FM Family Law offers free mediation intake sessions during Family Mediation Week 2022

FM Family Law offers free mediation intake sessions during Family Mediation Week 2022

FM Family Law are proud to be supporting Family Mediation Week this year which runs from 17 January to 21 January 2022. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness of family mediation and the many benefits it can bring families experiencing separation.

Mediation is a forum for discussing and resolving issues with your spouse/partner away from lawyers and away from court. The role of the mediator is to remain neutral, facilitate and support your discussions, as well as help you explore various options. Family mediation can be a great option for resolving issues arising out of separation and ensure that couples can take control, make decisions together and build a positive future for them and their family.

In support of Family Mediation Week, FM Family Law are excited to announce that we will be offering free mediation intake sessions for both participants throughout January providing they are booked during Family Mediation Week (17 – 21 January 2022), subject to availability. Full details and terms below.

We have four Resolution Family Mediators at FM Family Law: Fiona McLeman, Sue Bailey, Christina Hale and Karen Fox.

If you would like to enquire about booking your free mediation intake meeting please contact us:

(Norwich) Jenny Humphrey on 01603 443333 / jenny@fmfamilylaw.co.uk

(Cambridge) Kate Smith on 01223 355333 / kate@fmfamilylaw.co.uk

You can read more about our mediation service here.

2021: 10 years of FM Family Law

2021: 10 years of FM Family Law

Throughout 2021, FM Family Law has been celebrating our 10 years of excellence in family law.

In celebration of our 10th anniversary, our Norwich and Cambridge offices have each donated in support of their chosen local charities:  Cambridge – Blue Smile (www.bluesmile.org.uk): a charity promoting a whole school approach to mental wellbeing, including one-to-one counselling and therapy for children aged 3 to 13. Norwich – The Daisy Programme (www.daisyprogramme.org.uk): a charity supporting men and women living with or who have been affected by Domestic abuse. Both charities are extremely worthy causes and we are pleased to be able to support them in offering essential services to those that need it most.

A decade of excellence in family law has also given us the opportunity to look back on our achievements over the past 10 years. We hope you enjoy this countdown from 10.

10      10 years ago in April 2011, FM Family Law began business from a standing start of 1 lawyer.

9        FM Family Law is now a company of 9 (Carla Morphett and Laura Clay-Harris having joined in 2021).

8        No 8 Thorpe Road is where we started our journey in Norwich with the lovely people at no 8 Thorpe Road.

7        FM Family Law has 7 specialist family lawyers.

6        6 years ago Sue Bailey opened the Norwich office of FM Family Law.

5        5 years ago FM took on rooms at 72 Thorpe Road and now  occupies the whole premises.

4        We have 4 family mediators.

3        We have 3 collaborative lawyers

2        2 months ago, we were awarded the Norfolk & Norwich Law Society Excellence in Individual Client Services Award.

1        We have 1 trainee – Laura Tuddenham who qualifies under the CILEX scheme in Summer 2022

 We look forward to the next 10 years of excellence in family law.

Good Divorce Week 2021 – How FM Family Law can help

Good Divorce Week 2021 – How FM Family Law can help

The image above has been generated from client feedback when they describe their experience with us. 

It’s Good Divorce Week this week (29 November – 3 December) and we are supporting Resolution with promoting the practical and constructive ways in which separating and divorcing couples can reach an agreement.

FM Family Law are keen advocates of the Resolution and Good Divorce Week message.  We favour a non-confrontational approach and encourage finding a solution together. In every case, we provide clients with detailed information in respect of the full range of resolution options available to help them make informed decisions about the best way forward for them and their family.

We have summarised below some of the main resolution options which can avoid the need to go to court and are generally available to couples separating or divorcing:

Mediation

Mediation is a forum for discussing and resolving issues with your spouse/partner away from lawyers and away from court. The role of the Mediator is to facilitate and support your discussions, as well as help you explore various options. The Mediator does not give legal advice and their role is impartial and neutral.

At FM Family Law, we have 4 Resolution Family Mediators.

Negotiations between lawyers

Letters and emails are written setting out your respective proposals and negotiating towards an agreed settlement. Negotiations and discussions can also take place by way of face to face meetings, which you would also attend (known as a round table meeting).

Collaborative Law

This would involve meetings between you, your spouse/partner and collaboratively trained lawyers.  A Participation Agreement is signed by all confirming that everyone will work together for the benefit of each other and the whole family in order to reach an agreement. You agree formally not to involve the Court other than to endorse any agreement, when required.

You can find more information about the collaborative model at www.resolution.org.uk/collaborative

FM Family Law have 3 collaboratively trained lawyers who can assist.

