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In part 2 of our complete guide to divorce we look at the various stages involved in the divorce procedure (View part 1 here).

So, first things first...

Where Should You File Your Divorce Application?

Divorce applications can be filed in any divorce county court or in the Principal Registry in London. The nearest court to you can be easily located using the following website:

Payment can be made by debit or credit card, cash, postal order or cheque, which should be made payable to ‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service’. Depending on circumstances, certain individuals are eligible for a fee remission in full or in part. To see if this applies to you, visit the court service website and refer to booklet EX160A, entitled: Court Fees – Do I have to pay them? More...

The latest addition to our Newport office is legal assistant Catherine Jones, who joins us in the first stage of her ambition to continue her family’s illustrious legal history.

Catherine’s Mother, Claire Davis, is both a partner and head of Wills and Probate here at Howells Solicitors, and she descends from a long line of Newport Solicitors, all the way back to her Great Grandfather, John Davis, who after qualifying in 1919, went on to form Newport law firm, Le Brasseur Davis & Sons.

Claire and Catherine Davis

Following on from John Davis, was Claire’s Grandfather Gilbert Davis, who practiced for just shy of 50 years, along with her Great Uncle Tom Davis. During their careers both were well respected solicitors in South Wales and presidents of the Monmouthshire Law Society.  More...

A divorce is a difficult enough situation, trying to provide sufficient financial resources to support two homes when previously there was one,  without matters being made worse by both parties having to contend with the added expense of solicitor’s fee’s. Here is our step-by-step guide to a divorce, helping you to understand proceedings and providing potential clients with the information they need to conduct their own online divorce and saving them a great deal of money along the way.

What Are Grounds for Divorce? 

The only ground for a divorce is the irretrievable breaking down of a marriage. In this situation, the party bringing the divorce proceedings is known as the ‘petitioner’, while their spouse is called the ‘respondent’. To show there has been an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship, the petitioner must be able to prove one of the following five facts:  More...

Following the recent announcement that those living in England will be asked to contribute no more than £75,000 towards their social care and that each person will have a protected capital threshold of £123,000 from 2017 is it likely that those older in Wales will receive the same protection from the Welsh Assembly Government?

Claire Davis, Head of the Private Client Department at Howells Solicitors and a Director of Solicitors for the Elderly a National Organisation of Lawyers representing the interests of older people says that she can see no reason why the Welsh Assembly would not consider putting in place similar rules to those being proposed in England although, of course, there are no guarantees that the limits set out for older people in England will be the same as those in Wales.  

Miss Davis explains, “The current situation is that social care is means tested in both England and Wales.  The protected capital threshold is currently £23,250 in both countries.  This means that when an individual’s assets reach that figure their income will still be used towards the funding of their care costs but no further inroads will be made into the capital.  In England there is a tariff banding which takes the effective protected capital threshold to a significantly lower level of £14,250. In my opinion, even with the proposed restructuring of care costs there is ample opportunity for older people to take proper advice to ensure that their estates and finances are constructed in such a way that as much as possible is protected from the potential impact of care home fees. " More...

Reforms which will significantly reduce the scope and provision of legal aid will come into effect from 1st April 2013. 

The Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LAPSO) received Royal Assent and became Law on 1st May 2012, with the latest reforms severely limiting the availability of legal aid for family cases including divorce and children matters.

In real terms, the reforms mean legal aid will only be available in public family law matters i.e. care proceedings involving a local authority such as Social Services and cases relating to adoption. In cases involving private family law such as divorce, contact and residence and financial matters, legal aid will only available if there is evidence of domestic violence, child abuse or child abduction. In all other cases legal aid will no longer be available.   More...

With effect from 15th February 2015 EU Regulations on Consumer Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) allow consumers who bought our services online to submit their complaint via an online complaint portal.

We are required under the regulations to provide our clients the following information:-
  1. Link to the ODR platform - please follow the following link for further information (
  2. Our contact email address in case of a complaint under the ODR regulation – Andrea Coombes