Call us today on 028 9023 1770, or fill in the call back form below, to arrange your free initial consultation.
Family Solicitors, Divorce, Children's Orders, Domestic Violence.
When personal relationships break down you may need a strong solicitor to help guide you through.
Issues around children, divorce and separation, domestic violence and harassment are sensitive and we recognise you will need a good solicitor to help you through.
Our specialist legal teams are on hand every step of the way to support and guide you through the family court process and have an excellent track record in fighting for the best outcome for you and your family.
We assist people in several areas of family law . These include:
1. Family Court & Children Order
2. Divorce & Financial Provisions
3. Domestic Violence - Occupation Orders & Protection from harassment injunctions.
Divorce And Family Law FAQ
How long it takes to process your divorce depends on a number of varied factors. If you are able to quickly come to terms with your partner without having to go to court, it is possible that the whole process could be completed inside 6 months or less. However, if you find it difficult to reach an agreement, have a lot of issues to resolve, or need to have things put before a court, it can take much longer – sometimes up to 2 years or more. The best advice is to talk to one of our solicitors today.
- There is only one ground for divorce: an ‘irretrievable breakdown of the marriage’. This is proved by any one of five facts:
- Unreasonable behaviour – Conduct by you or your partner deemed sufficient to cause the irretrievable breakdown of your marriage
- Adultery – Defined as voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and a person who is not their spouse
- Living apart for two years (and both partners agree to the divorce)
- Living apart for five years
- Desertion for at least two years – Desertion takes place when one partner leaves the other without their knowledge or agreement.
Usually, the grounds for divorce and the guilt of either party won’t have an impact on your financial settlement or the arrangements made for you children, but this is decided on a case-by-case basis. If you have queries you should consult one of our solicitors today.
There are strict time limits associated with these kinds of cases.
Time limits differ depending on the type of personal injury claim, therefore we would advise you to seek the advice of our expert solicitors as soon as possible.
There are seven stages currently to the divorce process in Northern Ireland:
- A divorce petition must be filed with a court by yourself or your partner. Whoever does this is known as the Petitioner, with the other party referred to as the Respondent
- The court sends the divorce documents to the Respondent
- The Respondent files an Acknowledgement of Service – this includes answering questions such as ‘do you intend to defend the case?’ and ‘do you agree with the ground for divorce?’
- The Petitioner applies for decree nisi – an order by a court stating the date on which a marriage can end, unless a good reason not to grant the divorce is produced
- The court will then send you a Certificate of Entitlement confirming when decree nisi will be pronounced
- The court grants the decree nisi and sends a copy to both of your solicitors
- The Petitioner applies for a decree absolute after six weeks and one day has passed from decree nisi being granted. This decree is a final order from the court that officially ends the marriage, allowing each party to remarry. The Petitioner can delay in making the application for example if financial arrangements have not yet been finalised.
The divorce process differs depending on how you and your partner respond to each other’s demands, and particularly if the Respondent indicates they are going to defend the divorce. If steps are contested, the process can be slowed down.
You can agree your financial settlement with your partner at whenever you want, but getting it legally formalised with a Financial Consent Order cannot be done before the decree nisi is pronounced. It may then be decided that you should not apply for a decree absolute until you have reached a financial settlement with your partner, but that is not always the case.
Childcare arrangements are usually negotiated throughout the process. In all cases we advise talking to one of our solicitors first or to arrange a consultation.
You might have to go to court if you can’t come to an agreement with your partner, but you are both required to try and reach an agreement over the arrangements for your children’s care and financial arrangements before taking the case to court.
At Robert G Sinclair & Co Solicitors we can help you and your partner try to reach an agreement, if necessary with the use of our trained mediators, who can help you and your partner discuss your situation in a transparent and constructive way. We can also provide you with access to family therapists and counselling services for extra support.
Out-of-court agreements are typically cheaper and quicker than going to court, which can make them less stressful for all involved – an important consideration where children are concerned.
If none of the out-of-court processes work, we will ensure you have the best legal representation in court. Our experienced solicitors will be open and honest about the likely outcome, and will fight to protect your best interests. We will ensure you are well prepared for any appearances, and will be at your side throughout. We will make everything clear from the outset.
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Ask one of our solicitors today.
Meet Your Family Law Solicitors
Contact us for a quick, no obligation quote, on 028 90231770 or complete the enquiry form and we will call you back. At your free initial consultation our legal expert will make everything clear from the costs involved to what to expect along the way. We’ll work to get you the best possible result and promise to keep you up-to-date at every stage.
