Private Practice- Family Law

 

Relationship Breakdown

At Rogols, we provide a full range of family law services.  We provide clients with a specialist service which focuses on resolving a dispute as amicably and quickly as possible.  At the outset, we will discuss all the issues that arise for you and any children involved.  We can then develop a case plan with you and provide you with a timescale and costs estimate to bring the case to a conclusion.Divorce

It has been said that getting a divorce is like suffering a family bereavement.  The loss of a person you may have previously been very close to, along with the uncertainty of what the future may hold can be a matter of huge stress.  On the upside, unless there is a real issue of dispute, divorce proceedings do not involve going to court - it is essentially filing the correct paperwork with the court. 

Even if there are financial issues which need to be decided, again, this can be done without actually having to attend court.  We can assist you to come to a settlement with your spouse.  This settlement will then be put into a Consent Order format to be sent off to court.  

The judge will then look over the agreement and if s/he is satisfied, the Order will be endorsed by the judge.  At that point, it will be legally binding on both parties and can only be undone in very exceptional circumstances. 
It is therefore advisable to get good legal advice very quickly once you have decided to get a divorce and before making a financial agreement.

Cohabitation Disputes
More and more people are choosing not to get married but to simply live together.  This can be just by chance; not believing in marriage; or a couple who have a different religion and their religious ceremony is not recognised in England & Wales - therefore although they may be married according to their religion they are not recognised as husband and wife here.  Therefore, if they do live together then they will be treated in the same way as people who are cohabiting and not married.

In any of these cases, there will be no need to get a divorce; you can just stop living together and that will be that.  However, there may be other matters which need sorting out - such as property owned together or if you have children together. 

If you do own property together then it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible.  Even if the property is not in your name at all but you have been living there, you should get advise on any claim you may have over it.  We can help you to work out what financial interest you may have in the property, how to protect it and how to get hold of any money due to you.


Children Disputes

Being married or not to your child's other parent does not affect the rights, obligations and duties you have over your child.  When deciding on how to resolve children disputes the court will look at the best interests of the child.  Therefore, any issues over your children - whether or not in court should have the best interests of the children in mind.  

This is how the court is guided to decide and it will keep both parents focused on what matters most - ensuring a happy and well-balanced child. 

Also, you do not have to have parental responsibility over a child or be on the child's birth certificate to exercise your right to see your child or to be a parent and significant figure in your child's life.

If there is a dispute regarding your child following a separation then you should try and resolve it between yourselves as parents first.  If this doesn't work then you can contact a professional mediator to help you resolve any issues. 

 If this doesn't work then you can see a Solicitor who can attempt negotiations by letter as a final attempt to reach an agreement.  If this still doesn't work then court proceedings may be the only option available to you.

The upside of court proceedings is that the matter will eventually be settled by way of a final Court Order - which will give certainty to both parents and child.  The downside of court proceedings is that the situation can become very acrimonious with accusations levied one against the other, there will be significant legal costs and court fees to consider.  Also, if the case cannot be agreed then there will be a full hearing ( a trial ) and the judge will make a decision for you both. 

A Court Order regarding children remains in place until the child is no longer considered a dependant.  However, until that time parents should remain vigilant about taking action if it is appropriate for the court order to be varied ( changed ) or enforced.

Violence in the Home


What could really be worse than coming into the warmth from the big wide world to a house where you are violently abused, intimidated or harassed?  This is the reality for many women and men who are subjected to domestic violence at the hands of their spouse or cohabiting partner.

In cases of emergency the police should always be contacted so that the matter can be dealt with straight away and the victim and any children present can be protected and led to safety. 

It may be that the situation is serious and you cannot handle it alone but it does not require the police. We can help to prepare court proceedings so that you can obtain a Non-Molestation Order (injunction) and where necessary an Occupation Order (preventing the perpetrator from entering the family home even if they are an owner of it).

Court proceedings can be started on an emergency basis and in secret (without notice) so that the perpetrator does not know about it until an Order has been granted. 

Power of attorney

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables you to choose someone (called your Attorney) to manage your affairs - financial and welfare - when you are no longer able to do so. 

This is usually because you are suffering from physical incapacity or feel that you may soon suffer from mental incompetence. Your Attorney will have the legal authority to pay your bills, manage your income, savings and property and do anything referred to in the Power of Attorney. 

A Power of Attorney can operate while you still have mental capacity and also continues if you become mentally incapable of dealing with your own affairs. 

A Power of Attorney ceases to be valid upon your death.  To tell someone what to do with your affairs after your death you will need to have a will prepared.  

Wills

Death will become all of us and it is a topic well worth talking about - however morbid it may seem.  If you fail to make plans on how you want your money and possessions to be distributed on your death then your assets (estate) will be divided according to the law (under the rules of intestacy).  This could mean that someone you want to get something from your estate may not and someone that you do not want to give anything to may get it all!  

No-one has to make a will, however, by doing so your wishes can be carried out and this means less problem and conflict for any family members and friends left behind.

Also, whilst we are on the subject, if you consider that you have no savings or investments to give away then your funeral may be a problem.  In this case, you could consider obtaining life insurance or taking out a funeral plan to cover the costs.

Book your indepth consultation here to see whether you have a case and what you can do next.  You can call us directly on 0121 4489255.