Our family law solicitors have extensive experience with complex, high profile cases, often involving substantial (and sometimes concealed) assets.
Whether you want to begin divorce proceedings, respond to a divorce petition, reopen an old settlement, find new lawyers to conduct existing proceedings, or simply talk through your options, we can help. Separation and divorce can be a difficult time in emotional, practical and financial terms. Our experienced team of family law solicitors can smooth the path for you, sympathetically and effectively. If you have concerns over the affordability of divorce proceedings because your partner controls the family finances, we can help ensure that he or she pays your costs. [In some circumstances we can also offer to work on a fixed fee basis.]
Disputes and issues concerning children can be some of the most contentious and sensitive. Whether you are a parent, carer or other interested party, our expert team provides advice on all areas of law concerning children, including child maintenance, residence arrangements, and care proceedings. Although as a first step, we would usually encourage you to agree your own arrangements for your children, we recognise that this is not always possible. Consequently, our advice is always tailored to place the children’s interests first while also presenting your views clearly and robustly.
Financial remedy solicitors
Obtaining a decree absolutely does not automatically dissolve your financial relationship with your former spouse. Our knowledgeable team of family lawyers provides clear and structured advice on financial matters arising from a divorce or separation. This is usually done at the same time as any divorce proceedings, and we always aim to help you reach an agreement with your ex-partner. If this is not possible, the next step is to use the services of an experienced mediator. The matter will only proceed to court if mediation is unsuccessful. If your case does go to court, we will discuss with you the factors that the court will consider.
• The financial needs of you, your ex-partner and any dependent children
• The duration of your relationship
• The future capacity of you and your ex-partner to find work, taking into account your age and health
• The housing requirements of you, your ex-partner and any dependent children
• The need for financial fairness to you and your ex-partner.
Ending a civil partnership
We have considerable experience in providing advice for those who wish to end a civil partnership. Our family law solicitors will explain whether you need a separation order or a dissolution order, and the circumstances in which you may make an application to the court. As well as helping you make the relevant application, we can also advise you on arrangements for any children and any on necessary financial remedies.
Cohabitation agreement solicitors
Your rights as cohabitees differ in several significant ways from those of a married couple or one with a civil partnership. Our advice can help you clarify your existing rights and formalise new ones via a cohabitation agreement. The main reasons for doing this are to determine what will happen to your finances and other property in the event of a relationship breakdown, and to ensure you understand how a court would view your arrangements. You can also use a cohabitation agreement to formalise daily finances, such as each party’s contribution to a mortgage or other household bills.
When an unmarried couple separates, English law makes no provision for one party to obtain financial support from the other. It is only possible to obtain this support where it is for the purpose of providing for the dependent children of the relationship. Meanwhile, the division of property owned by the separated couple is determined according to the law of trusts and property. Our cohabitation dispute specialists are experienced in helping clients untangle their financial affairs and ensure satisfactory financial provision.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreement
Prenuptial agreements (“prenups”) are rising in popularity. Although they are not legally binding, provided a prenup is:
• made voluntarily;
• without pressure;
• fair; and
• with both parties having full knowledge of its implications,
it is likely that a court will uphold it. With extensive experience of drafting prenups, we can help you decide if your circumstances merit using one. Typically, clients may consider using a prenup where one party brings significantly more assets to the marriage than the other or if one party wants to ringfence certain assets for the children of an earlier relationship.
Our family law solicitors can also advise on post-nuptial agreements (“post-nups”). Drafted after marriage, a post-nup sets out what is to happen to the couple’s assets in the event of the relationship breaking down.
If you’re suffering domestic abuse, obtaining sensitive, practical and timely legal advice is essential. Our domestic violence solicitors have extensive and wide-ranging experience in helping clients extricate themselves and their children from abusive relationships. [In certain circumstances you may be eligible for legal aid and, where appropriate, we will advise on this.]
If you have been accused of perpetrating domestic abuse against your partner and/or children, we can offer legal advice and possible representation in relation to proceedings in the Family Court. [However, if you have been arrested charged with a criminal offence, we will liaise with our criminal defence colleagues to ensure you receive the right support and advice.]
Change of Name
Our Change of Name specialists can prepare a Change of Name deed for you that will be accepted by all major banks and other financial institutions, the DVLA, the Passport Office, and other relevant organisations. [We can also draft a Change of Name deed for children under 18 years of age, provided we have the written agreement of both biological parents.]
Freedom to Marry
If you are single, widowed or divorced, you are free to marry in the UK, provided you have attained the stipulated age and are not planning to marry a prohibited person (such as certain close blood relatives). In certain circumstances, such as when planning a wedding in a particular church, you may be asked for a Statutory Declaration of Freedom, confirming that you have not previously been married. As we are authorised to witness the swearing of Statutory Declarations, we can help you with such requests.
Call or email us in order for us to discuss in greater detail how our family law solicitors can move your case forward today.
Feel free to call our professional team for a free, no-obligation informal discussion, and we’ll discuss your particular requirements in greater detail.