Family and Childcare Law

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If you are planning to adopt a child, specialist adoption solicitors Slee Blackwell are able to provide a personal, cost-effective service to clients throughout Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.  Our team of lawyers are highly experienced in this area of law and we are accredited members of the Law Society’s Children Panel. We represent both couples and individuals who wish to adopt, including step parents. Our adoption solicitors will use their expertise to guide you through the often complex legal processes involved....

Our specialist children law solicitor, Romano Sidoli, is often asked, 'Can grandparents apply for a special guardianship order?' Here is a brief summary of the key aspects of this area of law that will be relevant to grandparents wishing to apply for a special guardianship order. Romano deals with special guardianship applications throughout Devon, Somerset and Cornwall and is always happy to provide free initial guidance to grandparents or other family members who are thinking about applying. A ‘special guardianship order’ is...

One of the most common questions divorce solicitor, Paul Jordan, is asked about is how to protect your assets when getting married. In this brief article Paul looks at some of the strategies that can be used. If you would like Paul to review your own personal circumstances and advise you on your options for a fixed fee, then give him a call on 0808 139 1606 or email him at [email protected]  The reality is that if you are getting married then you...

One of the most common questions divorce solicitor, Paul Jordan, gets asked is, 'who gets the house when you divorce?' Are there children involved? Every divorce is different, so there is no hard and fast rule that will apply in every situation. One particularly important factor is whether the divorcing couple have young children. The Divorce Court will always prioritise the needs of any dependent children. The children’s needs come first. So if there is insufficient money to make two houses from one, for example by...

Our divorce team frequently get asked, ‘can I defend a divorce?’. While the simple answer to this is that a divorce petition can be defended, the reality is that defended divorce is rare. What are divorce proceedings? Divorce proceedings are initiated when one spouse submits a divorce petition. As the law currently stands (November 2018) you must show that a marriage has irretrievably broken down in order to gain a divorce. The reasons for the breakdown are given in the divorce petition....

Can I apply to reduce or terminate a Spousal Maintenance Order? Historically Courts have been fond of making what are known as ‘joint lives’ Spousal Maintenance Orders when couples divorce. A joint lives Order is where the Court  orders spousal maintenance to be paid until the death of either spouse, or until the receiving spouse remarries. Spouses and ex-spouses who are required to make payments under these orders often feel aggrieved, especially where the receiving spouse treats  it as a meal ticket...

'What do you mean, my marriage isn’t valid?' A report entitled “Equal and Free? 50 Muslim Women of Marriage in Britain Today” provides a number of examples of women who married their spouse under a Nikah (Islamic “marriage”) ceremony. Legal complications can arise because Nikah ceremonies are often not considered to be a valid marriage ceremony under English law. If a Nikah marriage is not recognised under English law, then the rights offered to a husband and wife under the jurisdiction of our legal system should...

May pledges to protect victims of domestic violence and abuse In the 2017 Queens's Speech Mrs May’s Conservative Government included a commitment to introduce legislation to offer protection to the victims of domestic violence and abuse.  Provisions in the new Bill will include the creation of a Domestic Violence and Abuse Commissioner and establishing a consolidated new domestic abuse civil prevention and protection order regime.   The Government also pledged its commitment to enabling the courts to impose sentences in child abuse cases...

We look at a recent Court of Appeal case which considered how a couple’s assets should be shared where the marriage has been a short one, the husband and wife both have careers and there are no children. Are these circumstances where a court should depart from the usual principle of equal sharing?   In the case of Sharp v Sharp the couple’s relationship had lasted 6 years, including a period of pre-marriage cohabitation. They had no children. They both worked full time, each...

With offices located throughout Devon and Somerset our team of family law solicitors are able to provide a comprehensive local service to anyone experiencing a divorce or relationship breakdown in the South West and beyond In addition to divorce and separation we also deal with disputes over children, prenuptial agreements and change of name deeds. We pride ourselves on offering straight-forward, cost-effective legal advice. We appreciate that dealing with the legal fall-out from a relationship breakdown can be extremely stressful.  We will be the...