Family law

Family matters are those which require the strictest of confidence and a very high level of care; at Advantage Solicitors, we take it with pride to have a team that understands and appreciates the sensitivity around family matters.

We understand that legal issues can arise when circumstances in your relationship or family life change. Our experts believe that a different approach is required to most other areas of law; the aggressive, adversarial approach can all too often inflame and prolong disputes which could otherwise have been resolved through conciliation and negotiation. Here at Advantage Solicitors we pride ourselves on offering a professional yet caring approach to all family matters with a real focus to trying to resolve your matter as quickly, as amicably and as cheaply as possible.

We appreciate that all clients want to be happy with the Solicitor they are instructing to deal with their matter. This is why our family department offers a one hour no obligation fixed fee appointment for £75 plus VAT. This gives us the opportunity to meet with you, find out about your matter, advise you as to the next steps and of course answer any questions you have. The meeting is confidential and we will not contact you after unless of course you decide you want to take your matter further.

Divorce & Separation

Divorce & Separation

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Introduction

A marriage breakdown is by far one of the most difficult and frustrating times in a person’s life. As well as having to deal with the emotional strain caused by the breakdown of a marriage individuals also have to deal with the stress of divorce proceedings.

Here at Advantage Solicitors our family team is trained to deal with divorce proceedings. Our aim is to ensure that your divorce starts and finishes as quickly as possible, we try to keep your costs as low as possible and try to ensure that your divorce is amicable.

Cost

We believe that all Solicitors should be clear and upfront about their fees. Clients want to know what they have to pay and when they have to pay it. This is why here at Advantage Solicitors we offer a fixed fee divorce package. This costs £749 plus VAT and court fees. This includes us meeting with you, taking your instructions, drafting all divorce paperwork, corresponding with your spouse or his/her Solicitor and the court. We will advise you throughout with respect to your matter, keep you fully informed as to the progress and answer any questions you have. Regardless of how long your matter takes or how many letters, emails or phone calls we make you pay one fixed fee price for your divorce.

Our job here at Advantage Solicitors is to provide you with certainty on cost and service.

Finances

With respect to finances assuming your spouse and you have or are able to reach an amicable agreement as to the division of the martial assets then for a fixed fee of between £300 to £500 plus VAT and court fees, we can draft a document called a Consent Order. This sets out the agreement reached. It is signed by your spouse, by you and by us. We will then send the agreement to the court for a Judge to approve.

It is important to have a Consent Order as it can provide for a clean break. This means that once the divorce is finalised neither your spouse nor you can make any further financial claim against the other. This protects any inheritance you receive in the future and monetary gifts. If you do not have a Consent Order then your financial claims against your spouse and vice versa will remain open indefinitely even after you are divorced.

Conclusion

We appreciate that the divorce process can be confusing and therefore in order to help you understand how it works we have attached a leaflet which you can download, read and print.

If your marriage has unfortunately broken down, give us a call and we can help and advise you as to the best way forward.

Download Divorce & Separation information

Call us for free advice
0208 807 1676

Co-habitation Disputes & Agreements

Co-habitation Disputes & Agreements

Introduction

There is no legal definition of co-habitation, however, it can be described as a relationship between man and woman who live together and are not legally married to each other.

Official statistics show that co-habiting couples with and without children is the fastest growing UK family type. The figures for England and Wales show that by 2014 the number of people under the age of forty co-habiting will overtake the number of people of the same age who are married.

It is therefore clear that co-habitation is becoming more and more popular. Unfortunately, however, just as with married couples, co-habiting relationships can break down.

Here at Advantage Solicitors our family team has years of experience in dealing with co-habitation disputes. We can advise you about the breakdown of your relationship including finances and children matters.

Co-Habitation Agreement

We can also advise you about co-habitation agreements. If you are thinking about living with someone or already do it is a good idea to enter into a co-habitation agreement as it can minimise the risk of disputes if the relationship breaks down. It can be entered into before or after you co-habit.

The agreement should deal with finances and children matters and should include the following:

  1. Who paid what to purchase the family home i.e. deposit, legal fees and stamp duty.
  2. Who will pay the mortgage and household expenses such as utility bills and food shopping.
  3. Provisions to determine what will happen to the family home if you separate e.g. whether it will be sold, which party (if any) has the right to purchase the other’s interest, who should remain in the family home, division of proceeds and contents, responsibility for outgoings until sale or transfer.
  4. How various items such as properties, savings, pension funds, trust funds and chattels will be treated during the relationship and what will happen to them if you separate.
  5. If you have children, matters concerning financial support for them should be included. You should consider who will have responsibility for the children’s day to day expenses. You should also set out details of the child maintenance liability and other financial provision for the children in the event you separate.

Conclusion

We are able to draft the co-habitation agreement for you; we can also do this on a fixed fee basis. If you therefore have any co-habitation disputes or wish to enter into a co-habitation agreement please give us a call.

