Do you believe that you need legal representation in family law affairs in the UK? Before you see a qualified UK family law solicitor about your legal problem, it is also a good idea to acquaint yourself with the specific aspect of UK family law that you need help with. The fact of the matter is that you might not really require legal representation in family law affairs. There are many adversarial as well as non-adversarial aspects of family law in the UK. For example, if your case involves something as serious as domestic abuse and violence, then you definitely need some legal representation in family law affairs. However, if your family law issue simply concerns the property affairs between you and your spouse after marriage, then it may actually be settled without having to go to court for trial via alternative methods of dispute resolution (ADR). This will include mediation or other means such as collaborative law wherein solicitors/lawyers for both parties will be required but in order to meet up in a non-adversarial manner.
Dissolution of Civil Partnership ( Same as divorce)
In the dissolution of a civil partnership, you will actually need legal representation in family law affairs. This is because the dissolution will be carried out via a court order. The only requirement is for the successful allegation of either of the partners in the civil relationship to allege its breakdown successfully after 12 months (1 year) from initial registration. Of course, “successful allegation” means that you have to prove at least one of the following:
(1) That the other partner has behaved unreasonably. (2) That the parties have been separated for two years and it is agreed in writing that the partnership should be dissolved. (3) That one partner has deserted the other for two years; or (4) That the parties have been separated for five years.
As you might have noticed, the grounds for the dissolution of a civil partnership are actually the same as the grounds for divorce. The only exception is that adultery is not included as a ground because the law assumes that this cannot be committed in a same-sex partnership.
Dealing With Children After Divorce Or Civil Partnership Dissolution
The Family Court will always take the welfare of the children into account as the top priority. Thus, after a dissolution of civil partnership or divorce, the court is then empowered to issue orders as to the affairs of the children affected by the divorce or dissolution. The court may make orders dealing with arrangements for the residence of the children and who they get to live with as well as any other pertinent orders such as support.
Also, it is worth noting that the death of a civil partner entitles the surviving partner to the same property rights as a surviving partner in a heterosexual marriage.
Wills and Probate
One aspect of family law that does not necessarily require legal representation in family law affairs would be wills and probate. This is because of its non-adversarial nature.