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Your Concerns

When you are going through a divorce or separation you will want to do what is best for your children. The impact on the children of your relationship breakdown will be your biggest concern.

The children may be confused and worried and you might find it difficult to support them at a time when you are struggling with your own fears about the future.

Our Approach 

We will listen to your concerns and we will give you practical advice on the best way to support your child or children at this difficult time. If we cannot reach a resolution by negotiation with your former spouse or partner, we will make a prompt referral to a mediator that we know and trust and, if necessary, to a mediator who has been trained in child consultations. If mediation breaks down or is not suitable, we will apply to the court for an appropriate order. Our approach will always put the interests of the child first.

Our family law partner Saika Alam is a qualified Collaborative Family Law lawyer which means that in the right circumstances she can assist you in reaching a negotiated settlement outside the court process.  Saika is also accredited by the Law Society and is on the Advanced Family Law panel.

Take advantage of our free telephone enquiry so that you can talk through your options and decide on the best way forward for you and your children.

When You Might Need To Apply To The Court 

If you cannot agree where your children should live or how much time they should spend with each of you.  

You can apply to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order – You might be more familiar with the terms “custody” and “contact orders”.  Child Arrangements Orders have now replaced these terms and instead of custody you would be applying to the Court for a “live with” order. These orders are sometimes also called section 8 Orders as they are made under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989.  

Decisions about your children’s health or their education – if you cannot agree which school a child should go to or what medical treatment he or she should receive you may need to apply to the court for a Specific Issue Order – also sometimes called a section 8 Order and applied for under the Children Act 1989. A Specific Issue Order is an Order asking the Court to make a specific decision for a child that would normally be made by the parents of the child with parental responsibility.  All mothers and most fathers nowadays have parental responsibility for their children (ie their rights and duties towards their children.)  

Sometimes a parent will simply remove a child from his or her school without the consent of the other parent. We can assist you with the urgent reinstatement of your child to his or her school and seek a Prohibited Steps Order preventing your child from being removed from school again or from being removed from your care if appropriate.  A Prohibited Steps Order prohibits a parent from taking an action prohibited by a Court Order (in the example given the parent would not be allowed to remove the child from his or her school again.)  

Decisions about religious education – sometimes parents cannot agree on whether a child should have a religious upbringing and again if you cannot reach an agreement a Court can step in and make that decision for the parents of a child. If you found yourself in this position, we could apply to the Court on your behalf for a Specific Issue Order and the Court would decide if it was in your child’s best interests to have a religious upbringing.

Child abduction – if your child has been removed from your care without your consent, we can make an urgent application to the Court for a “Seek and Find Order ” (also known as a “Seek and Locate Order.”) The order is made under Section 33 of the Family Law Act 1986. This is an order directing someone who knows where your child is to disclose your child’s whereabouts. The order can made against an individual and even against a government department such as the Child Benefit Office if the person who has abducted your child is in receipt of child benefit for example.   

Sometimes even if your child has been located the parent who has abducted your child will refuse to return him or her to your care.  If that were to happen, we could apply urgently to the Court for an Order under section 34 of the Family Act 1986. This is an Order instructing the police to recover a child using reasonable force if necessary.

Holidays or relocation outside the UK – if you wish to go abroad to live with your child you must have the permission of your former partner or spouse. If you cannot get that consent, to avoid breaking the law, you would need to apply to the Court for the Court’s permission to take the child abroad.  We can assist you with such relocation application.  Alternatively, you might need to defend an application for leave to relocate and we can advise you on this also. 

If your former partner or your spouse will not allow you to take your child abroad on holiday we can apply urgently to the Court on your behalf for a Court Order giving you permission to take your child abroad and for an order releasing the child’s passport to you for that holiday. 

Some parents may want to take their child abroad to a country that is not safe.  Again, we can apply urgently to the Court for an order preventing the removal of your child from the country. 

Grandparents rights – grandparents have rights too. If you are a grandparent and your son or daughter will not allow you to see your grandchild, you may be able to apply to the Court for an order allowing you to see your grandchild. You would need to seek the Court’s permission first and we can guide you through this Court process.

Financial support for a child – in appropriate circumstances if you were in a cohabiting relationship that has broken down you may be able to apply for housing, school fees and/or lump sum payments for a child living with you. These are sometimes called “Schedule 1” applications as they are made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.

In the case of an older child over 18 if he or she is still in education or training for vocational qualification you may be able to apply for a Court Order for payment towards university fees. 

