Our family team is made up of Manda Toms, Jane Blanks and Lindsey Jackson who, between them, have advised countless families on issues concerning children, giving practical guidance and helping people understand the processes and procedures involved.
All of our family law team are members of Resolution, an organisation dedicated to solicitors resolving family disputes in a non-confrontational way. When it comes to matters involving children, you can be assured of receiving sensitive, professional service in a relaxed, friendly environment.
How we can help
Our family law solicitors can provide you with expert legal advice on all legal matters related to:
- Child Arrangements Orders, Prohibited Steps and Specific Issue Orders
- Special Guardianship
- Public Law proceedings
- Adoption and Fostering
- Surrogacy, Sperm and Egg Donor and Transgender issues
- Parental Responsibility
- Child Maintenance
We operate fixed fee schemes in many areas of relationship management and breakdown which gives you absolute certainty of the costs involved from the moment you appoint us.
To find out more about how we can advise on children’s matters, please fill in our contact form, or phone us on 01872 241414 to be directed to your closest office.
Child Arrangement Orders, Prohibited Steps and Specific Issue Orders
Divorce can be exceptionally hard on children. All of our family law team are members of Resolution – a group of 6,500 solicitors who work with families in conflict and help them put the needs of their children first.
We have developed a strong reputation as one of the best family law departments in the West Country. Being a local Cornish firm, with over 225 years’ history in the region, we understand the needs and challenges facing families in our local area and beyond.
Parents reaching agreements between themselves
In a majority of cases, we help parents reach an agreement regarding arrangements for their children without the matter having to go to court. The English legal system encourages this, as studies show that when parents make arrangements for children between themselves, the agreement is more likely to stick, especially through changing circumstances, such as one parent entering a new relationship.
If a dispute concerning what was formally known as ‘custody and access arrangements’ should occur, our team will employ alternative dispute resolution measures such as round table meetings and mediation to resolve any issues in an amiable manner.
What the law says regarding children and divorce
Before granting a divorce, a judge will ask to see a Statement of Arrangements, outlining how a couple plans to care for their children whilst living apart. The Children Act 1989 states that the welfare of the child is paramount in a divorce case. Terms such as custody and access have been replaced by residence and contact, and parental rights are now known as parental responsibilities.
There are some cases where litigation proceedings are inevitable; for example, if the relationship was abusive or the hostility between the parents means they need a judge to make a decision for them. In these type of cases, we will provide robust representation to ensure your desires are heard and protect you from any element of bullying from your estranged partner.
Public Law Proceedings
Adoption & Fostering
Adopting a child is a wonderful experience and our family solicitors will be there to ensure the process goes smoothly and all the legal requirements are met.
At Nalders Solicitors, our experienced, friendly team will assist you with all aspects of the adoption process including:
- Adopting a child from another country, including providing advice and representation on any parenting assessments held in a foreign jurisdiction
- Having an international adoption recognised in the UK
- Advising local authorities on adoption procedures and processes
- Assisting UK couples residing abroad in adopting a British child
- Adopting a child who is currently in care
Putting the child first
When it comes to adoption, we put the welfare of the child first in all our dealings. We aim to make the adoption process as clear-cut and smooth as possible. Because we have been advising clients in the South West for many generations, we can quickly put adoptive parents in touch with the support services they may need if they are adopting a child who has endured a difficult upbringing.
Why choose us?
Local authorities and prospective adopting parents have been receiving advice from us for decades. All our family law solicitors are members of Resolution. Our expertise is highly respected as is our commitment to providing quality, innovative legal advice at a cost-effective price.
We have an in-depth understanding of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 which, when enacted, was aimed at improving adoption support to encourage more people to come forward to adopt. It places a duty on local authorities to make arrangements for the provision of adoption support services to promote adoption as a means of giving children in care the chance to live in permanent homes. We can provide expert advice to local authorities on all aspects of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and adoption law that has emerged from the courts.
Surrogacy, Sperm & Egg Donor and Transgender Issues
A surrogacy arrangement is a practice whereby a woman carries a child for another person with the intention that the child should be handed over at birth to the commissioning couple and raised as theirs. The surrogate then hands the baby over to the couple when it is born. At present, surrogacy agreements are not legally recognised under UK law. A woman who gives birth to a baby is legally its mother, whether or not she is biologically related to the child. If she is married, her spouse is the legal father.
Once the baby is born, the couple wishing to raise the baby must apply for a Parental Order to get custody of the child and the surrogate must give full consent to this being granted.
Problems can arise when the surrogate decides to keep the baby or the parents do not want to apply for a parenting order, leaving the surrogate to raise the child.
It is against the law in the UK to pay a surrogate for carrying a baby; however, the commissioning couple may pay the surrogate’s expenses.
How Nalders Solicitors can assist in a surrogacy situation
Because it is relatively unregulated, surrogacy is a delicate area of law which should be managed by an experienced family law solicitor. At Nalders Solicitors, our family lawyers are members of Resolution. We understand surrogacy, the complex emotions and challenges it can involve and have the experience required to assist those on both sides of a surrogacy arrangement should a dispute arise. We can also draw up a surrogacy agreement, which, although is not enforceable in the courts, will mitigate any confusion arising from miss-communications. We will also assist you in applying for a Parenting Order following the birth of the baby.
To find out more about how we can advise on children’s matters, please fill in our contact form, or phone 01872 241414 to be directed to your closest office.
Legal aid is still available for some areas of family law, provided you meet certain criteria. Please contact us and we will be happy to discuss with you the criteria for legal aid and whether you will qualify.
Generally these cases are where there is domestic abuse; child protection concerns or for parents involved in care proceedings brought by a Local Authority.
Legal aid may also be available if you have a court order granting you parental responsibility for a child which was made prior to care proceedings or made during a care case or for help with mediation in family matters.
Once again dismissing the idea of common law marriages and rights, the High Court has dismissed an ex-partner’s claim for a share in the sale proceeds of a farm owned by her partner. Mr Griffey bought the farm in his sole name with a mortgage granted to him alone. ...read more
The rights of unmarried couples have been strengthened by the recent Supreme Court decision in favour of Siobhan McLaughlin, an unmarried mother from Northern Ireland. Ms McLaughlin and her partner, John Adams, had been together for 23 years and had 4 children...read more
The Supreme Court judgment in Owens and Owens handed down on 25 July 2018 is a reminder that whilst the average marriage may be becoming shorter, the law governing marriage is not so quick to end a marriage where there is no blame. Mrs Owens sought to divorce...read more