What areas of work do we cover?
We specialise in most matters arising from the breakdown of relationships between married, unmarried and same sex couples.
- Divorce and Judicial separation proceedings
- Complex children matters
- Negotiating financial settlements
- Co-habitation agreements
- Declarations of Trusts for couples buying a house together
We do not deal with care proceedings, or domestic violence cases, (e.g. assisting people to apply for injunctions and non-molestation orders), nor do we act in cases where one party lives abroad.
A quality service
We do not offer Legal Aid for family cases. It is poorly funded and we recognise that to make a profit from this type of work we would need to employ unqualified staff and carry out high volume work. We felt this would prevent us from providing a high quality, bespoke service to every client.
Your case will be handled personally by Jane Gale who has over 27 years’ experience of dealing with family cases. Jane is an accredited specialist with Resolution (see below).
How much will it cost?
We do not offer free appointments. Many firms do but often those appointments are with unqualified staff and the primary objective is to assess whether the client might be eligible for Legal Aid.
Your first appointment will be with Jane Gale, at a reduced rate of £100 per hour plus VAT. Appointments usually last between 30 minutes to an hour. For example, an appointment lasting one hour will cost £120 (£100 plus VAT of £20). At the first appointment Jane will explore with you in detail your particular circumstances, your objectives, and will explain to you the various options available to you, and the likely cost of different options.
We have a range of payment options, which can be tailored to the particular circumstances of our clients. This can include agreeing a fixed fee for certain types of work and allowing payment of costs by interest free monthly instalments.
A Resolution approach
Jane is an accredited specialist with Resolution.
This is a specialist organisation which commits lawyers to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way. We support these aims and try to deal with all our cases constructively so as to preserve the dignity of our clients and encourage agreement.
In the event that your former partner does not respond to this approach we have the experience and commitment to make appropriate applications to the Court.
In all cases we consider with our clients the best way to resolve matters quickly, painlessly and cost effectively. This often involves suggesting that we make a referral to a local mediation service. Click here for more information about the Family Mediation Practice to whom we can refer you. They offer appointments at our offices.
Free financial health check
In appropriate cases we can arrange for a financial advisor to see you at home or at our offices for a free financial health check. This will assist you to consider what proposals for settlement you may be able to put forward in your case. It also enables you to consider the best way for you to fund your case.
Joined up thinking
We do not consider your matrimonial case in isolation. We ensure our departments work closely together so that all clients receive a comprehensive service. We have a specialist probate team who can advise on tax planning, Wills and Powers of Attorney. The expertise of our civil and family solicitors are combined when dealing with special issues raised by cases involving unmarried couples.
Complete confidentiality guaranteed
Your partner may not realise that you are unhappy in the relationship. You may require some advice so that you can consider whether to take action. We understand these difficulties and guarantee a very sensitive and discreet service.
We can offer appointments during your lunch break, or after 5.00pm. On your arrival at the office you will be shown immediately to a private interview room rather than kept waiting in a communal waiting area.
Are you and your partner planning to move in together or have you already done so?
Have you thought about the possible financial implications in the event the relationship does not work out as you had hoped?
People often believe that the phrase ‘’common law husband and wife’’ will give them the same legal rights as a married couple. They are wrong.
Clients often ask questions about their entitlement to claim from their former partner when it is too late. The position is particularly difficult if one of them already owned a property at the start of the relationship and the other person moved into that property.
It is never too late to obtain advice on your situation so that you can consider taking action to protect your position.