An older child can also make his or her own application to the court for financial assistance from a parent if they are in education. 

Change of name – A child may have his or her mother’s or father’s surname only.  Upon separation this can be an issue particularly if the child has his or her father’s surname and the mother has reverted to her maiden name. A parent may want their child to carry their surname to maintain their child’s sense of identity and who they are. In the absence of any agreement on this issue we can assist you in an application to the Court for a Specific Issue Order for the court to decide on the change of a child’s surname.

The Court’s Checklist When Deciding On What Order (f any) To Make 

The Children Act 1989 provides guidelines for judges to consider when deciding on the child’s welfare and these are:

The welfare of the child will always be of paramount importance to the Court and in all the advice we give you and all court applications we make on your behalf we will take account of this underlying principle so that you have the best prospects of reaching a resolution that a Court would support.

Examples Of Our Experience

A successful application to the Court on behalf of a mother allowing her to relocate outside of London with her children.  The children’s father was adamantly opposed to the move.

Obtaining specific issue and prohibited steps orders on behalf of a father whose 13-year-old daughter was not returned to his care after spending the weekend with her mother. When the mother refused to comply with the Court Orders and disappeared, we applied urgently to the Court again for an order that the police find the missing child.  The police were able to retrieve the child and return her to her father’s care.

Successfully defending serious allegations of abuse made by mother against a father which were eventually dismissed by the Court.  We applied back to the Court a second time to seek enforcement of the Court Order allowing the father to spend time with his children when the mother refused to comply with the Order. 

What Is A Nuptial Agreement?

A nuptial agreement is a legal contract between a couple that sets out the ownership of all of their  money, property and other assets and how their wealth should be divided between them in the event that their marriage or civil partnership were to break down. You can have a pre-nuptial agreement which is for couples planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership or a post-nuptial agreement which is entered into during the marriage or civil partnership.

Why Get A Nuptial Agreement?

A nuptial agreement can be put in place to provide a couple with peace of mind. Such agreements can be a sensible, fair, and transparent way for a couple to organise their finances. Couples who are entering into a long-term commitment of marriage or civil partnership are much more likely to be fair minded to each other.  This this means that if a couple entered into a nuptial agreement, they could avoid the costs of protracted and acrimonious court proceedings if their marriage or civil partnership broke down.

Who Are These Agreements For?

Such agreements are not just for the rich and famous. There any many reasons why it might be sensible for a couple to sign up to a nuptial agreement such as:

Is A Nuptial Agreement Recognised In This Country?

It is a common misconception that nuptial agreements are an expensive waste of time.  However, if they are drawn up properly and if they meet certain safeguards then such agreements will be upheld by the Court. The Court made this clear in the leading case on nuptial agreements known as Radmacher v Granatino. 

While a Court can uphold a nuptial agreement, if its contents are disputed, a Court would look at such an agreement very carefully.  The Court would want to ensure the nuptial agreement met the needs of both the husband and wife or both civil partners.  Where a nuptial agreement meets the needs of both husband and wife, or both civil partners, and if the couple entered into such nuptial  agreement freely and with the benefit of legal advice then it is very likely that the Court would direct that the separating couple must comply with the terms of their nuptial agreement.

How Is A Nuptial Agreement Created? 

To comply with the law, the nuptial agreement must be drawn up by a qualified solicitor.  The husband and wife or civil partners must have separate solicitors to represent their interests.  They must also disclose all details of their income and their capital to each other.  They must enter into the agreement freely and voluntarily and they must understand all the contents of the agreement. Ideally a pre-nuptial agreement should be signed at least 28 days before the date of the marriage or civil partnership.

Our Approach 

A pre-nuptial agreement is a technical and important document which must be drafted carefully. We have the expertise to advise you on the terms of such agreement (i.e. what you should and should not agree to) and the expertise to draw up the document.

The negotiations for nuptial agreements must be conducted with sensitivity so we undertake a collaborative approach with your husband, wife, or civil partner’s solicitor. We go through the agreement with you carefully and ensure that you understand all its contents before you sign up to such agreement. 

Our family law partner Saika Alam is accredited by the Law Society and is on the Advanced Family Law panel.

Take advantage of our free telephone enquiry to find out how we can support you through the complex process of signing up to a nuptial agreement. 

Some Examples Of Our Experience:

Drafting a prenuptial agreement for a young woman who had been gifted property by her parents and who stood to inherit their significant wealth in time.  Negotiations with her fiancé’s solicitors were lengthy and the agreement went through many drafts before both sides could sign up to it.

