The practice offers in depth advice in relation to disputes which arise within the Family.
In the event of disharmony within the family the parties will normally engage with a Counsellor and a Mediation Expert in advance of consulting their legal advisor. When the prospect of resolution of family differences approaches the stage of becoming irreconcilable solicitors will then advise their clients of the options then available to them.
This is an agreement giving legal effect to the terms of settlement upon which a couple may wish to separate. It will govern such matters as:
- Ownership of the Family Home
- Ownership of other property
- Guardianship of the children
- Access to the children
- Maintenance to the spouse and the children
- Succession Rights
- Taxation issues
A solicitor will give up to date legal advice in relation to all such aspects and encourage their client to resolve their differences without recourse to litigation. A Separation Agreement is a validly recognised method which is cost effective.
In the event that the differences between a couple cannot be resolved by way of a Separation Agreement it is then necessary for one or other of the parties to institute legal proceedings in the Circuit Court for a Judicial Separation pursuant to Judicial Separation Family Law Reform Act 1989. Such proceedings will give legal effect by way of Court Order to the Separation of the parties and the Court, upon hearing the evidence of the parties will implement a separation. Such a separation will govern all of the issues as referred to in the previous paragraph under separation such as property ownership, children’s issues and maintenance etc.
Once the parties have been living separate and apart for a period in excess of four years they may then obtain a Decree of Divorce pursuant to the terms of the Family law Divorce Act 1996. Generally speaking if persons have obtained a Judicial Separation, a Divorce will then be implemented upon the same parameters. However if the parties circumstances have altered considerably from the date of the Separation the Court may have regard to those altered circumstances and alter the terms of the initial separation.
Access, Custody and Guardianship
Child law is an ever important part of Family Law. The rights of parents and children in respect of guardianship, access and custody are hugely important particularly having regard to the complexity of Family arrangements in these times. Expert legal advise in relation to all such issues is essential.