What exactly do you do when you know you have serious relationship problems? It is a very stressful time and there are so many things to think about and plan for. One of the first concerns is very likely to be money, particularly if there is to be a separation, temporary or otherwise, it means there are two lots of accommodation costs coming out of the same income. It is important to work through the income and expenses together if the situation is amicable and it is also helpful to get advice about what entitlement you may have, both state benefits and the provision the law makes for you in family proceedings.
If the situation isn’t amicable, you will need an experienced family lawyer to help. It is often good to get this advice before any other action is taken – before a separation and definitely before Divorce or Civil Partnership proceedings are contemplated.
Once you have this information available if you and your partner are not able to agree between you, and let’s face it not every divorce will be between adults who are perfectly happy to talk things through on their own, then choose a solicitor who agrees with you to try and negotiate with their opposite number to work towards an agreement without going to court. There is a great deal more to say about mediation options and they should be carefully considered.
But what about the cost of taking advice, getting divorced and financial settlement? 2013 saw the death of Legal Aid in family cases in all but the most difficult circumstances. Working problems out amicably is the cheapest way forward, although one development in the law allows a maintenance order (monthly payment order) to be made from one partner to another to contribute to legal fees, if all other sources have been explored and have failed.
There are often some free services available in the community but it is important to have ongoing assistance especially in matters of financial settlement, pension issues and finding the best way to keep a roof over everybody’s head. The Family Law Team at Capron and Helliwell have put various options in place to spread the cost and to keep your costs down. We also have a scheme which can be available for clients who have an interest in a property or other secure asset; it is called matrimonial funding and allows your fees to be treated as a loan with all the usual statutory protection. This enables you to move forward and get your financial matters resolved without the worry of paying along the way. Fees are settled at the end of the case when the assets are finalised and available for distribution.
Some parents deal happily with arrangements for children others find more difficulty in sorting these out. Careful thought should be given to the welfare of the children, many other questions arise; moving to a different county, a different Country even, changing names and disagreements as to how to bring the children up. Capron & Helliwell are happy to help on these issues also.
This article aims to supply general information but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that any law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek specific advice.
Capron & Helliwell Solicitors offer a range of legal services at the firm’s Stalham and Wroxham offices near North Walsham and Norwich in Norfolk. The firm specialises in areas including family law, conveyancing and private client law including wills and probate. Capron & Helliwell Solicitors offer free family law clinics – please call 01692 581231 for further details or to make an appointment.