Family Law, Divorce, and its attendant problems can be distressing and expensive, unless you are fortunate, or chose the right lawyer, or both! Divorce or any separation does not just mean two people breaking up. It will often involve people making appropriate arrangements for the children and finances.
As specialists in this field we know the law and how to make it work for you.
The best family lawyer is the one who is able to ensure that your interests are protected without creating any additional anguish and unnecessary expense.
Costs do remain a concern for all clients whatever their legal problem. We are happy to discuss your options, and we are confident that we will be able to tailor our services to your particular financial circumstances.
Divorce and Separation
Making the decision to divorce is rarely easy and if there are children involved it is even harder. You may just want some advice as to what you can expect to happen if you decide to instigate divorce proceedings or you may need help making sense of your situation. We can discuss all the options that are available to you and if you do go ahead we will be there to help and work alongside you to achieve what is best for you and your family.
If you have children and your relationship is breaking up, it is sometimes difficult to remember that whatever the outcome, you continue to be parents. Arrangements will have to be made as to with whom the children will live (residence) and how you will arrange to see them (contact). We will encourage and support you in trying to reach decisions concerning the children without the intervention of the court. However, if this is not possible we will guide you through the court system and do our best to help you achieve the best possible for you and your children.
Sometimes, Social Services become involved. Social services are a department of your local authority and they are there to safeguard children. They must get permission from the courts if they want to take action that you are not in agreement with. These proceedings are known as care proceedings. If Social Services believe that a child is suffering serious harm or is likely to suffer serious harm, they can apply to the court for a care order. There are a number of different orders that the court can make including supervision orders, residence orders, special guardianship orders and contact orders.
Resolving the financial issues resulting from the breakdown of a relationship can often be the most challenging aspect of the breakdown and can lead to anxiety and uncertainty. We will work with you to resolve the issues and negotiate a financial settlement. Agreement as to the family home, maintenance, pensions, businesses and other assets can be reached but if this is not possible and the matter is referred to the court, we will advise, support you and represent you. At all times we will provide you with realistic advice tailored to your particular circumstances.
Since December 2005 the Civil Partnership Act has enabled same sex couples to have their relationships recognised by law. They have been granted similar rights to married couples and are recognised as civil partners. Regrettably some civil partnerships will break down and the law covers the rights and responsibilities that partners have in relation to children, finance and protection from violence. Dissolving a civil partnership involves similar procedures to divorce and we will help you through the process.
As “co-habitants” (people living together) you do not fit easily into the legal system but this does not mean that your relationship breakdown is any less stressful and emotional than if you were married, especially if you have children. It is important for you to understand that your living together does not give you legal rights over each other. We can however advise you on how the law affects your children and your property rights if you own or rent a home.
If you are in a relationship we can advise you as to how you can protect yourself, your children and your home.
If you are a victim of a violent spouse or partner, we can help you obtain an injunction to remove that violent spouse or partner from the home.
Domestic abuse includes all kinds of behaviour that is meant to hurt or frighten you. It can happen to anyone, man, woman, gay, lesbian or straight. There are laws to protect you and your children and we will advise you. We can put you in touch with local organisations that are here to help and support you.
These are entered into before a marriage. They set out the way in which the prospective husband and wife hold their assets and confirm what will happen if the couple divorce. In many countries pre-nuptial are enforced by the court but in England and Wales they are not binding on the courts and such an agreement cannot prevent the court from making what it considers to be a fair division of the matrimonial assets. Such an agreement can however be taken into account when the court considers the financial circumstances on divorce.
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Select from one of our Family Law specialists to help you with your legal issue