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    Unmarried Couples & Financial Claims for Children Legal Services

Problematically for unmarried couples and families, the law does not provide a set of rights which are as comprehensive as those provided to married couples and divorcees.

This applies whether an unmarried couple has lived together or not and whether they have children or not. It’s important to be aware that the myth of the “common law spouse” is just that – a fairy tale.

However, other parts of the law do provide a web of useful and valuable rights, financial and non-financial, many of them developed over decades of decisions by the Courts rather than from any Act of Parliament. Some have arisen from the implementation of the Human Rights Act and can give rise to claims which are also enforceable against key third parties such as pension trustees, mortgage lenders, trustees and executors of estates. And for those who have children, Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 provides an important set of financial claims which complement the Child Maintenance Service (formerly Child Support Agency) regime. These range from “top up” maintenance payments to help with school and university fees and capital costs such as buying a home to bring your child up in.

This added complexity means that it’s important to obtain professional advice as soon as problems arise. Our role is to advise you on how to obtain the best outcome, irrespective of your situation. Each family is unique, requiring bespoke advice across a variety of areas. For those who have children, we appreciate that achieving a fair and reasonable outcome for your children will be a first priority. We are experienced in complex financial matters such as monthly child and spousal maintenance, contributions towards school fees or university costs, planning for the future or a sudden change of circumstances. We also value your privacy and have specialists in that field who are able to support us when questions involving confidentiality, publicity and the press arise.

Our holistic approach means we have all the expertise you need, locally and internationally, under one roof. This includes commercial and residential property law, estate planning as well as many other areas.

Meet our family lawyers

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Our family law specialists give clear advice on all financial aspects of divorce.

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Family Mediation & Dispute Resolution Legal Services

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We advise on and offer several forms of dispute resolution, with each having their own merits.

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International Family Legal Services

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No matter where you are based, our approach is supportive with a fast turnaround time where required. 

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Parentage, Fertility & Surrogacy Legal Services

Parentage, Fertility Law & Surrogacy

We care about families in all their forms. Problematically for families, the law on parentage does not join up internationally. 

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Pre and Post-Nuptial Agreements & Wealth Protection Legal Services

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We are recognised as being experts in the field of negotiating and drafting marital agreements.

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What's important to you is important to us. Let's talk

If you would like to speak to a member of our Family team or to find out more about how we work, please get in touch.

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Our thinking

  • Felicity Chapman writes for Circle2Success on changes to Capital Gains Tax rules

    In the Press

  • Miranda Fisher writes for Spears Magazine on prenuptial agreements for the older couple

    Miranda Fisher

    In the Press

  • Julia Cox and Felicity Chapman write for International Adviser on the rise of pre-nups in the UK

    Julia Cox

    In the Press

  • Will couples who were locked down together stay together? Cohabitation in the wake of COVID-19

    Lauren Clarke


  • Untangling the Atlantic Knot: Wills for mixed US/UK couples

    Sangna Chauhan


  • Grandparents and their children’s divorce

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  • “Step parents” and their partners’ children

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