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Divorce and Family Law

Every day we change the lives of our family law clients by helping them to move on from broken relationships.

At Cullimore Dutton we recognise that the breakdown of any relationship is an extremely painful and difficult time. We will work extremely hard to support and guide our clients through this phase in their lives’.

There are many issues to resolve such as finances, the family home and arrangements for children. We understand that for many this will be a particular struggle especially when having to look to a different future.

Choosing your Family Law Specialist

Having the right person alongside you to guide and advise through this difficult period, whilst ensuring that you are protected not only now but, in the future, is crucial.

How can we help you

We have a team of highly experienced solicitors with extensive expertise covering all aspects of Family and Matrimonial law, Divorce, Separation, and Financial Arrangements – from the relatively straight forward, to the more complex matters involving Businesses, Pensions, Farms, Family Trusts, Inheritance etc.

We have extensive experience of dealing with child arrangements, to the highly complex, maybe involving domestic abuse issues or international relocation. We can also advise on matters that have become controlling or abusive.

We also help in planning for the future through Cohabitation Agreements and Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements.

It is essential that you get this right first time, no matter how straightforward your situation may seem. We can advise on the potential pitfalls and difficulties that cutting corners may bring.

Across our team, we have considerable Court experience. Members of our team are collaborative family lawyers, and mediators with a wealth of Court experience should the need arise.

No Fault Divorce

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 has reformed the law on divorce, dissolution and separation in England and Wales.

The act removes the requirement to provide evidence of fault i.e. adultery, unreasonable behaviour etc. It is replaced with a simple requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown.

It removes the ability (save in very limited circumstances) to defend a Divorce or Separation. As well as individual applications, in certain circumstances couples may make a joint application to the Court for a Divorce or Separation.

The act also introduces new timescales to the process with a period of 20 weeks from the start of the application to the conditional order (formerly known as Decree Nisi). There is then a further 6 weeks between that Order and it being made final so a total of 26 weeks overall.

Our promise to you

We will be with you throughout the process offering you guidance, support and clear advice that in turn will help you make the right decision for you and your family not only now but also in the future years to come.

If you are faced with divorce or a relationship breakdown there are several options open to you. Click on the links below to discover how we can help:

Speak to our experts

For a FREE initial consultation with our expert Family Lawyers, simply complete the form on this page, call 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Why choose us for your Family Law matter? Because we are:


Our team has in excess of 90 years’ experience of helping, supporting and advising clients, achieving the best possible solutions for them and their children.


Members of our team are trained collaborative lawyers and mediators. This specialist knowledge enables us to deal with your family issue in a sensitive, constructive and cost-efficient way.


We understand the emotional turmoil and distress that separation and divorce can create. Our promise to you is that we will be by your side, supporting you at every stage, assisting, advising and providing solutions for you and your family.

Who will work on your Family Law matter?

A fully qualified lawyer. Your matter will either be handled or supervised by a solicitor with at least 20 years’ experience in this area of work.

Some areas of work may be supported by our Paralegal team.

Administrative duties will be undertaken by our support staff.

As Head of Department, Brenda Spain has overall responsibility for the supervision of all work carried out by her team.

Our Family Law Department

Brenda Spain

Brenda Spain

Solicitor | Director | Head of Family Law and Litigation Teams
Family Law and Litigation Teams
Qualified 1987
Additional Qualifications: Member of Law Society Family Law Panel, Qualified Mediator

Hello, I joined Cullimore Dutton in 2019 to take up the position as Head of the Family Law team.

I have been qualified for over 30 years having previously practiced in Worcestershire in a tier one Family Law team. I have considerable experience of dealing with all aspects of family disputes, with particular expertise in:

  • Divorce/separation and finances; particularly those cases involving Businesses, Pensions (NHS, Police, Armed Forces), Farms and Inheritance etc
  • Private children disputes including internal and international relocation
  • Cohabitation disputes
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements
  • Civil partnership disputes
  • Domestic abuse cases

I am also a qualified mediator, a member of the Law Society Family Panel and a member of Resolution.

I appreciate that relationship breakdowns can be a very difficult and overwhelming experience for many. This is where strong support, guidance and understanding is required.

I work extremely hard for clients to resolve matters in a clear, down to earth, professional and approachable way. I am always prepared to go that extra mile to help our clients achieve the best outcome for them and their children whether through the negotiation process or the Court process if Court Proceedings become necessary.

I was recently appointed as Cullimore Dutton’s Training Principal and am delighted to be able to mentor and support colleagues who are entering the legal profession.

