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Waughs Solicitors

serving east grinstead since 1968

Waughs Solicitors Divorce


Pre-nuptials and Cohabitation

We advise on and prepare Pre-nuptial Agreements prior to marriage or civil union and Cohabitation Agreements for couples who wish to live together, rather than marry.

Family breakdown

Family breakdown and divorce is said to be one of the most stressful experiences in life. We advise and support our clients through this difficult process, with a professional, yet sympathetic and understanding approach.

We deal with all issues arising from the separation of unmarried couples, the separation and divorce of married couples and the termination of civil partnerships. These issues include what is to happen with the family home, the division of other capital, property and assets, the possible tax implications of a family breakdown, pension rights, welfare state benefits and wills.


Most importantly, we focus on the long-term interests of any children involved. It is very often children who suffer the most as a result of a family breakdown and their future care and welfare is paramount. We advise both parents and grandparents in relation to children issues and deal, for example, with formal Residence and Contact Orders, removal of children from the country and maintenance issues.

Protection from Violence

If a relationship has deteriorated to the point where aggressive and violent behaviour is used by one party, we can assist the other party by obtaining an Injunction Order to offer some protection and prevent such behaviour.


We try to minimise the bitterness in family disputes and advise on mediation as an alternative to going to Court, as a way of resolving these disputes.

(We do not offer a Legal Aid service.)

Both Martin and Pam have each been practising Matrimonial Law for over 38 years, and have dealt with a very wide range of cases.


In relation to our costs, we refer you back to the hourly charging rates on this site. 

New "no fault" divorce

The new legislation for "no fault" divorce came in to force on the 6th April 2022. Under these new divorce laws it is no longer possible to contest a divorce unless this is on the basis of jurisdiction, coercion or fraud. This change will also apply to civil partnership dissolution. Under the previous law, one spouse needed to issue divorce proceedings against the other. The person who started the divorce was called the Petitioner and the other person the Respondent. Under the "no fault" divorce system, both people will be able to make the application jointly or will be able to get divorced solely on the basis that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, without needing to cite fault or blame. There is a minimum time frame of twenty weeks between the application and the conditional order and then a minimum six week period following the conditional order before the Applicant can apply for the final order. In most cases this six week period will be extended to deal with outstanding financial matters.

Fixed fee divorce service

Our fixed fee divorce service to the Applicant (the person applying for the divorce) is £450 plus VAT plus the Court fee of £593 (a fee payable to the Court Service with every application).

What is included in our fixed fee divorce service

Our fixed fee divorce service provides you with a specialist family lawyer who will:

  • Prepare the divorce application for your approval.
  • Send the divorce application to the Court for issuing.
  • Receive acknowledgment of service from the Respondent (your spouse) or their solicitor.
  • Apply to the Court for the conditional order (previously known as decree nisi).
  • Apply to the Court for the final order (previously known as decree absolute).

Most importantly we will handle this with the utmost care, supporting you every step of the way. Once we have met with you and obtained the information needed to start the divorce process we will prepare all the documents required by the Court, liaise with the other party or their solicitor and manage the entire process from start to finish. Please note it is standard practice for the Court fee to be payable upfront along with our full fee. If you are on a low income you may be eligible for help with Court fees. To assess whether you may be eligible for Court fee exemption/remission please refer to Form EX160 and guidance notes EX160A.

What is not included in the fixed fee divorce

Our fixed fee divorce fee is the cost to legally end your marriage. Depending on your situation, there may be additional fees for legal advice and services on matters to deal with:

  • Financial advice/settlement.
  • Children.
  • Unforeseen circumstances. For example, problems with the service of the proceedings on the other party.

We will always be up front and clear about what these costs are likely to be when we meet with you, or as soon as we become aware of something that may result in an additional fee.

Financial advice/settlement

We are very happy to advise on these aspects as they may need consideration as part of the breakdown of the marriage. The additional cost will depend on the complexity of your matter and your own circumstances. Advice on such matters will be charged at an hourly rate which we can discuss with you at our first meeting. As a matter develops we can give you clear estimates as to what the overall costs will be. Where matters have been negotiated through mediation or by agreement between parties the cost of drafting a consent order might be in the order of £750-£1,500 plus VAT. However where matters are particularly complex and Court proceedings are necessary which run to a final hearing those costs can be in excess of £20,000 plus VAT depending on the nature of the matter. We will advise you as matters progress as to the likely costs involved.

Consent orders can be lodged on the Court portal for approval once a conditional order for divorce has been made and are taking up to four weeks to be determined by a District Judge.


In matters of divorce the Court fee to issue your application is currently £593. To commence a financial remedy application within the Court where negotiations have been unsuccessful there is a £275 fee. Where agreement has been reached in relation to financial matters and a consent order has been drawn the Court fee is currently £53. Additional applications may need to be required within the proceedings – such as enforcement for the provision of further financial information, and the specified fee for such an application or notice is £167.

It is possible, depending on your level of income and capital to be exempt from payment of the Court fees or pay a reduced rate. You can check whether you may be eligible by visiting www.gov.uk and refer to Form EX50 guidance on paying fees.

We will often refer matters for mediation. The cost of mediation can vary enormously depending on the type of mediators used and the timescale over which the mediation takes place. This can be anything from £86 plus VAT for an individual assessment meeting up to significantly higher figures for a mediation that may take place over a lengthy period of time with complex matters. Legal Aid is available for those financially eligible with certain mediators.

For more information please telephone Martin Groat or Pam Dorrington on 01342 323545 or email us at enquiries@waughs-solicitors.co.uk

Family Law Panel Logo


Pam Dorrington is a member of the Family Law Panel, which is a specialist panel of family lawyers, approved by the Law Society.