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Vines Legal Limited

Matrimonial & Family Law Specialists

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Call today for your free initial, no obligation, consultation on 01246 555 610 for immediate, friendly and professional advice.

How to Decide Where your Children Live after a Separation

Decide where children live after separation divorce lawyer ChesterfieldIt may seem as though there is a never-ending list of things to arrange, and a mountain of difficult decisions to make when you embark on the process of a separation. Throw in decisions regarding the future of your children and it can be understandably overwhelming. As Family Law solicitors with expertise in child arrangements, Vines Legal have a wealth of experience in working to ensure that child arrangements after a separation are made in everyone’s best interests.  It’s not always a clear-cut decision as to where your children will live after the separation but don’t worry, with the right advice and support, the right decision can be made.

Consider Family Mediation

If you’re struggling to decide where your children will live after a separation, mediation can be a useful resource to access. Parents who wish to begin court proceedings in relation to children must usually attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) which will help to ensure that all parties are well informed on both the subject of mediation and other forms of family dispute resolution. The mediator will be able to give impartial advice without taking sides, therefore mediation can be a valuable resource to access when coming to an agreement on child arrangements.

What if we Can’t Agree?

If you and your ex-partner can’t agree on the arrangements for your child or children, an application to court for a Child Arrangements Order will likely be required. It’s worth bearing in mind that the Court will not have an automatic view as to whether the child or children should live with their mother or father. Every case is different, as are everyone’s family circumstances. In the event that a Child Arrangements Order is needed, it will typically cover who your children should live with and how much time they spend with the other parent.

For any specific decisions regarding your child’s upbringing such as where they go to school, decisions surrounding medical care, or whether they should receive a religious education, it is possible to apply for a Specific Issue Order. You can also apply for a Prohibited Steps Order to stop the other parent from making a decision about the child’s upbringing, for example, moving abroad or changing the name of the child without the consent of the other parent.

The Best Outcome for your Children

Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in helping our clients through the process of separation and divorce. If you are considering a separation or a divorce, and want to ensure that you get the best outcome for your children during the process, please contact us on 01246 555610 for a free initial consultation where we can explain all of the options available to you.

By Vines Legal on 18 Jan 2022

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Looking to the Future in 2022

moving in together family lawyer ChesterfieldIf you’ve decided to make a change in your relationship this New Year, Vines Legal can help

With the festive season now behind us, many of us are looking forward to the New Year ahead. After an enjoyable Christmas and plenty of opportunities to revaluate your situation, perhaps you’re making exciting plans with your partner to move in together, or even get married? Many couples take time over the festive season to discuss their future as a couple, talk about their hopes and dreams for their lives together, and make positive plans for the coming year.

Sadly, Christmas isn’t always a happy time for some couples, and tension often runs high. The pressure of Christmas can often amplify pre-existing issues in a relationship, and the high levels of stress over the Christmas period can create a perfect storm of frequent disagreements, increased arguments, and sometimes, relationship break-ups.

separation divorce lawyer ChesterfieldMany couples do wait until after Christmas and the New Year before taking steps to separate, which inevitably leads to an increase of enquiries on the first working Monday of January, often dubbed ‘Divorce Day’, and for the remainder of the month too. One in five married couples consider separating from their partner in the New Year after staying together over the festive period, so feeling this way is not uncommon.

If you’ve decided that 2022 is the year to make a change in your relationship, Vines Legal can help. If you’re making plans to live with your partner or get married, and want to protect your finances and assets, we are experts in Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Cohabitation Agreements. If you’ve decided to embark on the process of separation, we’re also experts on divorce, financial settlements, and Separation Agreements.

Whatever the New Year may hold for you, your partner, and your family, Vines Legal are here to support you. As a small team of Family Law Solicitors, we are committed to delivering an individual and caring service to all of our clients, coupled with the capacity and expertise to handle complex cases.

Here at Vines Legal, we offer a free initial, no obligation consultation, for immediate, friendly and professional advice, whatever your circumstances, so you can face the New Year with confidence.

By Vines Legal on 28 Dec 2021

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What Evidence do I Need to Begin Divorce Proceedings?

What Evidence do I Need to Begin Divorce Proceedings?The breakdown of a marriage is never an easy time and making the decision to begin divorce proceedings is one that should never be taken lightly. As matrimonial solicitors, we know there are many questions that you’ll no doubt need answering at this stage. One of the most common queries people have is understanding what evidence they need to start the divorce process. So, here’s an explanation.

