Resolving family and relationship issues can be challenging. Our aim is to help you achieve a practical solution by providing you with constructive expert advice and representation.
We try to take as much stress as possible out of the divorce or separation process by applying a sympathetic and understanding approach at all times. All our family law specialists belong to Resolution, a body committed to a Code of Practice aimed at dealing with matters in a conciliatory fashion.
If children are involved, we will seek to ensure that each party understands their respective rights and duties. We will always encourage the relevant parties to agree on arrangements that will benefit the children and – if negotiating a settlement proves problematic – we will refer you to mediation.
To proceed with a divorce soon after separating from your spouse, you will need to satisfy the Court that he/she has either committed adultery or has behaved unreasonably during your marriage. After discussing your grounds for divorce with you, we will draft the petition for you.
If you prefer to wait, you can start divorce proceedings after you have been living apart for two years. In this case, however, you will need the consent of your spouse to enable the divorce to go through: without it, you will need to have been apart for a period of five years before the divorce can proceed on the basis of separation alone.
Children and Financial Issues
We will advise you on any issues regarding finances or children as part of a divorce or separation, and negotiate a settlement for you if at all possible. If an application to the Court becomes necessary, we will handle matters on your behalf.
Cohabitation and Separation
At Ross Williams, we are also experienced in dealing with the separation of unmarried couples. It is important to note here that the concept of ‘common-law spouse’ does not exist, and this is why co-habitees who are considering separating should obtain legal advice at the earliest possible stage.
Pre-nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements
If you are considering marriage but wish to preserve your assets in the event of a marital breakdown, we can assist you by drawing up a cohabitation agreement detailing what each will pay for in such circumstances.
We take pride in keeping up to date with the law in relation to civil partnerships, which is constantly changing. We can advise you on the legislation as it stands and what formal steps to take if a civil partnership breaks down.
We will be happy to offer an initial fixed fee first interview £75+ VAT. We also offer fixed fee divorces starting from £350+ VAT and disbursements.
Litigation Alternatives – Collaborative Law
Collaborative law offers separating couples an alternative to litigation. Instead of the Court determining what is fair, collaborative law gives the couple themselves the opportunity to agree what is right for their children and financially for themselves in collaboration with each other and their own solicitors in a series of four-way meetings.
The collaborative approach is changing perspectives on family law. For couples who seek a fair resolution and wish to minimize the pain of family breakdown, it may prove a welcome alternative.
Collaborative lawyers sign an agreement with you which disqualifies them from representing you in court in the event of the collaborative process breaking down.
It may be appropriate to secure an occupation order excluding the perpetrator of domestic violence from the family home and/or a non-molestation injunction. We liaise closely with the police and the CAB to offer a supportive service.
If you’re splitting-up or getting a divorce, family mediation can help you sort out arrangements with your ex or other family members. Family mediation helps all sorts of people: married and unmarried, parents, grandparents, step-parents and young people can all take part.
We have close links with a number of professional, respected mediators to help and advise you.
Contact us to find out more or to arrange an appointment with one of our experienced family lawyers.