Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you go away?

I do occasionally spend time away from the office. Wherever possible, I ask that matters await my return. However, I do appreciate that sometimes emergencies happen and things cannot wait and I am more than happy for clients to contact me while I am away on my mobile or by email. I have access to all my clients’ files wherever I may be and can deal with anything that crops up while I am away.

Is it like it is on television?

No. TV and movies almost never get it right.

Will I have to sell the house?

Armstrong Family Law can advise you whether or not this is a case where the house will have to be sold. The position will depend upon whether or not you are married.

Married and divorced couples – It will depend upon the circumstances of your case, including how much equity there is, what you, your spouse and your children’s needs are and on your respective financial circumstances. If you want to retain the house, we can advise you about how you may be able to achieve this.

Unmarried couples – this may depend upon how you decided to own the property when you bought it and on the needs of any children. If an agreement cannot be reached, the house may have to be sold.

My husband won’t pay me any maintenance. How will I survive?

We can advise you about whether or not he should be paying maintenance and negotiate an agreement for you. If matters cannot be agreed, you may need to make an application to the Family Court and we can advise you and represent you during this.

My wife won’t let me see the children. Do I have the right to see them?

You do not have an automatic right to see them, but it is in the best interests of children for non-resident parents to see them on a regular and frequent basis in the vast majority of cases. Since 22 April 2014, there is a legal presumption that it is usually in the best interests of a child for both parents to be involved in his or her life. We can advise you on how much contact you should seek and can realistically expect, and suggest to you how you should try to achieve this. We can negotiate contact arrangements on your behalf or refer you to a mediator. If matters cannot be agreed, you may need to apply to the Family Court.

Will I have to go to court?

Most couples separate or divorce without any need to go to court. Divorce proceedings are usually concluded without Family Court attendance being necessary and most people reach agreements through solicitors which are then approved by the Family Court without the need of for a hearing. A minority of couples have to use the Family Court to resolve matters, but most of them reach an agreement at an early stage without the need to have a trial.

My husband or wife does not want me to use a solicitor. Does using a solicitor make things worse?

Most family solicitors are members of Resolution (www.resolution.org.uk), an organisation which is dedicated to promoting a non-confrontational approach to family problems. Its members encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family, and in particular the best interests of children.

Armstrong Family Law complies with the Resolution Code of Practice which requires us to conduct cases in a constructive and conciliatory manner, even if matters have to go to court. Using a solicitor promotes the likelihood of a fair agreement in which you can have confidence that you have received what you are entitled to.

Your husband or wife may not want you to use a solicitor as they are worried about the cost or that your solicitors might adopt an aggressive approach. They may not you to use a solicitor because they know that they are being unreasonable.

My husband/wife says that he/she will fight the divorce. What can I do?

Many husbands and wives threaten to defend divorce proceedings during moments of high stress, but very, very few actually do so when faced with divorce papers. The vast majority of divorces take place on an undefended basis.

We can advise you on the best way to divorce and how to do this in a way that seeks to minimise the disharmony between you so that you can concentrate on the really important issues about finances or children.

Do I have to move out?

This depends on the circumstances of the case, but in most cases where a property is jointly owned or if you are married, you are entitled to stay there. Armstrong Family Law can advise you whether you should move out or stay put for the time being. If someone forces you to move out or pressures you to do so, we can advise you on how to ensure that you are able to stay there for the time being.

Do you decide what is best for me?

ou make the final decision about steps to take once you have received advice from us. You therefore remain in control.

How much will this cost?

Some work that we do can be met by a Fixed Fee. Where it cannot, Armstrong Family Law will provide you with a realistic costs estimate at the start of your case so that you have a clear idea of what the fees may be and can budget accordingly. This will depend on the nature of the case and other factors. We will not exceed that estimate without first notifying you. We recognise that using a solicitor may seem to be a very expensive option at a time when the breakdown of your relationship may be causing considerable financial difficulty and we therefore do our utmost to keep costs to a minimum whilst ensuring the our clients always have a clear understanding of the likely cost.

How much will I get?

This will depend upon the circumstances of the case. No two cases are the same. The aim is to achieve fairness and to meet the parties’ and their children’s needs. The likely outcome will depend on you and your spouse’s incomes, assets and other circumstances. Once we have a clear picture of the family’s financial circumstances, Armstrong Family Law can advise you what you can realistically expect to achieve and the best, most cost-effective way in which to do this.


How much will I get?

How much will this cost?

Do you decide what is best for me?

Do I have to move out?

My husband/wife says that he/she will fight the divorce. What can I do?

My husband or wife does not want me to use a solicitor. Does using a solicitor make things worse?

Will I have to go to court?

My wife won’t let me see the children. Do I have the right to see them?

My husband won’t pay me any maintenance. How will I survive?

Will I have to sell the house?

Is it like it is on television?

What happens if you go away?

For FAQs about collaborative law, click here