We specialise in all aspects of family law. We do not undertake any other form of legal work, but can make appropriate referrals to colleagues in other areas of specialism as required.
The work we undertake includes:
Public law proceedings (care)
Public law relates to proceedings in which a Local Authority is concerned for a child’s safety or welfare Social Services may decide to hold a pre proceedings/PLO meeting to discuss concerns regarding your child. You will be asked to instruct a solicitor to attend the meeting with you and provide you with legal advice. If you are a parent or have parental responsibility for the child concerned, then we can attend that meeting with you funded by the Legal Help scheme with no cost to you.
If the Local Authority take the decision to make an application to the Court, then we can represent you in those proceedings. Again, if you are a parent or have parental responsibility for the child concerned, then Legal Aid will be provided to allow you to be represented without cost to you.
A child may be made subject to a Placement Order at the conclusion of care proceedings and that allows a child to be placed for adoption. Usually once the Placement Order is made this will bring an end to the proceedings but in exceptional circumstances this may be challenged. We can advise you as to whether there would be any realistic prospect of challenging an application for an adoption order. A step-parent may also seek to adopt a child in their family and we are able to offer advice and assistance with regard to such an application.
Private law proceedings
Child Arrangement Orders (Residence and Contact relating to children)
Where there is a dispute within the family about arrangements for a child we can offer advice on the options available, make a referral to mediation and assist in making an application to the Court if necessary.
Legal Aid is only available in exceptional circumstances on a private law matter and therefore advice and representation within these proceedings will usually have to be funded privately. We will always advise on whether an application for Legal Aid is possible.
Special Guardianship Orders
These orders are often sought when an extended family member or another connected person seeks to care for a child throughout their childhood. The Local Authority which is involved through care proceedings may, in some limited cases, offer to pay the costs of legal advice. We are happy to advise and assist you in respect of any applications for a Special Guardianship Orders and we have expertise in assessing the fairness and reasonableness of Special Guardianship support packages.
Divorce, Separation and dissolution of Civil Partnerships
We can provide you with advice on all aspects of divorce. We are able to guide you through the process or fully prepare the divorce petition and accompanying documents for you.
We can advise you on separation agreements and the dissolution of civil partnerships.
The aim is always to try and reach an agreement that is fair and acceptable to both parties without having to make an application to the Court. If an application to the Court is required, then we can advise and assist in the preparation of the application and the supporting documents and represent you at any hearings.