Children & Family
Members of our Family Department deal with all aspects of family and relationship breakdown.
Please see related links for:-
- Divorce and Fixed Fee
- Domestic Abuse and Emergency Protection
- Collaborative Practice
The services offered by the Family Department include the following:-
Divorce and Separation
If your marriage has broken down, we can ease you through the divorce process. A divorce is available relying on at least one of the five following grounds:-
(b) unreasonable behaviour
(d) two years' separation with consent; or otherwise
(e) five years' separation
The process is commenced with the issue of a Petition before pronouncement of Decree Nisi and confirmation of the divorce with a Decree Absolute.
We are able to advise and assist in resolving disputes arising between parents and family members.
Issues may arise with regard to parental responsibility, residence and contact (still colloquially often referred to as custody and access) and other specific issues arising (schooling and/or relocation).
We have considerable experience in dealing with urgent and interim remedies. We act in care proceedings, often for children through guardians and also in connection with adoption proceedings.
We also advise and assist in connection with proceedings between same sex couples.
Cohabitation Agreements (Living Together Agreements)
Increasingly more and more couples are choosing to live together without a formal marriage or civil partnership. There is very often considerable confusion about the rights and obligations that arise, particularly if there are children. It is always preferable to resolve these matters by an advance Agreement and we have considerable experience in drafting Living Together Agreements.
We have considerable expertise in the resolution of all types of financial disputes arising from a relationship or a marriage breakdown. We can advise in regard to maintenance obligations, child support considerations, lump sum, property adjustments and pensions.
These have taken on an increasing importance in recent years particularly with the Supreme Court's decision that in certain circumstances, providing compliance with basic principles exist, that they are more likely than not to be upheld. We have noted an increasing amount of instructions to prepare Pre-Nuptial Agreements.
We regularly act in connection with the cohabitation disputes. Rights and remedies are not automatically obtained, but we can advise in relation to property and other financial issues arising, particularly under the Trust of Land and Appointment of trustees Act.