Establishing Grounds for Divorce

To establish whether you can begin divorce proceedings, grounds for divorce must be met. The only ground for divorce that needs to be established is that the marriage has broken down and cannot be saved. You’ll need to establish one of 5 facts to prove this: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years of separation with the consent of both partners, separation of five years even if one partner does not agree or has refused to cooperate, or desertion.

If one of these grounds can be met, you can then file for divorce. The first requirement is that you have to have been married for at least one year, and secondly, your marriage must be recognised as valid in the UK. Your solicitor will then be able to go ahead and complete the divorce petition form which can then be filed with the court. Following this, the other party will receive the completed petition as well as the notice of proceedings form (which will contain your case number and details of what to do next), along with the acknowledgement of service form.

Can Divorce be Immediate?

The way the law stands at the moment means that beginning divorce proceedings in some cases will include an element of blame. Adultery and unreasonable behaviour have to be established if the couple require an immediate start to the divorce process, which both rely on blame-based facts to prove that the marriage has broken down and is beyond repair. The other options include much longer timeframes, including waiting for at least two years (if both parties agree to the divorce) or five years (if one party does not agree to the divorce) before being able to start the process.

The Future of Divorce Proceedings

However, The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 which passed into law on 25 June 2020, has introduced what is referred to as a "No Fault" divorce in England and Wales. Although this new statutory framework has been approved, there are still a vast number of notes, procedures, and forms that will need to be implemented to ensure the changes run smoothly, as well as substantial changes to the IT system of the courts. 

Unfortunately, there has been no formal announcement of a date by which the new law will come into force. It was originally thought that the new legislation would apply from Autumn 2021, but further delays now mean that it may not come into effect in England and Wales until April 2022.

Here at Vines Legal, we are experts in matrimonial and family law and can assist you at every stage to help guide you through what can be a confusing and distressing time. For a free initial, no obligation consultation, please call us on 01246 555610 for immediate, friendly and professional advice.

By Vines Legal on 17 Dec 2021

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How to Survive Christmas if you’re Considering a Divorce

Christmas considering divorce lawyer ChesterfieldThere’s never a good time of the year to initiate divorce proceedings, least of all Christmas. Relationship breakdowns are stressful at any time of the year and its common for the festive season to exacerbate any underlying issues you and your spouse may have. Whether you are considering a divorce, or on the brink of formally separating, here are our tips on surviving Christmas.

Prioritise Children

It’s quite common for the ‘cut off’ point for a relationship to be Christmas when there are children involved. Many couples prefer to begin divorce proceedings in the New Year so as not to spoil the festive season for their children, and to minimise the disruption of being newly separated at Christmas. Try to put the children first at this time of year and attempt to place difficulties to one side. Having a plan or coping strategy in place will help, as will asking for support from friends and family members.

Plan for 2022

Instead of focussing on what may be wrong in your relationship right now, and dwelling on the reasons why you are considering a divorce, why not try making positive plans for the New Year? Look to the future and think about the things you really want to do next year. Why not block out some time in the calendar for trips and holidays, days out and fun activities? Even if your future doesn’t necessarily involve your spouse, this will give you and your children something to look forward to in the New Year.

Make Time for Self-Care

It may be tough during the festive season to carve out any time to yourself but practicing self-care really will help you to get through this period. Try to schedule time to do the things you really enjoy, and rediscover things you used to enjoy. Taking time to do the things that make you feel happy and relaxed, regardless of your relationship circumstances, will go a long way in minimising your stress.

Letting Go of Perfect

It’s a common misconception that the festive season is a time for so-called ‘perfection’. The perfect family, the perfect food, and the perfect presents are all strived for at this time of year, and the reality is often quite different. There’s no such thing as a perfect Christmas and letting go of this concept can be extremely liberating, whatever your circumstances. Try to let go of the expectation that the festive season is ‘supposed’ to be filled with non-stop joy and laughter and try to be more realistic. It’s perfectly normal to experience fluctuations in mood, especially when you’re considering a divorce or separation in the New Year. 

As specialists in matrimonial and family law, we’re experts in helping our clients through the process of separation and divorce. Our first job is always to establish whether a relationship can be saved, regardless of the time of the year. A legal separation process should only be seen as a last resort, but if you are considering a separation, or wish to initiate a divorce in the new year, please do contact us on 01246 555610 for a free initial consultation.


By Vines Legal on 7 Dec 2021

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What is a Quickie Divorce and are they a Good Idea?

