IF YOU ARE MARRIED OR IN A CIVIL PARTNERSHIP
If your relationship has broken down, Stokes can advise you upon separation and divorce, including any emergency steps which you should take to safeguard you personally or secure your financial position.
When things go wrong we can provide practical and sympathetic advice to help you, even if you are not ready to take any action because you need time to think.
Our specialism lies in dealing with the financial aspects of divorce and civil partnership dissolution including maintenance claims, cash lump sum claims, property claims and pension claims. Our Head of Department has over 25 years’ experience in the field of family law. We have considerable experience in dealing with cases involving inheritance and family businesses as well as pensions and divorce, which is a complex and often overlooked aspect of the law.
The first step is to seek financial documents from you and your spouse to obtain an accurate record of your income and assets. We can then advise you upon your financial claims and will try to agree a settlement with your spouse.
If your spouse will not agree terms of financial settlement, then Stokes can apply to the Court for financial provision.
The aim of the Court is to achieve fairness. Often a key factor is the reasonable needs of you and your spouse, with priority usually given to housing any children of your relationship.
In most cases, the Courts no longer have the power to make Orders for child maintenance except by agreement, or in exceptional circumstances. An application to the the Child Maintenance Service (now known as CMS) has to be made for child maintenance to be assessed.
In some instances, spouses do not co-operate with the Court process or are dishonest about their financial position. Our experienced family team can take extra steps to deal with such difficulties and take steps to ensure that the Court has all the information required to reach a fair outcome. In addition, if your spouse attempts to sell or hide assets, Stokes can urgently take steps to freeze assets to protect your financial claims.
Disputes can be settled by negotiation or mediation. If necessary, Court proceedings can be issued and pursued expeditiously.
With effect from 1 May 2010, the Family Department no longer undertakes public funding (formerly known as Legal Aid) work.
Please contact us to discuss your matter further – our Family Law Department offers a free initial 30 minute appointment to all new clients.
Mrs Beverley Gent
Head of the Family Department, F.Inst.L.Ex
Tel: 023 9282 8131
Fax: 023 9281 1339