We understand that this is a very sensitive area of law
When talking to clients we do allow children in our office
If they are of an age where they can understand what is being discussed then we will ask that a client brings someone with them to watch the children outside of the interview room, this will ensure that the children are not upset about what is being discussed or hear anything that they are really too young to hear about.
We deal with the following areas of family law.
• Divorce. Stage one. We assist with the procedure from discussing options in relation to a divorce to actually obtaining a Decree Absolute. It should be noted that there is only one ground to petition for a divorce and that is that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that you have to show the Court that you will not be reconciling. There are then five facts of which if you are the petitioner, you will need to choose one. If you wish to petition for a divorce using the fact of behaviour, it should be noted that you cannot petition based on your own behaviour. There have been cases where the petitioner’s petition for a divorce has been refused by the Court and the petitioner has been left with a large costs order. It is therefore essential to obtain advice early so that an assessment can be carried out and the risk of a cost order being obtained, relatively low in family matters, by the spouse is reduced.
• Divorce. Stage two – the Financial Order (Formerly known as Ancillary Relief). We also assist with financial matters, which is stage two of the divorce procedure. This deals with the detail of sorting out the financial arrangements. We advise clients not to obtain the Decree Absolute prior to dealing with and resolving financial matters. It is absolutely essential that advice is obtained early. It could mean the difference between clients negotiating the minimum amount and leaving the divorce with what they are entitled to and should have. In a large number of cases, ‘who gets what’ is concluded within negotiations however, there are times when it would be more beneficial to go to Court. What we find is that the spouse with a large amount of money will try and hide that money in accounts, usually abroad in the hope that they will not be found. It is usually the same people who believe their spouse will not obtain legal advice and should feel grateful for the amount offered to them. This should not be the case! We assist clients to obtain what they are entitled to!
• Child Contact. We assist with cases where the non resident parent wants contact with their child. It is a very emotional time and usually in such cases, things have been said between the parents, which has been very hurtful but children cannot be used as a tool to punish the other a parent. It is important and beneficial in most cases for children to have contact with both parents and in such cases we strive to assist with coming to a mutual agreement without the need for the matter proceeding to Court. It is not beneficial for Judge’s to make decisions over the children nor is it beneficial for the children to be discussing what they want with strangers. There are however, situations when it is not beneficial for the child to have contact with the non resident parent. Ultimately, in these types of cases, it will be for the Judge to decide but remembering that the children are the most important people in cases is essential. We assess cases based on instructions and will encourage negotiation when we believe that the Court will favour access therefore attempting to reduce the amount of distress proceedings will cause, or support clients where we believe that contact needs to be opposed in the best interests of the children.
• Judicial Separation. This is an option to consider if a divorce is not appealing due to, for example, religious considerations. It is, in reality, rarely used.
• Annulment. There are a few situations where the option of an annulment is a possibility rather than divorce.
• Applications for Transfer of Tenancy. This is dealt with within the financial proceedings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Upon the financial settlement in divorce can we guarantee that a client will get everything they want?
We cannot guarantee what a client wants, they will get. We would be negligent if we did! We can say however, that we will fight for our clients to get what they are entitled to and what is an achievable goal.