Family Law

Family Law Solicitors

Family can mean everything to us, so when things go wrong and relationships break down, it can be incredibly hard on your happiness and sense of security.

Whether you are getting a divorce, you are in a dispute with a former partner over property and financial matters, or any other issue, you need advice from someone you can trust to achieve a fair outcome for you and your children (if you have any).

Meet our friendly, specialist family solicitors

Our Family Law department have over 50 years’ experience advising and supporting families from our offices in Romford, Gidea Park, and Collier Row in Essex.

We provide a wide range of practical and knowledgeable advice about all areas of family law, specialising in complex and often high value matters such as negotiating finances upon divorce & dissolution and resolving family property disputes.

We are selective about the work we can take on, preferring to offer our clients a high level of bespoke advice and attention. So, you can expect to be paired with an experienced lawyer who has the time to dedicate themselves to your case and take all possible steps to achieve the outcome you need.

We offer a 30-minute free initial consultation to talk about how we can help and discuss our costs for taking your matter forward.

Our specialist financial and property practice areas include:

We can also help with:

Why choose our family lawyers?

We are highly esteemed for our skills, being one of the first firms in the area to receive Accreditation and also to have Family Panel members.

Tiina Juhanson, our Managing Director and Head of Family, was one of the first solicitors to become a Resolution Accredited Specialist in Finance and also a Law Society panel member. Tiina offers a warm, sensitive service combined with a formidable approach when representing her clients during negotiations and at court.

Tiina and the team have a wealth of cross-departmental expertise, including Wills & inheritance and property dispute resolution. Many of our team are highly competent litigators, able to fiercely represent or defend you in court.

Contact our family law solicitors in Essex

Get in touch with our friendly family lawyers to talk about how we can help you. You can contact us during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form and we will get in touch.

We endeavour to return all enquiries the same or next working day. You will be able to speak to someone within our Family Law team straight away so there will be no delays between your enquiry and your initial consultation.

You will work with a qualified and highly experienced lawyer from day one, and we will take all possible steps to make your experience with us comfortable. If you have any special requirements, including accessibility requests, please get in touch for a confidential discussion.

Our family law services

Divorce, civil partnership dissolution and relationship breakdown

We know that the breakdown of a relationship is extremely sad and stressful, and our divorce solicitors are here to guide and help you through this difficult time in your life. We have the necessary expertise and – as importantly – the ability to provide a personal and compassionate service.

We can assist with all procedural aspects of getting a divorce, including:

  • Preparing and submitting the divorce petition or civil partnership dissolution application.
  • Responding to divorce petitions and dissolution applications.
  • Resolving disputes over divorce petitions and dissolution applications.
  • Advice on no-fault divorce (changes to the divorce process which are coming into effect from 6 April 2022).

For more information, please see our Divorce Page.

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Financial arrangements upon divorce, dissolution and relationship breakdown

Without the right approach, financial matters can quickly become the most contentious and expensive aspect of divorce, dissolution or relationship breakdown.

It is, of course, vital that you are able to secure a fair settlement, ideally agreed as amicably as possible with your former partner. We know that approaching financial matters can be fraught with tension. Our role is to back your corner and ensure you are able to secure everything to which you are entitled.

Our Family Law team are unique in that we specialise in amicable negotiation, and we are also skilled court litigators.

Wherever possible, we help our clients agree a divorce financial settlement voluntarily without going to court, saving you the stress and expense of going to hearings. Our team includes a Resolution Accredited Specialist in financial matters, and we share close links with mediation and other alternative dispute resolution services.

Our expertise includes:

  • Making agreements about what to do with the family home
  • Sorting out the division of finances after relationship breakdown, including:
    • Second homes, such as buy-to-lets and holiday homes
    • Savings
    • Investments
    • Stocks and shares
    • Pensions
    • Trusts
    • International assets
    • Personal belongings, such as cars and furniture
  • Transfers of equity
  • Negotiating debt liabilities
  • Agreeing spousal maintenance, if required
  • Agreeing financial provision for children

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Disputes over home ownership and property

When couples break up, often they can’t agree on what happens to the family home or one partner may be left adrift because they do not have legal rights in their home.

It is also becoming more and more common for parents to provide money to their children to buy houses, but what happens if the parents want this money back? Parents also quite often transfer property into their children’s name on the basis that they will continue to live in the home. What happens if there is an argument, and the children then want them out?

In all these situations, it is important to have legal advice, and this is an area we specialise in. We can help with all sorts of family disputes involving property, including:

  • Co-ownership disputes after relationship breakdown and claiming an interest in your home (referred to as a TOLATA claim or claim under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act)
  • Disputes involving joint tenants or tenants in common
  • Disputes over inherited property
  • Disputes involving or following a transfer of equity in property
  • Resolving family property disputes out-of-court through strategic negotiation
  • Conducting property litigation

We recognise just how difficult family property disputes can be. The problem most likely concerns your home or a property you have a close emotional connection with, such as your childhood home. Our family property dispute resolution experts will do everything possible to secure the best possible outcome for you.

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Family disputes over inheritance

Quite often families fall out with each other on the death of a family member, when arguments often arise over the terms of Wills, particularly where the Will does not make sufficient financial provision for the wife, ex-wife, partner or dependent children.

