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Family Solicitors

Family Solicitors

Our family law and divorce services

We understand the sensitivity and significance of family law matters.

Our team of dedicated specialist family law solicitors are here to provide comprehensive legal support across a wide spectrum of family law matters, combining legal expertise with empathy and understanding. Whether you are dealing with divorce proceedings, resolving disputes over arrangements for the children, or drafting cohabitation agreements, we understand how high the stakes are for your family. Our family team is equipped to handle each case with the attention and care it deserves, prioritising your best interests and making sure we are always working to address your personal needs and objectives.

With a rich heritage of serving the local community, Walker Foster is a name synonymous with trust, reliability and specialist legal advice in family law. We are here to provide the guidance and representation you deserve, and are dedicated to providing a transparent, cost-effective service at every stage.

To find out more about how we can help you with family law disputes and other matters, get in touch with the family law team at Walker Foster today. Get in contact with us to find out how we can support you.

Our family law and divorce services

At Walker Foster Solicitors, our comprehensive family law services are designed to address the broad range of challenges and legal needs that families may encounter. Our specialist team offers expert legal advice and empathetic support across a diverse array of family law matters, ensuring that clients receive tailored, effective solutions.

Examples of cases we frequently deal with include, but are not limited to:

At Walker Foster Solicitors, we understand that each family law matter is unique, requiring a personalised approach and specialist legal advice. Our specialist team of family lawyers and solicitors is dedicated to providing the highest level of service, combining legal excellence with a compassionate approach to support you through every stage of the legal process.

Divorce law

At Walker Foster Solicitors, our team of family lawyers specialise in navigating the complexities of divorce law, offering compassionate support and expert legal advice to guide you through this difficult period.

Our divorce law services include:

  • Initial consultation: offering a confidential initial consultation to discuss your situation, understand your needs, and explain your rights and options.
  • Filing for divorce: assisting with all aspects of starting divorce proceedings, including preparing and filing the necessary legal documents.
  • Financial settlements: negotiating financial settlements to ensure a fair division of assets, including property, savings, pensions and other investments.
  • Child arrangements: helping to resolve issues around contact, residence and child support, always with a focus on the children’s best interests.
  • Legal separation: advising on and drafting legal separation agreements for those who wish to live apart without immediately proceeding to divorce.

Opting for Walker Foster Solicitors means selecting a team that understands not just the legal, but the personal complexities of divorce. We aim to make the divorce process as smooth and stress-free as possible, prioritising your wellbeing and the best interests of any children involved.

We also offer a fixed-fee divorce for couples looking for a straightforward, no-fault separation. Speak to our family law team to find out if you qualify for this option.

Matrimonial finances 

Dealing with matrimonial finances during divorce or separation is often one of the most complex and emotionally charged aspects of ending a relationship. Walker Foster's family team will help you achieve a fair  financial settlement that secures your future and upholds your rights, offering expert legal advice and representation in all matters related to matrimonial finances.

Our matrimonial finance services include:

  • Financial disclosure: assisting in the full and fair disclosure of both parties' financial assets, ensuring transparency and honesty as the foundation of any financial settlement.
  • Asset valuation: working with financial experts to accurately value all matrimonial assets, including property, investments, pensions and businesses, to ensure a fair division.
  • Negotiation of settlements: skilfully negotiating financial settlements that protect your interests and meet your needs, taking into account any children's welfare.
  • Court representation: providing robust representation in court should negotiations fail, ensuring your case is presented effectively and your voice is heard.
  • Enforcement: assisting in the enforcement of financial orders if the other party fails to comply with the terms agreed upon or ordered by the court.

Understanding that each family is different, we aim to achieve resolutions that reflect your individual needs and priorities, always with an eye towards the future. Our goal is to minimise the stress and uncertainty of financial proceedings, allowing you to move forward with confidence and peace of mind.

Offshore assets

An offshore asset is any form of financial or physical property, registered or located in a jurisdiction outside of the UK. If you or your partner hold assets offshore, this can create additional complexity to financial negotiations. We aim to guide you through sophisticated ownership structures which are used to disguise a party's wealth, and potentially reduce the assets available for distribution.

