Overview

Our specialist family solicitors deliver expert family law advice sensitively and in a professional manner.

Whether you are planning your marriage or are experiencing a breakdown in your relationship, it is important that you get the right legal advice to help you resolve any issues that have arisen. Getting it right will ensure you are protected in the future.

Our team of specialist family law solicitors will work closely with you to establish your aims in order to achieve the best outcome for you. We look at the whole picture and deal with matters in a sensitive, practical and non-confrontational way. We will, of course, adopt a tougher approach when required to get the right result.

Our team has vast experience in advising both middle income and high net worth individuals on complex family matters including cases with businesses, trusts and pensions issues.

We can provide expert advice on the following areas: 

  • Divorce, dissolution of civil partnerships and separation
  • Middle income and high net worth financial division on divorce or dissolution
  • Prenuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Separation Agreements
  • Financial disputes between unmarried couples (Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act disputes)
  • Disputes between parents and grandparents in relation to children or grandchildren including child arrangements and parental responsibility
  • Disputes between parents in relation to financial provision for children (Schedule I of the Children Act 1989)

Key contact

Adrienne is a highly experienced solicitor having practised in the area of family law for over 16 years. She advises individuals on a wide range of family matters including divorce and disputes between parents in relation to their children. Adrienne has particular expertise in cases concerning the resolution of financial issues on divorce and between unmarried couples on separation

View team

Our expertise

Divorce solicitors
 

A marriage breakdown or separation can be one of the most difficult and emotional periods you may experience. Dealing with the end of a marriage or relationship is hard for all parties involved, and getting legal advice from experienced solicitors is crucial to the success of the divorce or separation process.

We know that family and matrimonial matters require more than just keen negotiating skills and technical excellence; they require care, consideration and a sensitive approach to ensure the process is as smooth and efficient as possible. We also know how vital it is to vigorously protect your best interests where necessary.

Our team of matrimonial solicitors will support you in a sensitive and professional manner throughout the process and can advise on all aspects of the divorce or partnership breakdown, from the financial aspects to issues relating to your children.

When the time comes to file your divorce proceedings with the court, we will be ready to help you with all the details and will ensure your divorce progresses as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Financial Remedy solicitors
 

Our family law team has a number of specialist financial remedy solicitors who are well placed to provide you with specialist legal advice in connection with the resolution of the financial issues that arise on the breakdown of a marriage.

In cases where the issues cannot be resolved in mediation or between solicitors in correspondence, you may instruct us to issue the necessary Financial Remedy application at Court. Our specialist advisors will then guide you through the court process in order to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your dependants.

We particularly specialise in complicated and complex financial claims including those that involve substantial and foreign assets.
Our financial remedy solicitors are also experienced in advising individuals about their rights in relation to property upon the breakdown of a relationship between a couple who has been cohabiting.

Pre-nuptial (prenup) agreements and relationships planning
 

We have many years of experience supporting couples who are preparing to take the next step in their lives together. We specialise in the preparation of pre-nuptial agreements (sometimes referred to as prenups) for couples prior to marriage and cohabitation agreements for unmarried couples about to start living together or already cohabiting. We can also assist with post-nuptial agreements if your circumstances have changed since getting married.

We support a diverse range of clients, ensuring they embark on the next chapter in their lives with complete confidence that they have done all that is possible to protect their position in the event of a future relationship breakdown.

What is a prenup agreement and are they binding?
Most people have heard about prenuptial or pre-marital agreements as they are often favoured by high profile individuals. Whilst prenuptial agreements are not currently binding in England and Wales, when properly drafted by a specialist family solicitor, a prenuptial agreement can be persuasive evidence to the court in showing how a couple agreed to split up their property and other assets before the breakdown of their relationship. At the moment judges will consider the agreement as one of the factors to be taken into account.

Why do couples make prenuptial agreements?
More and more couples are requesting prenuptial agreements. Many reasons are given for the decision but most commonly couples state their reason for requesting a prenuptial as being one of the following:

  1. That it is impossible to predict the future
  2. To protect their assets, and
  3. To achieve more certainty and control over their futures appeals.

These agreements ensure that everything possible is done to ensure any financial issues are pre-decided in the event that the relationship fails.

Our  family solicitors can help couples to consider questions such as:

  • How will property be divided?
  •  What will happen to bank accounts?
  • How will shares and all other assets of value be divided?
  • Which assets are owned jointly, which are owned solely and by who?
  • Whether one party will pay maintenance and, if so, how much and for how long?

Cohabitation agreements
A cohabitation agreement (also known as a living together agreement) works in a similar way to a prenuptial agreement but is entered into by an unmarried couple. A cohabitation agreement can set out for example, how a property is to be dealt with in the event of relationship breakdown and can also set out arrangements for children and child maintenance provision in those circumstances.
While there are far less claims that can be pursued on relationship breakdown by a cohabitee than a spouse, the law applicable to cohabitees is somewhat more complicated. It is therefore particularly important for cohabitees to enter into a legal agreement when they start living together, particularly if there is a property, to avoid a dispute arising if they separate.

To discuss the preparation of a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement or cohabitation agreements, please do not hesitate to contact our team.

Child law
 

Our family law team has solicitors who are specialists in child law. They are able to provide advice and assistance on the issues that can arise in relation to children after a relationship has broken down.

We can advise about issues that concern the care of the children of a relationship including:

  • who is to be the primary carer of a child;
  • how much time they are to spend with the other parent;
  • which school they are to go to;
  • whether they can travel abroad on holiday; and
  • changing their name.

We can also advise on issues that concern parental responsibility for a child. We are highly experienced in helping individuals resolve these issues sensitively and cost effectively.

If an agreement cannot be reached in mediation or solicitors’ correspondence about an issue relating to a child, we can then assist you in making an appropriate application to the Court. We will then represent you in those proceedings in order to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

To discuss your situation in detail, please get in touch with our team. We will then arrange an initial meeting to obtain your full instructions, establish your specific aims, advise you accordingly and agree next steps.

Quotes

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your help over the last year. I was delighted with the final outcome and I think a year ago none of us would have expected me to be able to remain in the family home, but the fact I am able to is a great result for me. I cannot thank you enough for the way you have dealt with this case all along; you showed the right balance of compassion and realism and you made what was a very difficult time in my life a whole lot easier.

Client

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I can’t thank you enough for all your hard work. You were fantastic and we were reassured throughout that we definitely had the best team on our side.

Matt Howden

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The team has considerable experience in both children and financial matters, as well as notable skill in dealing with complex international cases. They serve a client base which encompasses a number of high-profile, high net worth individuals.

Chambers and Partners UK

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The 'efficient, effective and dependable' team at Hugh James provides a 'responsive service' to a range of clients

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