Lux offers the following range of family law services:

Since the landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino in 2010, prenuptial agreements can be considered legally binding by the courts in the event of a relationship breakdown. The same applies to postnuptial agreements which are entered into after a marriage.

You may be the person wishing to protect your assets in the event of a future divorce. Alternatively, you may be the person being asked to sign a prenuptial agreement in anticipation of a wedding.

When drafted by an expert and with all the necessary criteria being satisfied, these agreements can be a very useful tool to protect wealth and to provide both parties with a degree of certainty for the future. They can also help avoid lengthy and distressing litigation when a relationship breaks down.

It is very important that you instruct an expert who can advise you on your legal rights and how a pre-nuptial agreement may affect you. An experienced advisor will assist with the disclosure process, negotiation and then draft an agreement that has the best possible chance of being upheld as binding.

Charlotte is recognised as a market leader in the preparation and negotiation of both prenuptial and postnuptial agreements having extensive experience in preparing these agreements over many years and for very high net worth clients and celebrities.

If a couple have been married for a year then they are entitled to obtain a divorce. Sadly, there is no such thing as a “no fault divorce” in England and Wales at present, but there is considerable pressure on the government to change the law in the future.

There is currently only one ground for divorce namely the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. To show that, it is necessary to establish one of five facts to rely upon namely adultery, unreasonable behaviour, two years’ separation and consent, five years separation or desertion.

The divorce procedure is almost entirely a paper process and does not usually require the parties to attend court. We endeavour where possible to agree the basis of the divorce, the costs of the divorce and which party will initiate the process. Having done so, the divorce then usually becomes an administrative exercise with paperwork passing between lawyers and the court until the couple are divorced.

Although the most common route for legally ending a marriage is to choose divorce, it is possible in some cases for a marriage to be annulled or for there to be a judicial separation. We can advise if these alternatives should be considered instead of a divorce.

Same-sex couples are now able to marry although they were previously able to enter into a civil partnership. To bring a civil partnership to an end, it must be ‘dissolved’. A dissolution gives civil partners the same financial entitlements as they would have had if going through divorce proceedings. A civil partnership can now be converted into a marriage and we can advise on the procedure for that.

When a couple marry they acquire certain financial rights arising from that marriage. When that marriage breaks down the court has the power and discretion to impose a wide range of financial orders based on criteria set down by law. This area of family law is complex and often contentious.

We have extensive experience in this area. We can advise you as to what your financial entitlement is likely to be and how you best pursue that final settlement. We can advise regarding the strategy and conduct of proceedings to ensure you achieve the best possible outcome.

It may be that your main aim is to vigorously protect your assets. Alternatively, it may be that you want to pursue the most generous settlement you can possibly achieve in the circumstances. Alternatively, you may want to simply formalise a financial settlement you have reached directly with your spouse.

There are many different ways to resolve a client’s financial claims arising from the breakdown of their marriage whether that be by constructive negotiation or by reverting to the court process. Whatever the circumstances, Charlotte is highly experienced in all areas of matrimonial finances and is recognised as a market leader.

Charlotte has experience in the following areas:-

  • Family businesses
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Trusts and family settlements
  • Pensions
  • Ongoing financial support
  • Child maintenance
  • Sports people (sports person or ex-spouse or partner)
  • Financial provision for children
  • High or complicated income streams
  • Inherited assets

Many parents are able to agree the arrangements for their children upon the breakdown of their relationship. In circumstances where that is not possible, they may need some independent advice and assistance in how the care of their children is decided. We are very clear that the best interests of a child should be at the heart of any advice that we give in this regard. Where an agreement cannot be reached it is always our advice to try to resolve any issues in the neutral forum of mediation first. Where necessary though, we have extensive experience in bringing cases to court regarding how children’s time is shared between their parents. This is dealt with by way of a child arrangements order.

At other times, an issue may arise such as in relation to a child’s education or one parent may wish to move abroad with a child. These are all cases dealt with under the Children Act and in which we are highly experienced.

The way in which financial provision for children is approached will very much depend upon the circumstances of each case. It will depend on whether the parents have been married, who cares for the children and their respective financial means.

If parents have been married then the financial arrangements for the children can be resolved through the divorce process.

If no agreement can be reached then it may be necessary to refer to the Child Maintenance Service (a government body) to calculate how much maintenance is paid by one parent to the other.

This can be combined with an application to the court under Schedule I of the Children Act. This legislation enables a court to provide one parent with financial support for a child from the other parent. That can include lump sum orders, a home for the child to live in until a fixed point in the future, maintenance and other support such as school fees or money for a car. These proceedings are complicated and technical and therefore a real understanding of the process and strategy of bringing such a case is crucial.

At other times, an issue may arise such as in relation to a child’s education or one parent may wish to move abroad with a child. These are all cases dealt with under the Children Act and in which we are highly experienced.

When an unmarried couple separate it is far from straightforward. Unmarried couples do not have an automatic financial entitlement as married couples do. There is no such thing as a common law husband or wife. Ordinarily they will have no claim over the assets or income of the other.

Difficulties can arise where property is owned in one person’s name but the other person asserts that they have a claim over a share of that asset because of promises made or steps taken during the relationship. This area of the law is notoriously very complicated and relies upon a combination of trust and property laws. Specialist advice is essential since these cases are very difficult to advance unless there is a very clear understanding of the law and the strategy of successfully bringing a case.

Given our extensive experience, we are able to advise clients whether they have any case to bring and the cost benefit analysis of doing so.

If an unmarried couple have children it may be necessary to bring a Schedule I claim for provision for a child in conjunction with a claim regarding any assets in question.

We also have significant experience in negotiating and drafting Cohabitation Agreements which set out each person’s obligations, rights and entitlements upon commencing cohabitation and in the event of a separation.

Some couples who decide to separate are not ready to formally end their marriage by way of a divorce. Others wish to rely upon two years separation with consent as the basis for the divorce proceedings having decided not to play “the blame game” of unreasonable behaviour or adultery. In circumstances where the couple need to wait for a period of time, it may be sensible to enter in to a separation agreement that avoids the risk of financial uncertainty and risk. Whilst only a divorce can achieve finality, a separation agreement can allow a couple to set out how their assets should be divided and whether there should be any ongoing financial support.

Whilst these agreements are not binding, significant weight can be attached to the agreement reached provided certain criteria are met.

We are experienced in advising whether these agreements are appropriate as well as negotiating and drafting them to our clients’ best advantage.

Sadly, there are occasions when steps need to be taken to protect one person and/or their children from violence or the threat of it. This is obviously a very distressing time for a client and we are experienced in handling these cases sensitively.

We can make an application to the court for an injunction that prevents a perpetrator from living in a previously shared home and/or prevent them from harassing the victim.

In some cases, untrue allegations of domestic violence are made by one partner against the other. We can advise how to defend these.

Contact

Lux Family Law
1 Pontcanna Street
Pontcanna
Cardiff
CF11 9HQ

hello@luxfamilylaw.co.uk
029 2019 7203
07539 203 934