Family Law

Family Lawyers at Taylor Law are committed to providing high quality legal advice with support at an often difficult time.

You can be confident that you will be given the highest level of Professional Service and Client Care.

Our Family Lawyers at Taylor Law can help you with a broad range of family legal issues including court proceedings.

We regularly represent people at court hearings.

We deal with most hearings in person and we work closely with the most experienced barristers.

You can be certain that at all times we are acting in your best interests to resolve your family dispute.

Contact our Family Lawyers at Taylor Law for a no obligation free initial half hour consultation.

We may be able to offer you some or all of the service you require on a fixed fee, or we will explain to you how we work out costs and give you are best estimate before you start.

We can assist on the following areas of Family Law:

  • Separation / Divorce / Dissolution

    I think my relationship is breaking down, what should I do?

    In the case of irretrievable marriage breakdown or relationship breakdown, including if you are in a same sex relationship or civil partnership, we are expert at handling the steps to end your marriage or civil partnership whether that be by way of divorce proceedings, dissolution proceedings or annulment proceedings. Including drafting your petition and applications for decree nisi and decree absolute, or your applications for your conditional order of dissolution and dissolution orders.

    Alternatively, we can help you with separation, including judicial separation.

    Me and my partner disagree about our children on divorce or separation, what can I do?

    When a relationship comes to an end, sometimes it is difficult to agree the arrangements for your children. Unless your case is an emergency, or one of the exemptions applies to your case, we will refer you to a local accredited family mediation for a Mediation Initial Assessment Meeting certificate also called a MIAM.

    They will let you know if they think they can help you to resolve the disagreement without going to court. If not, they will give you a certificate that you will need to show to the court when you start proceedings.

    We regularly act for parents and other family members taking disagreements about children to court, completing all the paperwork and attending court for the First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment or FHDRA and final hearing. The court’s paramount concern will be the welfare of the children.

    In searching for the answer to that the court will have particular regard to the so-called welfare checklist.

  • Domestic Violence / Injunctions

    I have a violent abusive partner. How do I get protection?

    Sometimes relationships breakdown because your partner is abusive. Domestic abuse can affect both men and women, and varies from domestic violence or threats of violence to coercive controlling behaviour, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, and financial abuse.

    We can point you in the direction of local agencies that can help you to escape the cycle of abuse.

    We will listen to you sympathetically. We regularly make applications to the court on behalf of people for injunction orders or restraining orders.

    We will draft your application for a non-molestation order or an occupation order with a power of arrest attached. Sometimes it does not have to go as far as that, for instance if you and the court are willing to accept your partners solemn promise or undertaking to the court that he will not contact you for example.

    On the other hand if you are not personally related to your aggressor we can help you to apply for a protection from harassment injunction.

  • Financial Matters

    How to a get a Financial Settlement or Financial Agreement?

    We regularly help people to reach your own divorce settlement, financial settlement, or separation agreement for dividing the finances on ending a relationship, including where there is a family business, or pension sharing.

    If you are trying to reach an agreement for instance through family mediation service or other alternative dispute procedure, we can guide you through financial disclosure, and help you with your application to court for a clean break order or consent order, or draw up your separation agreement.

    Ask us to explain to you the different types of financial remedies orders the court can make when dealing with money and property on divorce or separation, including the family business, family home, pensions, maintenance, periodical payments and clean break for example. For the most complex matters we have good relationships with experienced financial and pensions advisers we can refer you to.

    If you have reached an agreement already, we can draw up your application for a consent order or clean break order.

    How do I get a financial remedy order through the court?

    Sometimes agreement cannot be found. Speak to us for advice on how to start your application for a financial remedies order.

  • Civil Partnerships / Matrimonial and Cohabitee Disputes

    We are Living together, what are my rights?

    If you are living together as an unmarried couple or not in a civil partnership beware that there is no such thing in law as a common-law wife or common law husband and there are no automatic rights in the event of death or separation. So, you may not be allowed to continue living in your home or share the proceeds of sale, you won’t have the same rights to spousal maintenance and in the event of death you do not automatically inherit.

    But we can advise you on your options. If you are thinking about or are already cohabiting with your partner, buying a house together, or have children together for example you can enter a cohabitation agreement with each other setting out what you agree should happen in the event of death or separation.

