What Does a Family Law Solicitor Do?
A Family Law Solicitor deals with legal matters that involve you and your family, such as your spouse, your partner, your children and the family home.
While not true in every case, a Family Law Solicitor is typically needed following the breakdown of a relationship, particularly in separation or divorce if there are assets to divide or childcare arrangements to make. A Family Law Solicitor may also be asked to put Court Orders in place, draw up legal agreements and assist with dispute resolution.
For initial advice, get in touch with our Family Law Solicitors.
Our Family Law Solicitors can help you with:
Divorce, Children, Separation and Civil Partnership Dissolution
Whether you are separating, getting a divorce or a civil partnership dissolution, there will likely be many legal and practical matters to resolve. When you instruct a Family Law Solicitor, he or she can manage everything on your behalf, such as:
- Advising on the grounds for divorce or civil partnership dissolution
- Handling the entire divorce or civil dissolution process for you
- Managing an international divorce
- Drafting a Separation Agreement
If the breakdown of a relationship means that assets and debts must be divided, then it might not be as simple as a 50/50 split. A Family Law Solicitor can clarify the rights and responsibilities of each person, as well as:
- Advise what a reasonable financial settlement would look like in your case
- Request financial disclosure from your ex to ensure all their assets are disclosed
- Negotiate a financial settlement
- Make the agreement legally binding with a Court Order
- Get a Consent Order, cutting the financial ties between you and your ex
When parents are no longer together, it can lead to disputes about where their children should live and how much time they spend with the other parent, or even step-parent or grandparent. Disagreements can also arise regarding a child’s upbringing, such as what surname they should have and whether they can be taken abroad. If so, a Family Law Solicitor can:
- Negotiate childcare arrangements, including contact, residence and access for parents and other family members
- Negotiate child maintenance payments
- Make an agreement legally binding with a Child Arrangement Order
- Resolve specific issues that arise in relation to the child’s upbringing
- Prevent a parent from taking a certain action, such as taking a child abroad
- Handle child abduction proceedings
- Obtain Parental Responsibility on behalf of a parent or family member
Dispute Resolution and Litigation
If you’re locked in a dispute with your ex, or even with another family member, you need to explore amicable ways of resolving the situation. A Family Law Solicitor can suggest suitable methods of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration, providing independent legal advice throughout.
Should alternative dispute resolution prove unsuccessful, your final option is to take the matter to Court. If it comes to that, we strongly recommend that you instruct a Family Law Solicitor to represent you throughout. He or she can present your case and fight to achieve the outcome you are hoping for.
Sometimes in life you need to put a legal agreement in place, either with your current partner or with your ex. Often these set out the financial arrangements between you. A Family Solicitor can draft these for you, and can advise what implications the agreement might have on your life. These legal agreements include:
- Separation Agreements
- Cohabitation Agreements
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
There are various kinds of Court Order that relate to family law including:
- Consent Orders
- Clean Break Orders
- Pension Sharing Orders
- Freezing Orders
- Non-Molestation Orders
- Occupation Orders
- Mesher Orders
- Variation of Maintenance Orders
Each Court Order suits a different situation. For instance, if you are getting a divorce, then a Consent Order or Clean Break Order can be beneficial. A Family Law Solicitor can advise whether or not you require a Court Order, and if so, can make an application to the Court.
Legal Help for Unmarried Couples
The law in England and Wales for unmarried couples differs significantly to the law for married couples. When you are cohabitating (meaning you live together but you aren’t married), you don’t have any rights over each other’s assets. Should the relationship break down, it can result in disputes as to who owns what, especially if there is property involved.
To prevent this from happening, it’s prudent to put a Cohabitation Agreement in place, or if you are getting married soon, a Prenuptial Agreement. These set out how your assets and debts will be divided if your relationship does break down in the future.
A Family Law Solicitor can
- Draft and advise on Prenuptial Agreements
- Draft and advise on Cohabitation Agreements
- Help resolve property disputes that arise in the presence or absence of a legal agreement
- Obtain the correct financial provision for children
If you are a victim of domestic violence, or you feel like you are in danger, it’s a terrifying position to be in. However, the law can help you. A Family Law Solicitor can take action to protect you and your children, such as:
- Writing warning letters to the perpetrator
- Obtaining Court Injunctions against the perpetrator, such as an Occupation Order or a Non-Molestation Order
Our Family Law Solicitors Can Help You
We can provide legal advice to those facing family law, divorce and/or child law issues, and can explain in plain English what your options are.
For initial advice call our Family Law & Divorce Solicitors
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08002 605 010
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Simpson Millar is a national law firm with over 500 staff and offices in Bristol, Cardiff, Kingston-upon-Thames, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Morecambe and Southport.