Representing a husband in his divorce proceedings after a very short marriage and having previously drafted a prenuptial agreement for him prior to his marriage. We successfully opposed the wife’s challenge to the prenuptial agreement.

For couples in a cohabiting relationship there is no equivalent process to getting divorced or ending a civil partnership. Contrary to popular belief there is no such thing as a “common law marriage”. Cohabiting with someone does not entitle you to the same legal rights as a couple who are married or in a civil partnership.  You can live with your partner for many years and still have no rights over a family home that is in your partner’s sole name.  Cohabitant’s rights are patchy and complex and in the event of a dispute the law can be uncertain and difficult to apply. 

Our Approach

At Branch Austin, we strive to make the complex clear. We will break down the legal principles that apply to your case into language that you can understand. We will endeavour to reach a resolution to your case by negotiation.  However, if those negotiations break down, we will deal with your court application proactively and always undertake a cost against benefit exercise. Cohabitation cases can be expensive to run so you will want to be confident that your approach in any court proceedings is worth the expense and the risk involved in taking your case to court.

Our family law partner Saika Alam is a qualified Collaborative Family Law lawyer which means that in the right circumstances she can assist you in reaching a negotiated settlement outside the court process.  Saika is also accredited by the Law Society and is on the Advanced Family Law panel.

Take advantage of our free telephone enquiry to find out how we can support you through the minefield of ending a cohabiting relationship.

What are your options if you are planning to move in with your partner? 

It is important to ensure that your rights are protected if you are planning to live with your partner, particularly if you intend to buy a home together. If you are planning to buy a home with your partner, you may enter into a cohabitation agreement or have a deed of trust drawn up (or have both). 

The circumstances in which you might want to have a cohabitation agreement, or a trust deed are as follows:

What if your relationship with your cohabitee has broken down and you do not have any formal agreement with him or her in place?

Although some legal remedies are not available to you, such as pension sharing or maintenance for yourself (rather than maintenance for any children),  you may still be able to make a claim on a shared home even if you do not jointly owned it with your former partner. In the alternative you may be able to make a claim for a greater share in a jointly owned home if your contribution to that property was greater than your partner’s contribution.

If you have children, you may be able to “borrow” your partner’s share in a home (whether owned jointly or in your partner’s name only) for as long as the children are dependent. This is commonly known as a “Schedule 1 claim” as it is made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989.  In some cases, you can ask the court for a lump sum on top of a housing allowance so that you can refurbish a home to an acceptable standard that matches the standard of living of your former partner.

If you have children then it may also be possible for you to apply to the court for a “top up” on any child maintenance payment your partner is paying to you as a result of a maximum income assessment by the Child Maintenance Service.  You would need to show that you have specific expenses for the children to pay that cannot be covered by the child maintenance that you receive for them.  

Examples Of Our Experience

Representing a professional footballer in a Schedule 1 claim brought against him by his former partner in which she was seeking housing provision for their son substantially above what was reasonable, taking account of our client’s income and capital. Obtaining a court order and setting up a trust for the child that protected our client’s capital.  That capital had to be paid back to the client when the child attained the age of 18 or completed full time education. 

Representing a mother in very protracted proceedings where the father represented himself.  He had refused to take legal advice, had refused to acknowledge the mother’s share in their home and had refused to put the property on the market for sale.  Obtaining a court order for the sale of the property with a direction that half of the sale proceeds be paid to the mother. In addition, obtaining an order allowing the mother to keep a proportion of the father’s share of the sale proceeds to invest in a new home for herself and their children until the last of the children attained the age of 18 or completed full time secondary education.

The Breakdown Of A Marriage or Civil Partnership

When you are facing a divorce or the end of a civil partnership you need to know where you stand financially. You may be concerned about your immediate financial security or responsibilities, unclear on how to approach the distribution of assets or worried about the kind of financial settlement you might end up with.

Family law work and the financial issues that arise upon the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership has become increasingly complex. The family home, businesses, pensions, trusts, international issues and indeed, whatever the issues you are facing, we never lose sight of the fact that every family breakdown is different and what you need from us is an understanding of your personal circumstances and your objectives. 

Our Approach

Our respected family law team are experienced in dealing with complex and challenging financial cases. It is not just about understanding the law. We listen carefully to what you say about your circumstances so that we are clear on what matters most to you.

