Divorce and Family Law Solicitors
We understand that anyone dealing with a family matter requiring legal support is often vulnerable and unsure of what lies ahead. We offer the level of support that many law firms are unable to provide due to their large size or outdated approach. If you are going through a family law matter, you need the guidance of a law firm with the time and expertise to patiently support you through each step of the legal process. When you instruct RVS Solicitors, you can be confident in the knowledge you have a senior Solicitor working on your legal case, from the outset to completion. Our team of family law Solicitors will fight tenaciously to ensure you and your children’s best interests are protected.
Our Family Law team is led by Rakhi Singal, who has years of experience in Family Law matters and is highly appreciated by her peers and clients alike for her sharp mind and compassionate approach to the cases.
Our family law services
Our experienced lawyers are able to advise on all areas of family law including:
- Children Matters
- Civil Partnership Dissolution
- Cohabitation Agreements
- Domestic Violence
- Financial Settlement
- International Divorce
- Pet Law
- Pre and Post Nuptial Agreements
Putting the needs of you and your children front and centre
We always take into consideration your needs and those of your children. Children are incredibly vulnerable during periods of family upheaval, and at every point, we will help you keep their needs front and centre. We will help ensure their lives will carry on as normal; that their schooling and living arrangements will be given a top priority, and ultimately, they will have a safe roof over their head, regardless of what is happening.
Our approach in children cases is mostly focused on finding long term solutions that will work not only two months from when you approach us, but also in years to come, minimising any potential of conflict in the future.
A family law practice with a big heart
No matter what your family law matter is, our specialist family law solicitors can help. We only take on a limited number of cases, ensuring we can take your call and speak to you when you most need it. As your legal matter progresses, we want to be able to focus on your needs and those of your family, safe in the knowledge that, from a legal perspective, your matter is in the best hands.
The focal point of our approach to family cases is that by keeping a cool head and ensuring cooperation from the early days, we can conserve the family assets and ensure they are used where you most need them: enhancing your own life, raising your children and building your future, rather then spending them on legal fees that will not be of any real benefit to you long term.
Best family lawyers will always have your interest at forefront, which in most cases means to temper the emotions that normally are flying very high in family cases. Our experienced family solicitors will always guide you on the best approach to take and will ensure that the hurt and emotional turmoil that is naturally always present in a divorce and separation matters, doesn’t cloud your judgement, leading you to making mistakes that might impact your emotional and financial well-being for years to come.
All areas of family law covered
Our expert family lawyers cover all areas of family law, including:
At RVS Solicitors, we are passionate that children have the right to grow up in a safe and secure environment, free from exposure to adult pressures. When families break down, the feeling and needs of the children need to be given priority.
If you are in dispute with your ex-partner about making formal arrangements for your children, we will help. We believe in looking at all the options available and selecting one that preserves the ongoing relationship between you and your partner as much as possible, as in most cases, this is in the long-term best interests of the children. Court litigation may be needed, but we have found the best results arise from mediation and other non-confrontational approaches of coming to an agreement.
If litigation is inevitable, you can rest assured that you have the best family solicitors who will put forward the most robust case possible on your behalf. Our family solicitors have relationships with some of London’s top family barristers, who will enhance your chances of obtaining the best results for your children.
Our specialist child arrangement lawyers will assist in drafting a new or amended child arrangement order (CAO). Not only will our experienced lawyers help you put on paper the agreement reached with your ex-partner, but will assist you in reaching an agreement that is truly in the best interest of the child and can be implemented. Often enough, when couple’s are separating, they will agree on a child arrangement that is simply not viable, due to the lack of foresight. Our family lawyers have seen it all and dealt with it all and their experience means they know what to expect and what to look for.
In cases where the person seeking the CAO does not currently have parental responsibility (PR), our team will seek a PR order in the first instance.
We are also aware of the emotional trauma experienced by grandparents who are sometimes side-lined during divorce proceedings, meaning they no longer have access to their grandchildren. This may occur because the parent who has primary custody wishes to distance themselves and their children from the family of their ex-partner. This may, however, cause considerable distress for children and their grandparents alike. In such circumstances, non-confrontational alternative dispute resolution methods can prove highly effective. By inviting all parties concerned to discuss the matter objectively, and to include the wishes of the children, a solution can often be reached without the need to attend Court. Our specialist child solicitors will help grandparents obtain contact with their grandchildren, thereby ensuring that life continues as normal, once the marriage the children were born to has failed.
