Family Law

We have highly experienced family solicitors who are accredited members of the Law Society Family Law Panel.

At Gurney Harden, we recognise the difficulties and stresses that are often involved in a relationship or marriage breakdown or in trying to agree arrangements for your children. We aim to provide a service that is personal to each individual, that makes the process easier for you and ultimately, achieving the best possible outcome.

The following are just some of the areas we can assist you with; but feel free to contact us with any specific case queries:

  • Divorce/Judicial Separation
    We can represent you as a Petitioner if you wish to commence divorce/ Judicial Separation proceedings, or as a Respondent if you have been served with court papers.

  • Financial Matters
    We aim to help you reach a financial settlement by consent, if at all possible, without having to go court, and prepare the legal document to reflect your agreement . If no agreement can be reached and all other options have been exhausted, (including Family Mediation and Family Arbitration) we will advise you about issuing an application at court for Financial Remedy.

  • Child Arrangements Orders (whom the children shall live with/ spend time with) Specific Issue Order, Prohibited Steps Order or Orders to locate your child’s whereabouts.
    Trying to agree what should happen to your children upon separation, where they shall live and how often they see the non-resident parent, can be extremely difficult, particularly if there has been an acrimonious breakdown of a relationship or marriage. Children matters, require a degree of sensitivity and a pragmatic, non- confrontation approach, which we provide, by helping you to reach an agreement with your former partner/ spouse that is best for your children. If it is not possible to reach consensus about your children, we will advise you about all options, including Mediation, Family Law Arbitration and making an application to Court, where appropriate.

    We can advise family members about securing contact with a child. Too often, grandparents lose out on seeing their grandchildren when parents separate and no provision is made, or even considered as to how extended family relationships can be maintained beyond separation. We can advise you about the steps you need to take, if you would like to have and maintain contact with a child, whether you are a parent, step-parent, grandparent or other family member.

    If you do not know the whereabouts of the child concerned, we can advise you about obtaining an Order so that an organisation or third party is ordered to disclose that child’s address to the Court.

    We are mindful that some cases will require, urgent orders to protect your children from imminent harm or from being removed from your care, or from being removed the UK. It may be that you require an urgent order to protect yourself from harassment or violence. In these cases, we would try to accommodate same day appointments wherever possible, to help you obtain urgent protection from the Courts if appropriate.

  • Applications for a child to permanently reside in another jurisdiction.
    Sometimes, a parent may decide to relocate with the children, to another part of the country or to another jurisdiction, outside of the UK. Often this is disputed by the parent left behind who is concerned about being able to maintain a proper relationship with their children. We can represent you, if you are the parent who wishes to relocate or if you oppose this.

  • Enforcement Orders
    You may already have an Order stating how often you child should spend time with you, or see the other parent or person. If this Order is not being complied with, we can help you apply to enforce it, or represent you if you have not been complying with a Court Order. Too often, Court Orders are breached, and sometimes parties may be unware of the potential consequences of breaching an Order. If for any reason you are unable to comply with an Order, urgent legal advice should be sought and consideration be given to applying to the Courts to vary or discharge an existing Order.

  • Parental Responsibility Orders
    We can advise you about obtaining legal rights in relation to a child and where appropriate, make an application to the Court.

  • Declaration of Parentage
    If paternity is in dispute, we can advise about the process to resolve this and if appropriate apply to Court.

  • Special Guardianship Orders
    These are becoming a far more common way to secure a child’s long term residence with non-parent family members, which gives certain rights over and beyond the normal parental rights.

  • Harassment matters Non-Molestation Orders/ Occupation Orders/ Transfer of Tenancies
    You may be a victim of domestic abuse or harassment. We can help you by sending a warning letter, or if appropriate, apply for an urgent (and without notice to the opponent) application to the Court to obtain immediate protection for your safety. We can also advise you about Occupation Orders or transfer of tenancies where you require the Court’s intervention to regulate occupation of the family home.

The cost of legal expenses can be a real area of concern and you may not initially have access to funds to commence family litigation. In certain cases we can arrange 3rd party funding to assist you with the cost of your litigation. Please contact us for further details and to discuss our fees and hourly rates.

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