When going through any major life changes involving your family, such as moving in with your partner, getting married or divorced, it is essential to protect yourselves and your loved ones with expert legal advice.
Working with our approachable, highly experienced Family Law team can make dealing with these sensitive matters much easier, minimising the potential for conflict while making sure you get the right outcome for you and your family.
Wolferstans has one of the largest teams of family lawyers in the South West, specialising in all aspects of Family Law. We can help you with all types of family matters in a professional and sympathetic way.
Our Family Law team can offer you:
To arrange an initial appointment with our family law solicitors in Plymouth, please contact our new client co-ordinators now.
Our family law services
If you are considering ending your relationship but are unsure about starting a divorce immediately or in the near future, you may wish to consider a Separation Agreement. This can allow you sort out and define the arrangements for your finances and children during a separation, giving you certainty and peace of mind.
The agreement can specify what has been agreed about what you will receive from your husband/wife or partner regarding income, maintenance or financial support for the children. It will also specify how any property, savings, assets or pensions will be divided
The advantages of a separation agreement are that they are flexible and anything you agree together can be included so you both have certainty as to where you stand legally. A Separation Agreement can only be drawn up if you and your husband/wife or partner agree about the terms to be included.
We have a team of specialists who can advise you about the right agreement for your situation and guide you through the process to ensure you are protected.
Wolferstans has a specialist domestic abuse team who can offer fast, effective legal support to protect you and your loved ones from domestic abuse.
We can assist with a range of highly effective measures, including
- Non-molestation Orders
- Occupation Orders
For more information, please take a look at our specialist domestic abuse services.
Working out the financial details of your divorce is normally critical to allow you and your ex-partner to start living independently of each other. While it is understandable that you may want to get this resolved as quickly as possible, it’s also essential to make sure you get the fair financial settlement you are entitled to.
If you own property or assets, you will want to ensure that any agreement or order reached about how to divide them is fair and reasonable. You will want to provide financial security for you and your children. We can provide the best possible advice, assistance and support to help you achieve this. If agreement cannot be reached in negotiation or mediation, we can provide step by step advice and support throughout the financial remedy court process.
We will provide friendly, practical, confidential advice which can help to reduce much of the emotional stress during what is likely to be a very traumatic period.
The Divorce Finance Team have accredited experts who have been specifically trained to handle cases involving businesses, pensions, farms, shares or other substantial assets. The decisions that you make could affect the rest of your life.
For more information, please take a look at our specialist divorce and finances services.
Please click here to read the Family Justice Council’s Guidance on “Financial Needs” on Divorce
Wolferstans has a team of lawyers who specialise in all of the various legal issues relating to children.
We are able to advise about:
- Where a child should live
- How much time a child should spend with each parent
- Parental Responsibility
- Social Services’ involvement
- Financial Support for Children
- Special Guardianship Orders
- Changing a child’s name
For more information please call Leah Dawkins on 01752 292288 or email her at email@example.com
There are many parents in the UK who cannot care for their children for a variety of reasons, such as:
- They have a learning difficulty
- They are in prison
- They have issues relating to drug and/or alcohol use
- They have mental health difficulties
- They have physical disabilities/illness
- They are in a relationship involving domestic abuse which puts the children at risk
It is very common for grandparents to step in when the parents are unable to care for their children.
We have a specialist team of lawyers able to advise grandparents on the various issues involved in caring for their grandchildren, including:
- Child Arrangement Orders
- Child Maintenance/Support for Grandparents
- Parental Responsibility
- Special Guardianship Orders
- Social Services
Grandparents Association – A national charity supporting all grandparents and their families
Wolferstans is recognised as being one of the most experienced firms in working with families who are involved with Social Services.
If Social Services have become involved with your family, we know how confusing and distressing this can be. Our highly trained family law solicitors can offer the clear, practical legal advice you need in an understanding and empathic way.
