Frequently Asked Divorce Questions

Get started on the road to divorce by finding answers to your most pressing questions about Cordell & Cordell and the divorce process.

The Divorce Process

There is no time limit for reaching an agreement or making a claim.


It is not advisable to leave a long period of time before settling the finances. Future wealth could be acquired during that time and your ex-spouse will have an entitlement to that, despite being separated. In addition, your former spouse could have become bankrupt and this may affect the financial settlement.

Upon separation, it is advisable that not only do you obtain a divorce but you also reach a settlement on your finances.


A clean break order will severe any financial ties you have to one another. This will prevent any future claims against your income, assets, pension and inevitably your estate upon your death.


Even if there are currently no assets in the marriage, we advise that a clean break order is still obtained to protect your financial position in the future, for example a new business venture.

A consent order is way in which we would formally record any agreement reached between the separated parties. This could be in relation to the marital assets or child contact.


A consent order is commonly used in financial proceedings and will detail how you intend to split all assets, income, pensions and liabilities between you and what is your intention for child and spousal maintenance. This will often include a clean break order as mentioned above.


Once this has been approved by the court and they consider this to be reasonable and fair, this is a legally binding document and can be enforced if one party breaches the terms.

A family assistance order is usually given to families that require short-term additional support after the conclusion of court proceedings relating to children. This will generally involve an officer of either the local authority or the children and family court advisory body, they will be there to assist and advise the parties. This could include circumstances where child contact is being re-introduced and they will assist in facilitating and supervising contact.

A Mesher order will usually be put in place in relation to the family home. The order will detail how the property shall be hold between the parties and in what shares. Mesher orders are used in cases where the sale of split of equity will not be practical. This order shall postpone any sale of the family home until a specified trigger occurs. Common triggers include, one party shall remain in the property until the youngest child reaches the age of 18 or ceases full time education or if the party occupying the family home enters into a new relationship.

A pre-nuptial agreement is a document that is drawn upon prior to marriage by the couple that are intending to marry. The agreement will deal with how the finances shall be dealt with through-out the marriage and upon separation. This can include assets and savings that the parties have acquired before marriage and can include expected future wealth including inheritance.


It is important to note that pre-nuptial agreements are not legally binding in the UK but will be heavily considered by the Court and are largely upheld if the agreement is valid and meets the needs of the financially weaker party.

A prohibited steps order is used to prevent one party from carrying out a certain activity relating to a child.


We would advise an application if there are disputes between both parents in relation to the child’s name, education, medical care and whether the child shall relocate out of the jurisdiction.


The main consideration of the court will be the welfare of the child and what is in the child’s best interest.

The UK no longer uses the term ‘residence order’ and this was replaced in 2014 with ‘child arrangement orders’. This does not mean that orders made prior to 2014 are no longer valid and you will not have to re-apply to vary this. A child arrangement order is an order that shall regulate whom the child shall live with and whom the child shall spend time with and for how long. The order can not only deal with the living and contact arrangement but this may include time spent with the children abroad or whether the children are to spend time with their grandparents.

Alimony is a phrase commonly used to describe financial support provided by one spouse to another. While ‘alimony’ is the terminology used in other countries, the UK does not recognise the term ‘alimony’


The UK Courts will address the income needs of a spouse within the context of the financial remedy proceedings, looking at the options of awarding a party a greater share in the capital assets or whether periodical payments would be appropriate to assist in meeting his or her needs moving forward. If financial support has been stopped prior to a financial settlement, a party will be able to seek ‘maintenance pending suit’ for temporary financial support during the course of a court matter prior to the resolution of the marital finances.

An occupation order will be put in place to grant the applying party the sole right to occupy the home. This will exclude the responding party from residing in the home and can in some circumstances, from being in the area around the home.


The order may include provisions for who will meet payments for the home, whether that is rent, mortgage or bills.

Upon separation and the division of finances, a fair outcome must be reached. Therefore, an order may be made to adjust the parties’ resources.


Spousal maintenance will be paid by one party to their former spouse, usually on a monthly basis. This will be paid to meet the reasonable financial needs of the financially weaker party. The amount that is paid will be determined based upon the parties needs and income.