Nóirín worked with a leading Plaintiff healthcare firm in the Republic of Ireland for two years and a NI firm for another year worked extensively on cases involving birth injuries, cancer misdiagnosis, surgical error and fatal claims. Nóirín had great success in this field and has successfully concluded many complex High Court Plaintiff medical negligence actions. Nóirín has also worked on minor injury and catastrophic injury cases arising from road traffic accidents and accidents at work. Nóirín worked on a case for a Plaintiff who suffered from a catastrophic brain injury arising out of a road traffic accident which settled for € 9 million in Dublin High Court which was one of the largest ever settlements achieved in that jurisdiction at that time.
Nóirín deals with a wide range of litigation and medical negligence actions to include professional negligence, claims relating to cerebral palsy/birth injury, gynaecological and obstetric injuries, A & E, GP negligence, oncology (failure to diagnose and misdiagnose of cancer), eye related claims, defective medical product claims and fatal injury claims. Nóirín is a high profile patient advocate and cancer survivor and as a result, she has spoken at many healthcare conferences in Northern Ireland. Nóirín was invited by the Cabinet Minister of Health and Sport of the Scottish Government to be an External Advisor on the Digital Healthcare Strategy and has had articles published in the British Medical Journal. Nóirín is a member of the Law Society of Northern Ireland’s Clinical Negligence Practitioner’s Group.
Mairead is recognised in the Legal 500 for her knowledge of personal injury and clinical negligence. She is described in the Legal 500 as ”very thorough, engaging, knowledgeable and astute”. She is a member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (“APIL”).
Mairead O’Boyle has extensive experience in personal injury and she has acted for leading Insurers and retailers in defending slips, trip and falls arising out of employer and public liability claims. She is highly experienced in motor claims including car hire matters. She has given presentations to Insurers on fraudulent claims and to retailers and manufacturers on health and safety in the work place. She has also acted for local businesses in relation to breaches of the health and safety legislation where serious injury has occurred and attended PACE interviews. Mairead can offer clients a unique service of carrying out preliminary investigations and preparing reports in relation to liability and quantum. This has enabled Insurers to settle claims at an early stage, where it is appropriate to do so and Mairead is a keen negotiator and has experience in settling high court and county court claims, including complex scarring injury claims.
For 19 years Mairead O’Boyle acted for a leading Livestock Insurer and is familiar with all liability issues associated with the ownership of animals, in particular, horses and dogs. Her experience in this area of insurance has developed from her experience in prosecuting individuals under the dogs order on behalf of two local councils. The prosecutions have ranged from no dog licences to dog attacks on persons and sheep and seizure of prohibited breeds of dogs. She has also provided advice notes for the local authorities regarding the dogs legislation. In addition, she has undertaken prosecution work regarding breaches of health and safety where fatalities have occurred, littering offences, breaches of the Sunday trading laws, breaches of the tobacco order and breaches of the bye-laws relating to consumption of intoxicating liquor in designated areas. She has experience in other criminal matters including defending motoring offences, assault charges and theft offences.
Mairead is keen to develop her expertise in professional negligence claims and is currently acting for a bank against an expert associated with a property evaluation. She is particularly interested in medical negligence and has increased her expertise in this area over the last number of years. She has acted in high value cases where individuals experienced catastrophic life changing injuries requiring future surgery and nursing care. She has also acted for minors who were mis-diagnosed of a condition which had severe consequences not only physically and psychologically but it affected their education and career.
Outside work, Mairead is a busy Mum of twins and enjoys a good walk in the Glens of Antrim when she has time to do so!
Grace joined the firm as a Paralegal in September 2014 and currently leads the firm’s busy Lender Services team. She has expertise in dealing with high volume mortgage litigation caseloads for a number of major banks and lending institutions and is experienced in working within Strict Service Level Agreements.
Grace is also an appointed member of the firm’s Risk and Compliance Committee and has been involved in developing new Policies and Procedures to help ensure the firm’s compliance with the ever growing needs of our lender clients.
Grace recently completed her studies and qualified as a Solicitor at the Institute of Professional Legal Studies, Queen’s University Belfast.
Call us today on 028 9023 1770, or fill in the call back form below, to arrange your free initial consultation.
RG Sinclair Solicitors & Co. Ltd
23 Bedford Street
Belfast BT2 7EJ
T: 028 9023 1770