Solicitors in Westminster, London
Family & Divorce Law
Our experienced Matrimonial and Family Law team is highly regarded. The breakdown of a relationship is always traumatic and we offer firm, pragmatic and balanced advice and pride ourselves on being understanding and approachable.
All our family lawyers are members of the national body Resolution which has its own code of practice that promotes a non-confrontational, conciliatory approach to family problems. We seek to resolve matters constructively and cost effectively and we find the vast majority of matters are resolved to the benefit of our clients without the need of a hearing. If, however, settlement is not possible, we will vigorously protect our clients' interests through the courts.
Our clients include married couples, civil partnered couples, children and unmarried couples and we provide a tailored approach for every client. We can also advise those starting new relationships on cohabitation and prenuptial agreements. We draw on the experience of specialists in other departments who often provide advice on property, tax, trusts and business issues. Our clients can therefore rest assured that they are receiving the full service which they require.
Examples of Matrimonial and Family matters on which we advise include:
- Financial remedies including pensions, property, periodical payments, shares and lump sums;
- Divorce, dissolution and annulment;
- Child residence and contact issues;
- Prenuptial and postnuptial Agreements;
- Cohabitation Agreements.
- Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders; and
- Separation Agreements.
Divorce and Separation
At LBMW we understand the emotional strain of going through a divorce and we try to lighten the load for you as best as possible. We will guide you through the process and procedure to ensure the divorce is approved by the court as quickly as possible whilst trying to ensure it does not become unnecessarily acrimonious. When a relationship sadly breaks down it seldom helps to apportion blame and we can help take the sting out of the process.
Divorce itself is very procedural and very rarely requires a court hearing but by working collaboratively with your partner, where appropriate, we can help reduce the stress, cost and emotional strain of a process that no-one anticipated having to undergo.
Whilst pre-nuptials are not strictly legally binding, the court is paying more and more attention to them. With careful drafting, full financial disclosure and independent legal advice we can increase the chances that a pre-nuptial agreement will give you the protection you seek if the relationship breaks down. We regularly advise high net worth individuals how best to protect themselves before entering into a marriage. Perhaps even more so than with other areas of law, it is important that the parties work together to ensure that the agreement represents their intentions and is fair to both of them.
LBMW will advise you on appropriate terms for the agreement and will work amicably with your partner or their representatives to ensure that the agreement is finalised in good time before the wedding (no one wants to be negotiating terms in the event of divorce in the weeks before the wedding) and that it gives you the comfort you seek. Likewise we routinely advise the less affluent party to the agreement to ensure they understand what they may be giving up and to ensure the agreement is fair and provides for them in the future.
If your marriage sadly breaks down, we will fight for you to ensure you obtain a fair settlement, either by agreement or through the courts if necessary. Often, through hard negotiation, a compromise can be reached which is acceptable to both parties to enable them to move on with their lives with financial security. It is obviously preferable to avoid the stress and costs of a full trial if possible, but that should not mean accepting a settlement which is not fair and just. Parties can often feel pressured to accept an offer which is not in their best interests. We will shield you from that pressure and give you frank and honest legal advice so you can make your own independent decisions with all the requisite information.
We are highly experienced in dealing with complex financial arrangements including trust funds, off-shore assets, investments and pensions
If parents are unable to agree arrangements for their children, we will advise you how best to protect the best interests of the children. Parents can often come to arrangements between themselves, with a steer from legal advisers, but, if that is not possible, we are experienced in making the necessary court applications. This could be for child arrangements general, a specific issue order or an occupation order if your partner is being abusive.
This area of law has to be conducted with great sensitivity and always with the best interests of the children foremost in the mind. Where parents are in dispute they often both have a genuine desire to do the best for the children, but can agree what that actually is. We can guide you through the process and advise you in these difficult circumstances.