We regularly assist clients with offshore assets, including but not limited to:

  • Foreign bank accounts 
  • Business interests
  • Foreign pension policies
  • Art and collections
  • Overseas property
  • Business interests
  • Offshore trusts and inheritances

Our family team has experience dealing with substantial assets. We have the expertise to help trace the ownership of assets held via a trust or other corporate vehicle, and the ability to take swift action to safeguard assets that might otherwise be concealed or dissipated.

Family mediation

Family mediation is a constructive and often less confrontational approach to resolving disputes that arise within families, particularly during separation or divorce. At Walker Foster, we champion family mediation as an alternative to court proceedings, recognising its potential to reduce emotional stress and financial costs for our clients.

We can signpost you to family mediation services which will include:

  • Mediation sessions: facilitating structured mediation sessions where both parties can discuss their issues in a safe and neutral environment, guided by a trained mediator.
  • Negotiating agreements: assisting in the negotiation of agreements related to finances, property division and child arrangements, promoting fair decisions in the best interests of all involved, especially children.
  • Drafting consent orders: once an agreement is reached through mediation, we can help draft consent orders to make the agreements legally binding, providing clarity, security for the future and a clean break where appropriate.
  • Support and guidance: we can offer ongoing support and guidance throughout the mediation process, ensuring you understand your rights and options at every stage.

Mediation is designed to provide a less adversarial and more cost-effective resolution to family law issues, with the added benefit of giving you and your partner control over the outcomes. Mediators are not only trained in the legal aspects of family disputes but are also skilled in conflict resolution, ensuring that all discussions are productive and focused on finding workable solutions.

Prenuptial agreements

Prenuptial agreements, often referred to as "prenups," are legal contracts entered into before marriage, outlining how assets will be divided in the event of a divorce or separation. Our family team offer specialised legal services for drafting, negotiating and implementing prenuptial agreements.

Our prenuptial agreement services include:

  • Expert tailored drafting: we provide bespoke drafting of prenuptial agreements that accurately reflect your assets, expectations and the unique aspects of your relationship, ensuring a fair and equitable arrangement.
  • Comprehensive legal advice: our team offers in-depth legal advice to ensure you fully understand the terms of your prenuptial agreement and how it affects your rights and obligations within the marriage.
  • Negotiation facilitation: we assist in negotiating the terms of prenuptial agreements, advocating for your interests while maintaining the respect and harmony of your relationship.
  • Validity and enforcement: ensuring your prenuptial agreement meets all legal requirements for validity and enforceability under UK law, providing you with certainty and protection.

Recognised for their practicality in protecting individual interests and promoting transparency between partners, prenuptial agreements are an important consideration for many couples looking to marry. Our family law specialists will work diligently to ensure that your agreement is sound and also reflects your wishes and circumstances.

Postnupital agreements

Postnuptial agreements are legal documents entered into after marriage, detailing how assets should be divided in the event of a separation or divorce. Speak to a member of our family team at Walker Foster for expert legal advice and drafting services to ensure that your postnuptial agreement is fair, comprehensive and binding.

Our postnuptial agreement services include:

  • Custom drafting: tailoring postnuptial agreements to meet the specific needs and circumstances of each couple, covering assets, debts, inheritance, a new business and any other financial matters important to you.
  • Legal advice: offering detailed legal advice on the implications of a postnuptial agreement, ensuring you fully understand its effects and are making informed decisions about your financial future.
  • Negotiation support: assisting in the negotiation process to ensure the agreement is equitable and reflects the intentions and needs of both parties, aiming for mutually satisfactory outcomes.
  • Review and updates: providing services to review and update existing postnuptial agreements in light of changed circumstances or legal requirements, ensuring they remain relevant and enforceable.

Our family team experts bring a wealth of experience and a compassionate approach to the drafting and negotiation of postnuptial agreements, ensuring that the process is smooth, transparent, and tailored to your unique situation.

Child law

Our family team offer expert guidance and support in a range of legal scenarios involving children, always prioritising the best interests of the child at the heart of every decision and action taken.

