YSTRAD MYNACH 01443 816622
ystrad@caswelljones.com

​​CAERPHILLY 02920 864888
reception@caswelljones.com

We offer a 15 minute FREE appointment to advise on Legal Aid eligibility OR

We offer a 15 minute assessment appointment at £40 plus VAT to advise on procedure and potential cost.

TO DISCUSS THE BEST OPTION FOR YOU PLEASE CONTACT US.

move

FAMILY BREAK-UP

The break-up of a relationship, separation and divorce can be one of the most stressful times in your life. How this is handled could set the stage for the future, especially if there are children of the family and financial matters to deal with. Our Family team are all experienced and qualified lawyers who can help you find a solution to suit you. If mediation is right for you, we can refer you to the mediator of your choice. We can help you to get the right advice at the right time and at the right price.
X
move

DIVORCE

We know that some of the divorce forms are straight-forward but others are not. Make sure you get it right from the start.
We offer FIXED FEES for a divorce.

As Petitioner in divorce proceedings - £500 plus VAT
As Respondent in divorce proceedings: £250 plus VAT
NB there is a fee payable to the Court upon issue of a Divorce Petition.
X
move

FINANCIAL ARRANGEMENTS

When a relationship breaks down, you are likely to need to settle the financial arrangements , no matter what the assets and liabilities are. You should consider a financial CLEAN BREAK ORDER to ensure neither party can make any financial claims against each other in the future. If you need help, our team can advise you of all the options available. We may be able to negotiate a settlement for you to enable you to enter a Clean Break Order By Consent, without the need to attend Court.
Is Mediation the way forward for you? If so, we can make a referral to the mediation service of your choice. Legal Aid may be available to you. Without a Court Order your spouse can make a claim, even after divorce.
Frances Edwards is a member of Resolution which means that she will try to resolve any issues in a non-confrontational and constructive way. We refer you to the Resolution Code of Conduct in our Client Care section of this website.
X
move

CHILD ARRANGEMENTS (Private law)

When a relationship breaks down, it is so important to consider what is in the children’s best interests. We understand the importance of both parents continuing to play an active role in their up-bringing. You may be able to sort out the arrangements between you but if not, we can help. Is Mediation the way forward for you? Our specialist team can advise you of all the options available. Rhiannon Street and Alyson Wyburn are accredited members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Children Law Panel. Frances Edwards is a member of Resolution which means that she will try to resolve any issues in a non-confrontational and constructive way. We refer you to the Resolution Code of Conduct in our Client Care section of this website.

We appreciate that when separating it is difficult for everyone involved, including children. This short film may help.
short film for separating parents
X
move

ISSUES RELATING TO CHILDREN (Public law) 

Some parents are sadly thrust into situations where social services become involved with the family and in the arrangements for their children. The safety and welfare of the children is paramount but parents’ interests need to be looked after too. We have a highly experienced team who can deal with such matters and represent your interests with the aim of achieving the best outcome possible. Our children panel specialists will be able to help and advise you. Rhiannon Street and Alyson Wyburn are accredited members of the Solicitors Regulation Authority Children Law Panel.
X
move

Mediation can often be a quick and cost-effective  way to settle any issues in dispute, whether it relates to children or financial matters.   Legal Aid is available in mediation if you are financially eligible.  You may the qualify for Legal Aid for us to advise you during the mediation process and to draft the Final Order By Consent.   We can refer you to an independent mediation service who will try to help you resolve matters.  The mediation service will advise you of their fees if you are not eligible for Legal Aid.  
X
move

DOMESTIC ABUSE

Not all abuse in a relationship is physical – it can be emotional,  psychological, financial or sexual.  If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, your safety and the safety of any children, need to be protected as quickly as possible.  There are ways to ensure your protection.  We can apply for a Non-Molestation Order, to prevent further abuse -  or an Occupation Order, to prevent the abuser from returning to the home or near to the home.  As you would expect, we always deal with such cases with the urgency it requires. Legal Aid is available for domestic abuse cases.
X
move

LEGAL AID – DID YOU KNOW

Legal Aid is still available in certain circumstances, eg to protect those who have been subjected to domestic abuse. It is also available for Public Law Children matters where there is involvement of Social Services, care proceedings or child protection issues. We hold a Legal Aid Contract and we can conduct certain matters on a legal aid basis, maintaining the specialist standards of Recognizing Excellence. Legal Aid is subject to meeting the requirements of the Legal Aid Agency. You will need to provide evidence of your income and assets. You will need to provide evidence of domestic abuse. We can help and advise you on this. If you have been subjected to domestic abuse, you may still get Legal Aid for divorce, financial and child arrangements. We can help you get the evidence you need.

Legal Aid is available for Mediation, WITHOUT evidence of domestic abuse and if you have Legal Aid in mediation, you are likely to qualify for Legal Aid for us to advise you on the terms of settlement reached in Mediation.

If you are not sure if you will be eligible, please contact is for advice or arrange a Legal Aid assessment.
X
move

​DISCLAIMER 

The work that we will undertake in our fixed fees packages is as detailed on our leaflet.  Please note what is and is not included.  We will be pleased to discuss any additional services you require. Please see our Private Legal Fees Schedule.  In any divorce, you should consider the financial issues.  A divorce does not guarantee a clean break.  A Court order is the only way to achieve a financial clean break. Any agreement reached should be with the benefit of full financial disclosure and independent legal advice or there is a risk that the order could be set aside in future.  In order for the Court to approve a clean break order, the Court will consider if it is fair and reasonable to both parties.

