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Family Law Solicitors
Legal Support For Modern Life
Our family law team, headed by Emma Mitchell, Director and 2014/2015 Solicitor of the Year will advise on all options that are available to you to resolve matters with your partner.
Our primary objective is to achieve a successful outcome for you and your family and whilst we would always encourage an amicable approach, we appreciate that proceedings can often take an acrimonious turn. In whichever direction you find yourself going, you can be assured we are by your side.
Our family law expertise
Divorce and separation can be a confusing, stressful time and there are normally a number of important practical issues to resolve so you can make a clean break and move on with your life.
Our divorce solicitors provide an understanding and highly experienced approach to all of the issues involved in divorce and relationship breakdown, including guiding you through the legal process of ending your marriage and making a financial settlement and arrangements for children.
No Fault Divorce law came into force on the 6th April 2022.
In England and Wales there is only one ground for divorce and that is that a marriage has broken down irretrievably. The Applicant in the divorce is required to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown of marriage. The Respondent to the divorce, no longer has the choice to defend the decision to divorce. The Application for divorce can be made jointly by both parties and will be referred to as Applicant 1 and Applicant 2.
To begin divorce proceedings the Applicant makes an application to the court. The court then sends a copy of this to the spouse (the respondent) who must acknowledge receipt of it.
If it is a joint application for divorce, both parties will receive the issued application from the Court and will need to acknowledge it.
The divorce is a two-stage process. The Conditional Order (previously referred to as the Decree Nisi) can only be applied for 20 weeks (minimum period) after the start of the divorce proceedings. The Final Order (previously referred to as the Decree Absolute) can be applied for 6 weeks after The Conditional Order. This timeframe is to provide a period of reflection for the parties.
The quickest timeframe from issuing the divorce application for divorce and The Final Order is 26 weeks. However, due to the Court’s timetable and allocation of work, this may take longer.
Wherever possible, we try to keep divorce and relationship breakdown amicable, allowing you and your ex-partner to agree the practical details of your divorce voluntarily, rather than relying on court action, which can be time-consuming and costly.
Our family law team includes Emma Mitchell who is a trained Collaborative lawyer. She can support you during ‘round the table’ negotiations with your ex-partner and their lawyers, helping you to find positive solutions to any issues arising from your divorce quickly and cost-effectively.
If you have children, then protecting their wellbeing and your rights as a parent will usually be your top priority when you divorce or separate. Wherever possible, it is best if this can be done amicably to minimise the disruption and emotional fallout for your children.
Our family law solicitors can support you in negotiating child residence and contact arrangements with your ex-partner, helping you to reach a voluntary agreement. However, where this is unsuccessful or inappropriate (such as where there is a history of domestic abuse) we can support you in applying to a court for a Child Arrangements Order and representing you in a court hearing where required.
A growing number of couples are now getting married or remarried later in life and as a result, one or both partners often have significant personal assets they wish to protect in case their relationship does not work out.
Our family law solicitors can help you create or review a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement, giving you peace of mind that whatever the future brings, your long-term interests will be protected.
With a growing number of couples choosing to live together without marrying or entering a civil partnership, it is important to consider what would happen if your relationship does not work out.
We can help you with a co-habitation agreement that sets out what will happen to your home, children and any other practical considerations that need to be accounted for if your relationship ends.
Adoption and donor conception can both be highly rewarding ways to start or grow your family, but there are a number of legal issues that need to be dealt with to ensure your rights as a parent can be established smoothly.
Our family law solicitors have particular experience in adoption and donor conception agreements, so can effectively guide you through these processes, helping you to get the family you want as easily as possible.
We have particular expertise in helping families to protect girls from Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). If you believe you or someone you know is at risk of female genital mutilation, we can help you apply to a court for a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (FGMPO) to help protect you. If you or a loved one have already been subjected to FGM, we can help you to access urgent medical treatment.