Family & Children
Family law experts
Why speak to us?
To speak to a solicitor for the first time regarding matters of a very personal nature and during a time in their Iives when they are under great strain is not usually an easy task for a client.
At Hutton’s we understand this and from the outset we do our utmost to build up a relationship of confidence and trust to allow our clients to feel reassured and guided through the procedures involved in their case.
We can, if required, help you to try and resolve matters amicably and with the minimum of conflict (see our Collaborative Law section).
Hutton's specialist solicitors are highly qualified and are members of the Law Society's Children Panel, Family Law Panel and the Advanced Family Law Panel and can help you deal with all of your family-related legal issues, including:
- Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
- Financial matters
- Care Proceedings
- Domestic Violence
- Pre-nuptial Agreements
- Co-habitation Agreements
Divorce and Separation
At the beginning we will help to identify the issues that are important and explain how the matter will progress within an appropriate timescale. We shall advise you on issues such as:
- Where to live
- Arrangements for the children
- Who can start divorce proceedings?
- On what grounds a divorce petition may be issued
- Your future
- Financial matters
Financial Matters (Ancillary Relief)
The issues involved in resolving financial matters ancillary to divorce and judicial separation proceedings can be complicated. Where these issues can be agreed between the parties, costs can be minimised and the animosity that is often involved can be reduced.
Mediation now plays a useful part in encouraging couples to resolve their financial disputes and avoid more expensive court proceedings, and we encourage this practice where appropriate. Many cases are resolved early on, and some clients may not even go to court as a result.
Sometimes issues cannot be resolved without going to court and we then draw on our extensive litigation experience to fight to achieve the result you want. We will Iook at issues such as:
- What financial provision orders can the court make?
- What factors do the courts take into account when deciding matters?
- What if a spouse threatens to transfer a property or sell assets before a final order?
- What is a clean break?
- What is “full and frank disclosure”?
- Is the pension of a spouse relevant?
- Child maintenance and the jurisdiction of the courts in this area
- Wills and tax issues
When a relationship breaks down, every parent will be concerned about the future arrangements for their children. The Iaw relating to children is primarily governed by the Children Act 1989. We can advise you on the principles of the Children's Act insofar as it relates to your case and the procedure relating to all applications concerning children. Our specialist solicitors are members of the Law Society's Children Panel.
Domestic violence and protection from harassment
There has been much recent Iegislation with regard to issues surrounding domestic violence and harassment between parties. Where it applies, the parties involved will be very emotional and possibly traumatised. We recognise this and the need to act sensitively and quickly to bring about practical, sensible solutions for our clients.
We can give you details of organisations that will be able to help in supplying temporary housing or counselling. Where needed, court applications will be made the same day.
Although it is not uppermost in peoples’ minds when they start Iiving together, it is always advisable for couples to consider a Cohabitation Agreement when they decide not to marry. A Cohabitation Agreement will set out what each party expects to receive financially following a breakdown of the relationship. Such an agreement may save a great deal of animosity should the parties separate and could save significant Iegal costs.
Pre – Nuptial Agreements
The law in this area is readily changing. The courts are becoming more willing to enforce pre – nuptial agreements in divorce cases. If you are thinking about getting married and are concerned to protect your assets in the event of a divorce, speak to us about the effectiveness of such agreements on a no obligation basis.
How much will it cost?
In most cases, we offer a free initial meeting to discuss your case. At that meeting, we will be able to advise you about the best way to fund your case, which might include:
- Fixed fees
- Monthly payments
- Public funding (“Legal Aid”)*
*Please note that significant changes to the law which affect the availability of Legal Aid will take effect on 1st April 2013. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case, so that any application for public funding can be made at the earliest opportunity.
Please contact Gerard Griffiths to discuss your case and find out how we can help.
'Family law experts offering a highly personal service in Cardiff and the whole of South Wales'