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Family Law

We understand that relationships can be as complex as the financial affairs within them, which is why our advice is as individual as the individuals we advise.

What we can do for you

When marriages or relationships breakdown it is important to get the right support and guidance before dealing with/establishing any financial settlements or child care arrangements. Although we focus on complex financial remedy claims, particularly those involving business owners and entrepreneurs as well as high net worth individuals, we do deal with all aspects of family relationships whether you need advice on divorce, matrimonial financial remedy claims or children. In addition, we can also assist in dealing with cohabitee disputes or bespoke pre or post nuptial agreements. We also advise trustees, shareholders and companies who may be joined as parties to matrimonial proceedings.

Divorce & Separation

When a relationship breaks down we can provide timely and proactive advice to the challenges you may face, whilst also being sensitive to the pressure and stresses involved.

  

Whether you simply require advice on your current position or need to engage us to act on your behalf we will be there for you and your family.

  

If you were married abroad or there are jurisdictional issues, you might also require advice as to whether it is better to commence proceedings in England & Wales or in another jurisdiction.

Financial Provision Upon Divorce

We understand that when it comes to advice, one size does not fit all, so our aim is to help you achieve a financial settlement which will allow you to meet your future financial needs and those of your family, whilst at the same time providing you with the support you need.

  

Rather than simply focusing on the legal process we shall, from an early stage, look at how best you can achieve your aims. Whether assets are held in this jurisdiction or abroad, or held within company assets or trusts, we provide advice on the likely value of the matrimonial claim but also on how best that claim can be met and assets preserved. 

  

Whilst also looking at court applications, we can advise you on other ways to resolve your case, including meditation, fourway meetings, collaborative law and arbitration.

Children

Although the courts' general approach to private children cases is the “no order” principle, namely that in the first instance the parents are best placed to resolve matters, there are times when not only legal advice but a court application might be required. In addition there may be members of the wider family, including grandparents, who wish to make an application.

  

We will work with you to first try and resolve matters in a constructive manner but where that is not possible, we shall advise you and assist you in making and progressing with a court application.

  

Whether you require support in seeking more time with your children, or having them live with you, or whether the argument relates to the children’s education or in which jurisdiction they shall live, we provide the appropriate support and advice.

Injunctions

Financial injunctions

  

There are occasions where you may need to take immediate action to preserve the matrimonial estate and to prevent another party disposing or dissipating the matrimonial or business assets, including transferring assets outside the jurisdiction.

  
Domestic Violence

  

If you are subject to emotional or physical violence then you do not need to suffer in silence and should obtain advice on your rights and the protection available.

Wealth Information Hub

Our information hub provides you with a range of resources to help you with your EMW Wealth journey. For more information please click on the link below:

Wealth Information Hub

Cohabitation Disputes

There are limited financial rights and obligations between cohabitees.  You may therefore need to obtain early legal advice so that you understand your legal position and the claims which might be successfully brought or defended.

  

If children are involved there are also grounds for making a specific application for financial provision for a child, to include payment of lump sums and settlement of property for the child.

Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements

Pre and post nuptial agreements are increasingly common, particularly for couples who wish to preserve pre-acquired assets, whether arising from inheritances, business asset or from family wealth.

  

The courts are prepared to recognise properly drafted and executed nuptial agreements, provided certain basic conditions are followed and that the agreements consider the needs of the parties and the family. When discussing these agreements with you we also look at ways in which any future claims could be met whilst preserving the core assets.

  

Even if the court do not ultimately uphold the entire agreement the existence of the nuptial agreement is still likely to sway the court. However it's important that any nuptial agreement is reviewed on a regular basis, particularly if there are any significant changes in the family.

Cohabitation Agreements

A relationship often means you are entering into a financial commitment with another party and if there is a disparity in the contributions being made, especially to the purchase of a property, then you should consider the benefits of a cohabitation agreement.

  

Parents (and Trusts) often support children in buying property or assets, yet at the same time fail to consider what will happen to that financial support should the child cohabit or marry. A carefully drafted cohabitation agreement can reduce the difficulties which often arise when couples separate.

Collaborative Law & Arbitration

Whilst, for some cases, court proceedings might be the only option there are an increasing number of clients who wish to resolve matters through other dispute resolution forums. If your relationship has broken down, we can assist you in resolving matters either by agreement, referral to mediation or, if contested, by applying to court, by use of the collaborative law process or by family arbitration.

  

There are also other options, including:

  

  • Without prejudice fourway meetings (with the other side and their lawyer)
  • Collaborative law cases for those parties who feel that, with assistance of a Collaborative lawyer, they will be able to come to an agreement
  • Arbitration allows the parties to appoint a specialist, perhaps a Family QC or retired judge, to adjudicate on their case, with the proceedings taking place at a time convenient to the parties and with the proceedings being private, thereby avoiding unwanted publicity

Who we are

If you can't find what you're looking for or would like to talk to us in more detail, please contact Stephen Smith, our Family specialist. He'd love to hear from you!

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