Problems or concerns about the family are some of the most stressful and emotionally traumatic events you can experience. While it is sometimes a difficult decision to seek legal help, it is often the best way to resolve problems. "Family law" is an area of law that is there to help with most family problems such as divorce, civil partnerships, children, pre-nuptial agreements and separation agreements.
When you're stressed and upset about the family, you don't want the additional stress of a hefty legal battle. That's why our Family Law Solicitors are here. We have the experience and understanding to deal with your case sensitively, while taking everyone's feelings into account. We don't burden you with legal terms and we'll bring your case to a resolution as soon as we possibly can. We are experts at family mediation, helping you sort out issues with your partner or former partner without the expense and worry of high legal fees. We resolve the majority of our disputes out of court, so you won't have to go through a long and traumatic hearing. We understand that the family is a private matter and you want any problems discussed confidentially, so we'll keep it that way.
Our family law solicitors, Kevin Smyth and Wendy Ryle, are very experienced with helping families and will help you throughout. You won't be pushed from one lawyer to another, having to answer the same questions repeatedly. Instead, Kevin or Wendy will know your case personally, and understand your sensitivities and concerns.
If you're separating or considering divorce, this is often difficult for children and teenagers to understand, and you will want to minimise the effect it has on them as much as you can. It is important that any decisions you or your partner make regarding your children is backed by the law, to ensure there are no arguments later down the line that could cause further upset for anyone involved.
Since 2005, gay and lesbian partners have been able to enter into a civil partnership, giving them access to many of the same rights as married couples. A civil partnership means your relationship is recognised legally, along with giving you the chance to show your commitment to your partner in a similar way to heterosexual couples. We are experienced in advising on civil partnerships and would be happy to take you through the process.
Agreeing to spend your life with someone is a happy moment, and you don't often want to think about the practical aspects should the relationship break down. However, it is often wise to consider a civil partnership agreement - the equivalent of a pre-nuptial agreement - which sets out exactly what each partner will receive if either partner decides to dissolve the partnership.
If you're considering dissolving your civil partnership, you might be wondering what the next step is. The process is similar to that of divorce, and can be just as stressful and upsetting. We will take you through the process sensitively, understanding and listening to your needs throughout.
If you live with someone, but are not married, it is a good idea to consider a cohabitation agreement, especially if you own a property together or have children. This will give you legal standing should the relationship dissolve, so you can plan what each partner is entitled to in advance, making it a fair and balanced way of planning for the future.
When you're going through a divorce, you might not want to bring the argument into the court room. Collaborative law allows you to resolve disputes with an agreement in place that the case will not enter court. Instead, issues will be aired with a lawyer and agreements will be made between both partners. This is a popular option as it often maintains or rebuilds the friendship between partners, making it easier on any children and helping to reduce the emotional impact.
If the time has come for a divorce, you want it to be sorted as soon as possible, as fairly as possible, and with the minimum of stress and emotion. We're experienced at making this happen, helping you to move on with your life.
If you want to resolve problems without going to court and facing high legal costs, family mediation is an option that allows you and your former partner to discuss your problems in a secure environment, with an experienced family mediator with you at all times to ensure all your needs are met. Our family mediator, Wendy Ryle, will not take sides, but will help to reduce arguments and make sure both sides listen to the other.
It may not be the most romantic thing to do, but for some, it is a responsible decision that ensures you know where you stand and what you're entitled to if a relationship breaks down. A pre-nuptial agreement can set out exactly what each partner will receive should you divorce. It is decided by you and your partner in advance, and will help to eliminate arguments later down the line and make sure it's 'all sorted' should the time come to separate.
If your relationship has broken down but you don't want to divorce, separation is a good option that allows you the freedom to move on with your life. A separation agreement sets out exactly how the separation will be conducted, how financial matters will be organised, who will take care of any children and where they will live. It also gives you the freedom to decide if and how much you will support your former partner in a fair and balanced way.
If you're worried about the cost of legal help, or if you're not sure whether to go ahead or not, and just need some general advice, we can provide this free of charge. We know that at this time of your life, you don't want to think about money or legal costs, so we're happy to advise you on any aspect of the process for free. If you're not sure whether you need legal help, chat to us and we'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
We make no charge for talking to you about your enquiry.
Telephone us on 01273 604123 or
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