Family lawyer - recommendation needed

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Sw17mumof2
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Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Sw17mumof2 » Wed Dec 01, 2021 2:21 pm

Hi everyone,

Sensitive subject but I need some help.

I have come to realise that I may have reached the end of the road on my marriage. My husband suffers with depression and alcohol addiction which have gone completely downhill in the past 2 years. Despite of constant calls and pleads for him to get help things go nowhere and I am tired of living in chaos. The situation just gets worse and worse.

I would like to ask for recommendations for a family lawyer. Could you please share any you may have? I am particularly concerned as I have 2 young children and not sure how parental responsibilities can be shared post a separation.

My husband is not able to care for anyone, let alone the children. I never leave them with him so the thought that he may get a 50/50 split in terms of time with them fills me with fear for their safety.

Anyway, conscious I could go on and on. Sorry for all this information and thanks if you have read this far.

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Mum2two2012
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Mum2two2012 » Thu Dec 02, 2021 6:36 am

Good morning SW17Mumof2, really sorry to read this especially at this time of year. I am going through horrific separation/divorce. It took me quite a long to find the right solicitor. Unfortunately solicitors are fee earners and I many of them can be quite litigious . My husband has fully instructed his solicitor and is  haemorrhaging money. I am using a practice called Branch Austin . I am unable to fully instruct due to money restraints. I have found them very professional and calming. We do not speak a lot due to the costs and we email more. I fill out forms and they approve them. I was required to fully instruct them a few weeks ago when I needed an Occupation Order to be set aside. We were successful and I am extremely grateful.  I have a final l hearing next year and I will be seeking a Barrister through the Direct  Access Scheme.  I have also  bought a book called the The Family Court without a Lawyer  by Lucy Reed and there are some really good websites - Woman's Aid, Advicenow. I have really struggled calling them though and have given up now! Citizens Advice Bureau have been really helpful as well. Happy to talk if you want. PM me . It is really important to get the right solicitor. Many will give you 30 minutes free.. It is not a cheap exercise by any means but hopefully you and your husband can split amicably and put the children first. Mediation is an option as well. Unfortunately I am a victim of domestic abuse so it is not an option for me. I am filling my Form A to start financials, then child care. My husband is extremely angry and unhappy and has been planning this for a long time. It is a shame that he cannot see who he is really hurting and that the children. Good luck!
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Sw17mumof2
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Sw17mumof2 » Thu Dec 02, 2021 1:57 pm

Mum2two2012 - I am so sorry to hear what you have been going through. Sending you a hug from over here. Thank you so much for all this info & advice. I will have a look. Hope you manage to find your way out and have your fresh start.

AbevilleMummy - if you are reading this, thanks for reaching out offline. Truly appreciate it!!

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Starrystarrynight
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Starrystarrynight » Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:32 am

I can't go into how I have this recommendation, because there is an ongoing and complex legal matter ongoing, but I absolutely cannot recommend Fletcher Day, highly enough. Specifically Emma Nash. They are an excellent and very fair practice. Fairness is genuinely what gets you the best deal. Do not try and get a ball breaking, guns blazing solicitor, as it could harm you in a custody battle. And bear in mind when it comes to a parent with 'bad' behaviour and negative habits...the bar is EXTREMELY low. Convicted Criminals (this is what we are dealing with currently) and drug users still gain access to unsupervised contact, so always keep that in mind. If you can avoid family courts, please do. Once you're in the process you can't get out, and it's very difficult to ensure judge's see things from your perspective, as the family courts focus always falls on the fact that they believe that every child SHOULD have both parents as involved as possible in their lives. Often, they are not right, but this happens frequently. It is extremely hard to show that a child would be better off without unsupervised contact with the other parent, so invariably, a parent who does have a substance issue, or criminal record, will still gain unsupervised contact at some point in the child's life.
Get some really good legal advice on how not to get into the system, if you can. Then you will have a lot more control over what happens to your child. I hope this helps.
I realise that some will have differing advice and experience, but this advise cones from a very long legal battle, that began after some involvement with lazy solicitors, and years later followed up with some excellent work from the solicitors that I mentioned.
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Sw17mumof2
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Sw17mumof2 » Sat Dec 04, 2021 4:24 pm

Starrystarrynight - thank you very much for the info and insight.
Have heard it is difficult to dissuade the courts from granting some level of parental responsibilities.
Part of me feels that if the info I get is that this is unavoidable then I am stuck. I would never be able to do it, not at least until I feel the children are able to take care of themselves.
Aim is to do as much info gathering as possible so truly appreciate all the help.
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Anon1234
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Anon1234 » Mon Dec 06, 2021 9:18 am

I was in a very similar position about 3 years ago. My husband was an alcoholic and it was a really awful time. I also came to the conclusion that I couldn’t carry on like that, and I know how hard it is to walk away so I really feel for you.