I am proud to head a team of very talented lawyers, aspiring lawyers and assistants.

Away from work I enjoy spending time with family and friends and being outdoors with my Labradors. I enjoy sports, music and getting involved in charitable events and good causes.

Susan Alexander

Susan Alexander

Consultant Solicitor
Family Law Team
Qualified 1981 (Scotland), 1994 (England & Wales)
Additional Qualifications: Collaborative law practitioner, Child inclusive mediator, FMCA accredited mediator

Hello. I joined the firm as a Consultant Solicitor and Family Mediator in May 2016. I am an accredited family law specialist with over 35 years of experience as a family lawyer dealing with all aspects of Family Law, including divorce, separation, children and financial issues, cohabitation disputes and preparation of pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation deeds.  

I am a fully accredited Family Mediator and provide Child Inclusive Mediation. I practise collaborative law where couples sit round the table with specially trained lawyers to help them reach solutions which are best for them and their children. I promote the benefits to separating couples and their children of having a dialogue together in a safe and supported environment to make decisions that need to be made about money and property and child care arrangements.  

Divorce is not easy nor is it easy to sit down together and talk about how assets should be shared or how child arrangements should be worked out when emotions are running high. Using Family Mediation and Collaborative Law usually means that agreements are reached more quickly and the uncertainty (and costs) of court proceedings are avoided.  

I am an experienced litigator in cases that cannot be resolved by mediation or collaborative law. I take pride in being thought of as an efficient, hardworking yet approachable and supportive solicitor who helps people through a very difficult time. 

My expertise is in: 

  • Family Mediation including child inclusive mediation  
  • Collaborative family law 
  • All aspects of divorce and separation including financial and children issues 
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements 
  • Cohabitation agreements  
  • Cohabitee disputes 
  • Resolution accredited Family Law specialist  

Away from my desk I like to go to the gym and the lawyer’s fit club, I play bridge and I sing in the Rock Choir. I love socialising with my friends and family. I am also involved in organising events for charity. 

Kelly Hughes

Kelly Hughes​

Associate Solicitor
Family Law Team
Qualified 2009

Hello, I joined the Family Law team at Cullimore Dutton in December 2022 having worked in the Cheshire legal sector for over 13 years. I specialise in all aspects of family law, and have a keen interest in financial matters on divorce and children disputes.

I consider myself to be extremely empathetic and can relate to the challenges clients face having been through divorce myself. I fully understand the difficulties clients face in adjusting to their “new normal” whilst navigating the divorce process, dealing with financial matters and adjusting to co-parenting.

I am a friendly, approachable and down to earth lawyer, and I pride myself on being able to explain the law and legal processes to my clients in a clear and straightforward way.

Outside of the office, I’m a keen aerialist (a person who performs acrobatics high above the ground), a fair-weather runner and I enjoy spending time with my children and our family dog.

Georgina Roberts

Wills & Probate Team
Qualified 2013
Additional Qualifications: Full member of Solicitors for the Elderly

Hello. I joined Cullimore Dutton in September 2023 where I am part of the Wills, Trusts, and Estates team.

I grew up in West Kirby on the Wirral and completed my Law Degree and Legal Practice Course at the University of Sheffield.

I was really excited to join Cullimore Dutton and I’m enjoying getting to know the rest of the team and the clients – everyone has been so welcoming so far.

Private Client is an interesting area of the law and I really enjoy helping people at what can sometimes be a difficult and stressful time of their lives. I’m also a full member of Solicitors for the Elderly, which means I’m trained to work with older and more vulnerable clients.

Outside of work, I love eating out with my husband and I try to go running three times a week in order to counter this!  I also enjoy spending time with friends and my two cats.

I specialise in all aspects of Private Client work and have expertise in:

  • The creation of Wills
  • Trusts and inheritance tax planning
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Administration of Estates
  • Court of Protection work

Words cannot be formed great enough to express my appreciation to you both. I’ve felt so up and down with emotions these past few weeks. You both have been quite simply… amazing.

Cullimore Dutton Family Law client

Brenda Spain was wonderful throughout my painful divorce, reassuring me and keeping me calm throughout. My marriage had been a long one and it is fair to say that there were times when I emotionally wavered, but Brenda gave me the reassurance I needed, because of her kind, but always professional support and expertise. Brenda strove throughout to negotiate the best financial outcome, so I could be sure of a secure future, and I am very thankful.

Cullimore Dutton Family Law client