If your ex-spouse or partner has abducted your child to another country, we will treat your case with the utmost urgency, while providing the support you need. We have a deep understanding of the Hague Convention, as it relates to parental child abduction. If you child has been taken to a State which is not a signatory to the Hague Convention and is not party to another bi-lateral agreement to ensure the safe return of children to their habitual residence, we will work with foreign embassies and local Solicitors to try and negotiate your child’s return.
If you have reason to believe your child is at risk of abduction by their parent, RVS Solicitors can act quickly to implement preventative measures. Depending on the precise circumstances, we can seek a Specific Issue Order or Prohibited Steps Order under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 (CA 1989). Doing so will prevent your child from being taken to another country / legal jurisdiction. A passport order can also be used to confiscate passports and travel documents of the child and adults concerned. An All Ports can also be put on alert in the event of an imminent abduction (24 – 48 hours).
Where a child has already been abducted, we may urgently seek a Tipstaff location order from the High Court, if we have reason to suspect someone knows of their whereabouts; the order then places that person under a legal duty to disclose the location of the child.
Our team of specialist family solicitors is also well versed in dealing with the cases where one of the parents has brought the child who is habitually resident in another country to the UK, believing the child was not safe in that country. We can assist in putting forward the case that the child would face intolerable circumstances should they be forced to return back.
We have the best family solicitors who specialise in Hague Convention cases and we work closely with barristers who have vast experience in such matters and have acted in many precedent setting cases.
If you are planning to adopt a child from another country, you will need the guidance and support of specialist Solicitors able to secure their immigration status and ultimately British Citizenship. We specialise in family and immigration law, which means all of the legal details will be handled by one Solicitor, ensuring a faster and more robust outcome for you and the child you are adopting. Our family solicitors will liaise with our specialist immigration solicitors, so that your case receives the attention it needs, while you don’t have to worry about talking to several solicitors.
All aspects of the inter-country adoption process must be handled correctly from the outset. At RVS Solicitors, we will take the time to listen to your circumstances in detail and will support you at each step of the way. Our team will review the eligibility requirements for the country you wish to adopt a child from and recommend how any issues can be overcome. We understand that adopting a child from overseas can be enormously rewarding, exciting, and emotionally challenging, and hence our goal is to lift the legal and administrative burden from your shoulders, allowing you to focus on meeting your intended adoptive child and preparing for their journey to reside with you and your family. Ultimately, the safeguarding of the child is paramount in any such proceedings, and we will do everything we can with this as our primary goal. It can take around six months from the initial enquiry stage to being accepted as able to adopt a child from another jurisdiction, and an adoption order may take a further six to nine months longer. As such, international adoption proceedings require considerable patience as they move through the various stages. At RVS Solicitors, we understand this wait can be agonising, and hence we will seek to keep the process moving by pushing for progression with the other parties involved.
Surrogacy is a complex area of law in the UK, and as such needs to be handled diligently. The big advantage of a small law firm such as RVS Solicitors is that we get more acquainted with what is going on in the lives of our clients. During a surrogacy process, you will most likely want to be fully assured and informed at all of the key points – this is something we can provide. We understand the subtleties of the law around surrogacy in the UK and will secure your Parental Order. In the case of an internal surrogacy arrangement, we will work with you to ensure the child has the right to enter and remain in the UK following birth.
Our surrogacy family law Solicitors can assist with any type of surrogacy, including:
- Partial surrogacy – whereby the surrogate mother is the child’s biological mother. In this case, the child is genetically related to the father / sperm donor and the surrogate mother.
- Total surrogacy – Also referred to as gestational surrogacy, occurs when the woman who carries the baby is not the biological mother of the child. The embryo may come from the genetic mother and father, or a donor egg / donor sperm.
When handling surrogacy cases, it is essential to have a robust knowledge of the laws which relate, including the Surrogacy Arrangements Act 1985, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Parental Orders) Regulations 2010, Family Procedure Rules 2010, and Adoption and Children Act 2002.
During divorce proceedings, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the changes to your life circumstances and worried about what the future might hold. At RVS Solicitors, we have the time and level of personal service to ensure you feel you have someone on your side, looking after the best interests of you and your children. Because we specialise in several fields of law, we can deal with the other aspects that divorce often impacts including businesses, property, trusts, and children matters. We always try to resolve disputes arising during divorce without the need to refer the matter to court, but litigation is inevitable, you can be assured our robustly represent your case to achieve the best possible outcome.
