Just a few people that we have helped..
Case Study 1 – Maria
Maria recently separated from her husband and has two children aged 5 and aged 8. Her husband has been contacting her by telephone and social media and upsetting her every time he calls to collect the children for contact.
Maria felt intimidated and threatened by her husband, so she should seek legal advice in the first instance, with a view to obtaining a Non-Molestation Order under the Protection of Harassment Legislation. This was arranged by way of an Ex Parte Application i.e. without her husband’s knowledge. Court Protection was also required as a matter of urgency and was sought by way of an inter parte application, whereby a date was fixed and both parties gave evidence on the day of the hearing.
Case Study 2 – Sam
Sam has been separated for approximately two and a half years from his wife but the parties are on good terms, he wanted to obtain a divorce.
As Sam had been separated for over two years, the divorce ground of two years separation with consent was available as long as he obtained the consent of his wife. The divorce therefore, proceeded on a no-fault basis between the parties.
Costs can be agreed, although consent can be made a condition upon no order for costs being sought against the Petitioning party which will leave the petitioning party with the costs. In this case, the costs were agreed between the parties as their divorce proceeded on an amicable basis with each party bearing half the costs.
Case Study 3 – Jane
Jane had just separated from Jack and still lived in the family home which they had bought together before they got married. Jane wanted to remain there and retain a roof over the heads of the children, they also own a rented house. Jane worked and had a pension, savings and some life policies. She had discussed the matter with Jack and he too wanted to sort out all matters on a fair and equal basis.
The First port of all was to take legal advice, the parties provided all of their financial information to their Solicitors and advised that they wish to conduct all matters on an amicable basis. The parties set about obtaining an idea of what the properties were worth, provided all of their bank statement, valuations of life policies and Cash Equivalent Transfer Values (CETV) in respect of their pensions.
The documents were provided to their Solicitors with a view to a mutual exchange of one parties documents to be provided to the other parties Solicitors. Each party then viewed the documentation with a view to any other matters arising and were permitted to obtain further documentation which was then provided.
A joint consultation was organised with a view to sorting out all matters in order to reach an agreed way forward. This was drafted in the form of a Matrimonial Agreement, which both parties approved and signed. A time-limit was given towards the implementation of the terms of the agreement. The parties were able to agree on a way forward in relation to divorce proceedings. Ultimately the matrimonial agreement was sent to the Judge on the hearing of the divorce with a view to approving the arrangements on behalf of the parties.
Case Study 4 – John
John and Mary had been living apart for a period of three years and had had a really good arrangement in relation to John’s contact with their child. Unfortunately, their amicable relationship fell apart and John desperately wanted to see his children.
Firstly, communication was key to this situation and initially, mediation was advised, as a first means to starting to communicate properly in relation to their child. Their Solicitors entered into correspondence with each other, in an attempt to set up some form of proper and meaningful contact for John and his children, but as a last resort, the matter was taken into Court with a view to a family Judge making the decision. The Judge requested statements of evidence from both parties and then listed the matter for hearing. The Judge then ultimately decided upon a contact order.
Often a contact arrangement can be agreed without a Court Order, but this did not work so a contact order was made in favour of John in respect of contact with his child – which ordered the mother to provide the child as and when the contact order stated.
Case Study 5 – Alison
Alison has three children and recently they were accommodated by Social Services, as she simply couldn’t cope. She has just started to co-operate with the Trust and feels that she is now in a better position to look after her children and wants the children returned to her care but feels that she continues to require a huge amount of support from Social Services. In the meantime, Social Services issued Interim Care Order Proceedings in respect to her three children as they wish to share parental responsibly with her in respect of the children.
Firstly, the key to this situation was that Alison must co-operate with the Trusts’ Social Workers and avail of all services offered to her by her Social Worker. A Guardian ad Litem was appointed by the Court where the care order proceedings took place, as a voice for the children, and a Solicitor was appointed to represent the children. Both Guardian ad Litem and the Solicitor acted in the best interest of the children and listened to their instructions.
Alison was advised to co-operate fully with the Social Worker who was represented by Trust Solicitor and during the course of Court proceedings, undertook various assessments applicable, for example, a Parenting Assessment, a Psychological Assessment, Psychiatric Assessment and Independent Social Work Assessment. These assessments are only undertaken, if but only if applicable.
In Alison’s case, these assessments assisted the Court in reaching a decision, in the best interests of the children and to help them make a final decision in relation to what needed to be done in the matter, to assist her.