Obtaining the best results for clients with family law cases in Richmond
In situations involving divorce, cohabitation, and the dissolution of civil partnerships, Stowe Family Law's professional and dedicated family lawyers support numerous individuals in Richmond and throughout Greater London.
As seen by the case study examples below, the members of our Richmond team, under the direction of Managing Partner Phoebe Turner, are committed to providing our clients with the greatest legal help and representation.
We are confident that, whether you are going through a difficult divorce, trying to reach a financial settlement, or finding it difficult to come to an agreement on your child custody arrangements, our track record of success will provide you the assurance and peace of mind you require.
Division of pets
According to research from Direct Line Pet Insurance, more than a quarter of divorces involve a dispute over the division of pets, and the number of “pet divorces” rose by 56 per cent in 2021.
When partners separate, questions about who should have the beloved family pet can be almost as vexatious as disputes over money.
However, the law in this area is clear - a pet is classed as a chattel, i.e. an item of personal property,
and, technically, the person who bought the animal and to whom it is registered will keep it, unless there is clear evidence that the animal was subsequently gifted to the other party.
In reality, though, cases involving the division of pets are never clear cut.
The Richmond team recently supported a client who found themselves in this situation when their marriage broke down after 15 years. They quickly resolved financial issues and how the children would split their time, but were stuck on how they would have ownership of the family dogs: two cockapoos named Daisy and Duke.
Despite one partner frequently travelling abroad for work, both people wanted outright ownership of the dogs and refused to back down. This required careful negotiations via the legal teams, and eventually it was agreed that the dogs' time would be divided equally between them.
However, after several months, the other party struggled to stick to the arrangements due to travel commitments, and full ownership was transferred to our client.
Division of heirlooms
In financial proceedings during divorce, both parties are required to disclose all their personal belongings over the value of £500. This includes gifts and family heirlooms.
The potential division of family heirlooms can be an especially emotive topic, as they carry high sentimental value, and sometimes, high financial value.
Thankfully, disputes over the division of heirlooms are rare, as most people respect the emotional attachment felt by the other person.
However, in a recent case managed by the Richmond team, the division of family heirlooms had become an area of contention.
This case involved a painting that had been in the husband’s family for over 100 years and passed down through generations by inheritance, with an independent valuation of approx. £20K.
Representing the husband in the divorce settlement, the wife wanted the family painting considered a marital asset and taken into account when determining the division of assets.
Our client firmly rejected this and felt the painting was a non-matrimonial asset, and that it should be preserved as a family heirloom and retained for future generations.
The team worked with their client to look at all the marital assets included in the financial disclosure to see if there was a compromise that could be reached.
Following this analysis, both parties agreed to mediation to try and resolve the issue before family court proceedings and a judge deciding.
Thankfully, through careful negotiation, it was agreed the husband would retain the family painting, with a larger proportion of the couple’s furniture and antiques going to the wife.
The negotiations for the wider financial settlement could then continue. Once agreed, a consent order was put in place to make it legally binding, and the couple could move forward in life.
If a couple is struggling to agree on issues arising from a separation, such as finances, property and child arrangements,collaborative family law can be a very effective process.
The collaborative model puts the client at the centre of the divorce process. It focuses on people working through their issues to achieve the right solution for the whole family, while avoiding the court arena.
It differs from mediation, as each person has a collaboratively trained lawyer present at all meetings, ensuring they benefit from legal advice throughout the process. There is also the opportunity to bring in other professionals, such as financial advisors, accountants and valuers.
Sessions involve both parties and their respective teams meeting face-to-face to reach agreement on issues between them.
It is a more informal, flexible and controllable process based upon discussion and agreement, and helps many couples avoid the stress and expense of the family court system and have a collaborative divorce.
At Stowe, a number of our lawyers are trained and practising collaborative family law, and the Richmond team has access to a network of other professionals who can support you in a collaborative divorce.
Stowe Family Law is the largest national family law firm dedicated to family law matters.
The lawyers at Stowe Family Law's Richmond office, including Phoebe Turner,Tara Baker and Ciara Pugh, are available to assist you whether you're going through a challenging divorce, need assistance in reaching a financial settlement, or need guidance on child support.
One of the firm's many locations, the Richmond office is located at Parkshot House, 5 Kew Rd, right opposite Richmond station. We are most easily accessible via public transport; however, if you are driving, there is ample parking available nearby. NCP Car Park London Richmond Station (TW 1DN) is just a 2-minute walk from our family law office and Old Deer Car Park (TW9 2RA) is a short 4-minute walk away. Our team of family lawyers in Richmond can be contacted on 0203 0931588.