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Breakdown of the Family Unit

Breakdown of the Family Unit

07 Jan 2020

When there is a breakdown in a relationship, whether it be between spouses or a parent and a child, it  can be one of the most traumatic times of anyone's life.  You may have tried various resources to assist with issues such as counselling, psychological intervention or even speaking to family of friends.  Although many of the resources may assist with resolving matters or at least being able to identify issues so that you can work on them, unfortunately, sometimes these paths may not be suitable.  This may leave you concerned with how a permanent breakdown in a relationship will impact on you and the family unit.  

At James Berry & Associates, our family law experts who are qualified Legal Consultants / Solicitors can advise you in this difficult emotional situation.  We provide sympathetic personal professional advice tailored to your individual circumstances and requirements.  It is likely that you may have preconceived ideas as to what your rights and entitlements are and more often than not, may be misled by the people who you look to for support(although this may be unintentional).  We offer specialist family law advice and support in ensuring you make informed decisions moving forward.  We will look at your case and consider the most appropriate action for you to take in light of your circumstances.  Although we are UK qualified Solicitors, we have a clear understanding of the processes in England, UAE and various other Countries.  

We can provide clear and concise guidance / advice in many areas of the breakdown of a family relationship including :

  • Separation – Divorce is a big step to take and unless you are certain that this is how you want to proceed, you may want to consider separation and reflect on arrangements including the children, finances and property.  We can advise you on your options and refer you and your spouse to mediation where you will be able to discuss and try to find solutions for your issues. We can also refer you to arbitration.  Separation may not be suitable in all cases and we will provide detailed explanations to assist you to make an informed decision.    
  • Divorce – we can provide specialist advice on your rights and entitlements during and following a divorce and information on the appropriate jurisdiction for your divorce.  We will explain the divorce process and will guide and assist help you throughout the proceedings.
  • Maintenance - As finances can often be a struggle, we can advise you with regards to your entitlement / obligations in respect of maintenance whether it be for yourself or any children.  In the event that your spouse is not willing to provide financial support during the proceedings, interim Orders can be sought from the Court.
  • Property and Financial disputes  - You will need to think about financial matters and also consider the impact of the breakdown on any property that you / your spouse may have.  We can advise you on potential settlements when going through a divorce and if appropriate refer you to mediation or arbitration in an attempt to resolve issues. Negotiations can also take place through Solicitors or at Court. 
  • Children issues - Children are often the most affected following a breakdown in the family unit and it is important that a parent recognises the impact on children.  We can advise you on all Children Law aspects including contact, custody, and maintenance to mention a few. 
  • Pre- nuptial and post nuptials agreements - Prenuptial agreements are made before the marriage and should include fair terms for the parties.  We can help you draft an agreement to cater for your financial and property matters, during your marriage and in the unfortunate event of a divorce.  Post-nuptial agreements are made following the marriage and can deal with the difficult issues such as the division of wealth and assets in the event of the marriage break down. Following your specific instructions, we can advise and draft prenuptial / post nuptial agreements to fit your individual circumstances and needs.

We will advise you of the costs and costs implications involved and as Court proceedings can be lengthy and costly, we will consider whether such avenues as mediation or arbitration, will be quicker, cheaper and less acrimonious bearing in mind your requirements and needs.  Although the various alternative dispute resolutions may not always eliminate the problems, through specialist intervention, the situation may be assisted by suggesting solutions or considering workable compromises.


If you are experiencing any family issues, please do contact us. You are not alone. We are here to guide and assist you through any of your matrimonial concerns.  

For further information or advice, please contact our Family Department or Dee Popat 

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