Our family lawyer in London specialises in those cases in which the parties cannot agree on the divorce itself or on important matters such as the financial settlements or the custody of the child and going to court becomes mandatory. While it is true that in many cases both former spouses will wish to finalise the procedures as soon as possible, in some instances it is impossible to reach a conclusion, moreover, one that can be as equitable as possible for both parties (and the children) without going to court. In this situation, the assistance offered by family barristers in London is important as they will help with court representation.
Our team of divorce lawyers in London is ready to assist you in all of these situations, whether you decide to negotiate and stay out of court or if you do need legal representation to handle financial or child matters.
We are one of the family law firms in London that offer complete services to our clients. With our help, you will be able to sort your case in or out of court. You can rest assured that our team will work to find the most suitable solution in your case.
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How can you choose a family court lawyer?
Choosing to work with a lawyer during your divorce proceedings is an important step and choosing to work with a specialist can greatly improve the time in which the negotiations are finalised. In those cases in which the case does go to court, the presence of a lawyer will be not only important but also reassuring, as you will know that a professional who has experience in Family Law matters handles your case.
What are the most important qualities to look for when choosing a family court lawyer? Experience is by far an important criterion and it is advisable to look for a professional who specialises in Family Law. Next, it is important to note how you communicate with your family lawyer in London. This is a crucial aspect during the divorce proceedings, as the lawyer will need to understand your situation and your demands and then find a suitable legal solution in your case.
Our team of family solicitors in London has worked with many clients. We work diligently and with consideration for our clients’ particular situations.
Our family barristers in London offer our expertise to work in our client’s favour.
How can a family court lawyer assist you?
When the divorce involves more complex children and property issues, the parties may choose to go to court, however, not before they go to mediation. If this final phase fails, then the parties may proceed to complete a form that is mandatorily sent to court in order for their case to be heard.
A family court lawyer can assist you as soon as you decide that mediation has produced no results and that you need to send the aforementioned form in order to take the case to court.
When the divorce involves children, it is common for the court proceedings to include the following steps:
- the directions hearing: this is the initial hearing during which the judge/magistrate will attempt to make the parties reach an arrangement;
- the mediation: if the parties cannot settle after the initial hearing, the magistrate may decide to send the parties to another meeting with a mediator;
- a specialized course: when the disagreements are about child arrangements, the parties may have to go to a special course;
- the conclusion: an agreement can be reached at any stage, however, it is not uncommon for the parties to have to go to one or two separate meetings if the first hearing does not produce any results.
If you choose to work with our family court lawyer during this process, we can provide you with more information on the issues that the judges and magistrates will consider.
When taking a divorce case to court in which children are involved it is common for a family court adviser from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service to be present.
In cases involving children, it is natural to wish to work with the best family solicitors in London. Our team has the needed experience to provide adequate assistance in these cases. In all situations, the child’s wellbeing, both physical and psychological, will be taken into account.
When should you contact a family court lawyer?
It is useful to point out that our team of family lawyers in London can assist you each step of the way, from the initial decision for the divorce until the proceedings are finalised. Nonetheless, the decision to work with a lawyer is an individual one and the need may not become apparent until the case goes to court or until one of the parties requires specialized legal assistance for negotiating financial or childcare matters outside of court.
Once you decide to work with us, one of our solicitors will contact you as soon as possible in order to receive all of your case particulars. We believe that each case is unique, just as the family seeking out legal resolve. This is why we are one of the family law firms in London that pay attention to all of the details, especially when discussing extremely sensitive issues such as child placement and care after divorce.
If you wish to discuss with one of the best family solicitors in London, you should not postpone this step. Having your most important questions answered in due time can greatly improve the process.
Family court proceedings
When you are involved in court proceedings regarding a Family Law matter, it is advisable to seek assistance from a qualified and experienced lawyer.
While it is not mandatory, a family lawyer in London is the one who is able to provide you with adequate legal representation. If you do not choose to work with a lawyer, you will be deemed to be a litigant in person.
When you first encounter your Family Law problem, the solicitor will be the one you will first contact. The difference between the solicitor and the barrister is that the second one is the one who takes part in the court proceedings and represents the client. The solicitor, in most cases, serves an advisory role and informs clients of their legal rights and duties, helps negotiate and performs other out-of-court tasks.
This means that a team of family barristers in London, such as the ones working within our team, will appoint one of their own to represent you in court.
Requesting legal assistance in the form of the services provided by a solicitor or a barrister can seem daunting for some families, namely for those in financial difficulty. However, legal aid can be accessed in certain cases. Our team presents a short guide on legal aid for family proceeding below.
In all cases, the fees or hourly rates are discussed directly with the lawyer, and, at our law firm, we are transparent about these costs. We will inform you of the fixed fees and will provide you with adequate information, according to your case.
Family law legal aid
Working with one of the top law firms in London may seem impossible for many families. However, all clients should know that legal aid is available in the UK for qualifying individuals.
There are certain cases in which legal aid is available:
- non-molestation and occupation orders;
- restricting orders;
- forced marriage protection orders;
- child abduction cases or cases in which children have been unlawfully removed; our family lawyer in London can also provide information in accessing legal aid in those cases in which you fear that a child may be abducted or unlawfully removed.
Some of the most important issues taken into account for the purpose of accessing legal aid are the following:
- the means test: based on the fill income (wages and benefits included) and any other available capital (savings, properties, shares); bank records and proof of ownership are required as part of the documents;
- the merits test: the case’s chance of success, whether the legal costs are proportionate and reasonable compared to the possible benefits if the case succeeds;
- evidence of child at risk: direct harm caused to the child or proof that the other party has been arrested for child abuse and the investigation is ongoing; other situations may apply;
- exceptional cases: when the individual is not eligible for legal aid due to reasons other than not fulfilling the conditions for the means test, the case can be subject to a special evaluation based on particular and exceptional circumstances (such as a particular vulnerability); a solicitor from our team can help you make the application for exceptional funding.
If you believe that you might be eligible for legal aid, you can reach out to our family lawyer in London to find out more and confirm that you can access local aid.
The rules for providing evidence were simplified during the coronavirus pandemic in order to allow individuals to provide evidence via email instead of physical, in person, document handouts. You can reach out to one of the family law firms in London, such as our own, and our solicitors to find out what documents (such as the documents from domestic abuse support services) you can send via email.
Divorce statistics in the UK
The number of divorces in the UK has seen a slight decrease in 2018 compared to 2017. While this may be attributed to an administrative reason (the divorce centres processed a backlog of cases in 2018), our family lawyer in London specialised in divorce lists some of the highlights below:
- there were 90,871 opposite-sex couples divorces in 2018;
- there was a 7.5% divorce rate per 1,000 married man and women in 2018 compared to an 8.4% rate in 2017;
- on average, the heterosexual couples who divorced in 2018 were married for 12.5 years.
If you would like to know more about the divorce procedures and the procedure applicable in those cases that go to court, please reach out to our divorce solicitors in London.
Working with one of the top family law firms in London is the choice of many of those who go through a divorce or need to sort other family matters. Reach out to us to find out more about how we can help.