Providing legal advice on family matters requires tact and empathy. We take time and care in dealing with the issues you may face, discussing your circumstances thoroughly with you before explaining the options available, in the strictest confidence.
Legal Aid may be available.
We offer fixed fees in certain circumstances. Please click here. We also offer a 20 minute free “options” meeting to look at various options. There is no charge for this.
Separation and divorce
Deciding that a relationship has irretrievably broken down and that the only recourse is separation or divorce is a hugely unsettling and upsetting process. We are there to make the process as pain-free as we can, while ensuring the interests and well-being of clients and especially their children, are carefully considered.
It is not always necessary to proceed to Court to resolve matters and when appropriate, we will try to help clients reach agreement through negotiation and mediation. We can provide access to an independent mediator where this solution may offer a viable alternative.
If the relationship has reached a point where separation or divorce is the only way forward we will provide guidance and support in preparing the petition for divorce and assisting with any financial settlement. We can advise on maintenance, property and pensions. We can also represent clients in Court throughout the process.
We also provide advice on the termination of Civil Partnerships and same sex marriage.
Unmarried couples disputes
The breakdown of any relationship is difficult and to some degree this can be even harder for unmarried couples, as there are often very complex financial problems to be resolved. We appreciate the difficulties that can arise from this situation and work with you to try and resolve matters as quickly as possible.
We provide assistance in assessing how joint assets should be fairly divided and if necessary, we can represent you during any Court proceedings.
Arrangements for children
Separation, divorce or the breakdown of a relationship for an unmarried couple all have the potential to cause considerable distress for any children involved. We can advise on all issues in connection with children including parental rights (known as Parental Responsibility). Wherever possible we help negotiate arrangements that not only meet the needs of the children but also provide both parents with the means to adjust to their new situation, without undue disturbance.
If agreement cannot be reached we can apply to Court for an Order. This could include a Child Arrangements Order. This is an Order specifying who the child should live with, and who the child should spend time with. This is the Order that replaced Residence and Contact Orders.
Cases involving domestic violence can be highly emotive and require particularly sensitive handling as clients may have endured many years of abuse. We provide advice on the various options and if appropriate, apply for an Injunction on your behalf.
If the Local Authority Social Services Department get involved with your children, this can be a worrying time and we are able to offer advice and representation in care proceedings. As well as representing the parents of the children, we can also represent family members who are putting themselves forward as potential carers for the children.
For advice upon Family issues contact the following in our Barnsley office: Jane Munden, Partner. Jane Munden is a Member of the Law Society Children Accreditation Scheme, a Member of the Law Society Advanced Family Accreditation Scheme and a Member of Resolution.