Family Law

It can be difficult and stressful if relationships break down. Find out how we can help with divorce, separation and financial resolution.

Family Law

It can be difficult and stressful if relationships break down. Find out how we can help with divorce, separation and financial resolution.

TODAY’S FAMILY STRUCTURES ARE DIFFERENT

Our solicitors have spent over 50 years helping families in and around St Albans. During that time, we have seen many changes in family arrangements.

Today’s families are diverse and varied. Family structures change. Parents can be married, living together or separated. Children can have siblings, half siblings, step siblings or adopted brothers and sisters. Grandparents and extended family are increasingly involved.

It can be complex, difficult and stressful if relationships break down. That’s when turning to an experienced family solicitor can help resolve difficulties efficiently and effectively. We’ll try and help you find a solution amicably but if that’s not possible, we’ll help you through the whole process of court proceedings.

Our family law solicitors have in-depth technical knowledge and years of experience in all aspects of family law. We advise on the practicalities of finance, property and pensions and pride ourselves on giving helpful, focused and sympathetic legal advice. Ultimately, we focus on helping you to find an effective solution.

To help you find out about your legal rights and obligations, our family law team offer a first, fixed fee appointment for just £50.00 plus VAT.  You may be eligible for Legal Aid although this is now very limited.

To arrange your appointment call 01727 869 293 or book online. 

WHY BRETHERTON LAW?

• Your first, fixed fee appointment for just £50.00 plus VAT
• Legal Aid available in some circumstances
• An experienced, friendly and accessible team
• Members of Resolution
• Law Society Lexcel and Children Panel accreditations

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Our Family Law Services
  • Divorce & separation

    Divorce can be stressful and we believe choosing and using a lawyer shouldn’t add to that stress. Our family law solicitors provide you with the support and legal expertise to guide you through this difficult time. We offer practical advice and our team is committed to achieving the right outcome for our clients.

    We have set out a brief overview of the divorce process below, but please contact one of our family law solicitors to find out more information and see how we can help you.

    DIVORCE PETITION

    This is the document that is sent to the court to begin the process. The person sending the document is the petitioner and the other spouse is the respondent. The petition requires you to set out why you believe the marriage has irretrievably broken down by alleging one of five facts. These are: the respondent’s unreasonable behaviour, the respondent’s adultery, your separation for two years with the respondent’s consent, your separation for five years, or there being a desertion of two years.

    DECREE NISI

    This is the first formal order the court will make. It means that the court has confirmed you are entitled to a divorce and it is the first stage the court can make an order as to your financial settlement.  The court will also consider the costs of divorce if the petitioner made such a request.

    DECREE ABSOLUTE

    Six weeks after the Decree Nisi have elapsed the Petitioner can apply for Decree Absolute. The Decree Absolute is the certificate which confirms you are divorced and your marriage has been dissolved.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

  • Financial arrangements

    Within divorce proceedings, the Court can make a variety of orders regarding a couple’s finances. These include

    • Transferring property into one party’s sole name
    • Ordering that one party pays a lump sum to the other
    • Requiring one party to pay periodical payments (spousal maintenance) to the other.

     

    The Court has discretion in determining how the divorcing couple’s assets should be divided. Each case is dealt with depending on its specific facts. The Matrimonial Causes Act offers guidance to the Court as to what Judges should consider when coming to their decision.

    You should take legal advice as soon as possible – so that we can guide you about what sort of arrangements may be possible.

    The family law solicitors at Bretherton Law have the knowledge and expertise to help you.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

  • Unmarried couples

    The law applies differently to separating married couples and separating unmarried couples. The result is that unmarried couples do not have the same level of protection as married couples. However, there are still rights and options upon which you should seek advice.

    This area of law is complex. We strongly recommend that you speak to one of our  family law solicitors to ensure you know your rights. We aim to make the process simpler and help to remove some of the stress that you will undoubtedly be experiencing as part of your separation. We will carefully untangle the issues with you and give you clear advice on your options.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

     

  • Cohabitation agreements

    Cohabitation Agreements are becoming increasingly important as more and more couples choose to live together without getting married. If you live together without getting married you do not share the same legal rights as those who marry. This can make things difficult if the relationship breaks down, particularly in relation to finance, property and pensions. If children are involved, arrangements for their care, accommodation and financial support must still be sorted out.

    We can help you to plan for the future with a Cohabitation Agreement setting out you and your partner’s expectations.

    For confidential, friendly advice about cohabitation agreements contact us today.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

  • Pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements

    Nuptial agreements are contracts which are either signed before (pre) or after (post) your wedding and set out what should happen to the parties’ assets should their relationship breakdown. They aim to provide both parties with clarity and certainty. It also aims to save the you the stress, uncertainty and costs of potentially going through Court proceedings at a later date.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

  • Cases with a foreign element

    Where a relationship breaks down and the couple have different nationalities, or where they have lived abroad, additional complexities can arise that require specialist help and expertise. Decisions about where any proceedings should take place, and connecting with local experts abroad, are important.

    Our expert lawyers are experienced in dealing with cases with a foreign element.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

  • Domestic abuse

    Domestic abuse, whether physical or psychological, is unacceptable in any relationship and no one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their own home.

    We know that simply walking away from a violent partner – male or female – isn’t always an easy option, particularly if children are involved or you don’t have access to your own finances. That’s why it’s vital to talk to someone you can trust – a legal expert who can provide sympathetic but practical advice; explaining your options and helping you put an end to domestic abuse.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

  • Change of name

    Changing an adult’s name can be a straightforward process and there are a variety of ways to achieve this, the most common being by way of a Change of Name Deed. The change can be a different forename, surname or both.

    To arrange your appointment call 01727 869293 or book online.

Testimonials

Heidi was very good, great asset to the company.

You treated me with respect and I understood everything.

Experienced, qualified solicitors. Very polite.

Words can never express our family’s gratitude.

Sandra, thank you for all your help and support. You’ve made it possible for us to be the girls’ special guardian. We are indebted to you.