Getting some legal advice ASAP is definitely the right thing to do - I can recommend Bryan Jones at HFC Law.

When we separated, I was also really concerned about leaving my children alone with my husband so I said that he couldn’t see them unless he was supervised (by a responsible family member or a nanny rather than a formal supervisor) and that he couldn’t have them overnight. He did not fight this (although it was off the back of a very bad incident that happened right after I told him I wanted a divorce) and it put me in a much stronger position because then it was up to him to take me to court to fight it, rather than me trying to impose it later on through the courts. If he is a danger to your kids then they will recognise this, although of course they want to give parents the chance to show they can be responsible and to have their children on their own.

If he becomes aggressive then they can also help you with an occupation order (meaning he can’t enter your home) and/or a non-molestation order, both of which I was granted through the courts.

I would be very happy to talk to you more about my experience and offer any advice I can - but if not, I wish you all the best and hope it works out for you.
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Vicki W
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Vicki W » Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:00 am

Angela Simpson <as@hudgellpartners.co.uk>

Would highly recommend the above soliticitor re substance abusive partner.  Having said that, I would steer as far away from family court as possible.  They are not safe for women and children as they favour father's rights over women and children's safety and human rights. I speak as someone who has been in family court for 2.5 years trying to get contact restored by a domestically abusive ex who cut all contact between me and my child. Child is too scared to protest and abuser has managed to persuade child that his violence was just me over reacting.  All the judges I have seen have completely refused any fact finding around 19 years of domestic abuse in order to pretend there are no issues with him refusing contact. My child has effectively been taken hostage.

Angela knows her stuff around abusive men and can tell you what your options are to keep out of the court and keep your children safe.
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KnickerKnacker
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby KnickerKnacker » Mon Dec 06, 2021 10:39 am

Agree totally re finding a solicitor who helps you to reach harmonious agreement. It’s enormously easy to get into war and that helps precisely nobody except the lawyers.

Just be aware that your husband will almost certainly get some rights to access the kids. Although it sounds as if he has serious issues, they are still his children. And unless a judge is convinced they will come to serious harm in his care, it’s unlikely to convince them that he shouldn’t have access. Although uncomfortable I would urge you to think about what could be done about shared custody and what you might be able to accept. Otherwise it will be very easy to get into a bitter and expensive fight. I realise it might not be ideal for the kids and it must be really horrendous for you but warring parents and not seeing their Dad will also be awful.

Wishing you the very best of luck. It sounds really difficult.
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Sw17mumof2
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Sw17mumof2 » Mon Dec 06, 2021 7:15 pm

Thank you Anon1234 - glad this in the past for you. Sounds horrific.

Thank you Vicky W. I am sorry to read what is happening for you. It made me angry and sad. Sending you a virtual hug.

Thank you KnickerKnacker. Conscious he will need access. But it would need to be in a setting where the children are safe (at least this is my ideal scenario). Perhaps no overnight responsibility or with another chosen adult. Things to ponder.
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Just Family Law
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Just Family Law » Tue Dec 07, 2021 1:29 pm

Hi, I am a family lawyer and happy to have a no obligation chat, Georgina: 0203 150 1013
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donnykatz
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby donnykatz » Mon Jun 27, 2022 10:26 am

I usually recommend people to give it another try and save their family, but unfortunately, it is not always the case, and it’s not always possible to do so. It seems like you are in one of those cases. You did your best to help your husband for 2 years, and it’s not your fault he doesn’t want to help himself. I had a similar situation, and only God knows how much I’ve tried to save our marriage. I was in the army, and I was lucky to able able to use the services of the Best Military lawyer. They made the process smooth and quick for me. I don’t know anything about your background, but if you are eligible to use their services, I recommend doing so.
Last edited by donnykatz on Thu Jun 30, 2022 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Platypus
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Re: Family lawyer - recommendation needed

Postby Platypus » Mon Jun 27, 2022 12:08 pm

I can recommend a phenomenal family lawyer with real experience and expertise in contending with abusive (forgive me, I know that's a hard word to hear in this situation) men. She's also excellent on the finance side. She has acted for a friend with a horrendous ex, who was financially and emotionally abusive and also saw her as a walking cheque-book. Her solicitor was very supportive - and not out to increase billing by increasing the conflict, either. 

Emily Watson at Raydens. She's Resolution registered (they are solicitors who act in family matters who are committed to avoiding conflict wherever possible - agree with those above that it's toxic in family disputes, especially), a qualified arbitrator for children's disputes and she's highly ranked in all the legal directories. She has real skill and experience with very high conflict situations pertaining to children, especially, and will absolutely understand your anxiety around their safety. 

Honestly, my friend said she was a bit terrifying (though very kind) but it sounds like your ex needs you to have a lawyer like that. 

I am so, so sorry you are in this situation. 
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