To secure the best outcome for your family, we strongly recommend contacting us to arrange an appointment as quickly as possible. If you have been invited to a meeting with Social Services, we may be able to attend the meeting with you.
The sooner you instruct us the better prepared we can be to assist you in any Court proceedings. Wolferstans can offer you the best advice to ensure that your side of the story is heard by the Court before any decisions are made.
For more information, please take a look at our specialist Social Services support services.
If you are not planning to get married but would like to protect your position in the event that your relationship breaks down, then you should consider entering into a Cohabitation Agreement (also known as a ‘Living Together Agreement’).
If you live with your partner but are unmarried, then no matter how long you have been together and whether or not you have children, you do not have the same rights as married couples. In most cases, this means you will have little legal protection if you separate.
Most couples who live together do not have a written agreement setting out what should happen if they separate but virtually all of them should. We have a team of specialists who can advise you about the right agreement for your situation and guide you through the process to ensure you are protected if your relationship ends.
Prenuptial agreements or ‘prenups’ are increasingly common for people from all walks of life. They are often used where there is a significant difference in assets or income between a couple, or where one or both parties have children from a previous relationship whose inheritance they want to protect.
Our family law solicitors are highly experienced in preparing and reviewing prenuptial agreements, as well as advising on their application during a divorce. We can help you achieve an agreement that protects your interests, minimising the risk of future uncertainty and conflict.
For more information, please take a look at our specialist Prenuptial Agreements services.
Wherever possible, we aim to keep conflict out of dealing with family law matters, such as divorce and separation. With our specialist training and strong experience in collaborative law, we are usually able to work out the details of even the most contentious divorces without the need for Court proceedings.
Our Collaborative Lawyers in Plymouth can support you during four-way ‘round the table’ negotiations with your ex-partner and their lawyer, helping you to agree the practical details of your separation faster, at lower cost and with less potential for conflict.
Collaborative law can be used for both the financial side of your separation, as well as for making arrangements about children. It can be highly effective even when dealing with complex issues, such as the ownership of a business or pension entitlements, allowing you to call on various experts during the process to make sure you have all the advice and support you need.
For more information, please take a look at our specialist Collaborative Law services.
The law for unmarried couples going through a separation is entirely different than for those who are married. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage and unmarried couples are not covered by the standard rules around the division of property and other assets that apply to divorce and civil partnership dissolution.
A specialist approach is therefore required to ensure you are treated fairly and your future needs are met. Disputes over financial issues between separating unmarried couples are usually dealt with under the terms of the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (ToLATA).
This is something many family law teams do not offer expertise in, but with which our family lawyers have extensive experience, so we can help you achieve a positive outcome under even the most difficult circumstances.
If you’re thinking about cohabiting or buying a property together you should take advice from one of our specialist solicitors about how to protect your position in case your relationship later breaks down.
Our family law fees
All of our family law services are normally provided according to a pre-agreed hourly rate. We offer various hourly rates depending on the level of experience of the person who is doing the work, with VAT added to the hourly rate. The cost will therefore depend on how much time the matter takes and the level of expertise required.
You will be asked to pay an amount up front before the work starts and will then be billed on a monthly basis.
Some clients prefer to pay on an hourly rate basis because they know that they are paying for work actually done on their matter.
Pay as you go family law advice
If you are involved in Court proceedings and would like some advice without us acting for you throughout the proceedings, we can offer you a service where you pay for particular pieces of work.
This might be advice about preparing an application or Court statement, advice about how to prepare for a Court hearing or representation at a particular hearing. We may charge for this either on a Price Certainty or hourly rate basis (as outlined above).
Legal Aid for divorce and family law
Your circumstances may mean you are eligible for Legal Aid. If you would like to provisionally assess your financial eligibility, please click here.
Please also be aware that in many family cases there are now strict evidence requirements for Legal Aid in relation to Domestic Violence or Child Protection. This does not apply to applications for injunctions or applications made by Social Services.
Useful Links for family law matters
Glossary of divorce and family law terms