What is a Quickie Divorce and are they a Good Idea?There have been so many reports in the media over the years of celebrities who have ended their marriages with a so called ‘Quickie Divorce’. We all remember Cheryl Cole and the “UK’s speediest divorce” back in 2016, which was reported to have ended in just 14 seconds! Unsurprisingly, this term has been overused by the media and, in reality is incredibly misleading.

Do Quickie Divorces Exist?

As matrimonial and family law solicitors, Vines Legal have a huge amount of experience in the process of separation and divorce, and we’re often asked about the so-called quickie divorce. Of course, it’s perfectly natural for clients to be eager to shorten what can be an upsetting and painful process. But the truth is, there is no special accelerated procedures when it comes to divorce; the same process applies to everyone regardless of financial position or celebrity status.

Misconceptions around Divorce

The quickie divorces that pop up in the media from time to time are, therefore, very misleading. Reports of celebrity marriages being over in seconds aren’t technically true. In most cases, they are simply referring to the judge reading the pronouncements of the decree nisi out loud, which is an interim order. It’s true that this can take seconds yes, but widespread misunderstanding of the process has encouraged the media to interpret this as the final order, which it is not. This is probably where the term ‘quickie divorce’ came from and unfortunately it has been used by the media so often that it is now a common misconception.

What are the Facts?

There is no fast-track way to get divorced. Regardless of how much money you have, or how quickly you resolve any issues surrounding finances, property, or children, there’s no way to accelerate the proceedings. Once the decree nisi has been pronounced, there is a six week and one day wait for both parties involved before they can even apply for the decree absolute. It’s this final decree that is needed in order to be pronounced legally divorced.

Talk to an Expert

Although there may not be a quick way to get through the divorce process, that doesn’t mean the process has to be unmanageable. Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in helping our clients through the process of separation and divorce. We take pride in supporting our clients at every stage to ensure that their divorce is handled sensitively, professionally, and as promptly as is possible. For further help and advice, please contact us on 01246 555610 for a free initial consultation.

By Vines Legal on 17 Nov 2021

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Legal Steps to Take When A Relationship Ends

Legal Steps to Take When A Relationship EndsAs matrimonial and family law solicitors, we are often the first port of call in a legal capacity when a relationship ends. We’re naturally involved in the process of relationship breakdown, separation, and divorce for many clients, and have plenty of experience supporting them through what can be a difficult, stressful time in their lives. 

Whether the decision to end your relationship was mutual, with both parties agreeing that separation is the best course of action, or your breakup has come out of the blue, it’s likely your next question will be – What do I do now? Here at Vines Legal, we can help.

Get Advice from a Solicitor

Unsurprisingly, our first piece of advice following the breakdown of a relationship is to seek legal representation. Taking advice from an experienced, reputable solicitor is extremely important at this stage. Not only will they have plenty of experience and knowledge regarding the legalities of the situation, but they’ll also be able to provide at least some of the advice and support needed to navigate this difficult time.

Unfortunately, legal mistakes can be costly in the long run, so seeking help from a solicitor straight away can actually save money overall, as well as guaranteeing everything will be dealt with correctly. Entitlements will of course differ depending on whether or not you are married. If your relationship has ended and you are not married, you won’t have the same rights as a married couple. If this is the case, it’s even more important to seek legal advice early on in a breakdown.

Financial Agreements

One of the first things that will need to be addressed after the breakdown of a relationship is dividing up the family assets. Addressing this early on with the help of a solicitor will not only ensure there is a fair distribution but will also enable you to move on with your new life more easily once everything has been decided.

Arrangements For Children

Another key legal factor to consider in the event of a relationship breakdown, is children. It goes without saying that the primary concern here should always be the best interest of the child. Any arrangement will take this into consideration and, depending on the age of the child, his or her wishes may also be taken in to account.

Seek Legal Advice Today

If you’re in a position where your relationship has ended, it’s understandable that you’ll have lots of questions. Here at Vines Legal, we are experts in matrimonial and family law and can assist you at every stage to help guide you through what can be a confusing and distressing time. For a free initial, no obligation consultation, please call us on 01246 555610 for immediate, friendly, and professional advice.

By Vines Legal on 4 Nov 2021

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When Should you Hire a Matrimonial Lawyer?

when to hire a family lawyer ChesterfieldAlthough the breakdown of a marriage is bound to be a stressful and confusing time, there are things that you can do to achieve a sense of calm and reassurance that the situation will inevitably be resolved. One of the best ways to do this is by seeking legal advice from a matrimonial lawyer as soon as you can. The earlier you do this, the sooner you will be informed on what the consequences of your potential decisions may be, and the better informed you’ll be about how you wish to proceed.

