Laceys Solicitors Laceys is a leading, forward-thinking law firm with specialist experts serving both individual and business clients across a broad spectrum of practice areas.

If Social Services have notified you about legal proceedings concerning your child please call 01202 377995.

Divorce and Separation

Relationship breakdowns are often cited as one of the most stressful times of our lives, and we understand clients want to obtain a resolution as quickly and cost effectively as possible. We offer empathetic, robust and concise advice in relation to both divorce and separation.

With regard divorce, we assist clients to identify which of the 5 grounds for divorce they wish to use and  guide them through the divorce process step by step, providing both legal and practical advice to ensure their best interests are provided for. Divorce, if uncontested, usually takes 4 to 6 months to conclude with the Court granting the petitioner the Decree Absolute bringing the marriage legally to an end.

Most people who have separated from their spouse require the security of a Financial Order which deals with the division of property, businesses, pensions, savings, shares, endowment and life insurance policies and debt in relation to the finances from the marriage.

It also highlights income provisions for themselves and any children and the conclusion of financial relations between the ex-spouses. Even if there are no assets of the marriage it is highly recommended that, to avoid future surprises, ex-spouses enter into a Financial Order to provide for no further financial relationship between them ensuring that neither spouse in the future can seek a financial claim against the other.

We specialise in advising clients in relation to finances upon separation whatever the composition of the matrimonial or non-matrimonial assets. We advise through the process and analysis of financial disclosure on both sides, and consider the personal financial circumstances of our clients now and in the foreseeable future. We negotiate fair financial settlements for our clients which provide for their needs and lifestyle as well as their children’s.  We are skilled at both negotiating the terms of a financial settlement on our client’s behalf and drafting this into a final agreed Financial Order, however complex.

In the event that a settlement cannot be reached between our client and their ex-spouse we robustly represent and advise our client’s throughout Financial Proceedings before the Family Court. All our solicitors are experienced family solicitors who ensure that our clients cases are presented and argued before the Court in a concise and forthright manner with all legal documents drafted to a high standard.

Financial Orders can only be obtained upon the grant of the Decree Absolute in divorce proceedings, therefore for clients who have separated but want to wait to divorce on the basis of two years separation or have no intention of divorcing our solicitors negotiate and draft a Separation Agreement between the spouses. This is a legal agreement entered into as a Deed making provision for the division of the matrimonial assets and non-matrimonial assets as described above as well as income provision for the spouses and children of the family. Clients who are not married but are separating will also derive significant financial benefit and security by entering into a Separation Agreement with their ex-partner if they shared assets.

For further advice on divorce or separation please contact one of the team today to see how we can help.

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    Meet the Team

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    Kate Brown

    Senior Associate — Family

    Direct dial: 01202 377897


    Kate is a Senior Associate in our family department having relocated to Dorset from Wiltshire. Kate has spent all of her career working in Firms across Hampshire and Wiltshire up to Partner level and has vast experience especially with Armed Forces divorce and the various Armed Forces Pension Schemes.

    Kate has a great knowledge of all aspects of family breakdown involving divorce, separation, financial settlement and private law children cases.

    With a friendly, caring and pragmatic approach, Kate helps clients through the divorce process whilst being realistic throughout.

    Outside of work, Kate attends events across the country with her partner and his World Series Red Bull racing car.

    Lucy Charles

    Paralegal — Family

    Direct dial: 01202 377854


    Lucy has worked in Family Law for many years and has acquired considerable experience, dealing not just with legal processes, but also the vital support which parents need at a difficult time. She is able to guide clients through the new ‘no fault’ divorce procedure and assist in securing protection from domestic violence and abuse through non-molestation and occupation injunctions. 

     Lucy has a keen interest in both public and private children cases and works closely alongside our expert lawyers in the Family team.  She recognises the importance to a parent of trust in their legal team and faith that we are on your side. She will go the extra mile to build a strong working relationship with clients.

     Away from work, Lucy loves long walks with her energetic Labradors and back at home, her 2 young children keep her on her toes.  She recently walked the Jurassic Coast Challenge, a total of 100km in just 23 hours.  Lucy enjoys working out at the gym and has recently signed up to compete at Hyrox, London in 2023. 

    Amber Tarrant

    Legal Executive — Family

    Direct dial: 01202 377807


    amber tarrant

    “Amber Tarrant has represented me for quite a lengthy time in two separate family cases. She really has strived to get me the best possible outcome for me and family! I really couldn’t thank her enough for her support over the time I have known her. Fantastic solicitor!”

    Lee-anne Higginbotham

    Amber works as a Legal Executive and is currently studying with Cilex Law School to complete her Level 3 Certificate in Family Law. Amber works within our Family Department dealing with divorces and children disputes arising from marriage or relationship breakdown. In addition, she works with parents and family members through all levels of Child Protection intervention by Children’s Services. Amber prides herself in taking an empathetic approach to all matters to assist clients who face a potentially life-changing legal process.

    Outside of work Amber enjoys dancing and has been classically trained in a wide variety of genres. She now uses her love of dance to choreograph small shows and choreographing couples first dance for their wedding.

    Damian Summerscales

    Partner — Family

    Direct dial: 01202 377823


    Damian has over 30 years’ experience as a Family lawyer, specialising in both public and private law children proceedings. He is an accredited member of the Law Society Children Panel, confirming his expertise to represent parents, children and extended family members at all levels of the Family Court. His understanding and empathetic approach towards both negotiation and litigation makes him especially well equipped to deal with clients facing a difficult and life-changing legal process.

    At the weekends, Damian likes to make the most of our beautiful Dorset coastline with sea swims and cycling. Lured by the challenge of triathlon, he conquered Ironman Wales in 2015 and in 2022, he completed the iconic Escape from Alcatraz in San Francisco.

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    Jonathan Talbot

    Partner — Family

    Direct dial: 01202 377844


    Jonathan Talbot
    • “Jonathan has been amazing at helping me get a resolution with my ex-husband. He was a great listener when I was getting very upset about clauses in our old divorce agreement that were not being adhered to and reacted really quickly with a letter and support. I would not hesitate to ask Jonathan for help again but please excuse me if I hope that doesn’t happen for a while as we all know dealing with ex's is never much fun! Thank you Jonathan.”

      Sharron Davies, MBE

    • “Very happy with how you dealt with my case. Many thanks for your help and advice from Mr Talbot and his secretary.”

      Jan Saad

    • “Jonathan Talbot explained the process and how things would proceed. He was very patient allowing us time to understand and adapt to our new situation. Legal language can be quite difficult to understand and he would explain what it meant and how it would impact.”

      Rae Frederick

    • “I always use Laceys for my legal work, I feel able to talk to them and I know they listen. They have always been professional and kind.”

      Dawn Aston

    • “I’d like to extend heartfelt thanks to you and Shannon for helping me through this difficult time, I am really very appreciative to have had you on my team this year, you’ve been an enormous support. ”

      Mrs W

    Jonathan heads up Laceys family department with over 30 years experience in Family Law.

    He specialises in Family and Relationship Breakdowns, Financial Remedies, Collaborative Law and International Family Law.

    Jonathan has a exceptional caring nature and will always strive to find solutions to family issues outside of the court if at all possible.

    Outside of work Jonathan likes to keep himself busy by competing in Ironman 70.3’s when he gets the chance – which are no easy feat at having to complete a 1.2 mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and then a 13.1 mile run each race!

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