Caswell Jones Solicitors

Family Matters

Separation, Divorce, Financial arrangements, Child arrangements and issues relating to children

FAMILY BREAK-UP

The break-up of a relationship, separation and divorce can be one of the most stressful times in your life. How this is handled could set the stage for the future, especially if there are children of the family and financial matters to deal with. Our Family team are all experienced and qualified lawyers who can help you find a solution to suit you. If mediation is right for you, we can refer you to the mediator of your choice. We can help you to get the right advice at the right time and at the right price.

CHILD ARRANGEMENTS (Private law)

When a relationship breaks down, it is so important to consider what is in the children’s best interests. We understand the importance of both parents continuing to play an active role in their up-bringing. You may be able to sort out the arrangements between you but if not, we can help. Is Mediation the way forward for you? Our specialist team can advise you of all the options available. Rhiannon Street and Alyson Wyburn are accredited members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Children Law Panel. Frances Edwards is a member of Resolution which means that she will try to resolve any issues in a non-confrontational and constructive way. We refer you to the Resolution Code of Conduct .

We appreciate that when separating it is difficult for everyone involved, including children. This short film may help.
short film for separating parents

ISSUES RELATING TO CHILDREN (Public law)

Some parents are sadly thrust into situations where social services become involved with the family and in the arrangements for their children. The safety and welfare of the children is paramount but parents’ interests need to be looked after too. We have a highly experienced team who can deal with such matters and represent your interests with the aim of achieving the best outcome possible. Our children panel specialists will be able to help and advise you. Rhiannon Street and Alyson Wyburn are accredited members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Children Law Panel.

DIVORCE

When your marriage breaks down, we appreciate that it is often a difficult time for both parties and the family as a whole.

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 introduces changes to the divorce law, the forms, the terminology and the procedure.  As from 5th April 2022 you can obtain a “no fault divorce” as there will be only one “ground” for divorce of “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage.

We know that some of the divorce forms are straight-forward but others are not. There are also implications in relation to financial matters and costs in the divorce proceedings of which you should be aware.

Make sure you get it right from the start.    We can help you by completing the forms and progressing the divorce to final order on the on-line divorce portal.

We offer Fixed Fees for a divorce.  See our Fees Schedule below.

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

When a relationship breaks down, you are likely to need to settle the financial arrangements , no matter what the assets and liabilities are. You should consider a financial CLEAN BREAK ORDER to ensure neither party can make any financial claims against each other in the future. If you need help, our team can advise you of all the options available. We may be able to negotiate a settlement for you to enable you to enter a Clean Break Order By Consent, without the need to attend Court.
Is Mediation the way forward for you? If so, we can make a referral to the mediation service of your choice. Legal Aid may be available to you. Without a Court Order your spouse can make a claim, even after divorce.
Frances Edwards is on the Law Society Family Panel and is a member of Resolution which means that she will try to resolve any issues in a non-confrontational and constructive way. We refer you to the Resolution Code of Conduct.

PENSIONS – it is often the case that one party or both parties have pensions which need to be taken into consideration in the “matrimonial pot”.Please see this short video which may help to clarify how the pensions can be dealt with –

DOMESTIC ABUSE

Not all abuse in a relationship is physical – it can be emotional, psychological, financial or sexual. If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, your safety and the safety of any children, need to be protected as quickly as possible. There are ways to ensure your protection. We can apply for a Non-Molestation Order, to prevent further abuse – or an Occupation Order, to prevent the abuser from returning to the home or near to the home. As you would expect, we always deal with such cases with the urgency it requires. Legal Aid is available for domestic abuse cases.

Here are some useful contacts and information :
National Domestic Abuse Helpline – tel no 0808 200 0247
Domestic Abuse information – www.gov.uk/guidance/domestic-abuse-how-to-get-help
Be aware of the emergency Silent Solutions with mobile phones 999/55
NSPCC helpline – www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/our-services/nspcc-helpline
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Information about Mediation

Mediation can often be a quick and cost-effective way to settle any issues in dispute, whether it relates to children or financial matters. Legal Aid is available in mediation if you are financially eligible. You may qualify for Legal Aid for us to advise you during the mediation process and to draft the Final Order By Consent.
We can refer you to an independent mediation service who will try to help you resolve matters. The mediation service will advise you if you are eligible for Legal Help in Mediation.
You may also qualify for a Mediation Fees Voucher if the other party to mediation is eligible for Legal Help in Mediation.

