What Is Family Law?



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What Is Family Law?

I attended a recent course with Bluebell Web Solutions Ltd at the Digital Work Hub in Walton on Thames. At that event I met Nigel and we discussed writing for the Hersham Hub. Having lived and attended Rydens Secondary School, as it was then, this sounded like an interesting prospect.

Family Law is an area of law that deals with family related matters and relationships. It is an interesting and diverse area that has attracted many qualified practitioners keen on assisting people during one of the most difficult periods of their lives. It has, more recently, particularly with legal aid representation becoming increasingly difficult to obtain, attracted unqualified litigious individuals to promote themselves as experts in the field. It is important to use a qualified Solicitor who is a member of Resolution www.resolution.org.uk, whose members are committed to the constructive, non-confrontational resolution of family matters, in the best interests of any children of the family. The Resolution website is informative and provides useful guidance.

The Family Law field covers a broad array of matters, examples of which include issues relating to the residence and contact of children (now covered by the Child Arrangements Order), parental responsibility, adoption, abduction, care proceedings and Court fees. In addition pre marital agreements, divorce, finances on divorce (ancillary relief), cohabitation agreements and disputes where partners are unmarried, domestic violence and harassment. Family Law also interacts with a number of legal specialisms, including property law, criminal law and civil litigation and so the practitioner should have some knowledge of the matters relevant to the particular case.

There have been a number of recent changes in the area of family law and this has included the introduction of the unified Family Court, controlled timetabling in care proceedings (the Public Law outline), the new Child Arrangements Order to replace Residence and Contact Orders, the controlled use of experts by the court, increased court fees and increased emphasis on alternative dispute resolution including mediation and collaborative law. It would take some time to explain these changes, both in terms of the impact that they have as well as the reasoning behind them. Some of these matters can be addressed in the Family Law Q and A section Nigel has in mind going forwards, if you email Nigel** with any specific or topic related questions so that a few can be responded to each week.

Lynn Sutton-Bunnell LLB (Hons) LLM Solicitor

** If you have a question for Lynn you can email me, in strictest confidence, on nigelm@thehershamhub.co.uk

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Lynn Sutton-Bunnell

Lynn joined Meadows Ryan in April 2015, having worked for Solicitors Firms in Surrey, Hampshire, Middlesex and Hertfordshire since she qualified in 1998. She qualified at Sussex and Southampton Universities and the College of Law, Guildford.
She has extensive experience in both Litigation and Family matters. Her Litigation practice comprises all areas of Civil Litigation and personal disputes, including Property matters, Contentious Probate, Employment, Personal Injury, Contractual Disputes and Debt matters. Lynn deals with these matters in a firm, timely and constructive manner to achieve the best possible outcome for her Clients. Lynn`s Family practice consists of children matters including those with International elements – such as International Abduction and Financial matters for married and cohabiting partners.
She has been a member of Resolution for many years, as well as a member of Reunite . She approaches Family matters in a constructive and conciliatory fashion and has been a Solicitor member of both Cove and Hemel Hempstead Contact Centres and the North Hampshire Domestic Abuse forum.

Lynn advises at the Walton Surrey Law Centre clinics and supports the firm with their many charity activities

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