Our highly experienced team of family law experts can help you to find solutions and resolve difficulties. Drawing on our vast experience, we can advise you through any situation, providing clarity, guidance and support for you and your family.
You, Family & Matrimonial
& Ince, in any case
Our family services are part of our wider Private Wealth offering. For more information, visit our Private Wealth page.
Our family teams based across the UK represent a range of national and international clients who are experiencing family issues. Your and your family’s needs are of paramount importance to us. Our teams are adept at providing practical and robust advice tailored to you and your family’s circumstances.
Our lawyers have a wide breadth and depth of expertise and offer a holistic and strategic approach to your individual case.
Divorce and relationship breakdown
When a relationship breaks down you need someone you can trust to help you to make sense of things and to deal constructively with what is important to you. Our experienced lawyers will address the issues that matter and will guide you through the difficult personal and financial process that follows the end of a relationship.
Our team of family law experts can advise on securing you a settlement that meets your individual and family’s needs.
We aim to resolve matters by negotiation and avoiding conflict wherever possible, including exploring alternative methods through mediation. We will guide you through the process and, where necessary, represent you in court.
We are experienced in cases involving complex, high value assets in the UK and overseas, including pensions, trusts and tax considerations. We can combine our wealth of experience with access to a global network of lawyers to refer multi-jurisdictional issues where relevant. Our goal is always to achieve the best outcome for you.
Sadly, during a separation or divorce, disputes over the arrangements for children will often arise. We understand this can be very distressing for you and your children. The welfare of children is always the paramount consideration – both for our team and for the family court.
We will ensure your children are protected from lengthy disputes and advocate the use of alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation, where possible. Our lawyers have extensive experience and specialist knowledge of cases where disputes arise with children. We provide practical and pragmatic advice aiming to resolve matters where possible outside of the family court.
Where court proceedings are necessary, our family lawyers have extensive experience of representing clients in court and an excellent record of achieving our client’s desired outcome. We also offer representation in care proceedings, acting for both parents, and children through their court-appointed guardian.
Getting married or moving in with someone are exciting developments in life. Whether you decide to marry or to co-habit, it is important to protect yourself and your financial position as much as possible. We can help you create co-habitation, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements to protect you from the outset, in case your relationship ends.
Surrogacy and adoption
Through our exemplary surrogacy service, we can advise and assist intended parents or surrogates through the entire surrogacy process, taking into account both UK and international aspects. Once the child is born, we can also represent surrogates or the intended parents through the court process to obtain parental orders.
We understand that funding litigation, particularly in family matters, can seem daunting. Our team provide assistance and information on accessing litigation funding for our clients. We can offer fixed and/or capped fee arrangements where appropriate, to give you more certainty on cost.
Where relevant, we can provide you with details of third-party lending facilities to assist in the payment of your legal costs. Please note, these facilities are described as litigation loans and will attract interest. Whilst we are not specifically affiliated with any providers of litigation funding, please get in touch with a member of our team for further information on options available in the market.
In limited circumstances, we may also be able to help you secure public funding through the Legal Aid Agency.
Our range of family services includes but is not limited to:
- Financial remedies;
- Pre and post-nuptial agreements;
- Children law private and public proceedings (care proceedings);
- Co-habitation disputes and agreements;
- Surrogacy and adoption;
- Child maintenance;
- Domestic abuse; and
- Alternative family structure relationships, including same-sex marriages and civil partnerships.
Pre-nuptial agreement for international, high-value assets
Divorce settlement following relocation from Spain
Susan J Williams / Partner and Head of Family Department / Cardiff
Kerry Graham / Partner and Head of Family and Matrimonial / Bristol
News & insights on Family & Matrimonial
News / How to achieve an amicable divorce – an outline
17-01-2022 / Private Wealth
At the beginning of the year, we always see a surge of relationship breakdown enquiries, as couples reflect at the end of an old year and the new year brings an opportunity for change.
News / Divorce myths: debunked
Over the years, our clients have shared some weird and wonderful myths about divorce and separation. Rebecca Aston-Jones from our Family team dispels some common myths and clarifies with the law.
News / ‘Death in Paradise’: debunking adoption and inheritance rights myths in Christmas special
Many viewers will have tuned in to watch the BBC’s Death in Paradise Christmas special. During the episode, a wealthy shipping magnate was found dead at a Christmas party, and as the story progressed, the culprit was confronted and the mystery behind the victim’s death was revealed.
Insights / Family Matters podcast series
Welcome to Family Matters, the podcast series which explores the different areas of family law.
News / Supporting employee mental health and wellbeing in the workplace during a relationship breakdown
One in four people will experience mental health issues in their lifetime. This can have a significant impact on a person’s life, including their wellbeing and performance in the workplace. In this article, Susan J Williams, Partner and Head of Family (Cardiff), explores the significant impact mental health can have on relationships, and its role as a cause and consequence of a relationship breakdown.
News / Divorce now or await the change in the law?
There has been much publicity about the long awaited change in the law brought about by the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020. This Act becomes effective on April 29 next year and will enable proceedings ending the legal relationship to begin, without waiting for a minimum of two years following separation, or in the absence of separation, apportioning blame to the other party by providing details of the individual’s unreasonable behaviour or adultery.
