Divorce and Family Law

If family issues arise, you need someone to stand up for you, someone who knows your rights and your options.

Alex Owens, Solicitor - Family Law Specialist

Divorce and Family Law

Divorce and family law made clear

Family disputes can be worrying and difficult. Whatever the dispute Newbys Solicitors has experienced specialists who will explain the process to you and take all steps necessary to protect the interests of you and your family.

What about financial matters and the house?

Different rules apply depending on whether you were married to your partner or in a civil relationship or not. If you are unsure as to whether you legally own your home then you will need to let us know straightaway as steps can be taken to protect your interests. As a starting point the court will be concerned to ensure that any children who are still at school have a home and this can often mean that if you are unable to buy two separate houses then the parent who looks after the children will often stay in the house unless other financial considerations apply. It is important to appreciate that there is no hard and fast rules as to how income and the assets of a relationship are divided and there is a long list of factors that the court takes into account in trying to reach a fair settlement.

Do I need a solicitor?

If your relationship with your partner or spouse has broken down and there is a dispute concerning either financial matters, your children or about to formally end the relationship you probably do need to see a solicitor. It is of course possible to resolve disputes between yourselves without specialist legal advice however, the legal issues involved following relationship breakdown are complicated and there is no one size fits all solution to many family problems. Specialist solicitors can help you to understand your rights and obligations and can also give you a clear idea as to how you might expect to see the dispute resolved either by agreement or though the court and can help you to achieve the best possible outcome.

What about my children?

Lots of parents are able to agree the arrangements for their children following the breakdown of their relationship. Sometimes this is not possible and we are able to help try and negotiate an agreement or to facilitate the putting into place of arrangements. We can liaise directly with your former partner or solicitors and we can refer you to mediation and as a last resort we can help you in any court proceedings. You must keep in mind that the children’s interests are paramount and the court has wide ranging powers to resolve problems taking into account the needs of the children.

I am concerned about the financial issues

Most people are most concerned about what will happen about financial matters following the breakdown of a relationship. We can provide detailed information and advice on this area. It is important from the outset though to keep a close eye on your general financial position. To be aware of your assets and the money in your bank and to keep a close eye on any debts to make sure they do not get out of hand. You should not sign anything relating to financial matters without taking legal advice. You need to be aware that different rules apply depending on whether you are married, in a civil partnership or not. Financial issues can take a long time to resolve often taking six months to a year from when proceedings are commenced to be finally resolved. It is often best to try and negotiate a settlement that has the advantage of saving both time and money.

We are not married what are my rights?

If you are unmarried but live together then there are no formalities necessary to end your relationship. There may however, be other issues relating to children or finances that you will need a help with particularly for example if you own a house together with your partner. We can help you resolve any issues that might arise including ownership and occupation of the property, financial provision for the children and other issues regarding joint assets or debts.

My partner has been violent towards me

Domestic violence is regrettably not uncommon and forms part of some relationships. We are able to provide you with quick and confidential advice should you be a victim of domestic violence and will be able to confirm your options. We can advise you and assist you on finding safe accommodation and refer you to specialist abuse units within the local police force who are able to respond to requests for assistance. The courts do have powers to help protect you and your children and we can help you in any applications to the court for injunctions should the need arise.

I want to save my relationship

Taking legal advice does not mean that your relationship is over or that you are obliged to start divorce proceedings. If you are unsure about your position then we will be happy to meet with you to review your circumstances and, if appropriate, are able to recommend counselling and other related services that might help resolve the problems within your relationship.

How much will it cost?

You may qualify for legal aid and we will assess this at our first meeting. If you do not qualify for legal aid then we will always let you have full details of our hourly rates in writing together with an estimate as to the likely costs involved in dealing with all outstanding issues depending on the particular circumstances of your case. We will discuss likely costs at our first meeting.

Will I need to go to court?

Divorce proceedings themselves are usually dealt with by post and there is usually no need to go to court. If there are disputes though regarding children or regarding financial matters then it may be necessary to go to court, though your solicitors will work hard to try and resolve matters through negotiation to avoid the need to go to court.

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Why not call your nearest Newbys today and arrange an initial consultation? We have offices in Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and Guisborough.
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