Brookman Solicitors is your local specialist divorce and family law team, with offices in Brighton and central London. We advise clients across East Sussex, West Sussex, Surrey, London and throughout England and Wales in addition to clients based overseas. Brookman Solicitors is part of DMH Stallard LLP which means we also have access to an extensive depth and range of legal skills outside of family law, should a client case ever require it.

As experts in divorce and family law we specialise in the full range of family legal matters including divorce, finance issues resulting from relationship breakdown, children’s matters, marital agreements such as prenups, and family matters that cross international borders. Whatever your situation, we are here to help you.

If you live or work in the Brighton area and require legal advice, the ideal first step is to contact us to request your free consultation with one of our solicitors at our Brighton office. There is no obligation and the consultation will help you understand your legal options more clearly.

Our office addresses in Brighton and central London:

Brighton Office

1 Jubilee Street
Brighton
East Sussex
BN1 1GE

01273 744 209

Central London Office

6 New Street Square
New Fetter Lane
London
EC4A 3BF

020 7430 8470

Our Team

Brookman has carefully grown its team of highly capable, skilled and caring family lawyers and wider legal team. We are a Legal 500 recommended firm with Legal 500 recommended lawyers and are one of the most highly reviewed and highly scored family law practices in the region. We also hold the Lexcel Accreditation for maintaining the highest management and customer care standards.

Find out more about our team here

 


Our Services

Divorce

We have a reputation for our caring nature with clients who are going through divorce whilst also being able to robustly fight their corner if the need arises.  If you have concerns about your relationship, or have questions regarding divorce, or if your circumstances include complex issues, we can explain your options and guide you through the process.

Read more about our divorce services

Children’s Issues

Relationship breakdowns that involves children can of course be stressful and confusing. We are highly experienced at resolving disputes regarding children including their living arrangements, contact, financial support and addressing international complications.

Read more about our child-related services

Financial Settlements

We always strive to agree a fair settlement between the spouses rather than clients undergo the delays and costs associated with proceeding to Court for a decision. Of course if a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached between the spouses we can issue an application to go before a Judge and robustly present your case. We advise clients on issues that include spousal maintenance, property, pensions, and inheritances amongst many others.

Read more about financial settlements

International Divorce

As specialist international divorce lawyers and family solicitors, we advise clients who are either UK-based but originate from another country, or are living outside of the UK but have a connection with England or Wales. Read our comprehensive country pages to learn more.

Read more about our international divorce services

Prenuptial Agreements

A prenuptial agreement (and postnuptial agreement) in England is now often regarded as binding by the Court if it meets certain criteria and is considered to be fair to both parties. Because the question of what is fair varies so much for individual circumstances, prenuptial agreements have to be very carefully drafted to fit individual circumstances. It therefore pays to have the agreement drafted by a specialist firm such as Brookman Solicitors.

Read more about prenuptial agreements

If you live or work in Brighton or the surrounding area and you want to discuss your divorce or family law matter, contact us now to request your free consultation.

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Or call us: 01273 744 209

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Divorce Scenarios

The scenarios below do not relate to any individual clients of ours but the facts and the outcomes relate to some similar experiences in our practice.

Divorce

The Scenario

Mr G is a UK resident. Seven years ago when working in the Emirates he married a US citizen. They married in Cyprus and subsequently lived together for two years before his wife returned to the US. He has lost touch with her and mail to her parents address is returned with a note “she wants nothing to do with you”.

Our Solution

Mr G applied for a divorce in England on the basis of 5 years separation, although the marriage was in Cyprus.

We obtained an Order from the court deeming that it was enough to post the divorce papers to his wife’s parents because even though she would not acknowledge receipt, undoubtedly her parents would pass them on. This was done and we obtained the divorce.

If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

Henry Brookman Discusses: Divorce

Co-habitation

The Scenario

Mr R separated from his partner of 10 years with whom he had a five year old son. Their apartment was in her name. This came about because he was working abroad when they began their relationship. He paid half the purchase price into his partner’s account and she completed the purchase paying the other half. Now she had the property up for sale.

Our Solution

We took detailed instructions and put a block on the title. We then located the evidence to prove his claim. He offered to buy out his partner but she then insisted the apartment was worth more than the price she had been offering it for sale.

We issued an application following which the property was professionally valued and Mr R bought the remaining half share. She then refused to let Mr R see their son. We obtained a declaration of parental responsibility and visiting rights for Mr R.

Property Business & Divorce

The Scenario

Bernard consulted us. His brother Arthur is a property developer who generally has a portfolio of about 5 or 6 properties that are in the course of being renovated and sold on. Bernard often invests his money in specific properties, with Arthur keeping a spreadsheet that shows what share Bernard has in each property. Arthur and his wife have separated and his wife has applied for freezing orders in respect of all the properties. Bernard is anxious that his money will be treated as part of the matrimonial assets being divided between Arthur and his wife.

Our Solution

The critical question is for the court to establish that Bernard's share of the particular properties are his in his own right, so any orders that the court might make between Arthur and his wife will respect Bernard's interests. This is achieved by making an application to intervene in the matrimonial proceedings so that Bernard's interests can be protected. That enables us to represent Bernard rather than him being dependent on his brother simply asserting it- with the risk of being disbelieved.