News / Married, separated or divorced: how does your marital status affect your tax treatment?
The tax implications arising out of a divorce, separation, or even marriage could be diverse and unforeseen. Although tax implications may not be your first priority upon separation, it is always wise to seek advice early on in the process, and be aware of possible tax liabilities depending on the outcome of the proceedings.
Insights / Men's Health Week: A focus on domestic abuse
There is a lot of press, almost on a daily basis, on the domestic abuse of women. However, there needs to be an understanding and realisation that men are not always the perpetrators, but instead can be the victims of domestic abuse.
Insights / No fault divorce – possible from Spring 2022
From the 6 April 2022, married couples, including those entered into civil partnerships, will be able to divorce without blaming one party or adhering to the current separation period requirements.
Insights / Safeguarding your family home with a Life Interest Trust
When the need for care arises, many couples are concerned about funding long-term care and having to sell their property to meet care home fees. Individuals with a capital of more than £23,250 are expected to fund their own care with no contribution from the Local Authorities.
News / To vaccinate or not to vaccinate: What happens if parents cannot agree on the vaccination of their children against Covid-19?
In the last week, it has been widely reported that the USA has authorised the use of a Covid-19 vaccine to be administered to children over 12 years of age. Although the UK is currently assessing the data, it is anticipated that they will also approve the use of a Covid-19 vaccine for children. The question that then arises is what happens if parents cannot agree on whether their child should be given a Covid-19 vaccine.
Insights / The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 - could this be a turning point for violence against women?
On 29 April 2021, after years of parliamentary consideration, the Domestic Abuse Bill finally became law, representing a long-awaited change to our legislation.
Insights / Divorce, relocation and Covid-19
Since March 2020, many articles have reported on the perceived increase in divorce rates during the Covid pandemic. Only time will tell if this proves to be correct and if the record-breaking 2019 figure of 108,421 divorces for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples in the UK is surpassed.
News / Providing HR support for employees with relationship difficulties: a family law perspective
When a relationship comes to an end - whether a couple is going through divorce proceedings or ending a period of co-habitation - it is well recognised that this can have a huge impact on a member of staff’s work life.
Insights / Ince Bristol's Private Client team expansion with new solicitor and trainee legal executive appointed
Thriving international law firm Ince adds to its Bristol Private Client team with the appointment of a new associate solicitor and trainee legal executive.
News / Ince develops Private Wealth advisory practice with appointment of new Head
Ince is pleased to announce the appointment of Nick Rucker as Partner and Head of its Private Wealth advisory practice.
News / Insight into family issues for expats living in Dubai
At the heart of the UAE, Dubai is a vibrant country, which offers amazing work opportunities for lots of British people looking to enhance their career, to work in a unique and exciting country, and to experience a different culture and meet with people from all over the world.
Insights / What is a “bad divorce”? Things to avoid and look out for
From the 30 November to 4 December 2020, Resolution is running its annual “Good Divorce Week” campaign. In conjunction with their campaign, Resolution have produced a “tool kit” for professionals working in family law to consider when dealing with a divorcing couple to enable the process to be dealt with in a way that reduces conflict.
Insights / How to have a "good divorce" - top tips for couples and professionals
Recent data from The Office of National Statistics showed that during 2019, there was an increase in the number of divorces for both heterosexual and same-sex couples. In fact, it is the largest increase in divorce rates in the last five years.
News / Relationships in 'Lockdown: Part Two'
On the 29 October 2020, The Times ran an article titled “Can your relationship survive the second wave”. As Wales comes out of a “Firebreak” lockdown on 9 November 2020, and England starts a month-long lockdown from 5 November 2020 - this is a very timely question to ask.
Insights / Preventing a domestic violence pandemic
Since March, we have all had to adjust to the new reality in the face of Coronavirus. Now with the second national lockdown on the horizon in England, a ‘fire breaker’ lockdown underway in Wales and tiered restrictions being imposed in Scotland, we will all again retreat to our homes in order to protect ourselves, the vulnerable and our NHS.
Insights / Sending my child to school… The dilemma for parents co-parenting during Covid-19
As children attend school for the autumn term, for the first time since March 2020, schools across the UK are adopting measures to try and reduce the spread of coronavirus whilst allowing the return of all children to the school environment.
Insights / The portrayal of a marital affair in a BBC drama: A family lawyer's perspective
BBC’s latest drama, ‘7:39’, covers an extra marital affair between two London commuters played by David Morrissey and Sheridan Smith, and without giving any spoilers, the consequences of this on any existing families and relationships.
Insights / Family law Q&A surrounding coronavirus
Rebecca Aston-Jones, Senior Associate at Ince Metcalfes, answers some of the most frequently asked family law questions raised by her clients in these uncertain times and is interviewed about her experiences in the short video below.
Insights / What is a "no-fault" divorce?
The Bill which proposes to introduce “no-fault” divorces in England and Wales was backed by MPs earlier this week and it is possible that it will receive Royal assent within the next week.