Cordell & Cordell

We are advisers and advocates for men before, during, and after divorce, with a passionate and intelligent devotion to excellence.
  • Our passionate devotion to excellence calls us to rigorous honesty, loyalty, and tenacity.
  • Our intelligent devotion to excellence calls us to great imagination, organization, and proficiency.

Our firm is different from other firms in regards to exclusively practicing family law and thereby having a deep understanding of the concerns and issues facing men during divorce.

As you might be aware, there are not many law firms that dedicate their practices to fully understanding family law issues. At Cordell & Cordell, that focus gives us our strength.

Cordell & Cordell is purposely structured so each solicitor is utilizing the knowledge capital of the entire firm. You are not just hiring one of our solicitors to stand by your side, but the entire firm.

Alongside our legal representation, Cordell & Cordell provides a client care representative for every client. If at any point you have a concern with your case, your Client Care Representative is there to assist you.

Cordell & Cordell does not in any way promote the representation of men to the exclusion of representing women. Our firm respects and promotes diversity and gladly accepts and represents female clients as well as male clients alike.

We are a firm that encourages equality of opportunity and respect for diversity, which applies across the board of our practice, both in the representation of our clients to the policies we instill when considering who to employ and who to promote within the firm. Our firm is comprised of both male and female staff of varying ages, religious beliefs, and ethnic backgrounds.

Cordell & Cordell was co-founded in the United States in 1990 by Joseph E. Cordell and his wife, Yvonne, as a general practice firm with a focus on men’s divorce and family law.

 

Mr. Cordell noticed about 98 percent of the firm’s clients were men, and the need for a level playing field in divorce courts sparked the idea of Cordell & Cordell focusing on representing men.

 

Cordell & Cordell has grown to more than 110 offices across the United States and in early 2015 opened its first office in the UK. With more than 250 divorce solicitors focused on men’s family law, we have become one of the largest family law firms serving men in the world.

We are unable to offer any legal guidance based upon contact from the website as each person’s situation is unique. This does require you to set up an initial consultation with one of our solicitors so the facts can be properly reviewed.


Your first step will be to contact our scheduling department to set up an initial consultation via phone, or via our online scheduling tool.

A £150 consultation fee (includes VAT) is due at the time of your appointment.

It is very difficult to predict the cost of a divorce. It all depends on the issues involved and how the opposing party is going to respond to the divorce.

However, the more contested issues that arise will add to the cost of the divorce. The more issues that clients and the opposing party can agree upon, the lower the cost of the divorce.

When discussing whether a client can afford to go through a divorce, we often explain to the client that there are highs and lows in a divorce case. At the onset of a case, fees will be quite expensive with getting the initial pleadings filed and working on getting temporary orders issued.

We accept checks or any major credit cards at all our locations and some locations accept cash. Please contact the office nearest you for information on what payments are accepted at that location.

It is hard to provide an exact hourly rate, as it will depend on the solicitor handling your case. Currently, hourly solicitor rates range from £256.00 to £312.00.

We want the best solicitor match for each specific case. You will be assigned the solicitor best equipped to handle the unique circumstances of your case and the hourly rate will be determined at that time.

Clients must pay their retainers in full before any work can be done. The amount of the retainer fee varies from case to case and would require a solicitor to evaluate your specific situation to determine. The retainer is in place for the solicitor to bill against and would need to stay replenished throughout the case.

Knowing what documents to bring and what your expectations should be will help alleviate the anxiety and stress of your initial consultation.

What proof of identity documents should I bring?
  • Two forms of identification (driver’s license and passport)
  • One proof of your current residence
    Note: A valid driver’s license showing your current address can serve as one form of identification as well as proof of residence.
What other documents should I bring?
  • Tax documents
  • Statements of retirement accounts
  • Evidence of marital misconduct (journals, emails, pictures, social media posts, etc.)
  • List of separate property
  • Copies of appraisals regarding any real property that you own, such as the marital home
  • Legal documents
Remember, the more prepared you are with all the proper documents, the more you will get out of your initial consultation.

The continuing effort of Cordell & Cordell to put clients first has led the firm to represent more than 22,000 people while maintaining a 95 percent satisfaction rate based on client-completed surveys. Read Cordell & Cordell reviews on PleasedClient.com.