    If you and your partner are separating if family mediation has not succeeded or is not for you, we can help you try to negotiate and write a separation agreement. If agreement is not possible we can deal with the paperwork for making an application to the court for orders under the Trusts of land and appointment of Trustees Act.

  • Pre-nuptial Agreements

    How do I get a Pre Nup or what is a Post Nup agreement?

    We don’t just help people who are ending their relationship. It is increasingly common for people who are getting married or entering civil partnership to sign a pre-marital agreement, also known as a ‘pre-nup’ or ‘pre-nuptial agreement’.

    If you have already tied the knot also gaining popularity is the post nuptial or post-nup agreement.

    It may not seem very romantic but then it will offer the security or peace of mind that you have an understanding what will happen if you decide to go separate ways.

    They are useful for many reasons including where you are getting married a second time and have children to previous relationships, bringing in assets acquired outside before the marriage, where there is a family business or trusts, and identifying what is and what is not a matrimonial asset.

  • Children Issues / Child Arrangements

    I have recently made an application to the court and I have been contacted by Cafcass, who are they?

    When you apply to the court for an order about your children an independent agency of child professionals known as CAFCASS which stands for the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service will contact you and the other party before the first hearing by phone to talk about the case and will do background checks for any information held about you by children’s services and the police that may be of relevance to your children’s welfare

    Cafcass will write a letter to the court often called a safeguarding letter with any safeguarding information about you and your partner that the court should know about.

    They normally attend the first hearing to assist in trying to resolve your disagreement. If you do reach agreement then if the court is satisfied that it is in the best interests of the children to do so the court can make an order.

    The judge dealing with my children application has ordered a section 7 report. What is that?

    The court will order Cafcass or Social Services to write a report when the court believes that the welfare of the children needs to be investigated, and to find out the children’s wishes and feelings.

    This is called a section 7 report or welfare report.

    To prepare the report a Cafcass officer or social worker will contact you and your partner to talk about the case, and ask questions, and usually they will meet the children on their own to talk to them about the case and what their views are. They may also speak to teachers, health professionals and other members of the family.

    I have applied to court about my children and the judge has ordered me to attend a SPIP. What is it?

    As the case progresses you may be directed by the court to attend a SPIP, which stands for Separated Parent Information Programme. It’s a course designed for parents who have gone to court because they have been unable to agree the arrangements for their children, to help you how to put your children’s interests first.

    The course shows you how to deal with disagreements in a way that protects children from being exposed to those disagreements.

    You and your ex will attend separate sessions.

    My ex-partner has left home with our children without my agreement. What can I do?

    We can respond quickly where there is suspected child abduction. An emergency application to court for an interim child arrangement order for who the children shall live with and specific issue order for the return of the children.

    The court will hold an emergency hearing. If it is to possible to let your ex-partner know you are making the application the hearing will be without notice to your ex-partner but there will be another hearing held within a few days so that he or she can attend court.

    The court’s paramount concern will be the welfare of the children.

    What can I do if me and my ex cannot agree what school our children should go to, or about their medical treatment?

    If attempts to reach agreement through family mediation have failed, or is not suitable in your case we can advise you on making an application to the court for a specific issue order which will ask the court to make an order dealing with the specific issue you cannot agree.

    Alternatively, you can apply for a prohibited steps order to ask the court to stop the other parent taking action that you disagree with.

    In making a decision the children’s welfare will by the courts paramount concern.

    What can we do if me and my ex don’t agree who the children should live with?

    If you have been unable to reach agreement through family mediation or it is not suitable in your case, you can apply to the court for a child arrangement order for who your children will live with.

    This used to be referred to as a “residence order”.

    In deciding the issue, the court’s paramount concern will be the children’s welfare.

    My ex won’t let me see my children, what can I do?

    If you have been unable to reach agreement through family mediation or it is not suitable in your case, you can apply to the court for a child arrangement order for your children to spend time with you.

    This used to be referred to as a “contact order”.

    In deciding the issue, the court’s paramount concern will be the children’s welfare.

    I have a child arrangement order but my ex is not sticking to it. What can I do?

    If your ex without reasonable excuse fails to comply with what is written in your child arrangements order you can apply to the court for an enforcement order.