 
X
move

CORONAVIRUS - CHILD ARRANGEMENTS ORDERS

Coronavirus Crisis: Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders
24 March 2020 |Family Court|Coronavirus|News|COVID-19
During the current Coronavirus Crisis some parents whose children are the subject of Child Arrangements Orders made by the Family Court have been understandably concerned about their ability to meet the requirements of these court orders safely in the wholly unforeseen circumstances that now apply.
This short statement is intended to offer advice but, as the circumstances of each child and family will differ, any advice can only be in the most general form.
Parental responsibility for a child who is the subject of a Child Arrangements Order [‘CAO’] made by the Family Court rests with the child’s parents and not with the court.
The country is in the middle of a Public Health crisis on an unprecedented scale. The expectation must be that parents will care for children by acting sensibly and safely when making decisions regarding the arrangements for their child and deciding where and with whom their child spends time.
Parents must abide by the ‘Rules on Staying at Home and Away from Others’ issued by the government on 23 March [‘the Stay at Home Rules’]. In addition to these Rules, advice about staying safe and reducing the spread of infection has been issued and updated by Public Health England and Public Health Wales [‘PHE/PHW’].
The Stay at Home Rules have made the general position clear: it is no longer permitted for a person, and this would include a child, to be outside their home for any purpose other than essential shopping, daily exercise, medical need or attending essential work.
Government guidance issued alongside the Stay at Home Rules on 23rd March deals specifically with child contact arrangements. It says:
Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.”
This establishes an exception to the mandatory ‘stay at home’ requirement; it does not, however, mean that children must be moved between homes. The decision whether a child is to move between parental homes is for the child’s parents to make after a sensible assessment of the circumstances, including the child’s present health, the risk of infection and the presence of any recognised vulnerable individuals in one household or the other.
More generally, the best way to deal with these difficult times will be for parents to communicate with one another about their worries, and what they think would be a good, practical solution. Many people are very worried about Coronavirus and the health of themselves, their children and their extended family. Even if some parents think it is safe for contact to take place, it might be entirely reasonable for the other parent to be genuinely worried about this.
Where parents, acting in agreement, exercise their parental responsibility to conclude that the arrangements set out in a CAO should be temporarily varied they are free to do so. It would be sensible for each parent to record such an agreement in a note, email or text message sent to each other.
Where parents do not agree to vary the arrangements set out in a CAO, but one parent is sufficiently concerned that complying with the CAO arrangements would be against current PHE/PHW advice, then that parent may exercise their parental responsibility and vary the arrangement to one that they consider to be safe. If, after the event, the actions of a parent acting on their own in this way are questioned by the other parent in the Family Court, the court is likely to look to see whether each parent acted reasonably and sensibly in the light of the official advice and the Stay at Home Rules in place at that time, together with any specific evidence relating to the child or family.
Where, either as a result of parental agreement or as a result of one parent on their own varying the arrangements, a child does not get to spend time with the other parent as set down in the CAO, the courts will expect alternative arrangements to be made to establish and maintain regular contact between the child and the other parent within the Stay at Home Rules, for example remotely – by Face-Time, WhatsApp Face-Time, Skype, Zoom or other video connection or, if that is not possible, by telephone.
The key message should be that, where Coronavirus restrictions cause the letter of a court order to be varied, the spirit of the order should nevertheless be delivered by making safe alternative arrangements for the child.
The Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane
President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice
24 March 2020

External links
The following websites and other resources may be of assistance to parents in the present crisis:
https://www.naccc.org.uk – for information on supported contact centres
https://www.nfm.org.uk/new-service-co-parenting-through-the-coronavirus-crisis/ – a new service from National Family Mediation
www.relate.org.uk – advice and tips for keeping relationships healthy during self-isolation and social distancing
X
move

REVIEW OF COURT ARRANGEMENTS

Review of court arrangements due to COVID-19, message from the Lord Chief Justice
23 March 2020 |Coronavirus|COVID-19
Events have continued to move at great speed. I indicated during the course of last week that we would keep them under review. As the Prime Minister has been telling the country, the spread of COVID- 19 has continued to accelerate. The clear message from Government is to take all precautions to avoid unnecessary contact. A review of the arrangements in our courts is called for. This short statement comes to judges, and others, to provide some clarity for the coming few days.
We have put in place arrangements to use telephone, video and other technology to continue as many hearings as possible remotely. We will make best possible use of the equipment currently available; HMCTS is working round the clock to update and add to that. Some hearings, the most obvious being jury trials, cannot be conducted remotely.
I have decided that we need to pause jury trials for a short time to enable appropriate precautions to be put in place.
.........
Civil and Family Courts
Guidance has already been given about the use of remote hearings. Hearings requiring the physical presence of parties and their representatives and others should only take place if a remote hearing is not possible and if suitable arrangements can be made to ensure safety.
This guidance will be updated, as events develop.

The Lord Burnett of Maldon
Lord Chief Justice
X
move

OPERATING IN FAMILY COURTS DURING COVID-19

Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice, has recently released guidelines on how the operation of cases will commence in both Family Courts and the Higher Family Division. The guideline discusses remote hearings and technical guidelines surrounding their use, urgent cases and the requesting of evidence for cases. If you work in Family Courts and have any concerns about how future cases will be handled please see the guidance below.

Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon further commented on the expected use of technology to ensure cases proceed;
“The rules in both the civil and family courts are flexible enough to enable telephone and video hearings of almost everything. Any legal impediments will be dealt with.”
X