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Family Law

Our dedicated family lawyers and qualified Family Mediator will help you resolve the practical, financial, and legal implications of separation or divorce, including children's welfare.

Our specialist family solicitors will support you and your family on any personal legal matters, particularly during those significant life time events.

Legal matters involving you or your family can often be sensitive. Our dedicated team of lawyers will support you and your family, and put you at ease by tailoring their advice to your individual needs.

Children Law

Following the breakdown of a relationship, you will want to consider arrangements for your children. If you need any support and assistance, our Family Law team can advise you.

Collaborative Law

There is now another alternative. This is the collaborative process. Your solicitor has to be specifically trained as a collaborative lawyer. Sharon Montgomery has been trained by Resolution as a collaborative lawyer.

If you are interested working collaboratively with your former partner to reach a solution please contact Sharon Montgomery for an appointment.

Divorce & Dissolution

Although the divorce rate has fallen in recent years around one in three marriages still ends in divorce. We understand that deciding that your marriage or civil partnership has come to an end is a difficult decision.

At Crane & Staples we can help you through the legal procedure of divorce or dissolution and attempt to minimise the pain of the process. Our Family Law team will advise you on whether other matters also need to be considered, such as how you look after the children and how money and property will be divided.

If you need help in relation to divorce or civil partnership dissolution please contact us for an appointment.

Domestic Abuse

It is a crime for anyone to assault or harass you, whether or not they are a partner or family member. The police are now well trained in this area and can use the criminal law to assist you.

It is also possible to obtain assistance from the Civil Courts by applying for an injunction.

Our Family Team are experienced in these matters. They can advise you of your options, and guide and assist you on using other services such as the police to help you remain safe.

Domestic abuse can also lead to other issues such as the occupation of your house and most importantly the care of your children.

If you have any issues regarding domestic abuse please contact us for an appointment.

Financial issues

The breakdown of a relationship is likely to lead to financial issues and often disputes. There may be property to sell, savings or investments to be divided and other significant issues such as pensions. There may be a family business to consider.

You are more likely to resolve these issues and reach agreements with your former partner on a fair and sensible basis if you can do so by agreement. However, many couples find that they are unlikely to achieve this without specialist legal advice.

With our help and an explanation of the options available, separating couples are often able to reach fair and reasonable decisions.

Sharon Montgomery and Danielle Peters can assist you in relation to financial matters.

Sharon is a Resolution accredited specialist in financial matters.

Non-Court based solutions include negotiation but also collaborative law and mediation. We can assist you with all of these.

If legal proceedings are unavoidable we will help and advise you to achieve a conclusion and the best possible outcome in the most effective way possible.

Should your situation need it, we work with financial experts to assist us – for example specialist pensions advisors, and accountants to advise regarding business valuations.

If you need assistance regarding financial matters then please contact us for an appointment.

Mediation

Mediation can help couples who have decided to separate or divorce to work things out together.

Our impartial mediators can give you information and guidance to make your own choices about the best way forward to assist you both in reaching practical and fair solutions for you and your family.

Prenuptial Agreements

Recent case law has meant that prenuptial agreements are now taken into account by the Court when considering how to deal with financial matters on the breakdown of a marriage or dissolution of a civil partnership.

There are many misunderstandings about prenuptial agreements and it is important that you have specific specialist advice about your situation.

Considering a prenuptial agreement does not mean that you and your prospective spouse need to be in dispute. Many couples enter prenuptial agreements because it suits both of their particular circumstances. It is important that both parties are legally represented.

We can work cooperatively with your prospective spouse’s solicitors to negotiate and agree a prenuptial agreement that’s right for you.

It is important to seek advice at an early stage as prenuptial agreements should not be entered in the weeks preceding a marriage.

We have experience in dealing with prenuptial agreements and access to specialist Counsel in those cases where that is needed.

If you wish to discuss your possible requirements for a prenuptial agreement please contact us for an appointment.

Please contact Sharon Montgomery, who will be able to provide further information.

Social Services & Care Proceedings

Sometimes if the Social Services Department of your Local Authority becomes concerned that your child, (or children) is not being cared for appropriately, it may become involved with your family.

The Local Authority may even consider asking the Court if your child should be taken into care.

If this is the case, you will receive what is known as a letter before proceedings from your Local Authority inviting you to a meeting. If you do not follow the instructions in this letter you may have to go to Court and your child or children could be taken into care.

If this should happen to you, the Ministry of Justice recommends that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity. Janet Martland, Sian Churchill and Attia Hussain are both experienced in dealing with these matters.

Our Family Team will help you liaise with the Local Authority and if necessary advise and support you through Court proceedings. If you are a parent, Legal Aid will be available. If you are another member of the family it is possible that Legal Aid may be available.

If you have issues with Social Services and your children, please contact us for an appointment.

Unmarried Couples

The breakdown of a relationship where the couple has not married has some different considerations to those in a divorce or dissolution situation. Couples who live together but are not married do not have the same legal rights as married couples.

However financial matters can often be dealt with using property legislation such as the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act or alternatively by making claims for children under the Children Act.

We will still try to deal with matters by negotiation where possible and by using non Court based specialist solutions such as collaborative law and mediation. It is essential that you have a proper understanding of the legal background in order to help you reach the best possible outcome.

Sharon Montgomery and Danielle Peters can assist you with expert advice in relation to the breakdown of your relationship.

If your relationship has broken down, and you need assistance, please contact us for an appointment.

Cost Information

We offer an initial fixed fee appointment. At that appointment we discuss costs with you in more detail and specifically in relation to your matter in order to give you advice about the likely overall cost of the matter. We will write to you after this meeting to confirm the cost position.

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