Mastering the Art of Financial Settlements in Family Law in Northern Ireland

Navigating the complexities of financial settlements in family law can be a daunting task. In Northern Ireland, the landscape is nuanced and demands a keen understanding of legal principles, sensitivity to the parties involved, and strategic foresight. At Michelle Crilly Family Law, we specialise in guiding our clients through these intricate processes with expertise and compassion.

Understanding Financial Settlements

Financial settlements are arrangements made between separating or divorcing parties to distribute assets, income, and financial responsibilities. These settlements aim to ensure fair outcomes, taking into account the needs and contributions of both parties. In Northern Ireland, financial settlements can cover a wide range of matters including division of property, spousal maintenance, child support, and pensions.

Steps to a Successful Financial Settlement

1. Initial Consultation and Disclosure

The process begins with an initial consultation, where we gather comprehensive information about your financial situation. Full and frank disclosure of all assets, liabilities, income, and expenses is crucial. This transparency ensures that both parties can negotiate from an informed position.

2. Valuation and Assessment

Accurate valuation of assets, including properties, businesses, pensions, and other investments, is essential. We often work with financial experts to ascertain the true value of these assets. This stage also involves assessing the future financial needs of both parties.

3. Negotiation

Negotiation is a critical phase where we aim to reach an amicable agreement without the need for court intervention. Our approach is collaborative, focusing on open communication and mutual respect. We explore various settlement options, considering the best interests of both parties and any children involved.

4. Court Proceedings

If negotiations and mediation do not lead to an agreement, we may proceed to court. Our team is experienced in representing clients in family courts, presenting your case effectively to secure a fair outcome. The court has the authority to make binding decisions on the division of assets and financial support.

Post-Settlement Considerations

After reaching a settlement, it’s important to implement the agreement properly. This may involve transferring property titles, adjusting pension arrangements, and setting up new financial accounts. We provide ongoing support to ensure that the terms of the settlement are carried out smoothly and efficiently.

Why Choose Michelle Crilly Family Law?

At Michelle Crilly Family Law, we are dedicated to providing personalised and expert legal services. Our deep understanding of family law in Northern Ireland, combined with our commitment to our clients, sets us apart. We prioritise your needs and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcomes.

  • Expertise: Our team has extensive experience in handling complex financial settlements. We stay abreast of legal developments to provide informed advice.
  • Compassion: We understand the emotional challenges involved in family law disputes and offer compassionate support throughout the process.
  • Results-Oriented: Our focus is on achieving fair and practical solutions that meet your financial needs and protect your interests.

Mastering the art of financial settlements in family law requires a blend of legal acumen, strategic planning, and empathy. At Michelle Crilly Family Law, we are committed to guiding you through this journey with professionalism and care. Whether through negotiation, mediation, or court proceedings, we strive to secure the financial stability and peace of mind you deserve

For expert advice and representation in family law matters, contact Michelle Crilly Family Law today. Let us help you navigate your financial settlement with confidence and clarity.

Navigating the Exam Months with Children: Tips for Parents Going Through Separation or Divorce

As a family law solicitor, I have seen firsthand the challenges that parents face when navigating separation or divorce, especially during the exam months. The pressure to perform academically, combined with the emotional turmoil of a family breakdown, can be overwhelming. In this article, I will offer some practical tips and advice on how to support your children during this difficult time.

Communicating with Your Ex: One of the most crucial aspects of navigating the exam months with children is maintaining open communication with your ex-partner. This may seem daunting, especially if you’re not on good terms. However, it’s essential to put aside any differences and work together for the sake of your children. Discuss your child’s schedule, needs, and any concerns you may have. Make sure you’re both on the same page regarding their exam schedule, study habits, and any support they may need.

Create a Routine: Establishing a routine can provide a sense of stability and security for your children during this challenging period. Encourage your child to stick to their regular study routine, even if you’re not living together. Consistency is key, and it will help them feel more in control of their situation. Make sure you both are aware of each other’s schedules and plans, so you can coordinate accordingly.

