Divorce, Separation and legal issues about children differ from other disputes because of their emotional and personal content. We have a sensitive approach and encourage the parties involved to reach an agreement where it is possible but at the same time to ensure that our clients are protected from pressure either from the other party involved in the dispute or from other lawyers.
In some relationships, a prenuptial agreement (entered into before marriage with a view to regulating the arrangements should the relationship come to an end) may be appropriate. For example, one party to the marriage may have children from an earlier relationship and want them to share in the assets which their parent has following the parent's death.
Very often, knowing where you stand at the beginning of a relationship is a good way to avoid arguments later. Provided both parties have the benefit of legal advice before entering into the agreement, a pre-nuptial agreement can leave both parties to a new relationship, and their children, feeling safe that they know how things will be arranged in the future and leave them free to concentrate on other aspects of their new relationship.
The end of a relationship is a difficult time for both parties. We will do what we can to ensure that your relationship is brought to a dignified end without opening old wounds. We will enable you both to move on and, where you have children, to have a good working relationship with each other to enable you to co-parent them effectively and collaboratively and to give your children the joint support that they will need at this difficult time.
We will help you to arrive at a financial solution which is fair and works for both of you. Where appropriate, we will refer you to mediators to help to resolve these issues in a positive way and cost-effectively so that you can maximise your resources for the benefit of your family.
If you are not ready to make a final decision about your relationship, a separation agreement can help you both to agree your financial and personal arrangements without forcing you to make long-term decisions which you may not be comfortable to make immediately. We will explain the advantages and disadvantages of these types of agreements and leave you to decide what is appropriate for you.
Separation agreements can contain details not just of your financial arrangements but also set out what parents agree in relation to the care of their children. They can be a useful stop-gap until the future becomes clearer for you or they can set out what you have both agreed will happen when a decision might be made to bring your relationship with each other to an end.
Different legal frameworks apply in the case of people who are not married to each other, involving on the financial side the ownership of your homes and other property, what should happen to your other assets and, if agreement cannot be reached, which Court process should be used to resolve disputes. We will help you to make the decisions you need to ensure your family’s financial stability for the future.
It is vital that the arrangements you make for your children’s lives are decided without the difficulties which you may have experienced in your relationship with their other parent changing the way you make the decisions which you each need to make about your children. We will help you to focus clearly on what is best for your children and enable you to work together constructively and effectively so that your decision to live apart from their other parent impacts as little as possible on your children’s lives.
The legal framework in relation to children is a little different in the case of parents who are married and those who are not. We are experienced in dealing with the particular problems which arise in the case of married and unmarried parents and will be able to help you to resolve these problems in a positive and collaborative way. Where appropriate, we will refer you to mediators to help to resolve these issues together.
To sum up our approach, we want you both to be able to sit at the same table at your children’s weddings relaxed in each other’s company in the knowledge that you have each done your best to work together to produce the best outcome for them and to give them an example of good parenting which they will be able to pass on to your grandchildren.