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SECTOR: Personal

Family Law

What can you help me with?

We can assist with all aspects of family law, including:

► Divorce / Civil Partnership dissolution
► Financial issues arising from relationship breakdown
► Children issues, including adoption, fostering and child abduction
► Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements
► Cohabitation agreements
► Inheritance Act claims

How much will it cost?

We understand our clients’ concerns about the affordability of legal advice and offer advice at competitive rates.   We will not offer you a “one size fits all” solution, but will tailor an individual package to suit your particular circumstances. Contact the family team to discuss your options further.

Will I have to go to Court?

Most issues relating to relationship breakdown do not need to be resolved in Court.  There are alternative approaches that, where appropriate, can help minimise the financial cost and delay involved.  Samuel Phillips is the only law firm in the region offering a full range of options, including:

► Mediation
► Arbitration
► Collaborative Law

Further information on each of these options is available in our guide. Click here to download a copy.

Who will I be dealing with?

The family team at Samuel Phillips is recognised as one of the leading teams of experts in Newcastle in view both of the knowledge and experience of the team; and the type and complexity of the work we undertake.  We are the only law firm in the North East to offer a full range of options in addition to Court proceedings, including mediation, arbitration and collaborative law.  Full details of each team member are included below.

Useful links

► Collaborative Family Law North East

► Resolution

► Help and Support for Separated Families

► Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)

► Child Maintenance Options

► The Parent Connection

► Relate

FAQ
I am not married but have been living with my partner for more than 2 years. Do I have any additional rights?

No. Unmarried couples who live together do not acquire additional rights the longer that they live together. When I obtain Decree Absolute will this end any financial claims that I might have?

When I obtain Decree Absolute will this end any financial claims that I might have?

No. Financial matters are dealt with separately within the divorce process. I am paying maintenance for a child who does not live with me. Does this provide me with any extra rights?

I am paying maintenance for a child who does not live with me. Does this provide me with any extra rights?

No. The payment of maintenance and financially contributing to the upkeep of a child is completely separate to the arrangements for contact/residence. Do I have to go to court on separation?

Do I have to go to court on separation?

No. You can deal with your case collaboratively with you and your partner committing not to use court proceedings. In any event, the vast majority of cases settle without the need to attend at court. I am a doctor and have a substantial potential pension. Will my wife have a claim over this and if so how much?

I am a doctor and have a substantial potential pension. Will my wife have a claim over this and if so how much?

Yes, pensions are one of the assets that are looked at on separation. It is possible for a Pension Sharing Order to be made where part of your pension is transferred into the name of your wife and becomes hers. Pension Sharing Orders are expressed as a percentage. The amount will depend on a variety of factors and has to be looked at in the context of the other assets that form part of the matrimonial pot. It is possible, if there are significant other liquid assets to offset so you keep your pension, but in exchange, your wife receives more of the other assets. As always, the answer is case specific. I am the managing director of a substantial commercial property business. The business is established as a limited company. My husband has no shares in this company. How will this be dealt with? I am also a beneficiary of a family overseas trust.

I am the managing director of a substantial commercial property business. The business is established as a limited company. My husband has no shares in this company. How will this be dealt with? I am also a beneficiary of a family overseas trust.

The value of your shareholding is relevant and will form part of the matrimonial ”pot”. The first stage will be to establish the value and then look at it in the context of the other assets. With regard to the trust, this is obviously a more complex area, but again, your beneficial entitlement will be relevant but subject to the trust provisions which may effectively give no access to assets. This needs to be reviewed by a lawyer with an understanding of trusts. As with your business, there will be communication between the lawyer and the relevant other professionals who work for you already, including accountants and the trustees of the trust.

Nb. Complex financial issues on divorce should be looked at by lawyers who have a specialism working in this particular aspect of family break down.

OUR TEAM
  • Jennifer Goldstein
  • Hannah Ralphs
  • Erin May

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