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Family Law for the LGBT Community

We are specialists in same sex divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships, and offer a bespoke service to the LGBT community. Whether you are concerned about your home, your children, your money, your business or your pension we can offer you guidance and assistance.

We also offer a high level of expertise in the area of same sex family law with an international element. Were you married abroad but now live in the UK? Were you married here but have relocated? Are you from different countries? This can lead to unique problems in same sex marriage and civil partnerships and we can help you address them.

Going through a divorce or dissolution and trying to reach a workable financial settlement can be a daunting prospect. We have represented high net worth individuals, household names, ex pats as well as individuals with companies, offshore trusts, farming assets and foreign property. We can issue court proceedings in emergency situations for example to prevent the dissipation of assets or to obtain interim maintenance.

We aim to achieve a fair and binding solution by negotiating with your former partner's lawyer or by means of collaborative law, mediation referral, arbitration or court proceedings.

We offer a Petitioner fixed fee divorce or dissolution package of £750 plus vat and court fee, and a Respondent fixed fee divorce or dissolution package of £450 plus vat. This does not include advice relating to children or financial issues or contested divorce or dissolution proceedings.

Fixed fee packages are available on application for Court hearings, Cohabitation Agreements, Separation Agreements, and Consent Orders from £500 plus vat.

We can deal with:

  • Converting civil partnerships into marriages. This can be a minefield if your civil partnership was not registered in England or Wales, and there may be implications if you are thinking of relocating abroad.
  • Recognition of civil partnerships and same sex marriages abroad. Do you want to relocate away from England and Wales and are concerned about the level of recognition in another country? There are endless variations and the situation is constantly evolving. 
  • Protecting the pension rights of individuals in same sex relationships. John Walker’s recent Court case has highlighted that pension law is discriminatory when it comes to same sex relationships.
  • Preparing divorce or dissolution petitions. The grounds for divorce are the same as for opposite sex marriage with the controversial exception of adultery. It is of course still possible to dissolve a civil partnership or a same sex marriage but the petition takes careful drafting
  • Property disputes involving assets, property and businesses based in England and Wales, or abroad
  • Issues relating to payment of maintenance where the child or payer lives in the England and Wales, or abroad
  • Emergency financial applications
  • The registration, variation and enforcement of orders made in England and Wales in foreign countries, and vice versa
  • Pre-nuptial agreements for couples, regardless of where you live, and advice on the enforceability of foreign pre-nuptial agreements
  • Financial applications in England following a foreign divorce
  • Child arrangements for children including for children with a parent overseas
  • Skype mediation on child arrangements where one parent is overseas
  • Hague Convention proceedings
  • Wardship proceedings
  • Moving abroad with children.
  • International parental child abduction

Donor and Pre conception Parenting Plans and Agreements are becoming increasingly common place as parenthood is embraced by an increasing number of same sex couples, single parents and heterosexual couples who are not romantically connected.

Conflict can arise between co-parents or known donors in situations especially where

(i) values relevant to parenting have not been fully explored prior to the birth of a child.
(ii) The legal status and expectations of the role of the donor are not agreed
(iii) the non-biological mother feels undervalued

We strongly recommend and have links to committed specialist mediators who can assist all parties involved consider and agree on important aspects of parenting which should be fully explored before conception takes place.

Suitability and stumbling blocks become evident through the mediation process and therefore engaging in this process can avoid the wrong choices being made before it is too late and give peace of mind that expectations and values are understood and accepted. Future misunderstandings and disagreements are minimised by talking openly and fully about practicalities, hopes and expectations with an experienced mediator.

Following mediation, we can assist with the preparation of the parenting plan or agreement. They are not fully enforceable but give clarity as to intentions and agreements and following the birth of the child which is very helpful should a future dispute arise.

We can also assist with defining and protecting rights and responsibilities by consent orders in the Family Court and deal with contentious issues by way of court application if agreement cannot be reached.

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