Arbitration

An arbitrator is appointed make a decision for you if you and your spouse/partner cannot agree. You and your spouse/partner must have legal representation. The arbitrator hears arguments from both sides about your case before making a decision. The decision is binding. Settlement can be achieved in a less formal atmosphere such as court, and it can reduce delays and minimise costs.

You can find more information about arbitration at http://www.resolution.org.uk/arbitration/ and at http://ifla.org.uk

There are so many benefits to exploring alternative forms of dispute resolution for you and your family.

The team at FM Family Law would be happy to discuss the options available for reaching an amicable divorce or separation. To arrange an initial meeting with one of our lawyers please contact us on 01603 44333333 (Norwich) or 01223 355333 (Cambridge).

FM Family Law wins Norfolk & Norwich Law Society Excellence in Individual Client Services Award

FM Family Law wins Norfolk & Norwich Law Society Excellence in Individual Client Services Award

Pictured: (LtoR) Carla Morphett, Karen Fox, Sue Bailey, Jenny Humphrey, Laura Tuddenham, and Laura Clay-Harris

FM Family Law are proud winners of the Norfolk & Norwich Law Society Excellence in Individual Client Services Award 2021 which was awarded at the Annual Dinner on 15 October.   This category recognises exceptional individuals, teams or firms working with individual clients who have gone above and beyond to impact their firm and clients.

FM Family Law are passionate about the work we do – we understand that family matters.  We are therefore delighted that our incredible team has received recognition for its exceptional level of service to clients as well as the firm being recognised for providing an outstanding working environment for its staff.

We are proud to highlight the following from our submission:

“We don’t tend to regard ourselves as working for a client but more working alongside them. Our business model is based on ‘one client one lawyer relationship’. We continually reassess our business to improve, adapt and meet the needs of clients. The ‘one client one lawyer relationship’ is at the heart of our service, enabling us to establish and maintain close working relationships with clients. Our technological resources allow us excellent speed of response and engagement with clients and associated third parties and lawyers.”

 

“Our biggest success at FM Family Law is how our staff feel about our team…We are proud that members of our team reflect on how they have never felt as supported or valued by other employees and that, as a consequence, they feel able to give their best selves to provide an excellent service to our clients.”

 

“We are not only passionate about looking after our staff and clients, but also the wider community in which we operate. For that reason, many of our staff members hold additional posts and volunteer their time for the benefit of the community and/or profession.”

For more information about the awards, visit the Norfolk & Norwich Law Society website here.

Prenuptial agreements are more common than you think

Prenuptial agreements are more common than you think

 A fifth of UK couples who had their first wedding since 2000 have a prenuptial agreement (or ‘pre-nup’). 

This latest research commissioned by The Marriage Foundation is thought to be the first of its kind which offers a real and genuine insight into the personal decisions that couples make about their relationship. How a couple decides to manage their financial affairs is completely private to them and trying to collect data on this is tricky to say the least – so it is understandable why we have absolutely no idea how popular pre-nups are (until now).

With many weddings having sadly been postponed due to the pandemic, if you have a 2022 wedding to look forward to then there is plenty of time to put any necessary plans in motion. Having time on your side is particularly helpful as one of the factors to consider when entering into a pre-nup is timing. It is important you do not leave it too late.

What is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a document entered into before marriage that sets out how a couple’s assets will be divided should their relationship subsequently break down and/or set out arrangements for how to manage their finances and other practical matters during the marriage.  It is a type of relationship agreement – you can read more about what these are here.

Pre-nups are likely to be upheld in most cases so long as certain factors have been considered by the couple when entering into it. We can discuss this with you to ensure the right criteria is met.

Who can get a prenuptial agreement?

Anyone!  There is no need to qualify or be eligible to get a pre-nup, but there are certain situations which might motivate one or both future spouses to protect their wealth before tying the knot. For example:

1.       When one or both spouses have previously been married – they may wish to better plan in the event of a relationship breakdown and/or protect their assets for the benefit of any children from a previous relationship.

2.        Entering into a marriage when one spouse has significantly more wealth than the other which was built up prior to their relationship.

3.        When one or both spouses are expecting to receive significant wealth in the future such as through family inheritance, career progression or financial investment.

4.        Marrying later in life as this can increase the chance of 1 and 2 above becoming relevant.

    Interestingly, the Marriage Foundation research reveals that 44% of individuals in a higher managerial role had signed a pre-nup and the prevalence of pre-nups amongst couples in the other social groups were fairly evenly distributed.   This confirms that pre-nups are not just reserved for the super-rich and famous, which is a common misconception.

    Pre-nups provide greater clarity as to how assets may be divided upon separation and can therefore help avoid the unpredictability, potential legal costs and emotional stress often associated with an acrimonious separation.

    If you would like to discuss the benefits of having a pre-nuptial agreement or any other issues covered in this article please do not hesitate to contact the team – we would be happy to help.