Family Matters

Your monthly family law digest from Woolley & Co, Solicitors


November 2016

Family lawyers taking sides

People in the legal profession have a bit of a bad reputation. Perhaps Shakespeare started it 500 years ago in Henry VI Part 2 when ‘Dick the Butcher’ suggested that to improve the country - ‘The First thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’. It’s all too easy to find unpleasant quotes about lawyers that have been made in literature over the years. 

In Brief

Should there be more openness in family law cases?

Comedian David Walliams and his ex-wife Lara Stone should be applauded for finally reaching a financial settlement after their divorce. Despite their separation being finalised a year ago, they continued to disagree on the settlement forcing the case into the...
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Conflict over different parenting styles

In the wake of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s split — which was reportedly fuelled by disagreement over differing parenting styles – I wonder to what extent this was a key factor in the breakdown of the relationship,...
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Turing pardons and consent to end a marriage

In light of the recent so called Turing pardons I wonder whether the Government will look again at another arcane element of our legal system, divorce law?I read with delight that the Government has announced there shall be pardons,...
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Arbitration in Children Cases UK

When parents separate they will need to resolve issues about where the children should live, time spent with each parent and other family members, schooling etc. When parents disagree there are a number of ways of solving the issues. It...
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For us here at Woolley and Co being a family lawyer is a vocational career choice, which requires a set of skills you may, or may not recognise – patience, understanding, approachability and when needed, a sense of humour. 

When it comes to quotes about lawyer personally, I prefer the famous quote by Charles Lamb - ‘He is no lawyer who cannot take two sides.’ As a family lawyer, it is important to be able to see what is important to both sides and how each is approaching the family breakdown. This will often help us find solutions that work for the particular circumstances in your family. Every family dynamic is different and when it comes to finding solutions one size most certainly does not fit all. 

What does this mean in practice? There are 3 things that I always tell my clients

  1. Don't feel embarrassed - we've all been here, unless you are one of those lucky ones who grow old with their childhood sweetheart. Relationship breakdown is scary and unsettling, we are likely to understand how that feels to both of you and the impact those emotions have.
  2. Start thinking about areas where you have something in common, for example putting the needs of your children first or protecting the family business. You would be surprised how this approach can narrow the areas of dispute between you and help us to identify what is really important to you and your family. If we can see the concerns from both sides it helps us as family lawyers to help you.
  3. Don't be overwhelmed, together we can break the process down into manageable parts.

We all accept that no one ever wants to be in the position of seeing a family lawyer, any more than we do our doctor. It is a service that is provided when people are ‘in need’. Here at Woolley and Co, we understand just how difficult that first call or contact with a family lawyer can be, that’s why we offer the opportunity for a half hour chat, which we know will help the process seem far less daunting.

Michelle Brammer
Divorce & family lawyer, Melbourne, Derbyshire


Woolley & Co, Solicitors
Warwick Enterprise Park,
Warwick CV35 9EF
Call 0800 321 3832
Mobile 0330 330 3832
Outside UK +44 (0)1789 330310     

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