Show Emotional Support: It’s essential to be emotionally available for your child during this time. Encourage them to express their feelings and concerns, and listen attentively to what they have to say. Let them know that it’s okay to feel scared, anxious, or overwhelmed and that you’re there to support them. Be patient and understanding, and remind them that they’re not alone.

Foster a Positive Study Environment: Create a conducive study environment that fosters focus and productivity. Ensure your child has a quiet, comfortable space to study, free from distractions. Encourage them to take regular breaks, stay hydrated, and maintain a healthy diet. A positive study environment can go a long way in helping them feel more confident and prepared for their exams.

Celebrating Small Wins: Exam months can be grueling, and it’s essential to acknowledge small victories along the way. Celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how small they may seem. This can help boost their morale and motivation. Make it a special occasion by doing something they enjoy, like going out for dinner or watching their favorite movie.

Prioritise Self-Care: It’s not just about supporting your child during this time; it’s also essential to prioritise your own self-care. Separation or divorce can be emotionally draining, and neglecting your own well-being can lead to burnout. Make sure you’re taking time for yourself, whether it’s exercise, meditation, or simply taking a relaxing bath.

Seek Professional Help: If you’re struggling to cope with the stress and emotions of separation or divorce during the exam months, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A family law solicitor like myself can provide guidance on the legal aspects of your situation. You may also want to consider seeking counseling or therapy to help you navigate the emotional challenges you’re facing.

Navigating the exam months with children during separation or divorce requires empathy, understanding, and effective communication. By prioritising your child’s emotional well-being, creating a supportive environment, and celebrating small wins, you can help them feel more confident and prepared for their exams. Remember to prioritise your own self-care and seek professional help when needed. With time, patience, and support, you can guide your child through this challenging period and emerge stronger on the other side.

Michelle Crilly is a family law solicitor with extensive experience in helping families navigate complex separation and divorce cases. If you’re seeking guidance on your own situation, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 028 3833 4020 e.

Darkness Into Light 2024 Shines Brighter Than Ever

As May 11th approaches, so does one of the most powerful displays of unity and resilience: Darkness Into Light 2024. Supported proudly by Electric Ireland, this year’s event promises to be nothing short of extraordinary, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing fight against suicide and self-harm.

What makes Darkness Into Light 2024 truly remarkable is its ability to transcend mere charity walks and fundraisers. It’s a beacon of hope, illuminating the darkest corners of despair with the collective warmth of compassion and solidarity. From its humble beginnings in 2009 with 400 participants in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, it has evolved into a global movement, touching the lives of over 150,000 people annually.

But Darkness Into Light is more than just a fundraising event; it’s a catalyst for change. By fostering open conversations about mental health and suicide prevention, it empowers individuals to seek help and support when they need it most. It’s a reminder that no one is alone in their struggles and that together, we can overcome even the darkest of nights.

As we prepare to embark on this year’s journey, let us remember the significance of Darkness Into Light. Let us honor the memories of those we have lost and stand in solidarity with those who continue to fight. Let us be beacons of hope, casting light into the shadows of despair and reminding the world that, even in the darkest of times, there is always a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Probate Practitioner Day

What an amazing day I had at the recent Probate Practitioner Day, filled with insightful and memorable information. This networking event designed by Sheena Grattan and Michael Graham ensured all key statutory and case law developments were covered with a particular practical emphasis throughout.

There were a number of stand out moments from the event including my introduction to the hilarious “Fisk” which follows the exploits of a high end contracts lawyer who is forced to be a probate lawyer following her marriage breakdown. I loved the fact we used this as a way to look a various subject matters as a way to recap the law and practices for a probate practitioner.

