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The family solicitors at Cooper Sons Hartley & Williams have the experience and knowledge to assist families and couples through a wide range of legal difficulties associated with relationship breakdowns, from pre-nuptial agreements to divorce.
We pride ourselves on providing a sensitive, friendly and professional service to guide clients through the issues arising to find the right solution for them.
We will discuss your options at every stage to help achieve the best possible outcome for you in a cost effective way.
We offer a free initial appointment about any of the following matters:
Pre-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly common with couples who are contemplating marriage and who want to achieve some certainty in the event of marital breakdown.
Although such agreements are not automatically binding on the court they are becoming more important and are increasingly being taken into account by the court when it looks at the circumstances of the case.
In appropriate cases they can take much uncertainty and expense out of resolving financial disputes on the breakdown of a marriage.
Our experienced family solicitors can help draft such agreements to help ensure that they have the best chance of being effective and they can explain the limitations that remain.
It is a popular misconception that there is such a thing as a “common law marriage”.
Where an unmarried couple separates the remedies available are completely different and far more limited and far less flexible than those available to married couples.
Complex legal rules apply in the case of unmarried couples when it comes to resolving property disputes.
Our experienced family solicitors have the expertise to advise on these difficult issues and where necessary are able to represent you in Court proceedings to resolve disputes arising.
Where an unmarried couple is thinking of starting living together it is often sensible to consider drawing up a co-habitation agreement which will deal with how finances will be managed during the relationship and what is to happen in the event of separation.
This can avoid the expense and uncertainty of Court proceedings that can sometimes follow from a relationship breakup.
Our experienced family solicitors are able to help you draw up a co-habitation agreement that safeguards your interests.
The Civil Partnership Act 2004 enabled same sex couples to obtain legal recognition of their relationship.
As with heterosexual couples these relationships can sometimes breakdown.
Our experienced family solicitors are able to guide you through the process of the separation and the resolution of the issues arising with regard to finances or children.
We are also able to assist in the preparation of pre-partnership agreements which are similar to pre-nuptial agreements.
The welfare of any children is a priority in any separation and consequently our family solicitors listen carefully to your wishes and concerns about the children and where they should live (residence) and the amount of time they should spend with the other parent (contact).
We seek to find an amicable solution that is in the best interests of the children.
Where it is suitable, we will discuss the option of mediation and if you agree, we will make the necessary referral.
Where agreement cannot be reached and court proceedings are necessary we will explain the court process to you, discuss the costs implications and robustly represent your case, supporting you throughout the process.
A marital breakdown can be a stressful time. We aim to provide practical and sensitive advice to help reduce your anxieties.
We will discuss the options to enable you to choose the course that is best for you.
Whether you are the Petitioner or Respondent, we will explain the procedure, likely timescale and costs for the preparation of the divorce petition, the completion of the acknowledgement of service through to obtaining the decree absolute (which brings the marriage to an end).
Where you are the Petitioner we will, where there are financial matters to resolve, consider with you whether there are advantages to be gained in delaying applying for the decree absolute until financial matters are resolved.
Our family solicitors are experienced at dealing with the many varied and important financial issues that arise in a divorce such as what should happen to the family home and any pension entitlement of the parties to the marriage as well as on issues of maintenance for a spouse or the children of the family.
Where appropriate we endeavour to resolve matters by negotiation so as to achieve an amicable and cost effective settlement. We will discuss with you whether mediation is appropriate and where you wish to try it, we will make the appropriate referral.
However where a negotiated settlement is not possible we will fully advise you on your options and if necessary represent you in Court proceedings, vigorously fighting your case to achieve the best outcome for you.
We will discuss with you the issue of costs and seek to resolve matters in a proportionate and cost effective way.
Our experienced family solicitors are able to assist you in this complex area of law.
We are able to deal sensitively with the emotional issues that can often arise.
Occasionally issues of domestic violence arise with the breakup of relationships. Our experienced family solicitors are able to advise sensitively and where necessary take prompt action to apply to the court to secure injunctions to restrain the other spouse or partner from further violence and in appropriate cases to seek his or her exclusion from the family home.
Further where a spouse or civil partner is dissipating assets with the intention of defeating claims for financial provision we are able to assist in promptly applying to the court to secure an injunction to prevent the further dissipation of the assets pending the resolution of financial matters.