What are the effects of the COVID-19 on the Family Court system?

Making sure the Courts and Tribunal service continues to run effectively is essential for public service. With so many hearings taking place every day at the Central Family Court in London and at regional local Courts, COVID-19 has certainly had an impact on the way in which these hearings will be taking place moving forward. Read more here.

 

Family Law Experts:

A relationship breakdown is one of the most traumatic life experiences that a family can suffer.  If you find you are having relationship problems and need expert advice, our team can provide you with the help and support that you need to find the best way forward.

 

Supporting you through difficult times

We provide a specialist service in all aspects of relationship breakdown, including divorce and separation, whether of married, cohabiting or civil partners.  We can also help if you require advice on pre-nuptial, post-nuptial or co-habitation agreements.

Our team offers you expert and affordable advice on a wide range of matters including:

 

  • Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
  • Financial settlements
  • Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
  • Cohabitation disputes and agreements
  • Children and parenting issues
  • Emergency relief and injunctions
  • International relocation and other family aspects
  • Occupation, harrassment and non-molestation applications

 

We also provide mediation services, including MIAM appointments. All our family lawyers are members of Resolution and adhere to its code of practice which sets out the principles of a non-confrontational approach to family matters.

 

Divorce, Dissolution and Financial Remedies

Our family team is committed to finding the best way to help you through the divorce and separation process.  It is important to us that you find us approachable and respectful of your individual circumstances during what is a very emotional time.  We provide a personal tailored service that focuses on your individual needs and the needs of any children.  It is our role to ensure that your interests are protected so that you can begin a new phase in your life with confidence and as much security as possible.

We negotiate settlements in a high percentage of cases, although appeals, where advised, are also a part of our practice.  We understand that litigation can be as costly in emotions as it is in money, so we work with you to reach financial agreement where ever possible.

Where an early resolution is not possible, our skilled team provide robust and effective litigation representation and support.

 

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Our team recommends alternative dispute resolution wherever possible including mediation and arbitration.  Where appropriate we can refer you to the relevant specialist if we do not provide a particular service.

Mediation: If both parties in a dispute agree to undergo mediation, then a trained mediator, who acts impartially, helps to guide both parties. The mediator’s role is not to impose a decision or to judge the merits of the case but simply help both sides reach an agreement without having to go to court.  We frequently advise our clients who are mediating and assist with the legal formalities.

Arbitration: In the family arbitration process, the parties sign an agreement to be bound by the arbitrator's award. The process is similar to court proceedings, but is a condensed and less formal procedure and therefore can be less expensive.  It can be tailored to suit the needs of the parties.  It is also now possible for arbitration to be used in relation to disputes concerning children.

 

Cohabitation and Pre-Nuptial Agreements

There are now more and more couples living together who are not married both with and without children.  Whilst there are some legal structures in place to provide protection for cohabiting parties, the best way to ensure you are protected in the event of a relationship breakdown is to have a cohabitation agreement.This could ensure that you are able to continue living in your house while your children are under 21, or provide the mechanisms for paying bills and the like.

Cohabitation agreements are also useful where parties are entering new relationships and want to secure their pre-owned assets, for example where it is intended assets will pass to children of a previous relationship, or for younger couples where contributions have been made by parents towards a house purchase.

Recent case law has also made it much easier to enforce pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.  These are agreements entered into by a couple either before or after their marriage that set out how their assets will be divided in the event they divorce.  Pre-nuptial agreements can be particularly important in second marriages or where there are family assets such as trust funds or farms.  They can also save much time, stress and money on divorce if the arrangements for distributing your wealth have been agreed in advance and at a time when emotions were not so raw.  Of course we hope that it will be a document that you will never need to use, but those who do need to rely on them are usually grateful they were put in place in advance.

 

Child Disputes

Relationship breakdown can be particularly distressing when children are involved.  We understand the sensitivity that is needed in these situations and have many years experience in successfully dealing with cases where there are children; their needs are always the priority.

Our team can help with all disputes, whether relating to where your children should live and how much time they should spend with each parent, or more complex areas such as international relocation or abduction.  We also assist with parental responsibility orders, and specific issues in relation to children, e.g. schooling.

As well as our Resolution membership, we are members of the charity ‘Voices in the Middle’,  which is a charity that provides support for children and young people affected by separation and divorce.

If you need advice in relation to any family matter, please do not hesitate to contact our family team on 01483 451900 or email Julia Frimond and/or Satvinder Sokhal.

We Need To Talk: Top tips to keep kids' best interests first during divorce or separation from Resolution.

Divorce Reform Returns to Parliament

Divorce Reform Returns to Parliament

Monidipa Fouzder, from The Law Society Gazette, today published an article titled ‘Divorce reform swiftly returns to parliament’. The article states that; “the government has swiftly put long-awaited divorce reform back on the agenda after... Read More