When dealing with financial matters in family law we are committed to reducing conflict where possible but if a court application is necessary, we will be proactive in pursuing such application to obtain the best possible outcome for you.  At each stage of your case, we will also undertake a costs against benefit analysis so that you are only pursuing a court application because it is beneficial for you.

We have the ability to call on expertise from colleagues in other disciplines across our firm which means that we can assist you with other matters arising from the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership such as the transfer of a family home or other property, transfer of a business, setting up a trust or making or changing your Will.  

Our family law partner Saika Alam is a qualified Collaborative Family Law lawyer which means that in the right circumstances she can assist you in reaching a negotiated settlement outside the court process.  Saika is also accredited by the Law Society and is on the Advanced Family Law panel.

Take advantage of our free telephone enquiry to find out how we can support you through the minefield of a financial settlement.

The Court’s Approach

How family finances are arranged on divorce or the end of a civil partnership does not follow a fixed formula. Instead the court will share out the assets in a way that is fair to both of you.

You may have a very different view about what “fair “means. You will need to know what the law says about what is fair so that you can:

reach an agreement or a court outcome that takes account of your legal rights and responsibilities 

turn your agreement into a legally binding court order (called a “consent order “) 

The court has a very wide discretion to decide who gets what. This flexibility allows the court to tailor make an arrangement and take account of each family’s individual circumstances. However, this flexibility can make it difficult to predict with complete certainty the outcome of any court application.

The Court’s Checklist When Dividing Family Income and Capital

The Court’s checklist is set out in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The Court will take account of the following:

The Orders That The Court Can Make

In financial proceedings the Court can make a range of orders to divide money, property and income between a divorcing couple or a couple ending a civil partnership. 

The orders are:

Examples Of Our Experience:

Successfully appealing an award of spousal maintenance made against our client who was a footballer– we thought that the figure for child maintenance our client was asked to pay was disproportionate to his income. The Court of Appeal agreed and set aside the Child Maintenance Order 

Negotiating a financial settlement following a divorce with a very substantial buy to let property portfolio – we negotiated an agreement in a bitterly contested case in which extended family members claimed they had a share in the property portfolio. We assisted our client in avoiding a very expensive final hearing and we ensured that the property transfers were timed to minimise the capital gains tax that was payable 

Achieving a fair settlement following contested proceedings for a high net worth client – there were complex issues regarding a husband’s shares in a company that required a formal company valuation.

Sadly, thousands of marriages end in divorce or the breakdown of a civil partnership each year across the United Kingdom. Nobody starts a marriage or civil partnership thinking about divorce or separation. If you are currently going through a divorce or the dissolution of your civil partnership you are not alone. Divorce or separation is a personal decision and only you can decide what is right for you and your family.

Our Approach 

At Branch Austin we will listen, offer you the utmost discretion and use our expert knowledge to help you make informed decisions. We can advise on the complexities of a divorce, ending a civil partnership, annulment or separation and ensure that you make the right decision for you. Take advantage of our free telephone enquiry to talk through your options. We will explain how we can help. You will find our divorce lawyers friendly, approachable and knowledgeable

Our Clients

We have a large base of national and international clients. We represent clients who are not only UK-based but also clients who live abroad but wish to use the English legal system to pursue a divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership.

Legal Separation

Not all couples who separate will want a divorce. Some will prefer a legal separation instead – this may be appropriate where a divorce would not be palatable for religious reasons. 

A legal separation (sometimes called a judicial separation) allows a couple to live apart without divorcing or ending a civil partnership. However, like a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, a legal separation means that the court may exercise its power to divide your financial assets (except for pensions). This may be particularly suited to an older couple who want to preserve the pension provision between them. 

Separation Agreement

If you have not yet decided whether you want to end your marriage or civil partnership, you can enter into a separation agreement instead. This is a written agreement that can cover a range of areas such as what happens to the family home and who continues to live there, who pays the mortgage and other outgoings and what the arrangements for the children should be.  

You can have a separation agreement recording the terms of your financial arrangements where you have separated but have not yet taken divorce proceedings or started off the process of ending your civil partnership.  Be warned that such financial arrangements will be considered by a Court if and when you seek a financial order from the Court. 

Grounds For Divorce or Ending A Civil Partnership

In England and Wales to obtain a divorce or end a civil partnership you must show that your marriage has “irretrievably broken down “. You cannot end your marriage or civil partnership within the first year.

