Assisting Tunbridge Wells clients with family law cases
People in Tunbridge Wells and across Kent who are dealing with family law issues, such as divorce, financial settlements, and child custody arrangements, can rely on Stowe Family Law to help them.
Led by Managing Partner Seb Burrows, the team strives to provide great client care and the best outcomes, as evidenced by the case studies below.
Whether you are going through a challenging divorce, struggling with the division of assets, unable to decide on child custody, or dealing with post-divorce arrangements, the Tunbridge Wells team of family lawyers can help.
While the term ‘custody’ was changed and ceased to have any legal meaning over a decade ago, it is still commonly used when describing arrangements for children once a couple has separated.
The Tunbridge Wells team routinely assists separated parents in Kent who find it difficult to reach an agreement on the terms of their child custody arrangements.
For example, they recently represented the father of two young children who had made child custody arrangements through direct negotiation with the mother, but she was not adhering to them.
Having been married for 10 years, the couple had split, following the wife having an affair and leaving to live with her new partner, who also had young children.
The parents had agreed to split care of the children using a four-day model, but increasingly the mother was not turning up to collect the children or returning them early and unannounced. This caused distress for the children and the father.
Following a meeting with the Tunbridge Wells team, it was decided that the best course of action would be to ask the court for a child arrangement order, creating a more formalised framework.
The team created a child arrangements plan that would be in the children's best interests and accommodate both parents' requirements using their knowledge of child law.
This was taken to the court, and after legal proceedings, the court issued a child arrangements order that reflected the agreed-upon child custody arrangement.
Having a formal arrangement in place has been beneficial for the children, so they have consistency and routine in their life, and has helped relations between the parents.
What happens if you cannot agree on the division of household items?
The decision to sell the family home and divide its contents is one that many divorcing couples face. The divorce team in Tunbridge Wells supports many clients who struggle with this, because it can be a common point of disagreement.
The law does not specifically cover the division of household items after a separation. The usual rule is that any assets accumulated or acquired during the marriage are added to the marital pot and split fairly.
Following a 12-year marriage, the couple decided to separate. It was agreed that our client, the father, would move out of the family home into rented accommodation, and the mother would remain with their two young children until the youngest turned 18 years old.
Following that, the house would be sold and any equity shared 50/50.
As our client moved into unfurnished accommodation, it meant he had requirements for some household items, including furniture and electrical items.
Despite this arrangement, the couple struggled to reach an agreement on how to divide the items, especially an expensive matching bedroom set, a dining table set and the TVs.
The team recommended the client list every household item in the home, along with its estimated value, and note any gifts and purchases made before the marriage.
The team now had a specific list to work with, and they helped the client consider his options and choose the fairest way to divide the items.
After a proposal was drafted, the Tunbridge Wells team worked with the opposing legal team to come up with a fair compromise that met everyone's objectives.
The details were then included in the consent order to ensure compliance, and the household items were divided between the ex-couple.
How do you split the family home?
A common issue faced by the divorce lawyers in Tunbridge Wells is the division of property as part of a wider divorce settlement.
The family house is often the most valuable asset to divide in divorce, but it also has huge sentimental meaning and emotional attachment, and can quickly turn into a bone of contention in a divorce.
One such case that the Tunbridge Wells team worked on involved the division of a stunning detached house in the village of Langton Green.
The family home for the duration of the 15-year marriage, both parties were very attached to the house and wanted to remain there. To keep things consistent for the children aged 14 and 11, the couple still lived there together, but this was proving difficult and not sustainable.
When direct negotiations broke down, the team recommended mediation to help the couple agree on a solution.
In the meantime, the team worked with the client to get a clear picture of the cost of keeping the family home, especially since the cost of living crisis.
With a thorough grasp of the expenditures, our client realised they could no longer afford to buy out the other party and the running costs of the house, and instead needed to look at other routes for the division of the property.
The issue was taken to mediation, and after several sessions, both parties agreed it was best to sell the family home and split the equity 50/50. This created enough capital for them to buy houses close to each other that met the family and the children’s needs.
Contact Stowe Family Law in Tunbridge Wells today
Stowe Family Law is the largest family law firm in the UK, with over 70 offices across England and Wales.
They provide assistance to people coping with the problems caused by a relationship breakdown at their Tunbridge Wells office, one of several assisting clients in the Kent region.