Family

Family Law

Meet the family team
Family issues can cause significant emotional and financial stress. Laurus London can assist you in resolving disputes but also planning ahead to cover legal protection. Our prompt and decisive support will put you in the strongest possible position – and reduce any pressure felt at a highly stressful time.

Comprehensive approach to Family Law

We pride ourselves on our inclusive approach to the concept of family which reflects our modern society, and are able to offer expert advice in all areas of family law.  We represent spouses, parents, civil partners, same sex couples, and male and female partners in unmarried relationships. Our highly recommended service is committed to settling issues relating to the family home, finances and children in a sensitive and cost effective manner.

Areas of Expertise

Laurus is a leading firm in advising on Child Custody (Child Arrangements)

If you are going through a divorce or have separated from your partner and you are having problems in agreeing arrangements for and access to your children, then please give us a call.

Children issues can be incredibly difficult to broach and even more difficult to decide. We provide expert advice, whether you wish to re-locate to a different part of the country, or to another country altogether with your children.

You may also need our help when you want to take your children on holiday, to attend your child’s sports day, or whether you have a specific issue that you need to resolve – we can help.

We can put in place a structure for child contact, or if you have concerns as to your partner’s behaviour, we can advise as to your rights and possibilities. The Family Team at Laurus London will listen to your issues and talk you through your options before offering a practical solution.

We specialise in advising cohabiting couples.

Unfortunately, as the law currently stands, unmarried couples are not afforded the same protection as married couples if the relationship ends.

This is particularly important if you have children, as although you can seek financial relief from your partner, this may not include staying in your home if it is solely owned by your partner. This is a complex area of law and each case is different.

You may not have as many rights as you might expect, even if you make contributions to bills and the mortgage.

If you are cohabiting and wish to review your situation and need to know your rights, or if you are thinking of living with your partner, the Family Team at Laurus are happy to advise on your case so that you are in the best position possible when starting your life together.

Our personal and pragmatic approach to divorce proceedings has been recognised to reduce the stress and cost involved.

If you have reached the stage where you are contemplating a divorce, there are a number of factors to consider. You must prove to the court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down under one of five headings: adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, you have lived apart for 2 years (and the other party agrees to the divorce), or you have lived apart for 5 years. Once established you will be able to proceed with the divorce procedure.

We understand that this is a very stressful time and we aim to give the most practical advice, tailored to your individual situation.

We specialise in advising and assessing finances on divorce. Without tailored advice, this can be a time-consuming and confusing task.

Generally speaking, a court would look to achieve a 50/50 outcome to leave both parties in a fair and reasonable position for the future. However, a court would consider a departure from a 50/50 split in favour of one party where, for example, that party’s income is significantly lower than the other and therefore an unequal split of the assets are required to meet that party’s needs.

The court has a duty to consider all the circumstances of the case and to take into account a range of specific factors which are listed below.

Before considering the individual section 25 factors, the court first considers the welfare of any children of the family under the age of 18.

The section 25 factors can be summarised as follows:

  • The capital and income resources available to the parties, either existing or reasonably foreseeable.
  • Details of the financial needs of the parties, including:
  • their standard of living;
  • their ages and the length of the marriage; and
  • any disabilities.
  • The court also considers the following additional factors:
  • the respective contributions of each party;
  • the conduct of each party (although only in exceptional cases); and
  • any benefit either party will lose as a result of the divorce (such as a spouse's pension).

When considering these factors, different judges may reach a range of different conclusions based on identical facts. This is where our pragmatic and tailored advice can help you achieve the best result based on your individual circumstances.

At Laurus, we have a significant experience in acting for grandparents.

Losing contact with a grandchild can be heart breaking. If talking to your family and working together to agree contact with your grandchild has failed, there are options available for grandparents, such as mediation or making an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order.

Whilst grandparents do not have an automatic right to have contact with their grandchildren, the Court do recognise the importance of the special relationship between a grandparent and a grandchild and support the invaluable role they play in their lives. It is therefore very rare that the Court refuses a grandparent access to children unless there are issues of safeguarding or harm.

Grandparents often play an extremely important part in supporting the family unit as a whole, by way of childcare or as guardians. Also in providing their grandchildren with a sense of their own family history and identity, sharing stories about their heritage and background.

If you want to receive any further advice in respect of your rights as a grandparent or would like to make an appointment, please contact one of the Family Team at Laurus London.

At Laurus, we believe that preparation can make the world of difference.

If you, or one of your children are thinking of getting married, and you wish to protect your assets, or if you are married and have come or are likely to come into a windfall, a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement may be an appropriate form of protection for you and your family.

The law relating to pre-nuptial agreements has developed following the Supreme Court decision in Radmacher v Granatino in October 2010. The case determined that although such agreements are not binding, a court is likely to follow the terms of the same (save for in respect of children) if such agreements meet a set of criteria.

A pre-nuptial agreement cannot stop a spouse applying to the court for financial provision from the other spouse. Any "waiver" of the right to apply to the court for financial provision in an agreement will not be effective, however, the existence of a nuptial agreement will have a substantial impact on a Judge's decision if the appropriate criteria is met and it would be fair in the circumstances to hold the parties to the agreement.

If you would like to find out more about such agreements, please do give the Family Team at Laurus London a call for a fixed fee consultation.

Judicial separation is a process very similar to divorce, although you would remain married to your spouse. Although a court can make a range of financial orders that would be available on divorce, this would not cover off any orders regarding pensions. It would also mean that you would have to apply for the judicial separation decree and any associated financial order to be converted upon any application for a divorce. It is a less common application as it is does not give the finality of a divorce and is usually utilised in circumstances in which the parties hold specific religious beliefs that prevent a divorce or the associated sensitivities.

I found Charlotte to be warm, friendly and helpful in a way I have never experienced previously from a lawyer. She has gone out of her way to help me and I am very glad to have made contact with her and received her support, as well as the support of the firm.

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