You will also need to state on your divorce or dissolution petition the grounds for your divorce or dissolution of your civil partnership which must be one of the following “facts”:

The Annulment Option

If you are married a divorce is not always the only option open to you. The other option to consider is annulment. This applies in very specific circumstances and includes cases where the marriage was not legally valid because one of the parties to the marriage was already married or underage. Other circumstances include marriages which were never consummated, or which were entered into under duress.

Being subjected to domestic violence or domestic abuse is devastating. There is never any excuse for such conduct. There is a common misconception that domestic violence only happens in homes where there is a level of deprivation. In reality anyone can experience domestic violence regardless of their race, religious group, class, or lifestyle choices. Being from a professional background or being in a relationship in which you enjoy a high standard of living does not necessarily protect you from domestic violence or domestic abuse. Both men and women can experience domestic violence.

What Is Domestic Abuse or Domestic Violence?

Many victims of domestic abuse do not always recognise that the behaviour they are being subjected to from a spouse, partner or other family member is unacceptable.

Domestic abuse can include the following:

Physical or sexual abuse – the assault upon you does not have to be sufficiently violent to leave marks or require medical treatment. Any type of assault including pushing, slapping, punching or any unwanted sexual contact amounts to domestic abuse.

Stalking or harassment – this can take many forms such as being followed or tracked, being bombarded with phone calls or text messages or where your partner or spouse might bombard your family or employer with phone calls or messages.

Online or social media abuse – your partner or spouse might be posting private photographs of you or posting abusive messages about you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media platforms 

Psychological or mental abuse – this can be “gaslighting “, being spoken to in an abusive or derogatory manner to more extreme forms of behaviour where you are made to feel that you are losing your mind 

Coercion and control or financial abuse – Your partner or spouse could be preventing you from seeing family and friends, restricting your access to money, monitoring your phone, or preventing you from working 

Our Approach

At Branch Austin we understand that early action is extremely important. Your safety is our priority and we “fast track ” any court application that might be necessary for domestic violence injunction orders. In many cases we can get such orders for you within 48 hours.

Our family law partner Saika Alam has been dealing with domestic violence cases for over 20 years. She understands that such cases need to be dealt with speed and sensitivity and her approach is client led. Taking that first step to see a solicitor in a case of domestic abuse takes great courage.  Many clients fear the repercussions of going to court. Not all clients will want to apply to the court for domestic violence injunction orders immediately.  Where necessary Saika can signpost you to other sources of help. Saika is accredited by the Law Society and is on the Advanced Family Law panel.

Who Are Our Clients?

We are instructed by both men and women.  We represent both victims of domestic violence and clients who have been accused of domestic abuse and are looking to defend the allegations made against them. 

Where someone has been falsely accused of domestic violence the consequences for him or her can also be devastating. Such clients will often find that their lives have been turned upside down and that they have been forced to give up any contact with their children.  In some cases, they may have also lost their jobs. They will need urgent all-round support to include court applications for child arrangement orders and representations made to their employers. If necessary, our employment law team can make those formal representations to employers on behalf of clients. 

We are also instructed by family members – for example parents who are being subjected to domestic abuse from their children.

Please take advantage of our confidential and free enquiry to find out what your options are.

What Domestic Violence Injunction Orders Are Available To You?

Non-molestation order – This is an order of the court that prohibits your spouse or partner  (or other family member) from using violence against you or threatening you with violence. These orders can be tailored to your specific needs.

Occupation order – sometimes also called exclusion orders. This is an order of the court allowing you to return to your home if you have been locked out of it or alternatively the court can make an order excluding your spouse or partner (or other family member) from your home.

Where appropriate you can apply to the court for the above orders without giving notice of your court application to your spouse, partner or other family member if it is likely that such spouse, partner or family member would stop you from making your domestic violence injunction application to the court if he or she got wind of it. These are sometimes called “ex parte” injunction orders.

Examples Of Our Experience

Acting for a mother who was being subjected to violence from her adult son. Successfully obtained injunction orders excluding her son from her home (and subsequently defended his claim on the mother’s property.)

Acting for a wife with young children who was being subjected to physical, emotional, and financial abuse. Obtaining a court order preventing her husband from using or threatening her with violence. The husband was not allowed to contact her directly and was not allowed to remain in the family home. The court also made an order in this case that the husband continue to pay the mortgage and bills until a financial order had been made in the divorce proceedings between the couple.

Acting for a husband who had been falsely accused of domestic abuse. The husband who was a professional was suspended from his employment and was only allowed to see his child under supervision. The proceedings were protracted but after a two-day trial the court dismissed all his wife’s allegations of abuse against him. He was reinstated to his employment and after separate court proceedings for a Child Arrangements Order he was allowed to see his child without any restrictions.

