Family Law

 

At Mackarness & Lunt we have wide experience of family law, divorce, disputes between parents as to their children and financial matters.  We are committed to dealing with family matters in a sympathetic manner and in a way that seeks to reduce bitterness and trauma. 

 

Divorce (including the breakdown of a civil partnership) and Finance

The arrangements on relationship breakdown and the proceedings for a divorce can be complicated.  We can assist you through the divorce process, whether you are applying for the divorce, or your spouse is the one instigating the proceedings.

Financial matters following the breakdown of the relationship are of vital importance.  We are be able to assist by negotiating an agreement. If agreement cannot be reached, Mackarness & Lunt can provide realistic advice and expert preparation and representation at any Court hearing. 

We can also advise about the assessment of child support payable under the Child Support Act and how the Child Support Agency may become involved. 


Children

Assistance and advice can be given regarding the residence and contact routines of children following separation or divorce.  At Mackarness & Lunt we approach this area carefully and tactfully making sure the children’s needs are kept paramount.
Where a non-residential parent is not enjoying contact with his/her children we can assist in establishing a contact routine to either restart contact or to provide certainty to both the children and adults involved.


If it is necessary to seek the assistance of the court in resolving contact disputes, we can guide you through this process, explaining it step by step. 


Separation Agreements 

Sometimes couples do not wish formally to end their marriage at the time of breakdown. They may wish to enter into a deed of separation. This is a written agreement setting out the terms agreed as to financial matters and property. It can also deal with arrangements for children and when there should be divorce proceedings.  

If divorce follows, the Court may be asked to make an order in accordance with the terms of the deed. It is vital therefore to have the terms of any agreement properly negotiated with full disclosure being made on both sides. 

The breakdown of relationships between unmarried couples causes many of the same problems but the legal position may be very different in relation to their property and sometimes also their children. We have wide experience of these problems and the legal remedies available. 

If necessary a separation agreement can be drawn up in these circumstances enabling both parties to have certainty about the finances when they separate.


Mediation 

A mediator can help you work out arrangements with your partner. A mediator does not decide any issues, you do. The mediator is simply there to help. We can refer you to experienced mediators and help you formalize any agreement reached with the mediator’s assistance. Although we would not be directly involved in the mediation process, you may wish to refer to us at various stages as negotiations progress, to ensure you are achieving a fair settlement. There has recently been a change in the Family Procedure Rules encouraging all parties to consider mediation.We are members of Resolution, which promotes a non-confrontational approach to family matters.


Initial Appointment 


First, we recommend that you arrange a no – obligation fixed fee initial consultation with us at a cost of £150 (plus VAT). This meeting can be by telephone if this is more convenient for you.  This is an opportunity for you to discuss with us your particular circumstances and we can advise you on what to do next. 

At the end of the fixed fee consultation you have a number of options open to you, you may even decide not to take any further action at this stage.  We will however keep all details from our meeting for 6 years, should you wish to return in the future. 


If you need help and advice please contact Samantha Small or Charlotte Oldham.