Family Law
Our Services

Family & Divorce Law

Our Family Law department are highly skilled,
knowledgeable and experienced.

Family and Divorce Law
Our Services

Family Law

The team can assist with various matters; from Divorce Proceedings, to the settlement of matrimonial financial matters, to securing time with your children or grandchildren.  We know that every client’s needs are different and we tailor our expert advice to support you through this difficult process.

Family matters are sensitive by nature and can often lead to anxiety; Court Proceedings are one of the most stressful life events. We will work with you to ensure that your rights are protected at a time when legal guidance is needed the most.  We will support you through difficult negotiations and help you protect what matters to you most.

Separation, finances
& children

There can be a lot to think about following the breakdown of a relationship. We can provide a step-by- step approach to guide you through the Divorce process, financial matters and childcare issues. We can provide expert advice for you to make informed decisions about how best to proceed in your individual matter.

In the event that a property is to be sold, or a re-mortgage is to be obtained, our conveyancing department are also on hand to complete your conveyancing needs. We can liaise with mortgage advisors to secure the very best independent financial advice for you.

Family Law

We understand that your children are your priority. We can help with arrangements to be put in place regarding with whom the children live and the time to be spent with the other parent. We understand that children aren’t objects and we will work with you to secure arrangements that best meets the needs of your family.

We advise on all aspects of your separation, providing a holistic approach to your case.

We are approachable and we will deal with your issues with sensitivity and care. If you feel that you need our help, please give us a call on 0191 3787620  or email and we will gladly offer our assistance to provide stability in what can be uncertain times.


If your marriage or civil partnership has broken down, it is important that you find the right solicitor to provide expert guidance throughout the process.  Whether you are the person issuing the Proceedings (the Petitioner) or you have been served with a Divorce/Dissolution Petition issued by your spouse/partner (the Respondent), we are able to sensitively work with you, identify the main issues and advise on the best possible solution.

We understand that costs can be a concern and therefore we offer a fixed fee scheme for Divorce Proceedings.  To find out if your case is suitable for our fixed fee scheme, please contact our Family Law department on 0191 3787620 or at

Matrimonial Financial Matters

A separation can be emotional; or one party may be angry about the breakdown of the relationship; which can make it very difficult for everyone to agree the best way forward when it comes to financial matters.  Our specialist matrimonial team have the knowledge and experience to ensure the best possible outcome is achieved for you.

We will always try and settle matters on an amicable basis, without the need for Financial Relief Proceedings, but where that is not possible, an application may be made for financial provision by way of lump sum, property transfer, maintenance and pension sharing orders. Furthermore, you can also apply for financial provision in respect of any children of the family.

We will provide clear costs estimates and regular costs updates throughout your case.  We can also work with you to offer a pricing plan suitable for you.

If you would like to make an appointment to speak to our family team, please call 0191 3787620 or email

Child Arrangements

When a relationship breaks down, we understand that the most important aspect for you is ensuring that appropriate arrangements are made for your children.  Hopefully, you will be able to agree the arrangements for your children with your former partner but if you are unable to do so, we have a wealth of experience in resolving private law children disputes and can assist you to reach a resolution as quickly as possible.

You may not be able to decide who the children shall live with or how much time they will spend with the non-resident parent.  Your children’s welfare is paramount and we will always advise you of your options based on what is in the best interests of your children.

Our Family Law team are also able to advise on applications for Specific Issue Orders (change of name, change of school, relocation) and Prohibited Steps Orders.

We recognise that it may be overwhelming to approach a solicitor for the first time and to seek legal advice regarding such a sensitive area of your life; our Family Law team will be sympathetic to your individual situation.  Please feel free to contact the team on 0191 3787620 or at


How long does a Divorce take?

We recommend that wherever possible an electronic application is made for a Divorce, as this is the quickest method.  We have an account with the Court online portal and we will prepare and file your application on your behalf.  The timeframe is dependent upon the response of both parties, whether there are financial matters to be resolved also, and the Court administrative processing times; however, an approximate timeframe is between 6 to 8 months.

I have lived with my partner, as ‘common law partners’, for a number of years, but we are not married. Do I have the same rights in respect of the family home, as if we were married?

No.  Regardless of how long you have lived together, you do not have the same automatic rights to financial support or to make a claim in respect of a property they own.  There may be certain circumstances when it is possible to make a claim, but Court Proceedings in this area of law can be time consuming and costly.  The best way to remove the uncertainty and to protect your assets is to record both parties’ intentions in a Cohabitation Agreement.

What is a Child Arrangements Order?

A Child Arrangements Order is a Court Order which states who a child shall live with and/or who a child shall spend time with.  This was previously referred to as Residence and Contact, or prior to that, Custody of a child.  If parents are unable to agree the arrangements for their child(ren), and have attended a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM), it is possible to make an application for a Child Arrangements Order.

Can I change my child’s name?

Anybody with Parental Responsibility should be consulted and their permission obtained regarding important decisions about a child, including changing their name.  If you cannot obtain the permission of everyone with Parental Responsibility, you can apply to the Court for a Specific Issue Order.

Do I have any rights as a Grandparents to see my Grandchild(ren)?

Although you do not have an automatic right, it may still be possible for you to make arrangements to see your grandchild(ren).  If you have attempted to make arrangements directly with your grandchild(ren)’s parents and have attended a Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting (MIAM), and it has not been possible to agree arrangements, you may make an application to the Family Court for Leave (permission) to apply for a Child Arrangements Order.  The Court will always consider what is in the best interests of the child(ren) concerned when deciding whether to make an Order.


Thank you for all your help. You have made this process so much smoother for me. I really appreciate all your extra efforts.

Miss H

Thank you for your patience and understanding. You have been a credit to your profession.


Meet the team

Marie Riley

Senior Partner & Solicitor


T. 0191 378 7620


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Rebecca Jackson

Assistant Solicitor


T. 0191 378 7620


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With over 50 years’ combined experience, we
are here to advise, guide and provide practical
solutions to your legal needs.