LEGAL AID – DID YOU KNOW

Legal Aid is still available in certain circumstances, eg to protect those who have been subjected to domestic abuse. It is also available for Public Law Children matters where there is involvement of Social Services, care proceedings or child protection issues. We hold a Legal Aid Contract and we can conduct certain matters on a legal aid basis, maintaining the specialist standards of Recognizing Excellence. Legal Aid is subject to meeting the requirements of the Legal Aid Agency. You will need to provide evidence of your income and assets. You will need to provide evidence of domestic abuse. We can help and advise you on this. If you have been subjected to domestic abuse, you may still get Legal Aid for divorce, financial and child arrangements. We can help you get the evidence you need.

Legal Aid is available for Mediation, WITHOUT evidence of domestic abuse and if you have Legal Aid in mediation, you are likely to qualify for Legal Aid for us to advise you on the terms of settlement reached in Mediation.

If you are not sure if you will be eligible, please contact us for further information.

RESOLUTION – CODE OF CONDUCT

Resolution membership is about the approach to work. Membership of Resolution commits family lawyers to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational way.
We believe that family law disputes should be dealt with in a constructive way designed to preserve people’s dignity and to encourage agreements.
Members will :
– Reduce or manage any conflict and confrontation; for example by not using inflammatory language
– Support and encourage families to put the best interests of any children first
– Act with honesty, integrity and objectivity
– Help clients understand and manage the potential long-term financial and emotional consequences of decisions
– Listen to and treat everyone with respect and without judgment
– Use their experience and knowledge to guide clients though the options available to them
– Continually develop knowledge and skills
– Use the Resolution Guides to Good Practice in day-to-day work
– And work with other Resolution members to uphold this Code and ensure it is at the heart of everything they do.
This code should be read in conjunction with the Law Society’s Family Law Protocol
For further information please contact – www.resolution.org.uk

FAMILY FEES – FIXED FEES AND LEGAL FEES SCHEDULE

LEGAL FEES SCHEDULE
This is our charging rate for matters such as child arrangement or family arrangements.
The charges are based on time/costing rate as follows:

Per Item(standard)
Letters written £ 22.00
Letters received £ 11.00
Please note email correspondence is charged at the same rate.
Telephone calls Land Lines
(of 6 mins duration made or received) £ 22.00

Per Hour

Attendances and preparation £220.00
Advocacy £240.00
Attendance with Counsel £165.00
Travelling and waiting £110.00

We are allowed to charge an uplift of up to 200% in non standard cases depending on the urgency and complexity of the case. We will advise if this applies.

FIXED FEES SCHEDULE FOR STRAIGHT-FORWARD DIVORCE
As Petitioner in divorce proceedings – £500 plus VAT
As Respondent in divorce proceedings: £250 plus VAT
NB there is a fee payable to the Court upon issue of a Divorce Petition.

If we are representing you on a Fixed Fee basis, the fee relates to the work specifically agreed and if you request any additional work to be undertaken, this will be at the hourly rate charged on our Legal Fees Schedule.

Terms and Conditions
VAT at the prevailing rate is chargeable on all of the above fees. Please note that fees are subject to periodical review, and if there is a change in the fees chargeable during the currency of the case, you will be notified.
Private paying clients must make regular payments on account at the level agreed.
Non payment of our bill within ONE MONTH is likely to result in a charge for interest being added thereto at the rate prevailing for Judgment debts
Non payment of our bill within the time stated could result in a decision by ourselves to undertake no further work on your behalf until full payment is made.

DISCLAIMER

Please note the work that we will undertake in our fixed fees packages for divorce and what is and is not included. We will be pleased to discuss any additional services you require.
Please see our Private Legal Fees Schedule. In any divorce, you should consider the financial issues.
A divorce does not guarantee a clean break. A Court order is the only way to achieve a financial clean break. Any agreement reached should be with the benefit of full financial disclosure and independent legal advice or there is a risk that the order could be set aside in future. In order for the Court to approve a clean break order, the Court will consider if it is fair and reasonable to both parties.

CAERPHILLY OFFICE
Portcullis House
18 Cardiff Road
Caerphilly
CF83 1JN

Phone: 02920 864888
Email: reception@caswelljones.com

Caerphilly Office

YSTRAD MYNACH OFFICE
29 Bedwlwyn Road
Ystrad Mynach
Hengoed
CF82 7AA

Phone: 01443 816622
Email: ystrad@caswelljones.com

Ystrad Office

BUSINESS HOURS
MON.   9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
TUE.    9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
WED.   9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
THU.    9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
FRI.      9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m
Appointments outside these times - by arrangement.