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Successful Harrogate family solicitors & divorce lawyers

Our team of award-winning family and divorce lawyers in Harrogate is led by Managing Partner Christopher Birch. Christopher is joined by Partners Neil Dring and Kate Sarsfield and a team of five Senior Solicitors and an in-house accountancy team. 

We are family law specialists.  Since the firm’s founding in 1982, we have provided family law services only.  Most of our family solicitors been giving family legal advice for their entire careers.

On your side, in and out of court

We will listen, advise and guide you through the legal and practical process of divorce and other family matters. Ideally, we will work to settle out of court but are equally experienced in litigation and have a strong, robust approach and an excellent track record.

All of our family lawyers are members of Resolution, which means that we are aligned in our commitment “to the constructive resolution of family disputes” and follow a Code of Practice that “promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems.”

Alternatives to court are centred around dialogue between spouses and their solicitor or solicitors.  Methods include mediation and arbitration, which can be explained to you at the initial consultation.

Helping you before, during and after separation

We are highly experienced in advising and acting in all areas of family law with a particular focus on resolving complex financial matters and protecting the welfare of children during a divorce or separation. Our clients range from high-net worth individuals with complex financials to local professionals with more straightforward matters. 

Asset protection

Whether you wish to protect your wealth or want to ensure your financial future is secured, our Harrogate team of family solicitors work hand-in-hand with our in-house accountancy team to get the best representation and outcome.

You’re in good hands

Stowe Family Law was recognised as the Family Law Firm of the Year at the 2018 Yorkshire Legal Awards and has been shortlisted again as a finalist for the ‘Family Law Award’ in 2020

Divorce and family farms

We have considerable experience in resolving cases involving family farms and agricultural businesses across North Yorkshire. These complicated cases require expert strategic preparation to secure a successful outcome for both parties without having to sell or weaken the commercial viability of the farming business.

Your team in Harrogate

Christopher Birch
Sharp, knowledgeable and determined with a no-nonsense approach, I combine legal expertise...
Managing Partner, Harrogate, Beverley & York
Neil Dring
I cover all areas of family law with a focus on financial settlements and child arrangemen...
Partner, Wetherby & Harrogate
Kate Sarsfield
Since training at Stowe Family Law, I have specialised in family law for over 20 years. In...
Partner, Harrogate & Wetherby
Mark Christie
I have specialised in family law for over 35 years with a focus on divorce, separation and...
Senior Solicitor, Harrogate & Wetherby
Katie Kilburn
I deal with a range of different cases from a family breakdown with minimal assets to weal...
Senior Solicitor, Wetherby & the rest of Yorkshire
Matthew Miles
I have specialised in family law for over a decade in Yorkshire working with a number of h...
Senior Solicitor, Harrogate & Wetherby

Achieving the best outcome for you

Taking the first step in getting legal assistance is often hardest. Family matters such as separation, child custody and maintenance are serious and the approach you take and decisions you make now, are likely to affect your life for years to come.

The first time you meet, your divorce lawyer will focus on understanding your situation including: family structure and finances, separation circumstances and desired outcomes. You will then be advised on the legal processes and routes and options available to help you achieve those outcomes.

Apart from giving you direction, we aim for every client to walk away from the initial appointment with a clear plan and feeling calmer and confident, whether it be a separation, divorce, child or financial matter, or all of the above.  This approach will increase your chances of achieving your goals and avoiding delays in the divorce process.

The first appointment is also an opportunity for you to decide if you want to entrust your case to us and the divorce solicitor giving you that initial advice.  The first appointment will typically cover things like:

 

Starting the divorce process

The person initiating the divorce submits a divorce application to the court and is thereafter known as the Applicant.  If your ex-partner has already done that, then you will be referred to as the Respondent.  The divorce process requires different actions of Applicants and Respondents at different times, and there are strategic implications for both, especially if one of you lives overseas.

 

How long your divorce is likely to take

In England & Wales, for straightforward and uncontested divorce cases, the process can take between 4 – 6 months.  On average, the whole process takes approximately one year.  Longer than 12 months is common for cases where there are drawn out disagreements on child and financial matters.  It is impossible to predict exactly how long a divorce will take, though a good a divorce lawyer will help give you an educated estimate.

 

How much your divorce is likely to cost

In England & Wales, a divorce costs £550 for the application, plus any solicitor fees and court fees (if applicable). Going to court tends to make divorce more expensive due to court, barrister and additional solicitor fees.

The cleanest and most cost-effective divorces are those where both parties reach an agreement on how to divorce including: the reason for divorce, arrangements for children and the division of assets.  Doing so will minimise the amount of solicitor time and the possibility of litigation in court.

 

Who gets the children in a divorce

Child arrangements depend largely on what the family decides, the suitability of each parent, the child’s wishes and where applicable, the ruling of a family court Judge.  Resulting arrangements can include sole custody, where one parent is the sole caretaker of the child, joint custody and third-party custody where a third party such as a grandparent becomes responsible for the child’s welfare.

 

Your entitlement to the family home

As a starting point in a divorce, assets are split 50:50.  As the family home is often the largest asset in the matrimonial pot, then it is common for it to be split between the parties.  If a family has other assets, then the house could be given to one party and the other assets to the other.  Children are another factor that affects financial arrangements during a divorce.  To answer this question accurately, a comprehensive understanding will be required of your family finances.

Come and see us

We can be found just around the corner from the Everyman Cinema, opposite the back of the library in the Old Court House. The train station and bus station are a five-minute walk away. 

Time limited on-street parking is available directly outside the office. Payable public car-parking can be found close by at the Odeon car park and the West Park multi-storey car park. 

The office is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5.30pm.

Find us

Stowe Family Law LLP
Old Court House, Raglan Street
Harrogate
HG1 1LT
DX 11969 Harrogate
Contact Stowe Family Law Harrogate
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