At Lake Legal we provide an award winning, client focused service in all areas of private family law, including:
- dissolution of civil partnerships
- financial settlements
- cohabitation disputes
- pre and post marital agreements
- arrangements for children
- review of maintenance arrangements
We’re here to help you through the difficulties that arise as the result of a relationship breaking down. We offer a range of options with a focus on collaboration and avoiding confrontation wherever possible. We believe in trying to avoid costly court proceedings that often add additional stress at an already difficult time.
As family law specialists, this is all we do. We are experts in resolving the financial aspects of divorce and separation and are regularly instructed to deal with cases involving owner-managed family businesses, complex trust and tax issues, significant pensions and international elements.
Some clients feel able to discuss matters directly with their spouse or former partner. At Lake Legal we can support you through those discussions, providing advise around settlement parameters and deal with the formalities for you once an agreement is reached.
In mediation, settlement discussions remain face to face but with the assistance of an independent mediator who will assist you to identify the issues and help you reach your own solution. The mediator is not there to give legal advice to either of you but instead to facilitate discussions on an even-handed basis between you both. Alison Schmidt is a Resolution-trained mediator (registered with the Family Mediation Council as working towards accredited status) who is able to act as a mediator in relation to financial and/or children issues. If you meet with a mediator outside our firm we can support you through the process, advise as to settlement and deal with the formalities.
Collaborative Law is a process whereby discussions take place in a series of meetings at which you, your former partner or spouse and your respective lawyers are all present. The approach is a holistic one: the parties, not the lawyers, drive the issues for discussion. What is unique about Collaborative Law is that if the process breaks down, new lawyers must be found. This encourages everyone to be committed to the process.
Lyn Ayrton, our managing partner, is a qualified Collaborative Lawyer.
Arbitration is effectively a private court process. Like court, a third party will ultimately make a binding decision if a settlement cannot be reached. Unlike court, you have control over the choice of the Arbitrator and can adopt a bespoke timetable and process to suit you.
Lyn Ayrton is a qualified Family Law Arbitrator and a founding member of Family Financial Arbitration (www.familyfinancialarbitration.co.uk).
We recognise that in some cases court proceedings are the best option or are unavoidable. If a court application is brought, a timetable will be allocated by the court to the case, culminating with a final hearing at which you and your spouse or former partner will usually give evidence and a Judge will make a binding decision. If court proceedings prove necessary, we still strive to settle cases at an early stage in the process wherever possible.