Parker Bullen Solicitors Banner Image

For You

Family Law Solicitors

Whether you are navigating the complexities of a relationship breakdown or seeking a resolution for child arrangements following a separation, our dedicated Family Law department provides tailored family law advice to address your specific circumstances.

The team of committed Family Law Solicitors are here to support you at every stage of your journey. With a wealth of experience, we are devoted to helping you attain the best possible outcome. Trust us to guide you through your family law matters with expertise and compassion.

Our expert Family Law Specialists can support you and your family in the following ways:

How we can help - Legal advice for Family Law

Legal advice for Alternative Dispute Resolution

Navigating a divorce or separation inevitably brings its challenges especially when disagreements arise. Our Family Law Solicitors assist with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) allowing for an amicable discussion to be made using Collaborative Law and Family Mediation, ultimately avoiding the hassle of Court proceedings.

Legal advice for your children following divorce or separation

Making arrangements for your children following a divorce or separation can be difficult and a sensitive subject. Our Family Solicitors have experience in acting for mothers, fathers, and Special Guardians offering advice on all aspects of the law concerning children. We understand throughout this emotional time the most important thing to you will be ensuring your child’s best interest, which is why we will work with you to come to the best possible solution.

Legal advice for divorce

Choosing to file for a divorce will not be easy, but taking legal advice in the early stages can help avoid any pitfalls. It allows for agreements to be put into place and resolve matters sooner before any disputes arise.  Our Divorce Solicitors can provide you with advice tailored to your own situation, explaining the various options and what the next steps will be along the way.

Legal advice for your finances following divorce or separation

If you have recently divorced it is important to put plans in place for your financial future. Making arrangements with your former spouse is not always easy and if a decision cannot be made amicably then Financial Dispute Resolution may be the option for you.

Legal advice for Cohabitation Agreements and unmarried couples

If you are currently living with your partner but are not married, it is important that you know your rights as a cohabitee as you do not have the same legal rights as a husband and wife. The solution to this is to put into place a Cohabitation Agreement, or should your cohabiting relationship come to an end, a Separation Agreement can be enforced. 

A Cohabitation Agreement is a legal document that is created to set out the rights, responsibilities, and entitlements of each partner both during the relationship and in the event of a separation. The agreement can cover all important matters based on your situation including, property, savings, and children. Although a Cohabitation Agreement is not a legal requirement we highly recommend it for unmarried couples to protect your legal rights.

Legal advice for Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements

If you are entering into a marriage and are looking to financially protect yourself, a Pre-nuptial Agreement can be put in place.  This legal document will outline the distribution of your assets in the event of divorce or death. Once married, you can convert the Pre-nuptial Agreement into a Post-Nuptial Agreement.

Legal advice for Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse can occur in various ways including physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse. If you find yourself in such a situation, we can assist you in filing a Court application to seek an order that forces the perpetrator to refrain from any violent acts, vacate a particular address, or prohibit their return to the address.

Family Law in Andover, Romsey, Salisbury, Totton and Witney

Our dedicated team of Family Solicitors are located in our offices in Andover, Romsey, Salisbury, Totton and Witney. We understand the emotional challenges that often accompany relationship breakdowns and family matters. As your trusted local Family Law Solicitors, we are here to guide and support you during this difficult time, serving Wiltshire, Hampshire, Oxfordshire as well as the rest of the UK.

Other services we can provide for you

As your family dynamics change, other legal considerations may be needed to help you with moving forward. Our colleagues across our other departments are committed to supporting you in a multitude of ways:

Property - If you have recently gone through a divorce or separation and are looking to buy or sell your home, our Property Solicitors are here to make the process as smooth as possible.

Wills - If circumstances in your life have recently changed you must update your Will to reflect this. If you have recently divorced, it means your former spouse will no longer be eligible to inherit under your Will, but if they are Executors this will remain in place.  Our Wills Solicitors can explain any changes you need to make to protect your future. 

Lasting Powers of Attorney - The future can be full of surprises so drafting a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to have the choice of who you would like to act on your behalf in the event you are unable to do so.  Our Power of Attorney Solicitors can explain the two different Powers of Attorney available to you and advise how to choose the right people to act.

