Disputes about Children
Whether you are divorcing or separating, we can provide you with all the assistance you need, including access to excellent mediators, McKenzie Friends and when needed, solicitors in London and the South East.
Our experienced and understanding team can help support you through the process of negotiation and, where necessary, apply to the Court for contact, residence and other orders, and ensure these orders work as intended.
We are able to help you with:
- Contact Orders (sometimes called ‘access’)
- Residence Orders (sometimes called ‘custody’)
- Prohibited Steps Orders: for example, preventing an ex-partner from taking your child abroad without permission
- Specific Issue Orders for example concerning schooling or health
- Leave to Remain Cases
- Seek and Find Orders (when one party has disappeared with the child/children)
Disputes about Finances
Whether you are divorcing or separating, there are two elements to resolving financial issues: full financial disclosure of both parties’ financial positions and ensuring an agreement is formalized in an order from the Court. Unmarried couples will have to rely on Property Law unless they have children, in which case an application under the Children’s Act can be made.
All cases are different and the timetable for each will vary according to the individual circumstances. Financial orders can only be made once the Decree Nisi has been granted and they will only be enforceable once the Decree Absolute has been granted. We will advise, assist and guide you through the whole process. This will include help with all of the following:
- Making applications to start the proceedings (Form A)
- Completion of the financial disclosure forms (Form E)
- Assistance at all FDR hearings and final hearings
- Discussion on best strategy, likely outcome and how to deal with the other side
- Assistance with negotiation at both the FDR hearings and privately.
There are 3 main steps to getting divorced:
- File a divorce petition – you have to apply to the court for permission to divorce, and show reasons why you want the marriage to end.
- Apply for a decree nisi – if your spouse agrees to the petition, you’ll get a document saying there’s no reason you can’t divorce.
- Apply for a decree absolute – this legally ends your marriage – you need to wait 6 weeks after you get the decree nisi before you can apply.
You can arrange your own divorce if you agree on:
- the reasons for a divorce
- how you’ll look after any children
- how you’ll split up money, property and possessions
If you agree on these things beforehand, you won’t have to go to a court hearing, and the divorce paperwork should be fairly straightforward. If, however, it is not possible to agree on these issues then you will have to ask the Court to help resolve them. Family Law Advice can help you whether you are settling amicably or with the assistance of the Court.
Non-Molestation Orders/Occupation Orders
These can be applied for Without Notice (emergency) and On Notice (other party attends hearing)
We can help you apply for, or defend a Non-Molestation Order which prevents a person from acting in a certain manner e.g. not to use violence, not to intimidate, pester or harass, not to communicate.
We can also help you apply for, or defend an Occupation Order which regulates the occupation of a property. An Occupation Order can exclude one party from a property entirely, or regulate how the property should be lived in. Orders can also be made for the payment of mortgage or rent and maintenance of the property.