    A hearing will be held, and if the judge finds that there was no reasonable excuse the judge can in an appropriate case order your ex to comply with an unpaid work requirement and could order compensation.

  • Adoption / Special Guardianships

    I’m a step parent wanting to adopt my step child, how do I start?

    Speak to us for advice, we can help with your adoption application. Adoption is a huge step, and has lifelong implications, it gives you parental responsibility and takes parental responsibility away from the child’s other birth parent.

    The child is considered your child in law, it alters inheritance. Adoption is not always necessary to achieve the outcome you want, we can talk to you about alternatives such as parental responsibly agreements, and child arrangement orders.

    You may be able to adopt if you’re aged 21 or over and either, single, married, in a civil partnership, or an unmarried couple, or you are the partner of the child’s parent. It makes no difference if you are in a same sex relationship or not.

    The child must have lived with you at least 6 months.

    Both birth parents normally have to agree to the adoption, unless they can’t be found, they’re incapable of giving consent, e.g. due to a mental disability, or the child would be put at risk if they weren’t adopted.

    You need to write to inform the local authority children’s services if you want to adopt your partner’s child, at least 3 months before applying to a court for an adoption order, The court will ask the local authority to write a report on the family before making a decision.

    What is Special guardianship, and who can apply?

    We are often instructed to advise clients who are considering applying to be special guardians for a child, to explain the meaning and effect of the commitment you are thinking of making, and what the alternatives to special guardianship are.

    The parents of a child may not become that child’s special guardian.

    Grandparents and any other relative or family friend with a connection to the child can apply provided that you meet certain requirements or have the permission of the court.

    When can the court make a special guardianship order?

    Often the court can make a special guardianship order in favour of someone when there are already other court proceedings about the child’s welfare and the court thinks that an order should be made, even if there has been no application made for a special guardianship.

    This is frequently when social services have made an application for a care order for the child and have assessed other family members for example who would be capable to look after the child for the rest of their childhood. Unless the court is considering making a special guardianship order without an application, if you want to apply for a special guardianship order must give three months’ written notice to the children’s social services that you want to do so When considering whether to make a special guardianship order, the welfare of the child is the court’s paramount consideration.

    What is the difference between special guardianship and a child arrangements order?

    Like with a child arrangements order the special  guardian  will  share parental  responsibility  for  the child with the child’s parents, but unlike a child arrangements order the special guardian can exercise their parental responsibility to the exclusion of anyone else, which means that the special guardian does not have to have the agreement of the parents or anyone else with parental responsibility to make decisions for the child, so that the special  guardian will have sole responsibility for all the day to day decisions about caring for the child.

    But the parents keep the right to consent or not to the child’s adoption or placement for adoption.  The special guardian must also take reasonable steps to inform the parents if the child dies.

    Unlike child arrangements orders, special guardianship orders cannot normally be changed or cancelled by the court unless the permission of the court is given first.

    The court would need to be satisfied that there has been significant change in circumstances since the special guardianship order was made.

    What is the different between special guardianship and adoption?

    Unlike adoption the order retains the family  link with the parents.  Rights on inheritance do not alter. The parents remain the child’s parents and continue to have parental responsibility for the child, but the situations that they can exercise their parental responsibility is limited.

    They keep the right to consent or not to the child’s adoption or placement for adoption. The special guardian must also take reasonable steps to inform the parents if the child dies. Unlike adoption orders, special guardianship orders can be changed or cancelled by the court on an application to the court but often an application can only be made if the permission of the court is given first.

    The court would need to be satisfied that there has been significant change in circumstances since the special guardianship order was made.

    I am a special guardian, what is special guardianship support and can I get it?

    Local authorities are required to decide for providing special guardianship support services. These include counselling, advice, information and such other services, including financial support.

    You are entitled to ask the local authority to assess your need for special guardianship support services.

    Advice aimed at helping special guardians to access the Adoption Support Fund is now available via the Family Rights Group website advice/family-and-friends-carers/the-adoption-support-fund-and-special-guardians.

    Contact our team of Family Lawyers at Taylor Law via our website and keep up to date with what we do via our Facebook or LinkedIn page.

Absolutely fantastic service. Took such a weight off my shoulders. Resolved everything with minimum fuss and explained everything. Carol Bradford is so lovely she put my mind at ease right away. Thank you so much.

Sue Walker

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