Family

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 advise on:

  • 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)

To discuss your situation in more detail, please get in touch with our team.


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 difficult for all parties involved, and getting legal advice from experienced divorce 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 divorce solicitors will support you with a sensitive and professional manner throughout your divorce and can advise on all aspects of the divorce or partnership breakdown, from the financial aspects to the issues relating to your children.

When it comes time to file your divorce 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 is allowed by the court.

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 relationship 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.

Testimonials

Hugh James provides an ‘assured’ and ‘quality’ service. The ‘pre-eminent practice’ is headed by Malcolm Stevens who has ‘bags of experience’ in Children Act matters.
The Legal 500

Mr Malcolm Stevens represented me with my divorce case. He was recommended to me by a close friend of mine who works at Hugh James and I have since recommended him to several work colleagues. He was courteous and professional at all times and made me feel completely re-assured through what turned out to be a pro-longed case.
Paula Hassett

 



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Our Offices

Cardiff
Hodge House
114 - 116 St. Mary Street
Cardiff, CF10 1DY
Tel: 033 0058 5077
Fax: 029 2038 8222


London
99 Gresham Street
London,
EC2V 7NG
Tel: 020 7936 3453
Fax: 020 3053 8562


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