Insights / Covid-19 and the implications regarding Childcare Arrangements
In recent weeks family practitioners have had to deal with scenarios and situations which we hadn’t previously envisaged or had to consider. One parent stuck in lockdown on their own in one part of the country and the other with the children miles away, and grandparents and grandchildren not being able to see one another and share that special bond that exists. These are a few examples of the difficulties which separating families are having to endure.
News / Covid-19 and Financial Settlements – The consequences are known to be extreme
We are living in the most unprecedented times. The world has been turned upside down, global stock markets have taken an incredible hit, many have found themselves either unemployed or on reduced salaries or with assets which as Richard Branson has told us have significantly reduced in value. All this is without a foreseeable end in sight.
News / Q&A: Why should you consider a co-habitation agreement?
According to a statistic from STEP, more than three million couples in the UK choose to co-habit, rather than marry or enter a civil partnership. However, unmarried couples who live together have far fewer legal rights than couples who are married or in civil partnerships. The concept of the ‘common law’ spouse is just a myth and not recognised in the law. As a result, co-habiting couples who are in the process of separating cannot access the financial orders as separating spouse.
Insights / Child contact arrangements during the coronavirus outbreak
The ongoing difficulties and concerns following the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic have been constantly presenting themselves over the last few months.
Insights / Six tips for working at home with your partner during the coronavirus outbreak
In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the virus presents all of us with a number of challenges beyond the security of our health and wellbeing.
News / Managing Child Arrangements Amid COVID-19
We are now having to face challenges nationally and globally which we never expected, and we are having to adapt very quickly to the significant impact of COVID-19 upon our daily lives. In this unprecedented time of uncertainty, it is normal to have worries about how to manage your household and your family arrangements, to abide by the government guidance whilst maintaining some degree of normality. As Cafcass (Court Welfare Advisory Service) have advised, in this climate of uncertainty it has never been more important to instill a sense of routine and normality for children in order to make them feel safe and secure.
News / Domestic Abuse
It has been reported in the media that Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall, hosted an event on Wednesday to highlight the invaluable work that the organization 'SafeLives' undertakes to support victims of Domestic Abuse.
Insights / The legal implications of “popping the question”
With romance in the air, Valentine’s Day is a popular time for “popping the question”. It is an exciting time filled with celebrations and if this is you, congratulations on your engagement!
News / The history of marriage
It is widely agreed that the origin of marriage dates well before recorded history, but the earliest recorded evidence of marriage ceremonies uniting one woman and one man dates from about 2350 B.C. in the Far East. Over the next several hundred years, marriage evolved into a widespread institution embraced by various cultures.
News / The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, the “evolution” of the legal process
The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill that brings in “no fault” applications to end married and registered civil partnership relationships comes before the House of Commons today for its second reading.
News / What Are The Legal Implications Surrounding Surrogacy?
As many of the listeners of the Radio 4 soap, The Archers, will be aware, the characters Ian and Adam are navigating the issues surrounding the birth of their son Xander, through surrogacy. The story of Adam and Ian using the services of a surrogate unfolded during 2019, and in September 2019 their Son Xander was born.
News / Celebrating St Dwynwen’s Day: Then & Now
25th January is St Dwynwen’s Day; which is celebrated in Wales in the same way as St Valentine’s Day is celebrated throughout the world, through the exchange of flowers and cards, romantic meals and special time spent by the couple together.
Insights / Civil partnerships: an alternative to marriage for all couples
It is estimated that around two thirds of cohabiting couples incorrectly believe they have the same rights as married couples or couples in a civil partnership. New legislation in this area provides all couples with an alternative to marriage to ensure they are granted with stability and legal protection.
Insights / Pre-nuptial agreements - not just for the rich and famous
With the wedding season almost upon us, couples are often considering whether to enter into a Pre-Nuptial Agreement. Julian McCarthy, Senior Family Solicitor provides an informative guide to engaged couples wishing to protect their assets prior to getting married.
Insights / Demystifying Wills
Many people do not realise the importance of making a Will. Some think it’s self-prophesying and others simply aren’t aware of the impact dying without a Will can have on their family.
Insights / Visiting a Family Solicitor for the First Time
It is going to be a daunting experience regardless of attempts to “sugar coat” it.
Insights / Meet the lawyer - Kerry Graham, Family Solicitor
Kerry is a senior family solicitor at Ince, a law firm dating back to 1829 which provides legal services for individuals and businesses.
Insights / What happens when it’s too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If a friend or relative is finding it difficult to make decisions about their finances or property, someone may need to be appointed to make these decisions on their behalf. But what happens when it’s too late for them to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Insights / We’re separating. Why do we need a Financial Remedy Order?
If your marriage or civil partnership is ending, you both have the right to make financial claims against each other. Our Family Law specialists explain how dealing with your marital finances could benefit you.
Insights / Where there's not a Will is there a way?
Many people don’t plan for what will happen after they die and often assume their possessions will automatically pass to their loved ones. If you die without leaving a Will, the law dictates what should happen to your money, property and belongings (known as your estate) which may not accord with your wishes.
Blogs / Under control
Emma Morris examines the powers of the courts to make civil restraint orders and the circumstances in which such an order may be appropriate.
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