The case studies below show how diligently the team strives to deliver great service and secure the best results for clients.
Managing Partner Emma Newman, Partner Niamh Mccarthy and Senior Associate John Newberry can help you if you need assistance with post-divorce arrangements, have difficulty deciding how to divide your finances after divorce, or cannot agree on who the children should live with.
As personal circumstances change, such as a new partner, a new career that requires travel, or a desire to move, legal issues may persist for a long time after the divorce.
They are highly emotional matters that frequently end up in family court because parents find it difficult to come to an agreement.
Recently, the Guildford team represented the Dad in a case where he objected to the Mum's request to move from Guildford to Plymouth, an 8-hour round trip by car, so she could live with her new partner.
Currently sharing care 50/50, a week on, week off, the new proposal from Mum would see the children spend time with Dad only every other weekend and in the holidays.
The children are settled in Guildford, both happy at school and have extended family in the town.
Despite protracted discussions and mediation, no agreement could be reached, and court proceedings were issued.
In the end, the judge decided Mum and the kids should stay in Guildford, and that moving was not in their best interests, because they were happy with their existing living situation, and that spending time with both their parents was crucial.
Shared care 50/50 remained in place, with a recommendation that holiday time should be spent in Plymouth with Mum and new partner.
How to manage the division of investments
If investments and savings were accumulated throughout the marriage, they would normally be included in the financial settlement in the case of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.
Bonds, investment bonds, equities and shares, ISAs with-profit plans, such as an endowment, unit trusts, investment trusts, and OEICS are all examples of investments. The valuation, possible division, transfer, or sale of portfolios often requires professional assistance due to their complexity.
Recently, the Guildford team helped a couple with this problem. The couple, who had been married for fifteen years, had amassed a sizable stock portfolio.
When their partnership ended, they had the challenging task of deciding how to divide their investments most effectively.
To have a comprehensive view of the possibilities available, the team suggested the first step would be to get an updated valuation, transfer, and surrender value from any investment organisation handling the portfolio.
To gain a deeper understanding of the best options for dividing the portfolio and safeguarding the client's investments and long-term financial future, they also recommended the client seek advice from a qualified financial advisor.
Working together, the client, financial advisor, and Stowe team could then forward negotiations to reach a fair financial resolution with complete transparency of the investments included.
Civil partnership dissolution
The Guildford office of Stowe Family Law recently assisted a client with the dissolution of their civil partnership.
The couple in question was among the first same-sex couples to benefit from civil partnerships once they were introduced in 2005.
At the beginning of 2021, they started the civil partnership dissolution process after separating due to financial strains and conflicts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The couple didn't have children, but they had accumulated a modest property portfolio, and were great spenders, so had purchased many high-value items.
The team worked closely with the client to understand the financial situation and identify the assets that needed to be divided between them. This included money, investments, property, and other assets worth more than £500 that belonged to the couple.
Following the disclosure procedure, the team worked closely with their client and the opposing party’s legal team to develop a fair settlement that satisfied the needs of both parties.
Despite lengthy negotiations, they could not agree on a settlement, so the case was referred for mediation.
Thankfully, following a number of mediation sessions, an agreement was reached. This was then turned into a consent order by the courts to make it legally binding, with a clean break clause added to avoid future claims.
Get in touch with the Guildford team at Stowe Family Law today
Stowe Family Law is the largest family law practice in the UK, with more than 60 sites throughout England and Wales.
The Guildford office is one of several in Surrey, and the legal team here helps people navigate the difficulties caused by a partnership split, including a civil partnership dissolution, such as child support issues, pension issues, and the division of assets and the family home.
Emma joined us in September 2017 and is the Managing Partner of our Esher, Guildford & Brighton offices. She advises on all aspects of family law and assists clients going through a separation whether they are married, in a civil partnership or unmarried.