your separation agreement or consent order, form A and D81 statement of information for a consent order;

File your documents at court for you and help you deal with any queries from the judge;

Help you deal with implementation, conveyancing, wills, pension sharing etc.

In summary, I can help you understand the divorce process better, make sure you file the right documents at the right time, help you mitigate any tax on the sale/transfer of property and make sure all loose ends are tied up in a consent order.

Binding legal agreements and consent orders help you avoid future issues.

Financial agreements at the end of a divorce give you peace of mind.

There are three types of financial agreement.

Oral agreements

You and your spouse might simply agree verbally how you’re going to divide your property. In fact, if you haven’t been married very long and don’t have much in the way of assets, you might think that’s all you need.

All you need to be aware of is that an oral agreement is

easy to misunderstand or to forget the exact terms of;

difficult to prove the terms of;

is no good if you have a pension you need to share (only a court order can do this) and

will not prevent either of you changing your mind.

Written financial agreements or deeds

A separation agreement or deed is somewhere between an oral agreement and a consent order.

They help

remind you of the terms you have agreed to;

enable you to prove the terms you agreed to (which can be very useful); and

can help ensure you pay the right amount of capital gains tax.

Again, what they can’t do is

prevent either of you changing your mind;

effect a pension sharing order; or

be enforced without an application first to make them into a legally binding financial order.

In other words, if your agreement has broken down, you can prove what the terms were, but you can’t enforce them automatically.

You would first of all have to go back to the beginning and ask the court to make an order that you can then enforce.

Your former spouse is likely to contest that, in view of the breakdown in the agreement. Therefore it could take several months, possibly over a year and cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds in direct costs and indirect losses.

On the other hand, if you’re really amicable and don’t need a pension sharing order, you might decide that all you want is a written separation deed/agreement rather than apply for it to be approved by the court as a consent order (see below).

Consent orders

Consent orders are the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to a financial agreement at the end of divorce proceedings.

A consent order:

sets out the terms you have agreed;

can be very helpful in making sure you only pay the right amount of capital gains tax;

is the only way your agreement can divide a pension;

proves your maintenance income for mortgage purposes; and

is enforceable in many ways even if the other person becomes unwilling or incapable of carrying out the agreed terms.

Services for an amicable divorce

Separation and divorce services range from £500 per couple for an agreed clean break order

Free consultation

It’s overwhelming, not knowing where to begin – wondering what services you need and how much will they cost.

That’s why I offer a free initial consultation to look at your case and explain which services are suitable.

If you are ready to have a chat, fill in the form below and I’ll come back to you as soon as I can to arrange an appointment time with you.

Arrange a free consultation about a divorce consent order

Arrange a free consultation about a divorce consent order

Thank you for your interest in my consent order service. If you let me have the information requested below, I will do my best come back to you within 1 working day, Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. to arrange a free initial consultation.

Is this a joint enquiry?
Second party name
Second party name

Please let me have a little background so that I can a) identify whether I can help you and b) send you information for an alternative services if it seems more appropriate.

Have divorce proceedings in England or Wales started?
Do you have a conditional order/decree nisi or a date when this will be pronounced by the court?
Are both parties in agreement over the terms of the order?
Total value of any real property owned (houses, flats etc)
Please enter the approximate combined value of all property owned
Total value of any other realiseable assets (savings, shares etc – not pensions)
Please enter the approximate combined value of all realiseable assets owned
Do you have pensions?
Do you need a pension sharing order as part of your agreement?
How did you hear about me?
Do you consent to me contacting you by email at the above email address(es) to send you more information and arrange a consultation?
I will not disclose your details to anyone and will not use your data for any marketing purposes whatsoever. Please see my privacy policy for more details on how I process your personal data.
Nicola Williams solicitor is a member of Resolution

How I work.

1 – request a free initial consultation. I’ll come back to you as soon as I can.

2 – future meetings can be online or at offices in Didsbury, Cheadle Hulme or London.

3 – I use email mostly to keep in touch. Post is used only for original documents requiring a wet signature.

4 – court forms are lodged online with the court service.

separation and divorce solicitor regulated by the SRA

Nicola Williams is a Family Law Solicitor in the AFG Law Family Team at Cheadle Royal Business Park, Brooks Drive, Manchester, Cheadle SK8 3TD