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Family Law & Divorce Solicitors

Every person, family, relationship is different....

You may be reaching financial and property agreements at the beginning or during a relationship, or you may be faced with making difficult decisions about your finances or children when a relationship ends.

We will look after your best interests and provide you with clear, fair and sensitive advice, tailored to your needs.

We have in-house expertise to help you make the best decisions outside court, including 3 trained collaborative lawyers.  We also provide advice alongside and at the conclusion of mediation.

With immediate access to Wards’ wide range of legal expertise, we can also advise on areas like conveyancing, commercial and business services, trusts and wills, as and when needed.

We offer a free 30 minute initial consultation, so we can discuss your situation with you and help you understand your legal options.

Our goal is to make your family law issue as straightforward as possible by providing clear, practical advice on how to proceed from the very beginning.

To book your initial free consultation, please get in touch with our family law team by calling 0117 929 2811 or contact your local Wards office.

Our family lawyers operate from a network of offices in the South West and help clients locally and from further afield, providing our services flexibly, in person or remotely to suit you.

How we can help:

Some of our recent client feedback:

“Compassionate, understanding and patient with me throughout the whole process.”

“Always very helpful and efficient. At every stage things were made clear and in a concise manner. With such an important subject, I was never made to feel awkward. Thank you so much.”

“Really helpful and supportive. Highly recommended.”

We are proud to be recommended as a Leading Firm in the Independent Legal 500 Guide 2023, with Wards’ Family Team ranked for its excellent client service.

"Alison Bradley was fantastic throughout my case. I found her friendly, professional and she advised me appropriately when the other side were being difficult. I would therefore recommend Alison to friends, family/work colleagues."

"The support I received from Louise was invaluable. Her performance in court was excellent and I felt she represented me and my case to the highest standard."

"I will always appreciate Sylvie Feltham's advice, support and understanding at a very traumatic time in my life. Thank you."

"Without doubt truly satisfied. Could not have wished for anyone else to represent me. Amy was a saint - fantastic."

"Jessica Williams was attentive and professional at all times. Also realistic and worked in my best interests."

Commonly Asked Questions

We will be able to advise you in relation to the difficult decisions which need to be made when a relationship ends, including what happens in the short and longer term. Whether you need to make arrangements for children, deal with property, finances or businesses we can help. For more information take a look at Understanding your divorce proceedings and Ending your civil partnership.

Many parents are able to agree the arrangements for the children, but if this is not possible, then we can help to negotiate an agreement. We can refer you for mediation or, as a last resort, act for you in Court action. If there is a dispute about arrangements for children the Court has powers to resolve the arrangements and will always consider what is best for the children. The Court can appoint a welfare officer who will discuss the case with the parents, schools and, if relevant, other family members before reporting back to the Court. Take a look at our legal guide Considering children in divorce and relationship breakdown for more information.

It’s not surprising that financial worries are at the top of everyone’s list of concerns. We can provide detailed, expert information and advice on this area, in plain English. We can advise you on matters such as the family home, investment properties, businesses, pensions and trusts, long term planning and Wills, commercial matters relating to a family business, meeting income needs, and long-term settlements. Take a look at our legal guide Handling financial claims during your divorce or civil partnership dissolution for more information.

If you have doubts as to whether you are the legal owner of your home, please let us know immediately as we may need to protect your interest in it. When a relationship ends the main concern is often where each person will live. The need to ensure any children have a secure and stable home will be a priority. As children often spend time with both parents, the housing needs and the resources available to meet those needs will for many families be their priority. No relationship or family is the same and we will be able to look at the specific facts of your situation and advise you.

For many people a pension can be the biggest asset after the family home, therefore it is important that they are dealt with correctly and split fairly. Any pensions or pension rights that you or your ex-spouse or former spouse/civil partner have will need to be considered in a financial settlement. This can be state pensions, workplace pensions, personal pensions, or a combination of them all. In order to decide how best to deal with pensions, you will need to know what they are worth and review the different types that you have. There are lots of rules and regulations that apply to pensions and as a result, seeking expert advice is essential. Take a look at our legal guide for more information about Pensions.

The answer to this is that financial support does not necessarily stop when you divorce, particularly where one spouse earns more than the other; where there has been a long marriage and if there are dependent children under the age of 18. The Court will always consider whether there should be any maintenance at all and if maintenance is to be paid, the Court would need to consider the income of each party (including any bonuses) and the needs of both parties. Take a look at our legal guide Will I need to financially support my Spouse after we are divorced? for more information.

Determining how to treat assets one party believes is “theirs” (such as inheritances) can be highly emotive during a relationship breakdown. A court can distinguish between “Matrimonial Assets” and “Non Matrimonial Assets” (such as an inheritances). Inheritances can be received before the marriage, during the marriage or after separation. They may have benefited both parties, been kept separate or a combination of the two. Meeting the parties needs will always take priority over the nature of the assets themselves but, once needs are met a court is likely to consider excluding the “non-matrimonial assets” from consideration. As with most aspects of family law there is no specific formula for working out a financial settlement and as far as inheritance is concerned there is no particular ‘rule’. Take a look at our legal guide on Inheritance for more information.

We offer a range of fixed fee divorce packages. We will discuss your circumstances and needs including which of our options is the most suitable for you at an initial meeting.

The first thing to do is to contact us to discuss all of your options. Remember, divorce or dissolution may not be the only outcome. You can help us by not signing any papers connected with your divorce, your business, your finances or your children before you speak to us. You can complete our online divorce enquiry form or contact one of our Family and Divorce Team.

A Pre-Nuptial Agreement or more commonly known as a ‘pre-nup’ is a contract entered into prior to a marriage or a civil partnership. The agreement is entered into by the people intending to marry. The content of a pre-nuptial agreement can vary and will largely depend on the parties’ circumstances. Generally an agreement will deal with what the parties want to happen to their property and finances in the event of the breakdown of the marriage or divorce. Pre-nuptial agreements have been given greater recognition in divorce proceedings in recent times and are no longer the preserve of the rich and famous. For more information take a look at our legal guide What is a pre-nuptial agreement and should we make one?.

Domestic abuse can affect many family relationships, whether between spouses, civil partners or relatives. We have a number of solicitors who are experts in this area of the law and will be able to provide you with quick and confidential advice about your options. If you feel unable to remain in your home and the situation is urgent we can advise you on finding safe accommodation. The police have specialist domestic abuse units and will respond immediately to requests for assistance. The Courts also have wide ranging powers to protect the victims of domestic abuse and their children and we can help you to obtain an injunction from the Court to protect you, if necessary. Our legal guide Injunctions relating to abuse and violence in the home provides more information.

There is no such thing as a common law spouse and therefore, often, couples who are unmarried are left in a very difficult situation. Whilst there are no formalities to ending your relationship there may, however, be other issues relating to children or finances that you need our help with. These might include ownership and occupation of property; financial provision for children; parental responsibility and inheritance. Couples who plan to live together but not marry should consider a Cohabitation Agreement. If there is a dispute over property or assets then further advice should be sought from a solicitor. Follow the links for more information on Understanding Cohabitation Agreements and Understanding Cohabitation Disputes , or contact our cohabitation team.