Separation

The Scenario

Mr M consulted us concerning his wife’s behaviour. She had a long-standing drug problem and would come and go without warning from their home. She had spent large amounts on drugs emptying bank accounts and incurring debt to pay for them. He and their children were very upset.

Our Solution

We advised him that he could seek a sole occupation order which would keep her away from the home. He was anticipating a substantial bonus in the next six months and asked whether excluding her sooner would mean this was not taken into account in any financial settlement.

We advised that a Court would need to include it as an asset but that did not necessarily then mean that it would then be equally divided. The question of what was a fair division of property was a second stage calculation. In view of his wife?s waste of their resources an equal division would not be appropriate.

Civil Partnership

The Scenario

Mr E was looking into entering into a civil partnership with Mr F. Mr E had substantial assets such as a house valued at £1 million, investments valued at £3 million and a pension worth £1 million.

Although Mr E felt that the parties loved one another and that their relationship would endure, Mr E wanted to protect his position in case there was any change after the parties had entered into a civil partnership.

Our Solution

We advised Mr E that the best way to protect the position would be for the parties to enter into a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement, which could regulate the parties’ finances if the civil partnership came to an end. The Agreement encompassed all aspects such as their income, their capital assets and their pension assets. The entire matter was dealt with amicably within a few weeks. The parties signed the Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement and subsequently entered into a civil partnership.

Henry Brookman Discusses: Common Divorce Myths

Divorce & Family Law FAQs

Here are a selection of common divorce-related questions.  If you have unanswered questions, please contact us using the form above or you can contact us here.

Do I need to attend court in person when I get divorced?

In most cases, neither party attends court in person. Basically, the process is administrative.

Will the chosen grounds for divorce affect the likely financial settlement?

No. Some people assume that if they admit to adultery (for example) this will have a bearing the court’s decision or the financial settlement. This is not so. Under normal circumstances, the chosen fact on which your divorce is based has no bearing on its outcome.

Can I divorce my partner without their involvement?

Yes, most divorces do not need the other party’s consent.

If your partner’s whereabouts are known but they are ignoring the divorce paperwork sent to them, it is entirely possible to obtain a divorce even if your spouse is simply refusing to acknowledge your correspondence. We deal with this situation frequently.

Can I divorce on the basis of separation if we are still living together?

It is possible to be separated whilst still living under the same roof. There are often grounds of divorce though – separation is not essential.

Can my self-employed husband pay himself less salary during the divorce to reduce his financial settlement?

There are several ways in which someone’s true income can be evaluated. It should be possible to obtain disclosure of your husband’s past business accounts and then argue to the court that any maintenance for you should be calculated on his real income, not a reduced salary that he chooses to pay himself in the short term.

If our planned divorce is amicable, can we both come and see you for legal advice?

Normally, the same legal firm cannot act on behalf of both husband and wife but in exceptional cases it can happen. It would be best for you to speak to us about it.

Can my partner demand that I move out while we get a divorce?

Probably not. If you jointly own the property you are jointly entitled to live there. In many cases a spouse agrees to move out in order to remain amicable, or they come to an arrangement that allows them to live separately but in the same property.

My partner says he will never agree to sell our home if we divorce. Can he refuse to sell?

If the court decides he has to pay a settlement then your husband can be forced to sell the house by order of the court or transfer his share of the house to you and vacate the property.

Can I gain a share of my husband’s pension on divorce?

It is possible to apply to the court for a ‘pension sharing order’ which sets out how much of your husband’s pension you are entitled to. These orders are in fact very common. They result in a defined amount being set up in a new pension plan for you. Sometimes a lump sum may be paid instead of sharing the pension.

Is there a minimum period of time I must be married before I can divorce?

Yes, in England & Wales you need to have been married for at least a year before you can start divorce proceedings. If you have been married for less than a year and you know you will be seeking a divorce after a year has passed, it is wise to contact us in good time for some (free) initial advice. If anything needs to be done, we can file for a judicial separation in the meantime.

Do I need my marriage certificate to get divorced?

Usually, yes you will need to provide a marriage certificate to start divorce proceedings. If you can’t find your certificate, it is possible to apply for a replacement. Sometimes we have to get a court order to accept the fact that you were married when there just is no record at all.

What is a Clean Break Order?

A Clean Break Order permanently severs any financial connections between you and your spouse. It kills off any possible future claim for maintenance or a lump sum. This might benefit you if your earnings are likely to increase over time, or you might receive an inheritance or any other source of future wealth that your ex-spouse might otherwise claim against.

Can I change my child’s surname after we divorce?

A change of your child’s surname would require written consent from the other parent or a court order.

Are the details of my divorce made public?

Minimal information regarding your divorce is made available to the public. It is possible for the press to publish that your divorce has been pronounced and the fact on which the divorce was based (e.g. unreasonable behaviour) but no further details are published. However, the vast majority of divorces are of no interest to the press and for practical purposes are never disclosed.