The Breakdown Of A Marriage or Civil Partnership

When you are facing a divorce or the end of a civil partnership you need to know where you stand financially. You may be concerned about your immediate financial security or responsibilities, unclear on how to approach the distribution of assets or worried about the kind of financial settlement you might end up with.

Family law work and the financial issues that arise upon the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership has become increasingly complex. The family home, businesses, pensions, trusts, international issues, whatever the issues you are facing we never lose sight of the fact that every family breakdown is different and what you need from us is an understanding of your personal circumstances and your objectives. 

Our Approach

Our respected family law team are experienced in dealing with complex and challenging financial cases. It is not just about understanding the law. We listened carefully to what you say about your circumstances so that we are clear on what matters most to you.

When dealing with financial matters in family law we are committed to reducing conflict where possible but if a court application is necessary, we will be proactive in pursuing such application to get the best possible outcome for you. 

We have the ability to call on expertise from colleagues in other disciplines across our firm which means that we can assist you with other matters arising from the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership such as the transfer of a family home or other property, setting up a trust, making or changing your Will.  

Our family law partner Saika Alam is a qualified Collaborative Family Law lawyer which means that in the right circumstances she can assist you in reaching a negotiated settlement outside the court process. 

Take advantage of our free telephone enquiry to find out how we can support you through the minefield of a financial settlement.

The Court’s Approach

How family finances are arranged on divorce or the end of a civil partnership does not follow a fixed formula. Instead the court will share out the assets in a way that is fair to both of you.

You may have a very different view about what “fair “means. You will need to know what the law says about what is fair so that you can:

reach an agreement or a court outcome that takes account of your legal rights and responsibilities 

turn your agreement into a legally binding court order (called a “consent order “) 

The court has a very wide discretion to decide who gets what. This flexibility allows the court to tailor make an arrangement and take account of each family’s individual circumstances. However, this flexibility can make it difficult to predict with complete certainty the outcome of any court application.

The Court’s Checklist When Dividing Family Income and Capital

The Court’s checklist is out in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. The Court will take account of the following:

The welfare of any of your children under the age of 18 (the children will come first)

Your income, what you can earn (known as your earning capacity) the financial resources available to you, your financial needs, obligations, and responsibilities both now and in the future 

The standard of living that you enjoyed before the breakdown of your marriage or your civil partnership 

Your age and the length of your marriage or civil partnership 

Any physical or other disability 

Contributions you have made or will make in the future towards the family. (Contributions are not only financial contributions but also your contribution in looking after the home or caring for the children) 

Any benefits that might be lost by ending the marriage or civil partnership such as a pension 

The behaviour of a husband, wife, or civil partner (this only applies in exceptional cases) 

The Orders That The Court Can Make

In financial proceedings the Court can make a range of orders to divide money, property and income between a divorcing couple or a couple ending a civil partnership. 

The orders are:

Property transfer orders – normally to transfer a family home or other house or company shares 

Orders for sale – the Court can order that a house is sold and the monies from that sale distributed between the husband and wife or the civil partners 

Lump-sum orders – these are cash payments and they can be paid by one party to the other in return for the transfer of the family home for example 

Pension sharing orders – the court can divide a UK based pension between a husband and wife or between civil partners to provide for retirement

Spousal maintenance orders – These are monthly payments to support a husband or wife or civil partner who needs such support. Spousal maintenance will normally be ordered where one person’s income is not enough to meet his or her monthly expenditure 

Child maintenance orders – these are normally dealt with by the Child Maintenance Service but sometimes the child maintenance calculated by the Child Maintenance Service can be topped up by the Court where this is necessary 

Examples Of Our Experience:

Successfully appealing an award of spousal maintenance made against our client who was a footballer– we thought that the figure for child maintenance our client was asked to pay was disproportionate to his income. The Court of Appeal agreed and set aside the Child Maintenance Order 

Negotiating a financial settlement following a divorce with a very substantial buy to let property portfolio – we negotiated an agreement in a bitterly contested case in which extended family members claimed they had a share in the property portfolio. We assisted our client in avoiding a very expensive final hearing and we ensured that the property transfers were timed to minimise the capital gains tax that was payable 


Achieving a fair settlement following contested proceedings for a high net worth client – there were complex issues regarding a husband’s shares in a company that required a formal company valuation.

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32 St James's Street | London | SW1A 1HD | United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 7851 0100
info@branchaustin.com

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