Like their heterosexual counterparts, same-sex couples may require legal assistance throughout their relationship – whether they would like to end their Civil Partnership or marriage, want their Civil Partnership to be converted into a marriage, require a pre-nuptial (or post-nuptial) agreement, want help with child arrangements or Parental Responsibility or would like assistance with a Cohabitation Agreement.
We can help in all of these situations and our expert solicitors will deal with your case swiftly and sensitively.
Ending a Civil Partnership or a Marriage
Same-sex couples frequently approach us because they want to dissolve their Civil Partnership or get a divorce. In such circumstances there may be a dispute as to how finances and assets should be divided or how child arrangements will be made.
Although a Civil Partnership is ended by dissolution and same-sex marriage is ended by divorce, the process is very similar. The grounds for each process do however differ slightly.
It therefore essential that you obtain legal advice and assistance if you want to dissolve a Civil Partnership or get a divorce. Our specialist team will be able to safeguard your assets or interests and help you obtain a favourable financial settlement. We can help you to negotiate a financial settlement with your ex-partner or assist you in seeking financial orders from the Court.
Our expert team will also be able to legally assist you with any child arrangements or problems with child access. This can be done through robust negotiation with your ex-partner or their solicitor. In circumstances where this is not possible our skilled specialists can help you to acquire a Child Arrangements Order from the Court giving formal effect to the best arrangements for your children.
Converting a Civil Partnership into a Marriage
Since December 2014, Civil Partners have been able to convert their Civil Partnership into a marriage. This gives Civil Partners exactly the same legal status and rights as married heterosexual couples. This is available throughout the UK but those living abroad may also be able to convert their Civil Partnership.
As experts in the field, our team at Family Law Experts is able to advise and assist you with this new area of the law to enable you to exercise all the legal rights available to you by converting your Civil Partnership into a marriage.
Prenuptial agreements allow couples entering into a marriage or Civil Partnership to protect their assets and interests. A bespoke agreement can clearly detail how assets or interests will be shared and separated in the event of a divorce or dissolution. Such agreements can also be made after a marriage has taken place and would be called postnuptial agreements.
Couples entering into a Civil Partnership can enter into a similar agreement called a Pre-Civil Partnership Agreement (or Post-Civil Partnership Agreement, if they are already Civil Partners).
Our specialist team at Family Law Experts can draft a personalised agreement for you and your partner and can check or update any existing agreement to ensure its fairness, accuracy and validity. Our expert team can also represent you if separate and either you or your partner decide to contest such an agreement.
Child arrangements can be made informally or formally. In most circumstances parties will be able to avoid court by making an informal arrangement with their co-parent through mutual agreement or robust negotiation. For those that require more formal arrangements a Child Arrangements Order is available from the court. This sets out where a child should live and where they should spend their time.
Our skilled team are experts at dealing with child arrangement matters and will usually be help you to negotiate favourable child arrangements with your ex-partner or other parent of your child out of court. In circumstances where this is not possible, we can help you acquire a formal Child Arrangements Order from the court which reflects your wishes and needs.
Parental Responsibility Agreements
A Parental Responsibility Agreement can allow one or both members of a same-sex couple to become a legal parent of a child. This makes a person legally responsible and allows them to make important decisions on their child’s behalf. A Parental Responsibility Agreement is essential for some same-sex couples who need to acquire Parental Responsibility of their children e.g. a same-sex partner who is not a spouse or the Civil Partner at the time of assisted reproduction treatment will need to acquire Parental Responsibility.
Our expert team can represent you in obtaining Parental Responsibility whether by agreement with a biological parent or through a court application.
Cohabitation Agreements ensure financial protection for unmarried couples who live together. A personalised agreement can outline any number of factors including how assets or interests will be divided in the event of a split, how debts will be paid and how disputes will be settled in the event of separation or death. Cohabitation Agreements are an essential tool to ensure the financial security of such couples, as cohabitees have no automatic legal right to share or inherit even if they have been living together for a significant time.
Our team of experienced solicitors at Family Law Experts can draft a Cohabitation Agreement for you that reflects you and your partner’s requirements. We can also independently assess or update an existing agreement to guarantee its fairness or legality.
People from all walks of life can be subject to domestic abuse. It can come in various forms and degrees and can be physical, emotional or even financial. People suffering from domestic abuse may require legal assistance – there are various orders that we can immediately seek from the court to protect you.
An Occupation Order can be used to protect a person’s right to live in their home and prevent another person from coming near it – even if they share or have sole ownership of the property.
A Non-Molestation Order can prohibit a person from doing certain things e.g. from contacting or coming near a person or threatening or being violent. Orders that prevent harassment can also be sought under the Protection from Harassment Act.
Our specialist team is deeply understanding of the emotional nature of domestic abuse and seek to support anyone suffering from domestic abuse or harm. We offer a free initial consultation to all of our clients and stringently maintain client confidentiality. Our team of experts can acquire immediate legal remedies to prohibit someone from causing you harm.
If you are suffering from immediate danger or harm please contact the police.