Can I pay for your services from my financial settlement?

We do try to be as flexible as we can about payment and in some specific situations we have taken a large share of the payment at the end of the case, but it very much depends upon your circumstances. If your money is tied up until the divorce is finalised there are also other payment options, such as borrowing from family or friends, short term loans, or gaining a legal costs allowance from the other party.

Still have questions?

Contact us, we can help you.

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I recently had a one hour pro bono consultation with Samantha Jago. I was really blown away by how much she was able to digest in such a short period of time and even more so by the report which I received shortly after.

Apr 2024   S DF

I had applied for a free consultation and I was contacted in a very short timeframe. Thank you so much for the insightful and thorough consultation, Kevin Danagher. You made me feel at ease and you provided clear expectations with the initial info I had provided... I have now a much better understanding on my query.

Feb 2024   Sonia Accardi

We had a very useful first consultation with Amber Matheson today. Amber took the time to understand our (somewhat complicated) set-up, and offered good, understandable advice on next steps. She followed up with a very thorough email clarifying what we had discussed. Highly recommended.

Feb 2024   Lucie

Lovely friendly experience. All questions were answered so that I understood completely.

Dec 2023   Ali Catlin

Very balanced, fair and pragmatic advice. Thoroughly recommend!!

Nov 2023   James Elliott

Henry graciously provided his time for a consultation. I found him to be highly knowledgeable, empathetic and he provided excellent advice which put my mind at ease. Would highly recommend Henry and his firm.

Oct 2023   Allan Ang

Henry Brookman went above and beyond during the free consultation, and even overran the allocated time. He provided invaluable professional advice in a courteous manner. I recommend his firm without reservation.

Sep 2023   Mario Ignatov

I only had my initial free review with Amelia yet I already feel much more strengthened in my legal and financial position. I am currently reflecting on the steps I want to take to negotiate my desired outcome of the financial settlement but, when I am ready to use the services of a lawyer, Amelia is definitely the top on my list.

Sep 2023   Nahid Toubia

I had a zoom consultation with Lauren Moir and she was incredible. Very patient, insightful and reassuring. She also advised me based on my previous conversations with another firm and also clarified various positions I am in. Highly recommend.

Aug 2023   Gary Hawes

I was very impressed with the friendly, helpful and professional service offered by Brookman Solicitors. The generous advice and knowledge offered during the initial free consultation has enabled us to have a much better understanding of our case and plan a way forward.

Jul 2023   Peter Jackson

I had a first consultation with Kevin, who very diligently and professionally provided an exhaustive overview of the divorce process and the best approach for my specific case.

Jul 2023   Giulia Matteo

Great service and excellent advice at the initial consultation. I would certainly recommend and use in the future.

Jul 2023   Tom James

Spoke to a kind solicitor this morning who took an hour of her time to talk me through some advice relating to a difficult separation.... She was clear and helpful with her advice, leaving me feeling much more confident with the process ahead of me.

Jun 2023   Luke Taylor

Mr Brookman provided very clear advice that left me with no doubt about the options and next steps. Getting specific advice with the requirements in the different jurisdictions was particularly useful so I won’t need to consult another lawyer outside of the UK

May 2023   Julian Anthony

About The Team

We are a specialist divorce and international divorce family law team, advising clients in the United Kingdom (specifically England and Wales) and throughout the world. We have a very people–orientated approach to working with clients. Henry Brookman has practised law for over 45 years, and our team has a wide range of skills and expertise. We are recommended by the Legal 500 and have been awarded the Law Society’s quality mark, Lexcel.

Partner

Henry Brookman

With over 45 years' experience, Henry Brookman is a senior member of the team. He is described by The Legal 500 as ‘shrewd, savvy, sagacious and highly experienced’.

Senior Associate

Joanna Potbury

Family law specialist based in Brighton advising on divorce, cohabitation agreements, children, post-nuptial agreements, and domestic violence. Joanna is recommended by The Legal 500.

Senior Solicitor

Susan Hayes

Susan qualified as a solicitor in 1992 and is based at our Brighton office. She is a longstanding member of the Law Society Specialist Children Panel and Family Law Panel. Susan is also a trained Collaborative Lawyer.

Partner

Aziz Malik

Aziz is a Partner at the firm and is highly regarded for his expertise on financial matters in divorce and is recommended by the Legal 500.

Senior Associate

Kevin Danagher

Kevin specialises exclusively in family law, advising on all aspects of relationship breakdown, divorce, same sex marriage, marital agreements, and international family cases.

Solicitor

Rachael Au

Rachael is a highly capable member of the family team in Brighton. She specialises exclusively in family law, advising on divorce, civil partnerships, financial matters, and children issues.

Secretary

Victoria Delatouche

Victoria is a highly experienced Legal Secretary and a long-standing member of the team. She provides secretarial support for the office.

Secretary

Michelle Louison

Michelle provides secretarial support to Henry Brookman. A very experienced family law secretary, Michelle has worked in law for over 12 years.

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If you have questions, contact us now, we can help you.

Enquire Now

Or call us on 01273 744 209