We make sure every client matters at Ratcliffe and Bibby. We provide professional, specialist assistance on all aspects of Family Law. With years of experience we are here to help; not to judge or disapprove. We can deal with all issues arising out of a family breakdown at any of our three offices and believe us when we say "Nothing will surprise us!"
Please see the page which suits your requirements for further details.
Our department work exclusively on matters relating to family, divorce and children law so have the depth of expertise to discuss with you all the available options. Our department has solicitors who are members of Resolution and the Law Society Children Panel, and who are Resolution Accredited Specialists.
We know these can be worrying and traumatic times and we believe that family law disputes should be dealt with in a constructive way, encouraging agreement and allowing you to move on in a timely fashion.
We offer our private paying clients a service tailored to suit their case and we also offer advice on all areas for those that qualify for Legal Aid.
Tailored Legal Service
We seek to provide the best possible service to meet your specific needs.
Our Family Solicitors will meet you for an initial face to face appointment to discuss your concerns and particular needs. We will be able to agree a clear course of action with a cost structure so that you are confident that your concerns are being dealt with at an appropriate level in a professional manner.
We will be able to act on your behalf throughout the entirety of your matter, whether by correspondence with a third party, or Court proceedings.
From 1st April 2013 Legal Aid continues to be available for Care Proceedings and matters concerning Social Services; Domestic abuse sufferers for divorce and other family proceedings, and for private law proceedings to protect children from child abuse, provided there is evidence of the abuse.
Our Family Law Team can advise you as to whether you are likely to be eligible or not for free legal advice.
We can offer advice on...
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Whether your problem involves your ex- partner, a family member or the Local Authority what matters to you and to us is your children’s welfare.
At Ratcliffe and Bibby, Sarah Carr and Lynsey Rees are members of the Law Society Children panel and along with Jordan Wallace, Annie Stocks and our team of specialist support staff we can help you deal with any issues that arise.
We have experience in all aspects of divorce law. Whether you are considering taking the difficult steps of issuing divorce proceedings or your spouse has issued against you, we are here to help you at this difficult time. We can assist you with the whole process including personal and financial aspects that arise, such as dividing your house, dealing with business matters and helping resolve any matters concerning your children.
A prenuptial agreement is basically an agreement made by a couple before they become married. The agreement sets out how they would like their assets split if they ever separate.
Around 50% of all marriages now end in divorce and furthermore family courts have large powers to re-distribute family property. Therefore prenuptial agreements are becoming more popular throughout the UK.
After marriage, all of a couple’s assets become what are known as matrimonial assets, a prenuptial agreement is designed to limit any claims on any of those assets by the other party if the marriage does end. Although prenuptial agreements are currently unenforceable when properly drafted it can be used as highly persuasive evidence in court to indicate how a couple agreed to split assets before they became married. This obviously can have a large effect on the way things are distributed if the marriage ends, furthermore existing prenuptial agreements could become enforceable in the UK in the future.
Prenuptial agreements can be used in a variety of different situations, such as protecting assets that are owned before a marriage, inherited assets and any legacies to children from previous marriages. Whether remarrying later in life or entering into a marriage with your partner you should consider the benefits of a prenuptial agreement.
Whether it is the house, savings, investments, a family business or pensions; we have the expertise to advise you and get the best result for you.
Relationship Breakdowns can, on occasion become hostile and involve violence or threats of violence. In a worst-case situation, we have a Resolution Specialist along with a team of people who can assist and obtain emergency protection. Be it a non-molestation order protecting you and your children or an occupation order regulating who can live in your home and come within a certain radius of it.
There is a large number of couples who are choosing to live together rather than to get married as is incidents of non-married couples breaking up. This can have a huge effect on the respective assets of the parties unless issues were considered at the outset.
It is now increasingly more common for couples in this position to have a Living together agreement drawn up. This becomes relevant when you consider that couples that live together have virtually no rights to use the system of law that is available to married couples.
Therefore, they are in a far more vulnerable position if the relationship breaks up or there is a death of one party.
For unmarried couples, the courts can only determine who owns property and in what shares on the basis of actual contributions of unmarried couples and / or their intentions. It is very difficult to prove actual contributions and upon separation either of the parties or both may simply be unable to recall the original intentions.
A living together agreement which is also known as a cohabitation agreement provides the canvas for couples to record their intentions and records their respective contributions. This will leave them safe in the knowledge that if the relationship is to break down then the agreement will safeguard them financially.
Both parties will need to seek independent legal advice regarding the agreement as the parties need to intend to create legal relations for the agreement to be enforceable. However, the agreement can include details regarding any number of issues the parties decide upon, the main areas being details regarding property, payment of mortgage, ownerships of the contents of a property and ownership of bank accounts.
Furthermore, it may be advisable to have a Deed of Trust drafted which will set out the ownership and respective beneficial interest in the home. Unmarried couples living together may also need to consider issues regarding a will, any existing wills will need to be checked to ensure they are appropriate for the current circumstances especially if the parties are later in life and have pre-existing obligations such as children from a previous marriage.
We have acted for same sex couples and are able to offer advice. Whether that is advice prior to entering the partnership or on the dissolution of the same we are here to help.
We can offer a quick and speedy service for the preparation of uncontested and straightforward change of name deeds. We can also offer specialist advice on changing children's names when agreement cannot be reached. Should an application to court be appropriate we can assist you with this.
To discuss your options further please do not hesitate to contact one of our team. Alternatively, you can complete the contact form and one of our team of solicitors will contact you to discuss your requirements further.