Family Law

A marriage break up is often a very emotional and difficult time. If there is no chance of a reconciliation between you and your partner/spouse, then we will assist in obtaining a financial settlement and /or a separation or divorce. We deal with these difficult matters in a sensitive manner.

A couple often separates and one of the most pressing concerns is to sort out the finances. The division of assets can be handled in a number of ways including by matrimonial agreement (a deed which can later be made a rule of court), ancillary relief (court process) or the collaborative process.

If there is absolutely no chance of a reconciliation, a divorce can be sought on the ground of the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage as evidenced by one of the qualifying factors.

  • Adultery
  • Unreasonable behaviour
  • 2 years separation with consent of the other party
  • 5 years separation
  • Desertion

There is a growing trend towards favouring an amicable divorce in an attempt to avoid confrontation and to ease emotional pain at the difficult time when a marriage breaks down. Collaborative law is a relatively new legal process which allows couples to separate and work out the division of financial assets with their lawyers so as to avoid the uncertain outcome of taking matters to court. The aim is for the couple and their representatives to sit down around a table together and discuss ideas and potential outcomes in an environment free from any threat of contentious litigation and to come to a settlement that best meets their needs, (and those of their children). This voluntary process is initiated when the couple signs a contract (called the “participation agreement”) which binds them to the collaborative process and disqualifies their respective solicitors from representing either one of them in any future family law related litigation. There are only a few solicitors who are qualified to undertake this specialist type of work. Zara King LL.B, LL.M is qualified in collaborative law as well as in the traditional method and is able to advise clients if this or the traditional way is the best way forward for them and can then represent them accordingly thereafter.

Zara is a member of the Association of Northern Ireland Collaborative Family Lawyers.

If you are being denied access to your children or you simply feel the access you have is not enough, or indeed you wish to achieve or safeguard custody or joint custody of your child(ren) then there are options open to you to redress the balance.

Legal Aid

Clients may wish to discuss the possibility of applying for legal aid and indeed we can advise and assist in preparing the necessary applications. We also advise clients of the statutory charge as the Legal Services Commission are now legally required to recover their grant of legal aid if the assisted person keeps or gains property under any settlement (certain exceptions apply).

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