Family Law Solicitors

Families will always have their ups and downs and whatever the dynamics of your own unique situation, our team of experts are here to help. Working together with you on cases involving adoption, access to children, divorce, civil partnership arrangements and much more, our solicitors aim for a non-confrontational, timely and cost efficient approach to resolve your case as effectively and stress free as possible.

Our team of experienced family lawyers can help with:

  • Wealth protection via a cohabitation agreement for unmarried couples or a prenuptial agreement for soon to be husbands, wives and civil partners; 
  • Relationship breakdown by guiding you through separation, divorce and civil partnership dissolution
  • Financial arrangements as part of your divorce or civil partnership dissolution package; 
  • Disputes about children such as where they should live, who they should have contact with and arrangements where one parent intends to move abroad;
  • Parenting issues where a parental responsibility order from the court may be needed to ensure both parents have an equal say about decisions affecting their children’s lives, or where there are issues around fertility and surrogacy; 
  • Family care proceedings where a local authority has indicated an intention to remove your child or to put them up for adoption; and
  • Family safeguarding in cases of domestic violence or abuse.

Call our friendly family law solicitors on 01634 811444 to find out more about how we can help. Alternatively complete our contact us form and we will be in touch as soon as possible. 

Why choose our family law solicitors?

You can trust us to:

  • Listen to your problems
  • Put you and your children first
  • Provide advice that is easy to understand – no legal jargon
  • Help you make the right choices about what to do
  • Keep you updated at all times
  • Provide emotional support and reduce stress during what is often a very stressful time

We’re not just here to tell you the law, we’re here to guide you through the family law process, providing a warm, welcoming environment so you can feel safe and listened to.

A positive approach to solving your family law problems

Many of our family team are long standing members of Resolution, and follow a code of practice that encourages solutions to be found taking into account the needs of everyone involved. If progressing to court can be avoided, our professionals will look towards instigating mediation sessions and collaborative law if appropriate.

Please note however that in cases of domestic abuse, these options will not be applicable.

We Need To Talk: Top tips to keep kids' best interests first during divorce or separation from Resolution on Vimeo.

A friendly team of family law experts

Our Family Law team is led by Avril Croud, a devoted family lawyer with over 30 years’ experience assisting families with challenging issues.

Avril is a member of Resolution, was one of the first solicitors to be admitted to the Family Panel, and is also a Family Law Advanced specialist.

Our team also includes:

  • Deborah Nicholson: an accredited Family Panel member, member of Resolution and qualified collaborative lawyer.
  • Laura Hails: a member of Resolution and a qualified collaborative lawyer.

Our Family Law team has also received the Law Society Children Law Accreditation and we have particular expertise representing children in family law proceedings.

How does family mediation work?

Mediation is a popular alternative to going to family court, a process which can often be long and stressful. Unlike court, mediation can be structured around your own schedule; it is usually cheaper than going to court and less formal so can reduce some of the anxieties around court proceedings.

Mediation can be used to resolve all types of family law issue, including:

  • Divorce financial settlements
  • Arrangements for children
  • Pre-nup discussions
  • Resolving problems between family members, such as grandparents and parents over their rights to see grandchildren

The process involves attending a meeting or series of meetings with your partner or former partner and a qualified mediator. The mediator will guide your conversations and help you avoid conflict if it arises. They do not take sides or provide individual legal advice, so any agreement you make is down to you.

Any agreement you make can be made legally binding by applying to court for a Consent Order – this is usually a paper application, so you probably will not need to attend court to do this.

It is always worth considering mediation because, in most cases, you will not be able to apply to court until you have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

There are some exceptions to this, for example, if there are issues of domestic violence involved. If this is the case, please do not hesitate to raise your worries with us and we can provide advice.

We can provide advice about whether mediation may be right for you, refer you to specialist mediators, and provide advice about agreements you made at mediation.

For more information, visit our Family Mediation Solicitors page.

How does collaborative law work?

Like mediation, collaborative law is an alternative to going to family court. It also involves attending a series of informal meetings to discuss your problems and try to come to an agreement.

However, instead of a mediator, you and your partner or ex-partner will be accompanied by your own collaborative lawyers.

Your collaborative lawyer will be specially trained to help you through this process. They can provide legal advice and negotiate on your behalf, focusing on achieving the best possible outcome for you.

You can also invite other professionals to these meetings, such as accountants and independent financial advisors. So, collaborative law is popular with people who have high value finances or complex issues, such as international issues.

Our team includes highly experienced collaborative lawyers, Deborah Nicholson and Laura Hails.

Will you need to go to family court?

While out-of-court settlement is usually the best option for families, we understand that this may not always be possible.

We are also highly experienced at helping people make and defend a wide range of family court applications, such as:

  • Divorce financial orders – to divide property and sort out financial matters upon divorce, dissolution or separation.
  • Child Arrangements Orders – for decisions about where children will live and who they should have contact with.
  • Specific Issue Orders – for particular decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as where they should go to school or whether their surname can be changed.
  • Prohibited Steps Orders – to prevent a person with parental responsibility (usually a parent) from doing something, such as taking a child out of the country.
  • Guardianship Orders – to appoint guardians for children.
  • Protection from domestic violence orders, such as Non-Molestation Orders/Injunctions and Occupation Orders.
  • Family care orders, such as Care Orders, Supervision Orders and Placement Orders.
  • Adoption Orders – to finalise an adoption process.
  • Parental Orders – to define who a child’s legal parents are, for example, after surrogacy.
  • Parental Responsibility Orders – to define who has parental responsibility for a child.

Our goal is to make the family court process as straightforward and stress-free as possible. We will be by your side from start to finish, providing simple legal guidance and emotional support.

Advising families throughout Chatham, Kent and beyond

We have offices in Chatham, Maidstone, Gravesend, Tonbridge and Tenterden where we can meet you to discuss your requirements.

We can also offer meetings by skype for clients who have to travel extensively or who now live abroad.  In exceptional circumstances, home visits can also be arranged.

Fixed fees and costs

An initial 30 minute appointment to discuss your requirements can be arranged at £120 plus VAT.

After that we can arrange flexible payment terms, including monthly billing to help you budget.

Get in touch with our family law solicitors in Chatham, Kent

Call our friendly family law solicitors on 01634 811444 to find out more about how we can help. Alternatively complete our contact us form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

 

For further information please Contact Us or call to speak to one of our experts on 01634 811444.