We can help with:

  • Child residence disputes: assistance in resolving disputes over where a child should live and the arrangements for how parents will share care.
  • Contact arrangements: legal support in establishing fair and workable arrangements for a child to have contact with non-resident parents and other family members
  • Specific issue orders: these orders are made when a court decides a particular issue in dispute, such as which school a child should attend.
  • Prohibited steps orders: this type of order forbids a person from taking a particular action in relation to a child, such as taking them out of the jurisdiction.
  • Parental responsibility issues: guidance on acquiring, understanding and resolving disputes over parental responsibility.
  • Child maintenance and financial support: advice on securing appropriate financial support for children, including navigating the Child Maintenance Service and court orders.
  • Protection from domestic abuse: representation in obtaining court orders to protect children from domestic violence or abuse, and ensure their safety and wellbeing.
  • Special guardianship orders: guidance on securing special guardianship, offering a secure foundation for children who cannot live with their birth parents.

At Walker Foster, we believe in a sensitive, family-focused approach to legal issues, offering peace of mind and reliable support for all matters involving children. Our priority will always be to work with all members of the family to reach mutual agreements that put the needs of the children first.

Civil partnerships

Our family law team provides comprehensive legal support for individuals entering into or dissolving civil partnerships, and we are dedicated to ensuring that your rights are protected and your future is secured.

Our services concerning civil partnerships include:

  • Forming civil partnerships: guidance on the legal process of forming a civil partnership, including the rights and obligations that come with it.
  • Dissolution of civil partnerships: expert advice and representation in the dissolution process, ensuring that your interests are safeguarded throughout.
  • Financial and property arrangements: assistance in negotiating and formalising agreements regarding financial arrangements and property division upon the dissolution of a civil partnership.
  • Children’s matters: support in resolving any issues related to children within the partnership, including parental responsibilities and child arrangements.
  • Pre-partnership agreements: similar to prenuptial agreements, we can help draft agreements that outline how assets and finances will be managed during the partnership and in the event of its dissolution.

Our approach is tailored to the unique circumstances of each client, ensuring that we provide not just legal services, but also support and guidance through every step of the process.

Cohabitation agreements

Cohabitation agreements provide vital legal protection relating to property, finances and responsibilities for unmarried couples living together. Walker Foster offers expert legal advice and drafting services for cohabitation agreements, ensuring that both parties' interests are protected.

Our services relating to cohabitation agreements include:

  • Tailored agreement drafting: creating bespoke cohabitation agreements that reflect the unique circumstances and needs of each couple, covering aspects such as property ownership, financial arrangements and the division of assets.
  • Legal advice: providing comprehensive legal advice to ensure you understand your rights and the implications of the cohabitation agreement, empowering you to make informed decisions.
  • Dispute resolution: offering support and representation in the event of a dispute arising from a cohabitation relationship, aiming for resolutions that protect your interests and maintain amicable relations wherever possible.
  • Review and amendments: assisting with the review and amendment of existing cohabitation agreements to reflect changes in circumstances, ensuring the document remains relevant and effective.

Our family law team recognises the significance of these agreements in providing clarity and security for unmarried couples. We approach each case with sensitivity and professionalism, prioritising clear communication and attention to detail.

Unmarried/cohabiting families 

In addition to offering guidance on cohabitation agreements, our family solicitors regularly provide tailored legal advice for unmarried and cohabiting families to help them navigate the complex and often uncertain legal circumstances that they are facing.

Our legal services for unmarried and cohabiting families include:

  • Property disputes: providing expert advice and representation in disputes over property ownership and rights.
  • Parental rights and responsibilities: assisting with the legal aspects of parental responsibilities, including custody, access and child support arrangements for children of cohabiting couples.
  • Financial support: advising on financial entitlements and responsibilities upon the breakdown of the relationship.
  • Separation agreements: drafting agreements that outline the terms of separation, ensuring clarity and fairness in the division of assets and responsibilities.

Choosing Walker Foster for your legal needs means choosing a firm that understands the intricacies of the situation, and that can help you fully understand the full legal implications of resolving a dispute or determining what happens when a relationship breaks down.

Injunctions 

When domestic abuse occurs, we are fully committed to providing the immediate legal assistance you need. Our family team has helped many people take emergency legal action to protect themselves from domestic abuse and safeguard their occupation of the family home.

Our legal services for injunctions include:

  • Non-molestation orders: offering protection from harassment, violence or threats by securing orders that prevent further abuse or harassment.
  • Occupation orders: regulating who can live in the family home, including orders to remove an individual from the property to protect you and your children.
  • Freezing orders: helping to protect assets by preventing their sale or disposal during divorce or separation proceedings.
  • Prohibitive injunctions: preventing an individual from undertaking certain actions that could harm you or your interests.
  • Mandatory injunctions: compelling an individual to take specific actions, such as returning stolen property or adhering to agreed-upon responsibilities.