We also heard from Sheena and Maeve Mullins who discussed missing beneficiaries, genealogists, insurance and much more! We had a great talk from Michael Graham about trusts as well as a question and answer session with Master Hardstaff and Julie Ann Osborne TEP. A really great and insightful day and one I would highly recommend to any colleagues in this field.

The Silent Crisis: Domestic Abuse Knows No Holiday Season

As the festive season approaches and the world gears up for relaxation and Christmas cheer, it’s important to remember that for many individuals, domestic abuse doesn’t take a holiday break. In a recent article by Niamh Campbell in Belfast Telegraph, workers and volunteers at Women’s Aid emphasised that “domestic abuse is every day of the year.” While December is traditionally known for its challenging and busy period for domestic abuse calls, Sonya McMullan, the regional services manager at Women’s Aid, highlights that the aftermath of the holidays can be an even more difficult time.

During the holiday season, many women choose to endure abusive situations for the sake of their families, particularly their children. They try to keep it all together, presenting a facade of holiday happiness, but the reality behind closed doors can be far from cheerful. Sonya McMullan notes that Women’s Aid has seen a clear pattern in their work – calls for help increase after Christmas, and referrals into their services surge as well.

This increase in domestic abuse incidents after the holiday season is a stark reminder that while advertisements depict Christmas as a joyful time, there are countless women living in homes filled with coercive control and various forms of abuse, including physical, financial, and economic abuse. Moreover, the ongoing cost of living crisis compounds these difficulties, creating a challenging environment for those already living in abusive situations.

The extended period that families spend together during the holidays can also exacerbate abusive situations. When people are forced to be in close quarters for a prolonged period, tensions can escalate, leading to more instances of domestic abuse.

It’s a tragic reality that women and children find themselves seeking refuge on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day. Sonya McMullan shares a poignant incident that occurred in Co Armagh on Christmas Eve, years ago. A woman in a high-risk situation, who had experienced physical injuries due to her abusive partner, had one concern in the midst of the crisis – getting her children’s Christmas presents to the refuge. Despite the emergency services being involved and her own injuries, she only cared about ensuring her children would wake up to Christmas presents. This heart-wrenching story highlights the lengths to which women go to protect their children, even in the most dire circumstances.

The article also provides a sobering statistic – there were 33,210 domestic abuse incidents in Northern Ireland in the 12-month period leading up to the end of June. Furthermore, 161 incidents were reported to the police on New Year’s Day 2022 alone. These numbers underscore the gravity of the issue and the urgent need for support and intervention in domestic abuse cases.

While the holiday season is a time of joy and celebration for many, it’s crucial to remember that domestic abuse does not adhere to a calendar. The stories and statistics presented in this article by Niamh Campbell, with insights from Sonya McMullan of Women’s Aid, serve as a stark reminder that we must be vigilant and supportive year-round. Domestic abuse is an ongoing crisis that requires continuous efforts to provide help and resources to those who need it. If you or someone you know has been affected by domestic abuse or coercive control, reaching out to organizations like Women’s Aid is a crucial step towards safety and support.



“I was extremely pleased that my case was carried out in a completely professional and efficient manner and throughout my case, I was treated with consideration and my Solicitor was particularly personable and friendly towards me”. - Anonymous
Michelle Crilly Family Law
“I was extremely pleased that my case was carried out in a completely professional and efficient manner and throughout my case, I was treated with consideration and my Solicitor was particularly personable and friendly towards me”. - Anonymous

“We were extremely satisfied with your service and you kept us informed every step of the way during our case. Everything was dealt with efficiently and professionally. We would recommend this firm and thank you for all of your help throughout the case” - Anonymous
Michelle Crilly Family Law
“We were extremely satisfied with your service and you kept us informed every step of the way during our case. Everything was dealt with efficiently and professionally. We would recommend this firm and thank you for all of your help throughout the case” - Anonymous
Michelle Crilly Family Law
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Family Law Solicitor Portadown, contact us today on 028 3833 4020 or 028 3839 2132

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