Family life is rewarding and challenging in equal measure but there are times when you may need the help of specialist family and divorce lawyers, whether you live in the UK or overseas. You may simply want to know what your rights are or understand the implications for your children or your financial position if you take a particular path, such as divorce for married couples or separation for unmarried couples.

Whether it is the beginning or the end of a relationship, or anything in between, we work in all areas of family law and divorce and will take you through the procedure step by step in a straightforward and helpful way.

We work with individuals, couples, parents, same-sex couples and grandparents in Hertfordshire, London, across the rest of the UK and internationally to support you and find your way through this very complex area of law.

Our family law team advise on highly contested divorces involving significant personal assets, with complicated business interests and challenging child arrangements, often involving an international element. We also deal with more straightforward situations, where as a couple you have simply grown apart and wish to go your separate ways.

We will do all that we can to make the whole process as amicable and painless as possible, including helping couples try to find solutions without the need to go to court and have a judge make decisions for you. We will always explore and discuss with you how best to deal with your particular issues and problems,

How our family law and divorce solicitors in St Albans can help you:

Our divorce lawyers in St Albans can assist with all parts of divorce proceedings, including:

• starting divorce proceedings
• responding to divorce proceedings
• representation for defended divorce proceedings
• divorce financial settlements
• arrangements for children.

Our family lawyers guide civil partners through dissolving their partnership, including advice on the slightly different rules compared to those for divorce.

Our family team can assist with all manner of family financial disputes, including:

• making a voluntary agreement on a divorce financial settlement
• applying to a family court for a financial order
• child maintenance disputes
• enforcing financial orders.

We have a high level of expertise in international family law matters, including:

• cross-border divorces
• financial separations involving international assets
• international relocation of children.

Our family lawyers can assist with all aspects of children law, including:

• where children should live
• what contact they should have with non-resident parents
• child maintenance
• child relocation.

For more information, please visit our pages on child arrangements and international relocation and child maintenance spousal claims.

Family law advice for cohabiting couples
We regularly advise unmarried couples who are cohabiting on issues including:

• making cohabitation agreements
• the application of cohabitation agreements
• voluntary agreements on separating finances when a relationship ends
• arrangements for children of unmarried couples.

For more information, please visit our cohabitation and living together agreements page.

Our family lawyers are committed to removing conflict from family law wherever possible. As such, we regularly use the approach known as collaborative law for divorce and other family legal disputes.

The collaborative process involves both parties agreeing to work together to find solutions to any points of contention.
For more information, please visit our collaborative law page.

Why choose Debenhams Ottaway’s family team?

  • We have a long history of looking after couples and families in St Albans, across Hertfordshire and beyond
  • Our team and lawyers are ranked in the leading legal directories Chambers UK (band 1) and The Legal 500 (tier 1) for family law
  • We have the right people and technical excellence to look after you – our lawyers are Law Society accredited for Family Law Advanced and accredited Resolution specialists in complex financial remedies and cohabitation
  • Our family team is described as “one of the strongest outside London and holds its own in all cases” – The Legal 500

One client enthuses that the team at Debenhams Ottaway is “a pleasure to deal with in every way.”Chambers and Partners UK, 2022

“I think that the extremely high level of service combined with reasonable rates and ethical approach to billing makes the firm stand out from most other firms. It is hard to find people who work as hard, deploy so much experience and have such a good knowledge of the law and tactics for the fees that they charge.”The Legal 500 UK, 2023

Get in touch with our family lawyers in St Albans

If you need assistance with divorce or any other areas of family law, please contact us today.

We have local offices in St Albans and Radlett and we regularly serve individuals from across the wider Hertfordshire area and London.

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What Clients Say
  • Helen Young has to be one of the hardest working solicitors I have ever encountered. She has a no-nonsense approach to cases and has seemingly-effortless good judgment. Her clients soon come to trust her implicitly, and rightly so, she always fights hard for her clients whilst giving realistic advice that allows them to choose a path in keeping with their own formulation of risk. She strips emotion out of decision making and helps clients understand decisions from a strategic and pragmatic viewpoint.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Debenhams Ottaway have a great team of family lawyers led by the excellent Helen Young. Great team approach to working too.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Helen Young leads the family team and sets a great example to those in her department with her hard work ethic and approachable style. She’s very popular with her clients and fellow professionals. I enjoy working alongside her.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • Helen Young is always on top of her cases and gives very realistic and settlement-focused advice to her clients.

    Legal 500 UK 2023
  • One client enthuses that the team at Debenhams Ottaway is “a pleasure to deal with in every way.”

    Chambers and Partners 2022
  • Debenhams Ottaway have been a well-established and well-respected family law practice for many years now. Their recruitment has been exceptional and they have a talented team of individuals offering a broad range of traditional family law services alongside mediation, collaborative law and the adoption of all ADR processes. They are a pleasure to work with.

    Legal 500 UK 2022
  • Helen was thorough and tenacious throughout the process. She caught errors from the other solicitor and followed up appropriately when the other solicitor was slow to respond. She also took the time to understand the complexity of writing a UK divorce that would also need to be filed in the US. I knew I could trust her to follow through on the process, which made it less stressful for me.

  • Helen Young heads up the St Albans-based practice, frequently advising on high-value divorces involving overseas assets

    Legal 500 UK 2024
  • They have a range of solicitors in the team with different levels of experience – they are very prompt and proactive.

    Chambers UK 2024
  • My interactions with Debenhams Ottaway have always been positive, from the welcoming reception staff to the lawyers.

    Chambers UK 2024
  • Without exception, the Debenhams Ottaway team has provided me with excellent client service.

    Chambers UK 2024