What are Court Applications?

You can apply to court to get a ruling on children issues, property and financial issues, for a divorce, or if there has been domestic violence.   These applications are all separate and will be dealt with by different judges on different days so, for example, your children issues will not be dealt with at the same time as the court deals with what is to happen to your family home.  Court applications are necessary in some cases where people cannot come to an agreement, or where one of you will not deal with outstanding issues within a reasonable timeframe.  You are encouraged throughout the process to reach agreement but ultimately if you cannot, the court will come to a decision for you.  You can be represented by a lawyer, or you can act in person, possibly with information via the Safety Net Process.

Pros?

  • Timetable controlled by the court
  • Certainty that there will be an outcome, in a Court Order
  • Speed, if delay is anticipated
  • Emergency or enforcement orders can be made
  • The court can make an order to ensure proper financial disclosure is made, or inferences will be drawn by the court if disclosure of information is not provided
  • Costs orders are available in exceptional cases 

Cons? 

  • If there is a final hearing, the outcome will be final and may not be what you want or expect
  • Highest cost of all the processes
  • Risk of costs orders if you do not comply with the court timetable
  • Generally takes 4 - 18 months in Milton Keynes County Court - longer in many other courts

Cost?

Between £4000 - £15,000 or more dependant on number of hearings/stages of settlement/complexity.

Is Legal Aid available?

Not unless there has been significant domestic violence, and the Legal Aid Agency eligibility requirements and threshold criteria are met.

What if it fails?

Failure not possible but if at any stage you want to try to settle without a trial, then mediation may be able to resolve matters at any stage.  Otherwise the court is under a duty to make final orders

Time Scale

Time for the process to complete is between 6 months and 18 months

Who can provide this service

Franklins Solicitors LLP
Shakespeares
Hawkins Family Law
Heald Solicitors LLP
Purcells LLP
Neves Solicitors
Sheddon Family Law
Pictons LLP
Kingsley David Solicitors