Meet The Team and FAQs: Family (Matrimonial)

Category: Children, Divorce

This week our #WhatWeDoWednesday focused on the services of our Family team. Today we are following it up by introducing two members of the team and answering some FAQs.

Eleanor Barber

Associate Solicitor

Family Team Leader

Eleanor joined the Nash Family Law Team in December 2015.  She has over 15 years family law expertise including prenuptial agreements, relationship breakdown, cohabitation agreements and disputes, financial settlements and all matters relating to children.

Eleanor has been a full member of the Law Society’s Children Panel since 2010 and is also a member of Resolution which encourages cases to be pursued and resolved in a non-antagonistic manner.

Eleanor is also a Resolution Accredited Specialist for Complex Financial and Property Matters and also for Domestic Abuse.  As a Resolution Specialist, Eleanor has demonstrated her knowledge and abilities in the selected areas through a rigorous assessment process.

With Accreditations covering complex children law, complex financial and property matters and domestic abuse, Eleanor has demonstrated her expertise across all areas of family law and you can be safe in the knowledge that she has the right level of expertise to deal with your case.

Anne Shears


Anne qualified as a Solicitor in 2007 after completing her Legal Practice Course in Bristol and her Law and German Degree at Cardiff University. She has practised family law in Plymouth since 2009 and specialises in divorce cases and resolving financial matters that arise from the breakdown of a relationship. Anne also prepares cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements and separation agreements.

Anne recognises that very few clients wish to go to Court and seeks to resolve disputes through careful negotiation outside of a Court managed process if possible. However, she is clear in her advice as to when an application is required and has expertise in representing clients if such steps are necessary to bring about a conclusion as swiftly as possible.

Anne is a member of Resolution which is a national organisation encouraging family law cases to be pursued and resolved in a non-antagonistic and constructive manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a divorce take?

As a rule of thumb a divorce can take between 4 and 6 months from the date that the petition is lodged with the Court but it very much depends upon the complexity of the issues and how much co-operation there is between the parties.

We do work towards bringing about a conclusion as soon as possible for our clients as we recognise that it is an incredibly difficult time for them. However, each case will turn on its individual facts and it is difficult to know how long a divorce will take before the particular circumstances of the case are known.  We recommend that anyone considering divorce makes an appointment with one of our specialist solicitors to come to the office to discuss matters where a time estimate can then be provided.

Will I have to go to court?

For a straight forward, undefended divorce you will not need to attend Court.

Where you cannot reach an agreement and you have to issue an application to Court, for example to resolve the concequent financial issues arising out of your divorce or in relation to a dispute regarding children, then Court attendance will be necessary.

Will I have to sell my home?

It is not always the position that family home will have to be sold following separation but this will depend upon the financial circumstances of the parties.

It is very uncommon for both parties to remain living in the same property following separation and so, it would seem fairly inevitable that one of the parties will have to move from the property but this does not necessarily mean that the property will have to be sold.

In cases involving children, as long as it is financially possible, every effort is made to ensure that children do remain in their home to provide stability and security for them at what is, for the whole family, a very difficult time.

We recommend that anyone concerned about what would happen to their property following separation makes an appointment to come in and meet with one of our specialist solicitors for further detailed advice.