Putting children first, always.

When couples separate or divorce, we’ll help them build a safe, settled future for their children.

Family Law Enquiries

Your Free Family Law Pathway Awaits

Separation is tough on children.

We’ll always look after their best interests.

During separation or divorce, we know that children usually benefit from maintaining a relationship with both parents. So we’ll do everything possible to build an arrangement that works for everyone. Liaising with your former partner’s solicitor, referring you to mediation services and, if necessary, guiding you through the court process.

Employment Law

Total support, complete understanding.

Our team has many years of experience supporting parents and grandparents through what can often be a challenging time. Every family is different, but you can always rely on our team to be thorough, sensitive and wholly committed to your child’s best interests.

 

 

We’ll advise you on:

Mediation after divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership

Grounds for divorce and the divorce process

Decree absolute and decree nisi

Child support payments

International divorce or family law

Who a child lives with and how much time is spent with each parent

Protecting children at risk from a parent

Disputes about relocating children in the UK or abroad

Allegations of domestic abuse

CAFCASS and Local Authority reports on child safeguarding

Parental responsibility

Our aim is to look for a resolution that will work into your children’s teens and young adulthood to avoid future disputes as far as is possible. We encourage you to be mindful of how your child experiences arrangements between you and how they will look back on their childhood as an adult.

Child Law Resources:

Adoption

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Anne Thomson

Working With Our Service Team

Our dedicated and trusted legal advisers adopt a sensitive and supportive approach, with an emphasis on guiding you step by step through the process. You can rest assured we’ll provide you with realistic and cost effective legal advice, with many of our lawyers being members of Resolution, they are personally committed to a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law issues.

- Anne Thomson

If you have an enquiry in relation to a Family law matter or simply want to speak to a member of our expert team, please get in touch.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Parental responsibility provides parents with the ability to make decisions about and have involvement in a child’s upbringing. It also enables parents to obtain information from third parties like doctors and schools.

Mothers automatically have parental responsibility. If a father is married to the child’s mother is born, they will also automatically have parental responsibility. Unmarried fathers will have parental responsibility if they are named on their child’s birth certificate, unless the child was born before 1 December 2003. If they are not named on the birth certificate, they can make an application to the court or enter into an agreement with the child’s mother to obtain parental responsibility.

It is also possible for parents in LGBTQ or other non-traditional families to obtain parental responsibility for their children.

If you have any concerns about obtaining parental responsibility you should contact your solicitor.

In the first instance, try to have a calm discussion with the other parent directly to see if the issue can be resolved. We often find that text messages can be misinterpreted so using email or another form of communication can help.

If it is not possible to resolve matters directly then you should book an appointment with a solicitor to discuss your options. It is best to do so without delay as it generally takes longer to re-establish contact after a gap. It may be necessary to make a referral to mediation or to make an application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order. Courts will start from a presumption that it is in children’s best interests to spend time with both parents where it is safe for them to do so.

Unless you have a Child Arrangements Order which provides that the children ‘live with’ you then you need their other parent’s permission to take the children out of the country. If their other parent will not consent it is possible to apply to the Court for an Order allowing you to take the children abroad.

If you do have a Child Arrangements Order you can take the children abroad for up to a 30 days at a time without permission. However, you should discuss and agree travel plans with the other parent. It is good practice to provide the other parent with information about your travel plans and where you will be staying in case of an emergency.

Some countries have special requirements for children travelling with only one parent and you should check the position before travelling.

It is usually a good idea to decide on a routine for the children that varies in term time and in the school holidays. That gives a structure during the school week but allows time for holidays and special occasions. There is no ‘right’ way to do things but it would be normal for each parent to have time with the children at the weekend and ideally during the school week. Any plans have to take into account the children’s schooling and activities, where the parents live and the parents’ work commitments.

If you need advice or support about this then contact a solicitor. It is not always necessary to go to Court. It is often possible to reach an agreement in correspondence or in mediation.

Unless it is an issue you feel able to discuss with the child’s other parent then you should contact a solicitor for advice. If the child is in immediate danger, it may be necessary to apply to the Court for an urgent order for their protection. Otherwise, it might be possible to change the existing arrangements to improve the situation.

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If you have a legal enquiry and would like to speak to one of our specialist team, please get in touch. We aim to respond within 2 hours of receiving your enquiry and look forward to hearing from you.

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Meet Your Lawyers


Anne Thomson

Partner

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Bethan Buckley

Paralegal

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Chloe Turner

Apprentice Solicitor

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Claire Darley

Partner

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Elizabeth Harris-Clark

Associate

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Emma Smith

Associate

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Helen Hanson

Associate

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Kate Rowley

Solicitor

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Kirsty Craven

Paralegal

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Lindsey Walker

Paralegal

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Louise Bond

Paralegal

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Lydia Hunt

Senior Paralegal

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Philip Cowell

Partner

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Rajpreet Sangha

Solicitor

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Sarah Millington

Partner

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Sophie Machin

Trainee Solicitor

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What Our Clients Say
 

The team at FBC Manby Bowdler were genuinely outstanding throughout and did everything they could to achieve the best possible outcome for me while avoiding unnecessary costs & delays. I was referred to them by a family member who had a great experience and would absolutely recommend them based on my own experience!

Emma Smith

From Mr B

 

A very professional service provided by Sarah and the team who worked flat out to meet the commitments required by the case and pick up the case post the removal of the a previous legal firm, FBCMB highlighted the challenges in my case and best outcomes and provided a cost estimate that eventually matched the outcome. The service and costs of, provided to me for my case was excellent and I can thoroughly recommend this company to anyone seeing legal advice. Well done!

Sarah Millington

From Mr J

 

Extremely happy with the whole procedure conducted from start to finish by Mr Philip Cowell. Your empathy and professionalism was exemplary at a time in my life when I was at my lowest! Sincere thanks for all your hard work and support. I highly recommend Mr Phil Cowell.

Phil Cowell

From Mr H

 

Anne Thomson is a woman of integrity and vast experience. As a U.S. Citizen married to a British citizen, my divorce was complex and difficult. With assets in multiple countries, legal actions in two countries in both civil and criminal courts, and a spouse who was devious and difficult, Anne kept the case moving forward and assisted me both with professional knowledge, clear explanations of the English legal system, and much needed emotional support.

 Anne worked tirelessly, and she and her staff showed outstanding professionalism and competence. She is a straight-talker who is capable, diligent and meticulous. I am grateful that I found the perfect solicitor, and I highly recommend her for anyone looking for the best legal counsel available.

Anne Thomson

Mrs W