Separation or other family law cases such as those involving children, can be daunting for all concerned. The practice of family law often blurs into other aspects of the law and due to the sensitive and complex subject matter of cases, requires an empathetic and delicate approach.  

At RHL Solicitors our team will take an integrated approach to your case, helping you to navigate the legal process but also considering all of those who may be impacted directly or indirectly.  

Family law broadly covers three key areas – family relationships, matters involving children, and related financial matters. It is well-known that this encompasses cases related to marriage, divorce, adoption, but some may be surprised to see matters such as domestic abuse and separation (that is not escalated to divorce) included in the same category. 

It’s worth noting that the practice of family law can include a whole spectrum of specialisms. For example, representing the parents of children who are being relocated, are at risk of abduction, or those known to the Local Authority, as well as reproductive rights, emancipation and other matters not associated with divorce.  

If you are unsure whether your case requires a family lawyer, reach out to one of our experts who will be able to signpost you to the correct support. We cover a few circumstances where family law advice may not be the obvious choice. 

Planning for the possibility of relationship breaking down 

When it comes to major life events, such as getting married, it is always recommended to plan for the worst-case scenario – regardless of its likelihood. The average length of a marriage is 11.5 years for opposite-sex couples, and significantly shorter for same-sex couples. 

Prior to marriage, couples may choose to sign a pre-nuptial agreement – a contract detailing the ownership of each partners’ respective assets, in the event of divorce or death. A pre-nuptial agreement must be signed at least 28 days before the marriage.  

A post-nuptial agreement, on the other hand, may be signed after marriage, and can be made at any point – except for when separation is likely to happen, in which case a Separation Agreement would be most appropriate. 

Settling disputes without escalating cases to court 

Despite the media often portraying family law cases as quick to go to Court, this is often not the case. There are numerous stages before a case makes it way to the court system, if it every does. While making progress as quickly as possible is vital in any case, court proceedings are a last resort, particularly when they concern children. 

Sometimes, the pieces fall into place more easily than anticipated or a client simply needs advice and guidance, rather than formal representation. Settling a dispute in court can be costly and time-consuming, so a family lawyer will exhaust all other avenues of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and avoid court where possible.  

Establishing paternity 

Establishing a child’s maternal origin is often a far easier task than for biological fathers, whose paternity is typically only able to be determined through DNA testing. 

In most cases, paternity cases are filed by the mother to secure child support payments from an absent father. But sometimes biological fathers file for paternity so they can have a relationship with their child.  

In most stable relationships, paternity is rarely at issue. However, some commentators have estimated that between 5 per cent and 20 per cent of children have the wrong man identified as their father.  

In some cases, the real father’s identity has not been disclosed by the mother, despite her knowing his identity. In other cases, the mother may genuinely not know who the father is.  

Establishing a child’s biological origin is recognised by psychologists (and judges) as highly important for their sense of identity.  However, before anyone pursues this course of action, they should fully consider the ramifications for all of those concerned of both a positive and a negative result.  

A family lawyer can guide you through the sometimes emotional and time-consuming process of establishing paternity. 

Our goal at RHL Solicitors is to help make your life easier when it comes to legal support, while providing you with an exceptionally high standard of care, regardless of how far your case is escalated. 

We don’t just try to reach a settlement for you; we help to resolve legal disputes and achieve the very best outcome by tailoring our advice to your own individual needs. 

If you seek advice and service of specialist legal experts with decades of experience, contact our Family Law team who will be more than happy to discuss your matter further. 

RHL Solicitors will have no delays or waiting times in advising you on your situation and will be quick to get you the support and care you deserve.