York - 01904 716000
Wetherby - 01937 583210
Malton - 01653 692247
Wetherby 01937 583210
Malton 01653 692247
Family & Children

Family Law Solicitors York, Wetherby & Malton

When your marriage or relationship breaks down

Whether you are married, living together or civil partners - ending your relationship is never easy. Whilst you may not wish to live together any more, the prospect of splitting up can seem overwhelming, especially if children are involved.

Although it is in everyone's best interests to part amicably, this is easier said than done. With emotions running high, it can be hard for spouses/partners to reach agreement. Issues such as custody of children, what to do about the family home or other shared assets will need to be sorted out.

Contact arrangements for children – indirect Contact

Along with the welfare issues to be considered when thinking how to meet your child’s needs, parents who are separating will need to decide on practical issues around the contact arrangements with the other Parent.

There are a number of different types of Child arrangements, which vary in terms of the quality of the time spent which occurs.

Indirect contact means the amount of time a parent has with a child that is not face-to-face. In an increasingly digital age, this can now take many formats. If you need advice on the various ways in which arrangements might work or be appropriate for your children, please contact our Family Team.

How do we deal with our mortgage during a divorce?

With interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis in the headlines on a daily basis, mortgage affordability is a key concern for many homeowners, not least for couples who are separating and wondering how this will affect their mortgage arrangements.

Most divorcing couples will have a mortgage on their family home, and the family home is likely to be their largest asset.  The mortgage may be in joint names, or it could be in one person’s sole name. Either way, the house will be considered a matrimonial asset if it is the family home, and it will need to be dealt with as part of the financial settlement.

Whether a mortgage is affected by divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, and the extent to which it is affected, will depend on the terms of the financial settlement or any court order. 

Contact our family law experts who will be able to advise you on the options available to you in respect of your mortgage on divorce. 

Can I amend our divorce settlement due to a chronic health condition?

During a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, there are a number of factors that must be taken into account when dividing financial assets.  These factors include any mental or physical disability of either spouse or civil partner and what their current and future financial needs will be.  This provides scope to make a fair and just settlement for anyone that maybe suffering a chronic health condition - a long term illness which is likely to significantly impact a person’s function, earning capacity and future financial needs. 

What happens if you had agreed a settlement and have been subsequently diagnosed with a chronic health condition which affects your earning capacity? 

When it comes to divorce or dissolution settlements, a chronic health condition can have a significant impact on the financial division of assets.  If your diagnosis was after a settlement has already been reached, then it may be possible to have your settlement reopened to ensure that your financial needs are met.  Contact our Family Lawyer as this is not a simple process and it will require urgent and early legal intervention if it is to have a chance of success.

Enforcing child contact arrangements

Following the breakdown of a relationship, most parents can reach an agreement amicably regarding the arrangements for children.  Ensuring practical working arrangement requires both parents to behave sensibly and in the best interests of each child.  Unfortunately, as any family lawyer will tell you, that does not always happen. 

If a court had to decide your child’s living arrangements, then this will have been determined under a contact or residence order (prior to 2014) or a child arrangement order (post 2014). 

For the majority of parents, when a court order is made, the terms are followed.  Sadly, that is not always the case.  When a court order is breached you have a number of options.  The circumstances surrounding the breach will dictate how you proceed.  Seeking early legal advice is always wise so that you can understand your options and rights.

Parental responsibility and assisted conception via IVF or a donor

‘Parental responsibility’ is a legal term which reflects the rights, duties, powers, and responsibilities you have for a child.  It gives the holder the legal right to make certain decisions about a child, such as which school they attend and if they will undergo medical treatment. More than one person can hold parental responsibility.

It is extremely important that all parties involved in an assisted conception understand what their role will be, if any, in raising the child. 

It is best to obtain early specialist advice in order that the appropriate arrangements and agreements can be put in place if necessary. If you need expert advice on matters relating to parental responsibility or assisted conception, please contact our experienced lawyers today.

Collaborative Law

Divorcing or separating couples are increasingly turning to Collaborative Law as a means of separating with dignity. The Collaborative approach emphasises reaching agreement in private without going to Family court. This process can be tailored around the couples' unique needs, allowing couples to set their own agenda so that they can focus on what is important to them and their family.

How can Ware & Kay help?

We have many years' experience in advising clients in all aspects of relationship breakdown/divorce and separation, financial and children issues.

Here are some of the areas covered by our Family Department:

Besides offering Collaborative Law, we are also members of the Law Society's Specialist Family Panel and Resolution. We offer and are also recommended by Divorceaid.

Contact our Family & Child Law Solicitors in Yorkshire

To find out more about our Family & Child Law services and how we can help you, call us today on 01904 716000 (York) or 01937 583210 (Wetherby) or 01653 692247 (Malton), or complete our online enquiry form.

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