Bristol law firm Gregg Latchams is supporting a family law advice booklet to help anyone going through relationship breakdown and trauma access the professional help they need.
The advice-based brochure will detail a range of legal and support services and sources of information available to people experiencing family or relationship breakdown.
It has been produced in response to research by the law firm which showed there was a widespread lack of knowledge about the legal and financial aspects of family breakdown and support services on offer.
Entitled Relationship Breakdown, the booklet will cover different services and practical steps that can be taken to facilitate and ease the pain of family splits from counselling, mediation and collaborative family law to domestic violence, financial settlements associated with divorce or separation and the complexities of childcare and support.
Information on all the useful contacts you may need during the process of divorce or separation, including Citizens Advice, Shelter, Relate and the Family Mediators Association, will also be provided.
The booklet will be available at 65 GP surgeries across Bristol from the end of July as well as the Gregg Latchams offices on Queen Square.
James Myatt, director of Family & Relationships at Gregg Latchams, said: “We very much believe in supporting the care sector, in particular helping couples navigate their way through the legal aspects of a trauma or breakdown in the family home.
“This can often feel overwhelming and daunting, leaving you with little or no energy to find out legally where you stand.
“Splitting up or going through a divorce is one of the most stressful events a family can go through, so it’s only natural to feel confused about what your next steps are. Especially if you are in a civil partnership or you aren’t married.
“With one in every two relationships now breaking down, many involving children, it is really important people have access to the information they need on their legal rights and the steps they need to take to protect their children and themselves.”
James said a common misconception was around couples that have lived together for a long time having legal rights as part of a ‘common law marriage’ which is not the case.
“Sadly, it is more complex than this and one a court quite often has to make judgement on, especially if children are involved,” he said.
“Research shows us that children cope better when parents are more co-operative, and they are included at every stage to provide the reassurance they need. A court will always advise that children stay in the family home to minimise further stress and to create stability – in most cases until they reach the end of their full-time education.”
This is where parenting plans can help create transparency for the family, so the children know when they are with each parent, who is collecting them from school and where they are spending the holidays, he explained.
“We recognise the importance of all the factors contributing towards this difficult time and we’re here to help point you in the direction of the right professional help and advice”, said James.
For more information, please get in touch with Jen Pollock – firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah Comley – email@example.com