Call us for free advice
0208 807 1676

Children Matters

Children Matters

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Introduction

When a marriage or a relationship breaks down it is very often and unfortunate that the children are caught in the middle. We understand that both parents want to do their best to ensure that the children are protected from the breakup and that their lives are disrupted as little as possible. We appreciate however that at times parents find it difficult to reach an agreement about where the children should live, with whom and how much contact the children should have with the other parent.

Parental Responsibility, Residence & Contact

Here at Advantage Solicitors we are able to advise parents about Parental Responsibility, Residence (i.e. custody) and Contact. We are able to correspond with your ex partner or spouse about children matters with a view to hopefully agreeing matters amicably, as quickly as possible and as cheaply as possible. If matters however cannot be agreed we can advise you about your options and the way forward. Unfortunately at times it may be necessary to make an application to the court in order to resolve children matters. Here at Advantage Solicitors our family team has years of experience in dealing with children matters including court proceedings.

Specialist Children Matters

We are also able to advise on more specialist matters such as adoption, surrogacy, Special Guardianship Orders and taking children abroad.

Conclusion

If you have any children matters which you need to resolve please call us so we can advise you as to the best way forward.

Call us for free advice
0208 807 1676

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

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Introduction

Taking that first step, admitting that you are in a violent relationship is a very difficult thing to do. Often women and men hide the fact that they are in a violent relationship, as they feel afraid, they do not want family and friends finding out what they are going through, they are scared about what the future holds.

We can help. We will meet you in the strictest of confidence, advise you about your options and then leave it in your hands to decide if you want to take matters further. There is absolutely no pressure; it is up to you to decide if you want us to proceed.

Injunctions

To help there are two injunctions which we can apply for. They are:

  1. A Non-Molestation Order
  2. An Occupation Order

A Non-Molestation Order is an injunction granted by the court preventing the abuser from coming anywhere near you, threatening, harassing or abusing you in any way. We can ask the court to attach a power of arrest to the Order which means that if the abuser breaches the Order he/she will automatically be arrested.

An Occupation Order is also granted by the court preventing the abuser from residing at the family home (i.e. you can reside there) or going anywhere near it. The court will usually order the abuser not to go within a set distance of the family home e.g. 50 meters. Again a power of arrest can be attached to the Order.

You should also note that the injunctions can be granted on an emergency basis.

Conclusion

Please call us and speak to our family team in the strictest of confidence to find out more about your options.

Call us for free advice
0208 807 1676

Wills

Wills

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Introduction

How many times have you sat at home and said to yourself I really must make a Will? Making a Will is the only certain way to ensure that your spouse, partner and/or children inherit what you want. If you die without having made a Will, the intestacy rules apply. In some cases this may lead to your spouse having to share your estate with relatives e.g. brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles.

Further, at present the intestacy rules do not recognise unmarried couples. If you live with your partner and you die without having made a Will, your partner will not automatically inherit any of your estate. The estate will pass to your surviving family i.e. children, parents, brothers and sisters.

It is therefore important you make a Will so you decide to whom you want to leave your estate to. The Will can include details about burial, cremation, leaving property, money to loved ones, jewellery and chattels.

Very importantly you can state whom you would want to care for your children under the age of eighteen years if your partner/spouse and you pass away. This is important as without such a provision your wishes and feelings may not be known.

Conclusion

Here at Advantage Solicitors we can help. All it takes is one meeting for us to take your instructions about what you want to put in your Will, us drafting it, sending it to you to approve and then signing it.

It really does not take very long and it is probably cheaper than you think. A qualified Solicitor will draft your Will for £150 plus VAT and if there are two of you e.g. husband and wife the cost is £250 plus VAT. These are fixed fees, you pay one price and that’s it.

For more information about Wills or to make an appointment give us a call.

Call us for free advice
0208 807 1676

Powers of Attorney

Powers of Attorney

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Introduction

Very unfortunately there may come a time in your life when you are unable to make decisions about your finances and health. This is normally due to a lack of mental capacity because of an injury or condition such as dementia or a stroke. A Power of Attorney allows someone to make decisions on your behalf, should there come a time when you are unable to do so.

In order to allow someone to make decisions on your behalf you must give them a Power of Attorney. You can only enter into a Power of Attorney if you have the mental capacity to do so. It therefore acts like an insurance policy and should only be used once you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

Types of Powers of Attorney

There are two types of Powers of Attorney.

  • Property and Financial Affairs - this covers decisions about your property and money.
  • Personal Welfare - this covers decisions about your healthcare and personal welfare.

It is important that you appoint people you trust to deal with your affairs and if you can it is a good idea to appoint more than one person.

Here at Advantage Solicitors we are able to meet with you take your instructions about entering into a Power of Attorney. We are able to draft all of the forms for you, go through them with you to ensure that you fully understand the content. We will also register the Power of Attorney for you at the Office of Public Guardian.

We offer a fixed fee price, for one power of attorney the cost is £499 plus VAT and for two the cost is £750 plus VAT.

Conclusion

If you therefore wish to enter into a Power of Attorney please contact us and we will make an appointment to meet with you.

Call us for free advice
0208 807 1676

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