Divorce & Separation
Family related work covers many areas, in particular Separation, Divorce, Children, Care Proceedings, Financial and Property Disputes, Pension Disputes, Domestic Violence and Harassment.
The firm has a number of lawyers who work in this particular area of law, all of whom work under the general supervision of Mr Peter Furness and Mr Philip Duffy.
If you would like to contact us email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01325 28 11 11
Our family lawyers are:
1. Mr Peter Furness
2. Mr Phillip Duffy
3. Miss Rebecca Payne
4. Miss Tanya Bloomfield
We can arrange to see you at either our Darlington or Catterick office, or at one of our interview facilities in Newcastle, Gateshead, Leeds or Sunderland.
As each of our family lawyers has a different specialism and different level of experience, when you first contact us our practice manager will discuss with you, either in person or over the telephone the general nature of your case. She will ask you a series of short questions to ascertain whether you are eligible for any form of public funding towards our fees, and if you are not, explain how we propose to charge you for the work we do. She will make an appointment for you to see the most appropriate lawyer to suit your own case circumstances. We try very hard to ensure that you see someone immediately.
For more information about each individual service see below:
If you or your children are a victim of domestic violence then we can help you put a stop to it. We have lawyers dedicated to putting an end to Domestic Violence and we can offer you an immediate appointment. We will tell you what the law says, what the procedure is and what you will have to do. We can obtain orders which will give the police the power to make an arrest if it should happen again, and we can obtain orders removing a person from your home and keeping them away.
What is an injunction?
An injunction is a Court Order, which can restrain a person's behaviour or regulate the occupation of a property. In relation to domestic violence or abuse a Judge can make an order that forbids the violent person from using further violence and forbids them from threatening, harassing or pestering you or even getting someone else to do it for them. These orders are called non-molestation orders. An order can also exclude the violent partner from the home. This is called an occupation order.
You do not have to be married to the violent person to get an injunction and you may not currently be living with them. Most injunction orders are not breached by the violent person and are usually enough to stop the violence for good. If you think this might help you then ring us now on 01325 28 11 11 and ask for our family dept.
When we first see you we will listen to what you want to tell us, tell you whether you qualify for legal aid, and tell you what we think your prospects of a successful outcome at court are likely to be. If you want to make an application, we will type out a statement for you and in an urgent case go with you that same day to the Court and ask to see the Judge as an emergency. Usually we secure for our clients an interim injunction that same day, which is sufficient to protect you.
At that hearing there will only be you, us and the judge. Of course your opponent must ultimately be given the right to put their side of the story to the Judge and they will be given a date and time upon which to do that. We will again accompany you to that hearing and will represent you in court.
If you are worried about what will happen to your accommodation then let us know and we will help you. We can refer you to our Housing team, if needs be, and one of their specialist lawyers will be happy to give you further advice. Similarly, if you have employment problems as a result, our Employment team can also help. Just ask. We work closely with other agencies which can assist you where we are unable. So if for example you have problems with welfare benefits, or education issues, just tell us and we will make sure you see someone who specializes in those areas.
Many people like to consult us to find out where they stand when their relationship hits a difficult patch. Many clients have no intentions of starting divorce proceedings and many simply wish to get advice on what is involved in ‘separating’ from their spouse.
If you wish to consult us on this basis we will be more than happy to help.
For some couples, their relationship has broken down irretrievably and they have already decided to end it before they see us. Nevertheless, it is still a daunting task, and there are many issues to consider for divorcing couples, such as the children, finance, the division of your assets, who should live where, inheritance, change of names, the costs of the proceedings, and even whether lawyers are necessary in their case. Some of the more specific issues which arise are:
Should they receive any maintenance payments from either party, where will they live and with whom, when will they see the other parent, schooling, health, religious and social issues.
We often assist not only parents with gaining contact to their children but also grandparents getting contact with their grandchildren. This is an emotive issue which requires a sympathetic but practical approach. All of our Family Lawyers are well experienced in this field and we have available both male and female lawyers to assist you.
Finance and Property
Should one party pay to the other any maintenance; should the house be sold; should the house contents be sold; what happens to any endowment or assurance policies; what happens to any savings and investments; what happens to any pensions; who is to be responsible for any matrimonial debts.