We understand the urgency and delicacy of situations requiring injunctions and are committed to acting promptly to secure the necessary legal protection. Our family solicitors can help you make informed decisions as to whether or not an application for an injunction is appropriate in your case.

Child abduction

In the distressing event of a child abduction, Walker Foster Solicitors offers specialised legal assistance tailored to support families through this challenging time. Our approach prioritises the child's welfare and seeks to provide families with the guidance, support and legal expertise necessary to navigate these complex situations effectively.

We can help with:

  • Parental abduction within the UK: legal support and representation for cases where a child has been taken from their usual place of residence to another location within the UK, without the consent of those with parental responsibility.
  • Preventative measures against abduction: guidance on legal measures that can be taken to prevent the risk of abduction, including court orders and alerting authorities.
  • Emergency legal action for the return of a child: fast-track legal action to apply for court orders demanding the return of the child and preventing their removal from the jurisdiction.

Our family solicitors are equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle these sensitive cases and are committed to acting swiftly and efficiently, understanding the importance of time in these situations.

Our approach to family law and family dispute cases

At Walker Foster Solicitors, we recognise that family law cases carry unique challenges and emotional complexities. As such, our family law team is dedicated to providing personalised, empathetic legal support that address the needs of your whole family.

We start by listening to you, understanding your situation, and identifying your goals and concerns, ensuring that we can identify solutions that align with what is most important to you and your family. We'll keep you informed every step of the way, providing clear, jargon-free communication, so you fully understand your options and the implications of each decision.

Wherever possible, we advocate for the use of alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and collaborative law to resolve disputes amicably. This approach often leads to more satisfactory outcomes and can preserve relationships post-dispute. However, when court proceedings are unavoidable, you can count on us to look after your interests robustly, drawing on our extensive experience in family law.

Beyond legal advice and representation, we offer support and guidance to help you navigate the emotional and practical challenges of your family law matter. Our goal is to ease the burden on you and your family during this difficult time.

Finally, we are committed to providing a transparent approach when it comes to legal fees. It is important to us that you have a clear understanding of the costs, and we'll work with you to deliver the most cost-effective service possible.

If you are ready to take the first step towards resolving your family law matter, Walker Foster is here to guide you through every stage of the process. Contact us for an initial consultation to learn more about how our family law solicitors can help you.

"It must be extremely rare to need a solicitor and for it to be a welcome thing which means that stress and anxiety is a factor from Day 1! Over the last few years, I have used Walker Foster on a number of occasions including property transactions and most recently on a lengthy and difficult family matter but could not be more pleased with the support I received from Walker Foster. On the most recent occasion, I worked over a long period of time with Sara Rutter who I found to be practical, pragmatic and unfailingly candid. Even the difficult messages were delivered with great sensitivity. Whilst I hope I will never again be in need of her help, I will miss my chats with Sara, but be in no doubt, if I have need of any legal advice in the future, Walker Foster will be the first call I make."

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Selecting the right legal partner is vital when dealing with family law matters, given their complexity and the profound impact they can have on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Walker Foster has a longstanding presence in the Aire Valley region and beyond, with local offices located in Skipton, Barnoldswick, Silsden, Settle, Ilkley, Northallerton and Harrogate. Our heritage dates back to 1919, meaning we have a strong connection with the communities we serve.

Walker Foster has become a trusted name across multiple generations within the communities we serve. Our approach is to build lasting relationships, ensuring that you always have a reliable legal partner by your side, ready to support you through every legal challenge.

Our team of family solicitors brings together extensive experience and specialised knowledge in family law. This expertise ensures that we are equipped to handle everything from straightforward cases to the most complex legal disputes, always aiming for the best possible outcome for you.

We also recognise the emotional challenges that often accompany family law issues, and we will adopt a supportive and respectful approach, offering not just legal assistance but also the empathy and understanding you need during such times. Get in touch with Walker Foster's family team today, and we'll find the right answers together.

Meet the Team

Sarah BuxtonSolicitor
Ann HallmarkSenior Solicitor
Sara RutterSenior Solicitor & Head of Family
Isabel WardFamily Law Trainee Solicitor

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