Happily ever after. Just look at those three words. Few people ever get to say them and mean them. For most people, statistically speaking, marriage and civil partnerships are the fastest route to relationship breakdowns and separation. When this happens, worlds can be turned upside down and entire lives can be uprooted – people can find that they must relocate and start again, and where this person was not expecting a breakup, the sharp change in situation can be difficult to deal with. Add things like division of wealth and child custody into the picture and we can soon start to see how not every couple can manage these things alone.

This is where a family lawyer comes in. The family lawyer can direct how to split possessions and money, and can give an understanding of ‘grounds for full custody of child’. Let’s look at how family law may be relevant to you.

Prenuptial agreements can resolve issues before they occur

Prenuptial agreements are contracts. Both parties must read and sign the contract prior to entering into a marriage or civil partnership (other contracts called post nuptial agreements may also be available once the marriage or civil partnership has already taken place). The purpose of the contract is to distinguish the individual rights and responsibilities expected of each person in the event of a breakdown in the relationship.

The ‘prenup’ contracts could cover a range of situations, starting with unique things such as who gets sole possession of an object with sentimental value, to the much more serious issues of the division of wealth. In any case, the contract exists to serve as an expedited route to separation, meaning that if each party adheres to the terms set out in the contract, a faster and smoother break up can be achieved.

Of course, things change over time, and sometimes there may be further debate over certain parts of the contract that may not hold especially true years down the line, but in general the prenup can open the door to a new life much faster than if a prenup were not undertaken.

Child custody rights 

Child custody battles can be ugly. Where a breakup has been emotionally charged, one parent may attempt to muddy the waters of child custody or visitation rights by suggesting the home provided by the other parent is not suitable. This can mean one parent may go weeks without contact with their children, essentially on the grounds of false claims.

A family lawyer can direct a separated parent through the custody rights battle and try to regain contact between the parent and their child on legal grounds – meaning that the parent who is being difficult will have no legal grounds to keep the child away.