Family law can be a very sensitive area. There is often the need to navigate both complicated legal matters and difficult emotions, with the potential for a lot of conflict and negative long-term consequences for your finances, dependants and relationships.
At Woolley & Co Solicitors, we specialise exclusively in family law, and every member of our team is an experienced family law solicitor. Our expertise covers all of the common issues you might run into, as well as many of the more niche matters other law firms may not have dealt with. As such, we can provide clear, confident support for all family law matters.
Our family solicitors can advise on issues including:
- Divorce (including international divorce)
- Civil partnership dissolution
- Separation agreements
- Children law
- Divorce settlements
- Prenuptial agreements
- Unmarried couples
- Same sex couples
Your situation is unique, and we understand that you will have your own concerns and priorities. We will match you with an experienced family solicitor who has the expertise you require, and they will approach your case with empathy.
Whether you are keen to avoid conflict or need a guiding hand to ensure you are treated fairly, we can tailor our advice and our approach to deliver the results you need.
Our family lawyers work with clients from all backgrounds across the UK and internationally, with particular expertise in high net worth divorce, complex child law matters and international family law.
See examples of our family law expertise here.
Take a look at our team to find a local family law solicitor who is right for you.
Speak to an experienced family law solicitor today
Take advantage of a free 30-minute telephone appointment to talk through your situation. We will explain your options and how we can help. You will find our family solicitors are friendly, approachable and knowledgeable.
We offer a detailed case assessment for discussion and consideration of your case by an experienced lawyer – you can find out more about this here.
What is family law?
Family law is the legal practice of addressing and resolving issues within family relationships, such as divorce, separation, finances and arrangements for children.
What do family law solicitors do?
A family solicitor is a qualified legal professional who will provide support, advice and representation on a wide range of family law matters. The precise duties of a family solicitor will vary from case to case, but they will typically be responsible for:
- Providing tailored legal advice and guidance
- Collecting and organising relevant information
- Negotiating arrangements between parties
- Facilitating mediation and arbitration
- Drafting paperwork, agreements, and court orders
- Preparing individuals for family court proceedings
- Providing representation during family court proceedings
How our UK family solicitors can help you
The process of divorce is now relatively straightforward, but the legal issues surrounding divorce, including those involving finances and children, can be much more complicated.
It is essential to get expert family law advice to make sure that you fully consider the implications of ending your marriage and make the right provisions for your future financial security and the wellbeing of any children.
Our family law specialists are experts in financial settlements and arrangements for children, so we can ensure your best interests and those of your loved ones are protected.
Civil partnership dissolution
Ending a civil partnership is similar to divorce in that the process is relatively straightforward, but it is important to be aware of and plan for issues around finances and children.
We can support you with separating your finances, dealing with your family home and deciding where any children will live. Whatever your circumstances, our family law experts can provide the tailored support you need.
A legal separation may be a good option for people who are married or in a civil partnership and who no longer wish to live together but are not ready to legally end their relationship or who are unable to do so for any reason.
We can create a separation agreement that sets out the terms of your separation, including division of assets, any ongoing financial support that will be paid and arrangements for children. This can allow you to start living separate lives with certainty.
Annulling a marriage may be an option, but only in limited circumstances. Eligibility for an annulment depends on strict criteria, so it is important to seek specialist advice.
Our family lawyers can advise you on whether your marriage can be annulled and assist with applying to a court for the annulment. We can also advise on any financial matters that need to be considered.
Legal issues involving children can be very daunting to deal with. It is important to make sure children’s wellbeing is protected at all times, while also protecting your relationship with them.
Our family law specialists are experts in a wide range of child law matters, including arrangements for children during divorce and separation, enforcing child arrangement orders and grandparents’ rights, as well as step parents’ rights and surrogacy.
Splitting finances in divorce can sometimes be straightforward, but often it involves careful consideration of a couple’s combined assets, their individual needs and the needs of any children. While marital assets can normally be divided amicably through negotiation, court proceedings are sometimes necessary to achieve a fair split.
Our family lawyers have advanced skills in the area of divorce finances, with experience handling complex pensions, trusts, business and properties interests for high net worth individuals, as well as divorce involving international considerations. We can help you ensure you achieve a fair division of assets that matches your needs and those of your loved ones, keeping conflict to a minimum.