These cases are dealt with under Inheritance Act proceedings and our contested probate solicitors can help you if you find yourself facing this problem.

Our team includes lawyers who specialise in both family law and Wills & inheritance law, as well as considerable experience in dispute resolution and court litigation.

This is the perfect combination of skills you need to resolve your family inheritance dispute efficiently and as cost effectively as possible, and a skill-set rarely found at other law firms.

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Children law

Often when there is a relationship breakdown, couples can get very angry with each other and then cannot agree arrangements for their children, whether this be:

  • Who the children are to live with;
  • How often and for how long children should spend with the other parent; or
  • What school the children are going to attend.

We are here to help you with these difficulties.

It is not only parents who need assistance. Grandparents will also often have difficulty in seeing their grandchildren and our children law solicitors can assist here as well.

We also advise on private special guardianship cases, assisting relatives such as grandparents as well as guardians instructed under Wills obtain a Special Guardianship Order to take parental responsibility for a child who cannot live with their parents.

For more information, please see our Children Page.

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Separation agreements

Divorce and dissolution isn’t for everyone. Legally ending your relationship is a big step and perhaps one you are not quite ready for, or one you agree with. It may also be the case that you have been married for less than a year so cannot apply for a divorce yet.

Whether you have cultural or religious reasons for not wanting a divorce, or you want some time apart to reflect on your relationship, a separation agreement may be just what you need.

Our separation solicitors can help you sort out all the practical aspects of separating from your partner, such as negotiating financial arrangements and creating a co-parenting plan. We can draft your separation agreement, or if negotiations are not going well, we can provide advice about seeking a legal separation (also known as a judicial separation) from court.

If you do decide to proceed with divorce or dissolution, we can also provide this advice, using your written separation agreement as a basis for financial and children matters.

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Annulments

You may want to seek an annulment if you have been married for less than a year or you cannot get a divorce for some other reason.

Annulment means that legally you were never properly married, so it is also an option for people who do not agree with divorce.

However, there are strict rules on who can get an annulment, so seeking specialist legal advice is essential. Our annulment solicitors can talk you through how it works and handle the legal process on your behalf.

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Pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements

Marriage is no longer perceived to be the start of a couple’s adult life. As an individual, you will likely have your own income, your own savings, your own property, perhaps even your own business. You may also have had previous marriages or civil partnerships so are coming to your new relationship with pre-existing financial and childcare arrangements.

Whatever your circumstances, a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement (or pre-civil partnership or post-civil partnership agreement) can protect your financial interests and keep your finances separate from your partner’s. If carefully drafted by an experienced legal professional, your agreement will carry weight and can be taken into account during divorce or dissolution proceedings.

So, whether you have inheritance to protect, a family business, or any other financial matter you want to keep separate from your relationship, talk to us about creating a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement before or just after you tie the knot.

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Cohabitation agreements and dispute resolution

There is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’ in the UK. If you live with your partner and you are not married or in a civil partnership, making a cohabitation agreement can help you set out ‘who owns what’ and protect your financial interests.

Our family law solicitors can provide all the advice you need about cohabiting with your partner, including advising you on your legal and property rights and drafting your cohabitation agreement.

We also help couples resolve cohabitation disputes after relationship breakdown, including:

  • Advising on property matters and co-ownership issues
  • Arrangements for children and parental responsibility
  • Reviewing and advising on existing cohabitation agreements

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Domestic violence and harassment

We all have the right to live our lives in peace and if you are a victim of intimidation, harassment or domestic violence, our friendly, sensitive family solicitors can help.

We can take immediate action to safeguard you and your children by obtaining non-molestation orders or occupation orders. These will prohibit a person from:

  • Using or threatening violence, using intimidation, being abusive, harassing or pestering you; and
  • Coming within a certain distance of your home, or from entering a specific room in your home, even if they are a legal owner of that property.

Whatever your situation, we can help you. Our advice is always confidential, so you can trust we will not talk to anyone about what you’ve told us unless we have your express permission (for example, to make an application for a protective court order).

We can also assist with related legal matters, including protecting your children, getting a divorce or dissolution and selling your home.

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Resolving family law disputes

Mediation

Resolving family problems out of court is much less expensive and time-consuming, not to mention less stressful, particularly for children.

In any event, for most family law matters, you will need to attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to find out if mediation is right for you before you can apply to court.

Our family lawyers work closely with the Mediation Services and encourage clients to attend mediation to resolve their disputes.

Courts

Our family law solicitors deal with proceedings in courts throughout the country in relation to all kinds of family issue.

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Our family law fees

We offer a free 30-minute interview so we can get to know you and provide advice about our legal fees. Where possible, we will quote fixed fees, allowing you full certainty over how much your case will cost with us. However, we can provide tailored information about our flexible funding options when you contact us.

We cannot take on legal aid cases.

Contact our family law solicitors in Essex

Get in touch with our friendly family lawyers to talk about how we can help you. You can contact us during our office hours of 9am-5pm at your local branch in Romford, Gidea Park or Collier Row by giving us a call on:

Alternatively, contact us at any hour of the day by filling in our online enquiry form and we will get in touch.