We achieve the best outcomes possible for clients with Bromley family law cases
Many people in Bromley and all around Kent receive assistance from Stowe Family Law's skilled and committed family lawyers in matters concerning divorce, separation, financial settlements and child custody.
Members of the Bromley team, led by Managing Partner Phoebe Turner, are committed to offering their clients the best legal assistance and representation, as seen by the case study samples below.
We are convinced that our track record of success will provide you the assurance and peace of mind you need, whether you are going through a challenging divorce, trying to achieve a financial settlement, or finding it difficult to come to an agreement on your child custody arrangements.
How do you deal with the division of shared debts in divorce?
Given the average family debt in the UK is approximately £10,000 (excluding mortgages), it is common to think about how any debts will be handled in a divorce.
Determining the division of shared debt can be stressful and emotional, especially if an ex-partner incurred the debt.
The Kent team recently dealt with a case where both parties had run up substantial debts throughout the relationship.
Married for 18 years, the couple had two teenage children aged 17 and 13 at the time of separation, and shared a mortgaged property with £200K of equity.
Despite both parties earning £75K + each per year, they had built up debt overspending on cars, holidays, meals out, clothes and home improvements to the amount of £50K spread across credit cards, finance and loans.
In divorce, most of the assets amassed or built up throughout the marriage are added to the "matrimonial pot," which is then divided between the divorcing couple. Any debts accrued are then deducted from that pot.
For this couple, the separation was amicable, and it was agreed early in the negotiations that all the debts would be settled. As they were asset rich and had substantial equity in their home (which was sold), even once the debts were paid off, they both had enough money to move on and afford a family home and some savings each.
The Bromley team recommended a court-approved financial consent order be put in place to ensure that the division of shared debts was properly taken into account in the financial agreement, and a clean break clause added to prevent disputes from arising in the future.
Is a cohabitation agreement worth it?
The fastest-growing family type in the UK is cohabiting couples, making up 3.5 million couples in the UK, increasing 137% since 1996.
Yet unmarried couples have very few of the legal rights afforded to married couples. Despite being widely believed, a common-law marriage is a myth.
To provide some legal protection, it is advisable to instruct a solicitor to formally create a cohabitation agreement, a written document covering the assets and property of both parties in the relationship.
A cohabitation agreement clearly defines who owns the property/assets, what the financial arrangements are whilst the parties live together, and how the property and assets should be divided upon separation.
However, it is important to note that a cohabitation agreement is not legally binding.
The Kent team has seen a marked increase in unmarried couples coming to them to put such an agreement in place.
For example, they were recently instructed by an unmarried couple who were buying their first home together. However, one party was paying the majority of the deposit due to a family inheritance.
With legal support, the team helped the clients set out what will happen to each person's financial investment in the property in the event of separation, to reduce future disagreements and increase financial security.
They then set out a comprehensive cohabitation agreement that was tailored to the clients’ exact circumstances, as well as a Deed of Trust to legally record the division of ownership of the property.
The couple were also encouraged to get a Will each to cover what would happen to the property if one of them passed away.
Is it easy to avoid court proceedings?
Most Stowe Family Law’s cases do not end up in family court proceedings.
Many couples resolve their differences between themselves or through negotiation between their solicitors, and these are formalised into orders to ensure they are legally binding.
For those couples struggling to agree on issues arising from separation, such as finances, property and child arrangements, there are a number of different tools that can be used, including mediation, arbitration and collaborative family law.
These tools reduce the time and cost for everyone, help avoid rifts between the parties, benefit future communication and relationships, and have a far higher success rate.
The team in Kent helps many clients avoid court proceedings and focus on resolving issues with a constructive and collaborative approach, with their client and their family’s best interests at the forefront of any decision-making.
At Stowe, a number of our lawyers are trained and practising mediators, arbitrators and collaborative lawyers, and the Bromley team has access to a network of other professionals who can support you to avoid court proceedings.
Contact Stowe Family Law in Bromley
Stowe Family Law is the largest specialist family law firm in the UK. It has 60+ offices nationwide and over 120 specialist family lawyers.
Whether you're going through a difficult relationship breakdown, need help to reach a financial settlement, or advice on child support, the lawyers at Stowe's Bromley office, including Phoebe Turner,Raj Bhattoa and Jennifer Gray, are here to help.
Our team of elite divorce lawyers and family solicitors in Bromley is located at Kingfisher House Business Centre, just a 3-minute walk from Bromley South train station or easily accessible from Kentish Way (A21) if travelling by car. There are a limited number of parking spaces directly outside Kingfisher House and plenty of on-street pay & display parking on Elmfield Rd. Our team of family lawyers in Bromley can be contacted on 020 80171959.