With more couples marrying later in life and often remarrying the desire to protect assets already built up and the interests of children from a previous relationship can be a priority. A prenuptial agreement can help to protect your future financial security and that of any children you have, providing peace of mind.
Our family law specialists can draft a prenuptial agreement, support you during prenuptial negotiations or review a prenup that you have been asked to sign. We can ensure that the agreement is fair and meets the standard to be considered by a court if that eventuality ever comes to pass.
Separation for unmarried couples can be more challenging than divorce or civil partnership dissolution. This is because you will have no automatic legal right to each other’s assets, which could leave you in financial difficulties. It is therefore strongly advisable to create a cohabitation agreement, setting out each person’s rights and responsibilities, as well as what would happen if you were to separate.
We can help with drafting and amending cohabitation agreements. If you are separating and have a cohabitation agreement in place, we can advise on its effects. If you do not have a cohabitation agreement, we can explain your rights and support you through negotiating a financial settlement and arrangements for children as required.
Same sex couples
While same sex couples can face all the same family law issues as any other couple, there can often be other more specialised matters they need advice on.
Our family solicitors have a long history of supporting same sex couples, so will be happy to assist with any and all requirements you have.
Our family solicitors’ approach
No two family law situations are exactly the same, so our team tailor our family law advice to your aims and the things you are concerned about. We will take the time at the outset to understand what you want your future to look like, then suggest the right strategy to get you there.
If you are keen to resolve matters quickly and avoid conflict, we can use our expertise in negotiation and alternative dispute resolution to make that happen. Where your spouse or partner is making things difficult, we have the focused litigation skills needed to effectively represent you in court.
You can learn more about some of the different ways we can support you below.
Family law mediation
Mediation is an option to deal with any disagreement over finances and children in divorce and separation. The process involves meeting with a trained mediator who will support you and your former spouse or partner through negotiating the terms of your separation.
The mediator acts as a neutral third party to keep the process productive and help sidestep any potential for conflict.
Mediation for family law can be attractive as it is generally fast, low cost and avoids conflict, while keeping decisions in your hands. However, it may be less suitable where there are complex matters to resolve or where there is already substantial conflict.
Our family lawyers can support you before mediation with advice on your rights and what your negotiating positions could be. We can review any agreement reached through mediation to make sure it matches your best interests and apply for a Consent Order to make the terms of any financial agreement legally binding.
Family law arbitration
Arbitration can be a good option if you and your ex cannot agree on issues around finances and/or children but are keen to avoid court proceedings. Arbitration can provide a fast, binding decision on these matters while avoiding the higher costs usually associated with family court proceedings.
Both sides will present their cases to a trained arbitrator, which is a specialist type of lawyer. The arbitrator will review the arguments and decide how the matters in question should be resolved. Both parties will need to agree to be bound by the decision of the arbitrator before the process starts.
Our family law team can help with preparing your case for arbitration and support you through the arbitration process. We can also advise on the selection of experts to support your case and barristers to represent you.
Family court proceedings
Family court proceedings are normally a last resort, but, in some circumstances, they are necessary to ensure you are treated fairly and that the wellbeing of any children is protected.
Initiating family court proceedings does not necessarily mean you will need to attend a hearing as, in many cases, a settlement will still be agreed before a hearing takes place. However, it is important to have a well-prepared case and the right representation in place in case a hearing is required.
We can advise you on how family court proceedings work and prepare your application for a Financial Order, Child Arrangements Order or any other type of court order. Our team will make sure you have the strongest possible case, considering all evidence and legal arguments. We will also ensure that you have strong representation for any hearings, as well as provide close personal support for every stage of proceedings.
Examples of our family law expertise
Our family solicitors assist clients in the UK and internationally in a range of situations, with examples of our work including:
- Disputed financial proceedings involving £1million+ in assets and 10+ properties
- Negotiated financial settlement covering assets including family home, multiple buy-to-let properties and 6 pensions
- Cross-border divorce involving children and financial settlements for clients in Belgium
- Acting for an English client living in the US and working in India with assets in the Far East, responding to divorce proceedings started in India
- Opposing applications by parent’s to remove children from the other parent’s care
Our family law solicitors in the UK are here for you
Family law matters can be daunting to deal with, but with the right legal support, it is possible to find a positive way forward, no matter your situation. Our team are on hand to advise and represent you, making family law easier.