Following a divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership, both parties must make clear and fair decisions regarding finances. We understand the unease which arises from not knowing how your future finances will transpire, especially for the more financially dependent party. As our client, you can be confident we will work to ensure the best outcome for you. To achieve this, we will do everything possible to bring about complete financial transparency, and full regard is given to the provisions of the Matrimonial Causes Act (section 25). This means that all matrimonial assets must be disclosed, including any property, cash, investments, trusts, vehicles, and personal items. Likewise, it will be necessary to consider how any debts accrued during the marriage will be repaid (i.e. loans, credit card, store card, mortgages, or overdrafts).
Having assessed the matrimonial assets, our team will assist in working out what is required in terms of spousal maintenance. If one person is at a financial disadvantage following a divorce because they took the role of looking after children and the household, while the other continued their career, maintenance may be required to allow them to work towards a position of financial independence. As an alternative, there may be a preference to seek a ‘clean break’, whereby both individuals go their own way, but there is no ongoing financial dependence.
If there are dependent children from the relationship, an arrangement for child maintenance will also need to be worked through. This will ideally be assessed by both parties in an amicable way, to preserve a level of cooperation for the sake of the children. Matters can be referred to the Court or the Child Maintenance Service if an agreement cannot be found by other means.
It is understandable if you are in this position that you maybe unsure how to proceed. By speaking to one of our specialist family law Solicitors, you will have time and space to explain what has happened and how you would like matters to be resolved. We will then assess your legal situation and recommend the best course of action to protect your interests and those of your children.
Prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements
Pre and post-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly commonplace, especially as many are entering second and subsequent marriages or civil partnerships later in life, and bring with them their accumulated wealth and assets. If you are planning the next stage of your life with your partner, it is important to consider your property will be handled in the event of separation. Where we bring real value is by taking the time to get to know you and your situation. This combined with our experience, means we ask all the questions needed to ensure no aspect of the pre or post-nuptial agreement is ignored. If you are being presented with an agreement, our team can also advise you of its long-term effects.
If you are living with another person as cohabiting partners, and your relationship has broken down, it is important to understand your legal position. Your legal rights will differ from married couples or those in a civil partnership. You have no automatic right to financial support from your ex-partner, nor will you be able to claim an interest in their assets or property in their sole name, regardless of the length of your relationship. It is for this reason that a cohabitation agreement should be considered.
A cohabitation agreement formally records the arrangements between people who live together (as a couple or otherwise), including matters of property and finances during the relationship, and how such matters will be dealt with if separation occurs. For example, it may state that one person will support the other while they are raising children and that in the event of separation, the house in which they reside may be split evenly (or otherwise). Cohabitation agreements may cover separate and joint property, declaration of trust, gifts, bank accounts, household expenses, occupation of the property, and financial support for both the individual and children.
In the absence of a cohabitation agreement, it may still be possible for one person to bring a claim against their ex-partner in Trust law. In either circumstance, RVS Solicitors will take the time to listen to the details of your case and advise you accordingly as to your next best steps.
In any matters of domestic violence, you and your children need immediate and robust support. Such situations are physically and emotionally draining, and therefore our objective is to ensure the ongoing safety of you and your children. Once safe and secure, we will work closely with you to draw up a non-molestation and/or occupation order, to ensure your continued protection. Because we take the time to get to know our clients, you can be fully assured we will support you fully during this difficult time.
It is important to know that domestic violence is far more than acts of physical violence or intimidation. Acts of sexual violence, emotional abuse, harassment, control and coercion are also included. Coercion refers to a pattern of actions including threats, assault, humiliation, intimidation to deliberately harm, punish or frighten the victim. Controlling behaviour may include:
- Being isolated from family members or other sources of support.
- Using the resources of another person for personal gain.
- Preventing a person from being independent, including controlling the daily behaviour of another person.
If you are the victim of such behaviour, or if you are unsure if what is happening to you constitutes a breach of the law, please contact one of family law Solicitors today in complete confidence. We will listen carefully, respect your current position, and do all we can to assist and protect you and your children when you are ready.
Find out more information on our fees here. To find out more about how we can advise you on family law matters, please contact our London office on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment.