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Family & Divorce

Our Family Team appreciate that a relationship breakdown is a traumatic event, we treat all issues with sensitivity and provide a tailored service to meet your demands.

Our team provide specialist legal advice and their expertise ensures our clients receive a complete and professional service. We have expert family solicitors who are praised by clients, legal guides and the media for their outstanding knowledge of family law. All of our family solicitors are members of Resolution, the national organisation of family lawyers committed to non-confrontational divorce, dissolution, separation and other family problems.

A number of our team are also Collaboratively trained, which means they can help you navigate your family law issues jointly with your partner and their chosen Collaborative adviser. Our team are committed to helping you navigate your private family law issues in the most cost-effective way and wherever possible, without court proceedings. 

COVID-19 Legal Implications

We know that the pandemic posed significant challenges for individuals, businesses and inter-personal relationships alike. Our expert team of family lawyers are available to help you navigate any legal issues that you may have experienced as a result of the pandemic including;

  • Assisting you with matters of divorce and separation and the resolution of finances;
  • Helping you to co-parent effectively and dealing with issues relating to child arrangements;
  • Advising as to the law relating to vaccinations where the parents of a child cannot agree;
  • Assisting with matters of wealth protection and nuptial agreements (and advising as to how the postponement of a wedding might impact these);
  • Revisiting financial arrangements/maintenance orders in light of the impact that Covid-19 may have had on your financial position and/or income streams.

Should you require any further information please visit the Covid-19 page.

Specialisms

  • Separation involving agricultural partnerships and assets
  • Divorce, dissolution & separation
  • Child arrangements
  • Cohabitation (living together) agreements
  • Disputes involving children
  • Cases with an international element
  • Disputes if you’re unmarried – in relation to property or a child’s needs
  • Civil partnerships
  • Collaborative law
  • Wealth protection advice including nuptial agreements
  • Relocation proposals and disputes
  • Pensions on divorce or dissolution
  • Non-molestation and occupation orders
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Disputes Involving Children

Whether its assistance in deciding where your children should live, or whether you need help with regular arrangements, a member of our family team can help. We also deal with applications to remove a child from this country and contested applications to decide schooling and other specific issues.

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Rights of Unmarried Couples

Partners who live together but do not marry do not have the same rights as their married counterparts. There is no such thing as common law husband and wives in this country and unfortunately claims cannot be made in the matrimonial courts but instead under complicated Property and Trust Law.

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Pre-nuptial and Post-nuptial agreements - Wealth Protection

Significant percentages of approximately 50% of marriages now end in divorce in the United Kingdom. Unsurprisingly then, couples entering a marriage are considering entering into Pre-Nuptial Agreements in order to try to protect their assets in the event of a divorce.

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Alternatives to Court - Collaborative Law

The aim is to resolve issues without contested court applications, in a supportive and amicable environment and can help resolve issues concerning children, finances and/or divorce. Both parties each instruct a collaboratively trained lawyer and all meet to discuss and agree the arrangements for your family affairs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a pre-nuptial agreement?

    A pre-nuptial agreement is a document in which a couple set out their rights and arrangements in relation to any property, debts or income whether purchased jointly or acquired by one party alone.

  • What is a post-nuptial agreement?

    A post-nuptial agreement is entered into for the same reasons but after marriage, usually on a life changing event such as a windfall or inheritance in order to try to protect those assets upon a divorce.

  • Are pre-nuptial and post-nuptial contracts binding?

    This is a question often mooted by family lawyers in the courts. There are a number of legal requirements that must be present in a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement in order for the agreement to be capable of being upheld. It is, however still open to the courts to decide whether to uphold all or part of an agreement and it is not currently possible to oust the court's jurisdiction in this regard.

  • How much do pre-nuptial and post-nuptial contracts cost?

    This depends upon the complexity of your financial affairs and whether you and your (intended) spouse are in agreement as to the terms of the document. 'Typical' Agreements range between £3,000 to £6,000 plus VAT.

  • How long does a divorce take?

    We find that on average a divorce can typically take between 4 to 6 months from the date of issue to conclusion if the divorce is straightforward and there are no complications (or jurisdictional issues) to consider. However where there are other issues to resolve such as the appropriate division of the finances then a divorce will often take longer.

    From 6 April 2022, the law is changing to introduce “No Fault Divorce”. The changes to the law are explored further below however it is worth noting that the new law will introduce a minimum timeframe of 20 weeks from the start of proceedings to obtaining the Final Order of  Divorce.  The rationale for this is to enable the parties to reflect on their decision to divorce, and to consider whether a reconciliation is possible. Importantly this will also allow the parties an opportunity to try and resolve their financial claims within this period (where possible).

    Our expert team of lawyers are on hand to provide you with a full and efficient service and to resolve matters as amicably and expeditiously as possible.

  • What are the grounds for divorce?

    The ground for divorce is based on the fact that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. From 6 April 2022 the law is changing the way in which an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage must be proven.

    Prior to 6 April 2022, an irretrievable breakdown needed to be proved with reference to one of the five facts under the Matrimonial Causes Act;

    • Adultery
    • Unreasonable behaviour
    • Separation for a period of two years with the consent of the other party
    • Separation for a period of a period of five years (without the need for consent)
    • Desertion

    Under the new law all that is needed to prove that the marriage has broken down irretrievably is a statement to that effect which can be provided by either or both parties. The new law will also change the terminology of a divorce from a Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute to a Conditional Order and Final Divorce Order.

  • How much does a divorce cost?

    There is a court fee of £593 currently payable to commence a divorce. There will also be solicitors fees which can be discussed with your solicitor at your first meeting.

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Relevant Experience

Advising a client in relation to a contact and residence dispute which was complex in nature due to distance, health issues and behaviour allegations.

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Key Contacts

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Across the firm’s family department there is a real interest in supporting the client through what is probably the most difficult time in their lives by offering measured, sensitive and realistic advice. Preparation of cases for court is timely and excellent.

Legal 500 2021

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