Family Law Solicitors in Essex

Emotions run high when relationships break down. Here’s where the right legal backing can give you some much-needed clarity and reassurance.

Our experienced family law solicitors are well known in Chelmsford for offering a steadying hand and practical advice on the best way forward.

Our Family Law team are continuing to support individuals remotely at this time, with appointments are available via video call and by telephone. 

Please click here for Covid-19 guidance. 

We can help you with:

We’ll work hard to get the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Where appropriate, we always recommend mediation or other forms of dispute resolution. We can recommend you to mediation services as part of our free initial consultation. If negotiations do break down and your matter does go to court, you'll have our full support at every stage.

For some of our frequently asked questions, please visit our FAQ page.

London service without London fees

You don’t have to be in Essex to benefit from our support. Our proximity to the City means clients in north and east London can also easily call on us – for a fraction of the price of a London firm.

We regularly conduct cases in the London courts, with local or London counsel representing our clients’ needs where appropriate.

Get in touch for your free consultation

You’re welcome to contact us for an initial chat at no charge and with no obligation. It’s an opportunity to discuss your situation, run through your options and assess the likely costs involved. To find out more, please call 01245 228106 or email family@gepp.co.uk.

How our family law solicitors in Essex can help you

Divorce

They say divorce will be one of the most stressful life events you will ever go through. However, while it may not be a walk in the park, we believe that there’s no reason why your divorce should force you to put your life on hold.

With the right advice, the majority of couples are able to come to an agreement without resorting to court proceedings, often with the help of alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation.

We can help with all aspects of divorce, including:

  • The administrative process of filing or responding to the divorce petition
  • Divorce financial settlements to agree the division of money and property
  • Child maintenance and spousal maintenance
  • Arrangements for children, including where they will live and decisions about their upbringing

Children’s issues

At the end of a relationship, it is common for children to feel unsettled and confused about why their parents no longer live together. We understand that the happiness and welfare of your children is the most important thing in your life.

We help people approach arrangements for children upon relationship breakdown constructively, without having to go to court in the vast majority of cases. All of our family law solicitors are members of Resolution, a national organisation of legal professionals who are committed to resolving divorce and separation matters without any unnecessary stress or life upheaval.

Our expertise includes:

  • Voluntary parenting agreements covering matters like where children will live most of the time and how much time they will spend with each parent
  • Child maintenance:
    • Voluntary child maintenance agreements
    • Using the Child Maintenance Service (CMS)
    • Child Maintenance Orders
  • Child related court orders:
    • Child Arrangements Orders – to decide things like where children will live and who they should have contact with
    • Specific Issue Orders – to make a specific decision about a child’s upbringing, such as where they should go to school
    • Prohibited Steps Orders – to prevent someone with parental responsibility making a particular decision in relation to a child, such as to stop your partner taking your child to live abroad

Rights for grandparents

One unfortunate side-effect of many separations is grandparents losing access to their grandchildren. Perhaps one parent has moved away with the children, perhaps they are denying you time with them, or perhaps you have been left out of the parents’ discussions about residence and contact altogether.

We can help you gain valuable time with your grandchildren. It is well accepted by the family courts that grandparents play a critical part in their grandchildren’s lives, including emotional and developmental support. However, you do not have an automatic right to contact.

If it is not possible to negotiate an agreement with the parents, we can help you apply for permission to get a Child Arrangements Order that will give you the right to have contact with your grandchildren.

Pre-marital agreements (pre-nuptial agreements)

Getting married or entering into a civil partnership is a huge step in your life. But before taking the plunge, it’s worth thinking about whether you should protect your financial interests.

Making a pre-marital agreement (or pre-nuptial agreement) can help you define exactly who owns what going into the marriage or civil partnership and how finances will be arranged if you break up in the future. This can prevent disputes over money and property later on.

We understand that it’s not exactly pleasant to think about the possibility of breaking up with your partner just as you are about to embark upon your new life together. However, as people are getting married later in life, coming to new relationships already owning considerable assets and sometimes with obligations from previous marriages and children, safeguarding your interests is essential.

Cohabitation

As a cohabiting couple, you do not have as many legal rights as couples who are married or in a civil partnership. So, if you live together, it is essential that you understand your rights and what might happen if you break up, for example, your rights relating to money, property, inheritance, and your children.

A cohabitation agreement can help you solve many of the issues cohabitation can cause by setting out exactly who owns what and how finances should be managed in the event the relationship breaks down.

We can help you create a bespoke cohabitation agreement that covers everything you need to safeguard your future. We realise that talking about ending your relationship can feel slightly morbid, however, our tactful and practical approach can help you discuss these difficult matters without dredging up any unnecessary conflict.

We can also provide advice to individuals going through cohabitation disputes, including disagreements over property and separating joint finances.

Adoption orders

Welcoming a new child into the family is an exciting time, so let us help you get the necessary legal bits out of the way so you can focus on getting them settled in. Once your child is living with you, you can apply for an adoption order which gives you all the parental rights and responsibilities you need.

Once your adoption order is granted, your child has all the same rights as if they were your birth child. It also takes parental responsibility away from the birth parents and anyone else with parental responsibility, meaning no one can interfere in the way you raise your child.

We can provide professional support and guidance throughout the adoption order process and handle all legal aspects of applying to court on your behalf. Whether you are adopting through an agency, you want to adopt your step child, or you are fostering to adopt, we are here to provide a helping hand.

Civil partnerships

We provide advice to same sex couples (and now, thanks to a recent change in the law, opposite sex couples) on all the legal matters and issues surrounding civil partnership.

Our expertise includes:

  • Pre-marital (pre-nuptial) agreements
  • Civil partnership dissolution
  • Financial matters upon dissolution
  • Arrangements for children upon dissolution
  • Adoption, artificial insemination, surrogacy and other children related matters

Financial settlements

Arranging finances is where many divorces or dissolutions turn combative. We’ve helped dozens of couples constructively negotiate a financial settlement that allows them to move forward with their lives in financial security.

Our goal is to reach an agreement that is beneficial to you and allows you the maximum financial freedom possible, whilst preserving an amicable relationship with your former partner. With our help, the majority of our clients are able to find a solution without resorting to court. However, we will never encourage you to settle for less than you deserve. If you are unable to come to an agreement out of court for whatever reason, we can help you apply for a financial order.

Injunctions

You have the right to feel safe in your own home. If you have experienced abuse, violence and/or harassment at the hand of a partner, ex-partner or relative, we can provide sensitive advice about the steps you can take to seek legal protection.

Our domestic abuse solicitors can help you:

  • Apply for a non-molestation order to protect you from violence or threats or violence
  • Apply for an occupation order to stop someone from living in, entering or coming near your home
  • Get a divorce or civil partnership dissolution from a partner who is or has been abusive
  • Resolve any financial issues, including obtaining a clean break order that completely separates your finances after divorce or dissolution
  • Protect your children, including obtaining court orders if necessary

Get in touch for your free consultation

You’re welcome to contact us for an initial chat at no charge and with no obligation. It’s an opportunity to discuss your situation, run through your options and assess the likely costs involved. To find out more, please call 01245 228106 or email family@gepp.co.uk.

 

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