Family Law – Not Just About Divorce


Family Law covers a wide range of legal services. It is sometimes referred to as Matrimonial Law but this is misleading. A family solicitor does provide help and advice on matters relating to marriage such as separation, divorce and financial settlements but in addition provides help and advice on many more areas of law that relate to wider family relationships.

So what is Family Law? The following article outlines the situations when a Family solicitorcan help you.

Pre-nuptial agreements
A pre-nuptial agreement is a document agreed between a couple before they marry or enter a civil partnership. It sets out the ownership of assets should the marriage or civil partnership come to an end.There are many reasons why it would be appropriate to enter into one of these agreements. For instance you may have had a bad experience with previous divorceproceedings or you may wish to protect your own children’s inheritance.In certain situations it is a sensible thing to do and doesn’t imply that the relationship is expected to breakdown in the future. A family solicitor will ensure the agreement reflects your wishes and will be accepted by a judge, should the relationship breakdown.
Cohabitation agreements
A cohabitation agreement is a document agreed between a couple who want to live together but who do not want to get married or enter into a civil partnership. It can include details about living arrangements, such as who pays the mortgage and bills and like a pre-nuptial agreement it can also set out the ownership of assets should the couple split-up at some time in the future. As demonstrated through recent court decisions, couples who live together do not have the same legal rights as married couples or those in a civil partnership. Therefore in addition to a cohabitation agreement it is alsoadvisable for each individual to write a Will and have a trust deed detailing property ownership.
Cohabitation & Property Disputes
If you and your partner have been living together and the relationship has come to an end, you will need to agree how your assets are split between you. If you have not previously entered into a cohabitation agreement this can be a challenging process and when emotions are running high often leads to dispute. The law relating to financial settlements between unmarried couples is complex. A family solicitor will explain the options available to you andwill help you to negotiate a fair outcome.
Civil Partnership Settlements
A Civil Partnership is a legal status, as such it brings with it various rights and obligations.If you wish to end your Civil Partnership you will need to apply to the court and reach an agreement with your partner about your finances and property. A Family solicitor will be able to guide you through the process, draft the legal documentation and help with the financial aspects of the settlement.
Disputes involving children
It is not always possible for the parents of a child to live together. In these situations disputes can arise over where the child lives and how often the absent parent is able to spend time with their child. When children are involved it is important to resolve disputes quickly. A family solicitor can help you to reach a solution that is in the best interests of the child. A family solicitor can also help negotiate maintenance payments.

If you would like advice on any aspect of Family Law please contact one of our specialist solicitors, Tony Neocleous at our Uxbridge office, Michelle Everest at Ruislip or Kylie Kallay at our Greenford office.

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