Free initial appointment for Family Law advice

We know that seeking legal advice can be daunting and you may be concerned about the process and the cost.  That is why we offer a free initial consultation with one of our Family Law Solicitors. This allows you to have a conversation at a time convenient to you and share your situation.  Our Family Solicitors will be able to offer you the options for the best path moving forward, tailored for you and your future.

Frequently asked questions about Family Law

We understand that you will have many questions regarding the next steps. While we have provided the answers to several common questions to guide you, we are on hand to discuss your individual circumstances in more detail and offer our tailored legal advice.

 

What is the process of a divorce?

In April 2022, there was a shift in divorce law following the introduction of no fault divorce with the aim to remove the implication that one party is at fault in a marriage or civil partnership.

The process of a divorce begins with an application being made to the Court; this can now be done individually or jointly as a couple. Once the application has been issued it will be served to the Respondent or their Solicitor by email.  If this is not possible it will be sent via post. The Respondent is then required to complete an Acknowledgment of Service and return it to the Court.

Once the Court receives the Acknowledgment it is returned to the Applicant or their Solicitor so they can apply for a Conditional Order. During the time between filing for the divorce and applying for the Conditional Order a 20 week “cooling off period” is required.

When the Conditional Order is completed the Applicant must wait six weeks and one day before they can apply for the Final Order, allowing time for any issues with finances to be agreed upon and settled.

How long will my divorce take?

It is hard to put an exact timescale on how long it will take for your divorce to go through as it can vary due to external factors out of our control with the Court. If all things are to go smoothly a divorce is likely to go through in approximately seven or eight months. To ensure the process can move as quickly as possible it is important you complete the required paperwork correctly and respond efficiently to any queries or requirements.

Certain timescales that must be adhered to include:

  • You must have been married for a year before you can apply for a divorce
  • Between filing for the divorce and applying for the Conditional Order there is a 20 week cooling off period
  • From the pronouncement of the Conditional Order, there is a six week and one day wait to apply for the Final Order.

Another factor that can affect the time in which it takes for the divorce to go through is making arrangements regarding your finances or children. If you require legal advice for you and your former spouse to come to an agreement the divorce will likely take longer.

What is the process for determining the living and contact arrangements for the children following my divorce?

Putting in living and contact arrangements for children involves careful consideration of the child’s best interests. Going through a divorce is never easy so there will likely be heightened emotions. We can help you and your former spouse reach an agreement through Alternative Dispute Resolution or can represent you in Court. Both methods will conclude in a Child Arrangements Order, which will determine the parent whom the child lives with and the duration of time spent with the non-residential parent.

How will we sort our finances following a divorce?

Following a divorce making arrangements for your finances is crucial, and there are different options depending on your situation. Once a Conditional Order has been pronounced, a Consent Order can be drafted by a Solicitor that will cover every financial claim from the divorcing parties including capital, income, and pensions.

However, making financial arrangements following a divorce is not always easy and if an agreement cannot be made between you and your former spouse your next option may be to go to Court. A stage involved in the Court proceeding is a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) which puts agreements in place regarding your pension, property, and any other assets. Should there be no agreement made from the FDR, your case will be escalated to a final Court hearing where the Judge will make the ultimate decision.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for a Special Guardianship Order?

A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is a legal arrangement that is granted by the Court. It provides an individual or individuals who are not the child’s biological parent the legal authority and parental responsibility to take care of a child until they reach the age of 18.

In order to be eligible to apply for an SGO there are criteria that must be met, for example, if you are already the guardian or local authority foster parent for the child, or you have consent of those with parental responsibility for the child.  We can discuss with you all of the eligibility criteria in order to apply for an SGO.

Contact our Family Law Solicitors

As part of our service, we are pleased to offer a free no-obligation initial consultation, during which a member of the team will listen to the circumstances of your situation and provide several options as to the best route for you and your future. 

To book your appointment, contact our Family Law Solicitors in our Andover, Romsey, Salisbury, Totton and Witney offices by completing our Contact Form, using the following telephone numbers or email info@parkerbullen.com.