WSP Solicitors award three new Associate promotions
It is with great pleasure that WSP Solicitors can announce we have promoted three of our Solicitors to Associate Solicitor level within the business. From October 1st, 2022, Lydia Andrews,...
Family Law Solicitors
There are lots of ways that we could help you to reach an agreement. Going to see a solicitor certainly does not mean that you have to go to court.
You will be parents together for the rest of your lives and so we take the approach that it is best to advise and support you to agree arrangements that you are both willing to work with wherever that is possible. Here are a few options:
Where you are able to reach an agreement about the arrangements for your children we can help you draw up a parenting contract. Where agreement is not possible we can represent you in court proceedings.
Parental responsibility is all of the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent of a child has in relation to that child and their property. Parental Responsibility is largely focused on what you can or should do for your child, rather than what rights you have over the child.
All birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility.
Biological fathers can acquire parental responsibility in several different ways:
Sometimes parents struggle to agree about a one-off issue related to the children, for example whether you can take them on holiday, what school they should go to, what religion they should practice or what their name should be. We can help and advise you to reach an agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement, or you need a decision urgently, you can apply to court for a Specific Issue Order. If you make an application for a Specific Issue Order a judge will listen to what you both want and will then decide what should happen.
If you are worried about something the other parent might do, for example taking the children to live abroad, changing their name, or taking the children out of your care, then you have a couple of options. A solicitor can help you to find a way to reach an agreement. If you cannot reach an agreement, or the situation is urgent, then you could apply to court for a Prohibited Steps Order. A Prohibited Steps Order can stop someone with Parental Responsibility from doing something that they are otherwise able to do relating to your children.
You could go to mediation and we could help and advise you along the way. Mediation helps you work things out by attending meetings together with a trained mediator to talk through issues that you need to resolve such as money, your children or any other consequences of your separation. The aim is to reach an agreement that works for your family.
The number of mediation sessions you will need will depend on your requirements and the issues to be resolved. Most people going through mediation find it helpful to take advice and support from a family solicitor during the process. Where you are able to reach agreement we can make sure that it is fair and right for you. We can also help you to formalise the agreement in writing, for example by applying to the court for a financial order by consent or drawing up a parenting contract for you both to sign.
Most of the time the very best solutions are those which you work out together for yourselves. Collaborative law is a process where you and your former partner work out the issues arising on your separation in face to face meetings with each other and your own solicitors. Rather than dealing through your solicitors, you work together with them to reach the best solutions for you or your family. The number of meetings will depend upon the extent of the issues. Sometimes other experts are involved in the process, for example counsellors or financial advisers. Using collaborative law is a way of solving problems without having to go to court and you, your former partner and your solicitors sign an agreement that commits each party to trying to resolve the issues collaboratively. Your collaborative solicitor will not be able to represent you in court if negotiations break down.
We have two specially trained collaborative solicitors who would be happy to talk to you about this in more detail.
Family arbitration is a way of resolving issues about your finances or your property if your relationship has come to an end and you have not been able to reach agreement. Arbitration is essentially a private court process. You both decide who the ‘judge’ will be (normally an independent barrister or solicitor) and what issues they are going to decide. Whether that be small issues along the way or the whole case, it is entirely up to you. At the start of the process you and your former partner agree not to back out without the other’s consent and to be bound by the award of the arbitrator.
For expert family law advice on child matters, please contact our local offices in Gloucester or Stroud today. If you have a quick question or would like to request a call back, you can also use our quick online enquiry form.
I have nothing but praise for all of the people I have dealt with over the years. Nothing has been too much trouble and I would have no hesitation in recommending them.P. Browne
A very thorough and professional company. Always found staff to be very approachable, helpful and very clear in their explanations of all options available to me. Would strongly recommend WSP.D. Maton
WSP is the one-stop superstore for all your legal requirements. It is staffed with friendly, professional and expert people who are a pleasure to deal with. As a long term user of the company I always recommend WSP to all of my friends based on my own happy experience.D. Wilkins
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