Seeking Legal Representation

As experts in matrimonial and family law, the team at Vines Legal have given plenty of advice and support over the years to those who are very early on in the divorce process and simply reaching out for advice on when and how to hire a matrimonial lawyer. Many people take the advice of friends and family, or even the internet. Both are fine, but the truth is, each case is different, and you’ll really only get accurate advice by sharing your situation with a professional. 

As such, we would always recommend that you seek legal representation right the beginning. An error at any stage can be expensive and sometimes difficult to put right, leaving you in a worse position than you would have been if you had used a solicitor from the start.

What do I do Once the Divorce Petition has been Filed?

If you haven’t already chosen a matrimonial lawyer at the time that the divorce petition has been filed, we would strongly recommend that you appoint a solicitor at this stage. It is by far the most sensible way of ensuring that you get one to one support when you need it, and a full explanation of all options from the outset.

You can also rest assured that if you do need to go to court, your solicitor will be there to guide you through all the required forms, statements, evidence, and responses, therefore making sure that you get the best and fairest possible outcome.

Although there have been delays due to the Coronavirus pandemic, obtaining a divorce usually takes approximately 4 and 6 months. Of course, this is a best-case scenario; financial issues, child arrangements, assets, property, and pensions can all extend it. Seeking legal advice and allowing a solicitor to guide you through this process, which can sometimes be confusing, will ensure that any delays are handled swiftly, correctly, and with the minimum amount of stress for both you and your family.

Get Help from Matrimonial Lawyers in Chesterfield

Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in matrimonial and family law and can assist you at every stage to help guide you through what can be a confusing and distressing time. For a free initial, no obligation consultation, please call us on 01246 555610 for immediate, friendly and professional advice.

By Vines Legal on 11 Oct 2021

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How to Handle a Divorce Petition

divorce lawyer Chesterfield - how to handle a divorce petitionIt goes without saying that deciding to file a divorce petition is a huge decision and one that is never taken lightly. But what if you’re the one receiving the divorce petition? It’s unlikely that being served with divorce papers will come completely out of the blue, but nevertheless, it will still be a shock. The divorce petition is the first formal step that marks the beginning of a divorce, and as the receiver, it’s up to you to take the next step.

What Should I do if I Receive a Divorce Petition?

As matrimonial and family law solicitors, we are naturally involved in the process of separation and divorce for many clients and have plenty of experience supporting them through what can be a difficult, stressful time in their lives. If you receive a divorce petition, it may be tempting to avoid dealing with it. But the truth is, ignoring it won’t make it go away. The sooner you accept that you will have to act, and decide on a course of action, the better. Whether your separation is amicable, mutual, or more complicated, acting quickly will make the whole process more manageable in the long run.

Seeking Legal Representation

As the receiver of the petition you will become known as “the respondent” throughout the divorce proceedings. Your spouse will be known as “the petitioner”. Upon receipt of the petition, you will have 7 days to return the acknowledgement of service form to the court.

At this stage, we would recommend that you take advice from a solicitor. Although the need to seek legal representation can be hard to accept, it is absolutely advisable. Avoiding any errors at all stages of the proceedings is really important, as mistakes can be costly.

What are my Options?

You will need to complete the acknowledgement of service, confirming whether or not you wish to defend the petition. Defended petitions are very rare and can be costly. Most commonly, divorce petitions are not defended, however, depending on the petition, safeguards can be included in the acknowledgement of service to protect the responding party. This is why taking legal advice is so advisable at an early stage.

Matrimonial Solicitors in Chesterfield

If you have been asked for a divorce by your spouse, it’s understandable that you’ll have lots of questions. Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in matrimonial and family law and can assist you at every stage to help guide you through what can be a confusing and distressing time. For a free initial, no obligation consultation, please call us on 01246 555610 for immediate, friendly, and professional advice.


By Vines Legal on 29 Sep 2021

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How to Protect your Children’s Mental Health During a Divorce

divorce lawyer Chesterfield protect children during divorceIt’s a common fear among separating couples that the mental health of their shared children may suffer as a result of their divorce. Although research has documented that parental divorce/separation is associated with an increased risk of child and adolescent adjustment problems, many children whose parents divorce are resilient and exhibit no obvious psychological problems as a result.

