Our experienced team of family lawyers has been built on 30 years of an established and extensive understanding of the needs of our clients. Whilst providing a proactive and dynamic service, we ensure that the best possible conclusion is achieved for you, tailored to your individual needs in the following areas:
If you are considering divorce, we will guide you through this difficult time in your life, with support, strategic thinking and above all an expert knowledge of the law.
We will steer you through all the steps of divorce from issuing the divorce petition, obtaining decree nisi (first stage of divorce) all the way through to decree absolute (second stage of divorce) and will make the process as straightforward as we can.
We are members of Resolution so follow their Code of Practice that promotes a constructive approach to family issues and considers the needs of the whole family, in particular, the best interests of children.
We assist and provide pragmatic advice on the strategy and resolution of financial issues arising from the breakdown of marriage. It is vitally important to resolve your financial matters at the same time as your divorce, so that there is certainty and security for the future to avoid claims further down the line. It is therefore best to agree on a settlement as early as possible through negotiations. However, if this doesn’t produce a satisfactory outcome for you, we will fight hard to achieve a good settlement for you in the courts.
We have access to tax, trust and pension experts where necessary and have substantial experience of high net worth cases. We go the extra mile to deal with your matter promptly and with discretion to achieve the best financial conclusion for you. We also have experience of “digging out” hidden assets in cases where disclosure has been less than frank which has resulted in favourable settlements for our clients.
Pension Provision on Divorce
We advise and collaborate with pension actuaries and IFAs to ensure the best financial outcome is reached for you in terms of your pension upon divorce. We also have considerable experience in dealing with applications for pension sharing orders in England following overseas divorce where the relevant pensions remain in the UK. We have the knowledge and expertise of applying to the court for leave to commence an application for financial relief after an overseas divorce and also deal with post implementation matters.
Often children are caught in the middle of a relationship breakdown. In many cases however, parents are able to agree matters and discuss arrangements about their children’s care and upbringing without legal or other professional assistance.
However, if parents do encounter problems and disagree on certain aspects, we will discuss these sensitive matters with you in detail and advise upon the right steps to be taken to achieving a satisfactory agreement either through mediation or if necessary, the courts.
The courts will make decisions with the welfare of any children at the forefront of matters. We encourage the same approach and recommend agreement as soon as possible to minimise the emotional upset and distress to everyone involved.
However, if it appears that arrangements or agreement cannot be made out of court and after mediation has been explored, then we can assist in and support you with making an application for a:
- Child Arrangements Order – either an order relating to whom a child is to live or spend time with.
- Prohibited Steps Order – an order preventing someone from doing something (removing a child from the country).
- Specific Issue Order – an order dealing with a specific issue (the child’s health or education).
We also advise on Parental Responsibility and the various ways in which this can be obtained by a parent who is seeking it. Parental Responsibility is defined as the legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child. A person who has Parental Responsibility for a child has the right to make decisions about their upbringing. For example, where a child should live.
Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
Since the landmark 2010 Supreme Court decision of Radmacher v Granatino, Pre-Nuptial and Post-Nuptial agreements have become more common place in recent years.
These agreements are designed to put in place a framework or agreement which will set out what will happen to your assets if your marriage ended. It is often requested by those entering into a second marriage, or by one party who has significantly more wealth than the other party and/or who wishes to protect pre-acquired assets or family inheritance in the event the marriage breaks down.
These agreements are not upheld unless both parties fully understand the implications of entering into such an agreement and that it was fair at the time it was entered into. That means each party taking separate independent legal advice, a full disclosure of assets and liabilities taking place before the agreement is signed and that there is no duress or last-minute rush – hence we advocate that the Pre-Nuptial agreement has to be signed at least 6 weeks before the wedding.
We are well equipped to help you gain a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities and assist in the negotiations and preparations of the agreement itself. We are highly skilled in helping you secure an agreement that suits your individual situation and to guide you through the process, ensuring a favourable outcome for you.
There is a continuing rise in the number of cohabiting couples but few are aware of their legal rights because the myth of the “common law marriage” remains. We offer advice to parties with cohabitation issues as the situation can be complex as unmarried couples are not afforded the same protection of law which deals with breakdown of marriage. Cohabiting couples have to bring claims by relying on property and trust law, or if the cohabiting couple has children, they can also rely on schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989.
We can prepare cohabitation agreements protecting you and your partner from these issues if your relationship were to ever breakdown.
We can assist in helping reach an agreement with your former partner in respect of property or children issues upon separation or making the appropriate applications to court if necessary.
We advise our clients on the legal rights and responsibilities of entering into a civil partnership and can also represent you when things go wrong. We can discuss how to obtain a dissolution of your partnership whilst managing any ancillary matters such as arrangements for any financial or children claims.