Family

Help with the sensitive nature of legal issues surrounding any family problem, protecting the assets you've built for your family and supporting you to move home or buy an investment property.

Family Issues

Injunction

If you need to safeguard against the loss of an asset or protect yourself from personal harm, it may be necessary to apply for an injunction.

An injunction is a court order requiring a peson to stop doing a certain act. Before granting an injunction the court must be satisfied that there is a serious problem.

We can advise on the risks and consequences of this type of action and talk you through whether this is the right step to take.

Maintenance/child support

When a relationship breaks down, both partners have to make sure the children's ongoing needs can be met. You might need to put financial support in place for them for many years, and alter the arrangements as their circumstances change.

We can help with everything from maintenance payments through to paying school fees or planning ahead for higher education.

Domestic abuse

If you or your children need protection from domestic abuse, we can provide support and advice to make sure appropriate legal safeguards are put in place. We can also help protect money or property at risk from being spent or sold by obtaining injunctions from the Court.

Enforcing UK and foreign financial settlements

Most people comply with financial orders made by the Court, but if you're having problem with your ex partner, there are a number of ways we can help, such as an attachment of earnings order which deducts payments from his or her salary. Even if the financial order has been made by a Court in another Country, we can help.

To discuss all the options, please get in touch. 

I want a divorce

When a relationship breaks down it can affect every area of your life. We can't make the challenges go away, but we can help you find the best possible solution. Whether you are married or in a civil partnership, we can help you achieve some certainty for the future.

Unmarried couples, in particular, can face complex problems when separating, and we offer legal advice to protect your rights. We always try to resolve things without court action whenever possible.

Separation or divorce doesn't have to mean a lengthy court case. We can find other ways to resolve disputes, settling issues amicably via discussion and negotiation.

We can use mediation or collaborative law to work with all parties in a non-confrontational way, arranging meetings for you both to discuss matters face to face, or negotiating lawyer to lawyer to arrange a solution everyone is happy with.

Living together - protect your assets

Moving in with your partner can be an exciting time, but it is important to remember that couples who live together have hardly any rights compared to married couples or civil partners. This means that if the relationship breaks down, or one partner dies, your assets may not be protected in the way you would like.

With this in mind, if you decide to move in with your partner, it is a good idea to draw up a living together agreement. This agreement records what each party is contributing to the household and can help you sort out the day-to-day workings of living together, as well as enabling you to agree what happens to the house and associated assets if the relationship breaks down.

If you would like to discuss drawing up a living together agreement, please contact our Family team.

Pension sharing

We have a great deal of experience in helping clients with any pension issues they might have when a relationship breaks down.  Your pension might be your most valuable asset and so needs careful consideration.

We have helped clients with a wide range of pension schemes from pension sharing, final salary schemes to army schemes. 

Pre-nuptial & post nuptial agreements

If you are entering into a new relationship, you might want to protect your assets and finances. After all, circumstances can change, particularly after a marriage or inheritance, and you may well want to put an agreement in place on how to split your assets if the relationship breaks down.

We are experienced in helping clients with pre- or post-nuptial agreements, as well as cohabitation and separation agreements.

Same sex couples and civil partnership

Thinking of entering into a civil partnership? It might be wise to think about protecting your assets with a Civil Partnership contract. If the unthinkable happens and your civil partnership is dissolved in the future or if one of you were to die, a CP contract details what happens to any property, accrued wealth, pension benefits, maintenance for any children of the family and life insurance.

We can talk you through the benefits of a CP contract and advise you on the best course of action.

Tax issues/IHT on divorce

Income Tax and Inheritance Tax (IHT) both need to be considered when formulating a divorce settlement. Where independent tax advice is needed, we work alongside professional accountants and financial planners to ensure your best interests are met. 

Problem with a will or inheritance

With emotions running high after the death of someone close, arguments over the Will (or lack of one) and the deceased's finances can add even more unwanted stress.

If tensions rise between executors or beneficiaries, we can help you find a route through the process. You may feel an executor has not fully complied with the deceased's wishes or has not acted in the best interests of the estate. We can help you with this.

If you feel you have not been fairly provided for, we can advise on whether you may be able to claim against the estate. We can also help with claims for breach of trust or fiduciary duty (when a trustee may have acted beyond their powers).

Executors/Beneficiaries

Your executors are the people you name in your Will to sort out your estate on your dealth.  They are sometimes also referred to as your Trustees if any Trusts arise under your Will, for young children for example.  Your Beneficiaries are the people you name in your Will to inherit your estate on your death. They can be the same as your Executors/Trustees and often people will name their spouse and/or children. 

We can advise you further on this if you need more information. 

Joint home owners

If you own an interest in a property jointly with someone else, either in your family or outside it, it is very important to consider protecting your interest so if anything happens to you, the people you want to inherit will receive it.

This requires you to own the propety in a certain way, which we can check for you. If an adjustment is required, we can help you with this. If you and your co-owner(s) contributed unequally to the property, we can help you document this so that you receive the correct share when the property is eventually sold.

Divorcing?

If you are getting divorced it is extremely important to review your Will and to consider your business interests and who you wish to benefit from these once your divorced is finalised.  We would suggest you draw up a new Will to deal with this during the divorce process and then perhaps review it after the divorce is finalised. This will ensure everything is in order and complies with any Court order made as part of the divorce proceedings in relation to financial provision for your soon to be ex spouse and/or children.