Family Law

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Family Law Areas of Expertise

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During the course of a divorce proceeding financial settlements often arise. As with most matters these can be resolved efficiently and in a cost-effective manner where there is an agreement between the parties.

Financial settlements resolve the division of assets after a relationship breakdown, often after divorce. It can be a simple process with the focus being meeting reasonable needs of both parties in particular the housing needs for both in particular the children.

It can also become complex. Some couples possess complicated off-shore accounts, disputed value items, shared business ventures and pensions. These cases can require the instruction of expert financial investigators to provide an impartial analysis.

Our experienced solicitors will guide you through these tricky and sometimes emotionally frustrating proceedings to arrive at a suitable arrangement.


Child Arrangements Order (CAO) is now the umbrella term for Residence & Contact Orders. These help decide who the child will live with and how often they will see the other parent.

If you and your ex-partner cannot agree on the time children will spend with each parent, the court has the power to make decisions for you, known as Child Arrangements Orders. The court can decide which parent the child will live with, or if they will live equally with both parents and if you cannot agree the court can decide the exact timings.

Most people will be more familiar with the terms residence/custody and contact/access. These terms have been replaced with ‘live with’ and ‘spend time with’.

Anyone may apply to the court for permission to apply for a Child Arrangements Order, but several categories have implicit permission. These are:

  • Parents or guardians
  • An adult with a Residence Order for the child
  • A responsible adult who holds parental responsibility for the child
  • An adult who the child has lived with for upwards of three years
  • A non-biological parent who is a parent through marriage/civil partnership
  • A person who has gained permission from any of these people

Our team of experienced family solicitors will be able to help guide you through this often messy and emotional area of law. It is essential you find a solicitor at the earliest point in order to get your complete case heard before the court.


Special Guardianship is specifically for family members taking on the permanent care of a child within the family. Special Guardianship Orders (SGO) were primarily introduced to fill the gap between Child Arrangement Orders (CAOs) and adoption.

If you are caring for a child that is not your own because their parents are not able to look after them you can obtain an order giving you legal recognition and responsibility and, in some cases, practical and financial support that may be required. The parents retain their parental responsibility and should be informed and consulted where appropriate, but the Special Guardian is able is make the ultimate decision, even if the parents do not respond or co-operate.

Our experienced team of solicitors are able to offer specialist advice and guide you through what can be a daunting and complex process; whether you require a one-off advice session or representation in obtaining a special guardianship order.


We can advise and represent children, parents, and family members in multiple areas related to care proceedings. These include but are not limited to:

  • Cases when social services are involved because of their concerns with the child’s emotional well being and physical safety.
  • When social services make an application at court concerning the child usually where the child is or is about to be taken into care, when their parents want them to be returned from care, or when a family member or responsible adult wants them to be returned from care.

No matter how difficult or complicated the circumstances, Our experienced child care lawyers are committed to securing the best possible outcome for you and your family. If social services have taken your child into care, or have threatened to do so, it’s important that you are represented by someone who understands the legal process.

Our family law department includes members of the Law Society’s Children Panel the Family Law Panel and Resolution Accredited Specialists.

Any parent with parental responsibilities will automatically be eligible for legal aid. For other parties involved in the case such as grandparents or aunts and uncles, it would depend on their financial situation and whether they are formally involved in these proceedings.


We are here to listen, advise and act on your behalf to protect you and, if applicable, your children. We can help with all matters relating to Domestic Violence.

Domestic Violence can take a variety of forms – physical, emotional, financial or sexual. When it occurs, swift and positive action is necessary to prevent repeated occurrences. As well as directly affecting the parties involved it can have huge repercussions on surrounding family, friends, and children.

In certain cases, it is possible to apply to the Court for an injunction prohibiting someone from pestering, intimidating or behaving violently. It may also be possible to obtain a Court Order to have someone removed from a home or prevented from visiting it. Depending on the case injunctions can be issued quickly on an emergency basis by court. Failure to comply with an injunction may be punishable by imprisonment or other sanction depending upon the severity of the non-compliance.


If your marriage has lasted for more than one year, there are five conditions that the courts can consider justification for divorce. If your spouse has satisfied just one on these conditions, then you can petition for divorce. These conditions are: –

  1. Adultery.
  2. Unreasonable behaviour.
  3. Two years’ separation on the basis of your spouse’s agreement.
  4. Five years’ separation.
  5. Desertion on the basis of your spouse having left you for over two years.

The process of a petition can take up to 6 months to complete in divorce proceedings in cases where there are no financial issues between you and your estranged spouse.

Resolving financial matters in divorce law can slow down the divorce process; in many cases it can take up to a year to complete the process and possibly longer in complex cases.

Clear, concise advice will make a world of difference and ensure the process is completed as quickly and painlessly as possible.

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