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Chippenham Office Tel: 01249 444484 / Fax: 01249 444434

                                   Email: cjeary@jeary-lewis.co.uk

Guide to Family Law

Divorce and Separation

If you are married and your relationship breaks down then expert legal advice can help you plan what to do next.  We can help you with divorce proceedings, and help you decide on legal options that suit your circumstances.  If, however, at this stage you would prefer to enter into a Separation Agreement, we can advise you about the implications and contents of the agreement.

Dividing assets

There are a number of factors which are taken into account when considering the division of financial assets.  We will advise you in respect of your own personal position and will seek to negotiate and agree a financial settlement with your partner.  We can also help you decide whether mediation is something that would benefit your position.  In addition, once matters are agreed, we will advise you in respect of the contents and draft a Consent Order, which would embody in law the terms of the agreement you have reached.

Maintenance

Maintenance can be relevant for both you and your children.  Every relationship breakup is different. We’ll look at your circumstances to help see if you are entitled to maintenance and if so, how much.

Cohabitation

If you are intending to cohabit then you should consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement.  If you purchase a property with your partner or move into your partner’s home, then it’s worth getting proper legal advice on how your property is owned. We’ll help ensure any investment you have made is protected. If your relationship ends while you are cohabiting, then you should get expert advice promptly. Cohabitation disputes can be complicated and it’s important that your position is protected by law.

Children and their welfare

In the vast majority of cases, it is important that children have contact with both parents.  We will advise you on issues such as residence (i.e. who the children live with) and contact. Laying down set contact times for the parent that does not live with the child is important for stability. We can help you reach an agreement.

Sometimes, however, it may not be in the best interests of the child to see the other parent. Perhaps for example, it would not be suitable for them to do certain things together, i.e go on holiday. We can advise you in respect of conditions that should be adhered to in order to enable contact to take place for the benefit of the child. If necessary then certain applications can be made at Court in order to seek clarity and assistance from the Court. 

Parental responsibility

Parental responsibility recognises in law those who are responsible for the upbringing of a child. Should you wish to obtain parental responsibility, we can help you with informative advice.

Grandparents

If your relationship ends, then the grandparents of children might seek to maintain regular contact with them.  Grandparents do not have automatic rights for contact and it is important that you obtain advice so that you are aware of your position and how best to progress matters.

Change of Name Deeds

We provide a quick and easy fixed fee service for Change of Name Deeds.  We offer advice on the implications of a name change, for you and/or your children, and guide you through the legal steps.

Prenuptial Agreements

Nowadays, parties tend to seek advice before they get married in order to consider how best to protect their financial assets.  While not yet legally recognised within the UK, Prenuptial Agreements are persuasive in law and are considered by a Court if matrimonial breakdown accours and financial issues arise. If you are getting married, we recommend you talk to us. We will seek to protect your financial position and offer peace of mind.

Injunctions

No one should be subjected to domestic violence, be it physical or mental. We can provide you with quick and comprehensive advice on how best to protect yourself within the home.  We will discuss your legal options and can make emergency Court applications if necessary. 

Public Care work

If you receive a visit from Social Services or feel threatened that your children might be taken away, we can help. When dealing with such matters it’s important that you know the legal procedures, and your legal rights. John Weatherall has built up a comprehensive case load in respect of care work and we can provide assistance at case conference meetings together with Court proceedings.