As family lawyers, we’ve helped many divorcing couples to navigate the process of separation, including offering advice and support on protecting their children’s mental health during the process.  Using our experience, we’ve put together a few helpful tips on how to protect your children’s mental health during a divorce.

Keep Communication Open

It’s crucial that you’re as honest as you can be in your communications with your children. Of course, they may be upset that you’ve taken the decision to separate and ask questions about why you can’t change your mind and work things out. Take the time to talk openly and honestly with your children about why the separation is happening, whilst showing that you love them, and offering reassurance that regular contact will continue.

Don’t Storm Out

In high pressure situations, we can all relate to that feeling of simply wanting to run away. But storming out of the house teaches children that some disagreements are so damaging and catastrophic that they cannot be resolved. This in turn makes them scared to have difficult conversations and arguments themselves in the future.

Healthy arguments and proportionate anger around a situation is OK, as long as issues are dealt with together, and one at a time. The way you behave now will teach your children how to behave in high conflict situations in their future lives. So, try set an example. If you absolutely have to leave, ensure you return in a reasonable amount of time and talk to your children. Don't leave them to make their own interpretations.

Be Supportive

This goes without saying really, but it is absolutely crucial that you are there to support your child. Typically, when children first find out that their parents are going to divorce, they’ll take in very little due to shock. Telling them is just the first step. Focus on supporting them once the news has sunk in by reinforcing the message that not only is it OK to disagree with somebody, but it’s also OK to make mistakes. Although separation is the end result, both parents are still committed to raising their children.

Understanding the New Dynamic

Ultimately, one of the best ways you can support your children and protect their mental health is by forming a good alliance with your ex- spouse or partner and trying to make it as simple, straight forward, and amicable as possible. Regardless of your separation, it is still your responsibility to bring up your children to the very best of your ability, and to co-parent effectively. Even though it will be painful for you sometimes, trying to navigate the situation as best as possible for the children is the key.

Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in helping our clients through the process of separation and divorce, and we work hard to ensure that the best possible arrangements are made in your child’s best interests. For further help and advice, please contact us on 01246 555610 for a free initial consultation where we can explain all the options available to you.

By Vines Legal on 21 Sep 2021

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5 Tips to Ease the Pain of Divorce

divorce lawyer Chesterfield ease pain of divorceIt will come as no surprise that divorce can be incredibly difficult for all parties involved. Even if you’re the one that decided to initiate the separation, it can still be a painful, uncertain, and even scary time. Just the process of making the decision is enough to cause a significant amount of mental turmoil, and that’s before the process itself.

Here at Vines Legal, we’ve helped and supported many individuals going through the pain of separation and divorce. It’s always going to be a tough time, but there are things you can do to protect yourself and keep your suffering to a minimum under the circumstances. So, here are our top 5 tips on how to ease the pain of divorce.


Despite starting your married life with the best of intentions and never imagining that you’d be embarking on divorce, accepting the fact that the relationship has broken down and will not recover is important. It can be understandably hard to accept but doing so is critical to your recovery.

Ask for Help

Now is the time to lean on your family and friends, asking for help if you need to. Hopefully they will be a great source of comfort to you, providing plenty of emotional support and advice to help you through the process of divorce. Don’t worry about burdening people with your problems; they care about you and will want to be there for you.  

Allow Yourself to Grieve

Grief is a perfectly natural emotional state to find yourself in following any loss, including the loss of a relationship. Allowing yourself to grieve is another way of coming to terms with the end of your relationship, and processing the feelings of sadness, regret, anger, or helplessness that you may feel.

Avoid Blame

It’s easy to blame your ex-spouse when you’re hurting and angry. But assigning blame can be counterproductive and stop you from moving forward. This is particularly important if there are children involved, as you will want to keep things as amicable as possible for them. Try to accept that no matter who was to blame, it’s now time to move on as a separated couple and look to the future.

Look After Yourself

Prioritising your physical and emotional wellbeing is absolutely crucial to easing the pain that divorce brings with it. Taking time to look after yourself really can make all the difference. Emotional pain can rob you of sleep, the desire to eat, and the motivation to exercise. So, try to make a conscious effort to eat well, take time to go for a walk in nature, or set up an exercise routine at home. Above all, give your body and mind the time it needs to rest and recuperate.

Here at Vines Legal, we’re experts in helping our clients through the process of separation and divorce. If you are considering a separation, or going through a divorce, please do contact us on 01246 555610 for a free initial consultation.


By Vines Legal on 16 Aug 2021

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