Relationships are tricky. In an ideal world, love would conquer all and there would be no need for legal support at all. But unfortunately, adult relationships aren't like that. Even in positive situations, there will be situations that will need to be addressed in a professional and efficient manner. Then, of course, there are the negative situations where emotions can make it difficult to resolve important matters without the advice and guidance of an expert family law solicitor.
1. Cohabitation - It's not uncommon for couples to want to live together without (or even before) getting married. However, there remains some confusion over the financial implications for the relationship. With that in mind, a family law solicitor will often be required to help the couple find the most suitable solution.
2. Pre-marital agreements - When a couple decide to get married, sitting down to discuss what would happen if you spit up is a fairly unromantic notion. However, doing so represents a sensible decision, particularly as many relationships break down, even after many years. A family law solicitor will sit down with you both to discuss that eventuality and make sure you know what you're agreeing to and are happy with the decision.
3. Civil partnerships - For couples entering or separating from a civil partnership, there are many similarities and many differences in terms of the legal implications, both domestically and financially. By talking to a family law solicitor, they can better understand their entitlements and responsibilities.
4. Divorce - If a married couple calls time on their relationship, it will be important to get legal advice and support to ensure the process is resolved quickly. Whether the break-up is amicable or not, a divorce solicitor can be an invaluable support in knowing what is expected of them and to protect their rights.
5. Separation - Even if a couple is not married, there may still be some legal issues to sort out - especially if they have children together or co-own property. A family law solicitor will help them to understand what they are entitled to and what they are required to do.
6. Child custody - In unfortunate circumstances where an amicable agreement cannot be reached over child support or custody, a family law solicitor will be required to help resolve the situation in a way that benefits the child and protects the parent's rights.
7. Property and possessions - Another frequent bone of contention can be property and possessions. Where a couple co-own valuable items, such as a family home, both parties will have rights that need to be upheld. Solicitors will ensure this is the case.
8. Financial planning - Coming out of a long-term relationship can be very stressful, not least of all due to the financial restraints that often arise due to child support payments, having to find a new home or other costs. A family law solicitor is there to help people plan for the future.
9. Creating a will - For couples that get married, it will often be sensible to make a Will. This will ensure that, in the event of one of them dying, all beneficiaries are declared. If the couple own property together or have a joint bank account, it may be prudent for them to put in writing their wishes.
10. Updating a will - If a couple get divorced, their former partner may still be eligible to their assets were they do die. For that reason, it may be sensible to have a new Will drawn up following the relationship break-up.