Family Law at Birdsall & Snowball

What is a Family Solicitor?

Alison Lewis is an experienced Family Solicitor here at Birdsall & Snowball, in York Place, Scarborough on the North Yorkshire Coast.
Family life includes a network of relationships which can be complex and challenging when difficult events occur.
The role of a Family Solicitor covers a wide range of topics. This article will help explain how Alison can help as our professional and trusted member of staff at our Scarborough office.

What is Your Key Piece of Advice?

With over 15 years’ experience as a Family Solicitor, Alison’s key piece of advice is to seek legal help as soon as possible once the need arises.
This can help give a client some peace of mind knowing they have a legal professional to help them in what can be a challenging time.
Alison’s experience as a Family Solicitor enables her to help families who are facing difficult challenges.
AIison is a member of Resolution, which was founded in 1982.
As a member of this professional community network, Alison is committed to helping families resolve issued in a non-confrontational and constructive way.
This can help produce better outcomes for families and their children.
Alison works from our York Place office in Scarborough on the Yorkshire Coast which is easy to reach from outlying villages such as Seamer, East and West Ayton, Crossgates and Cayton.
Get in touch today with our office and we will get back to you as soon as we can.


Keep It Amicable

Alison is fully aware of the stress and pressure a divorce, separation or a similar situation can cause.
With her expertise, Alison encourages family mediation in the first instance and in the eyes of the law, trying mediation is often required as a way to begin the process before court proceedings are issues.

The ‘No Fault’ Divorce

In spring 2022, the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 reformed the divorce process, removing the concept of ‘fault’.
It came in to force in April 2022, allowing couples to divorce without placing fault on either party.
It removed the possibility of contesting the divorce except in very limited circumstances and brought about the option for a joint application.
The same applies to the Dissolution of Civil Partnerships.
One of the overall reasons for these changes is so that conflict is potentially reduced, and couples can focus upon important aspects of family life including children, the money situation and sorting out any property or properties involved.
Other changes that have taken place with the No Fault Divorce is the updating of divorce terms.
The Decree Nisi is now a Conditional Order while the former Decree Absolute is now a Final Order.
As marriages or civil partnerships are legal entities, the Family Court is still involved in terms of reviewing and finalising the process.
The Family Court is presided over by a Designated Family Judge.
Of course, all areas of conflict should be resolved if possible before the Final Order is made, including the sharing of the matrimonial assets.

How Has This Changed Affected the Divorce Process?

The ‘No Fault’ Divorce has in some ways made the divorce process easier however this is perhaps only in theory.
One of the key aspects of a divorce is the sharing of the assets and with Alison’s help, she will advise and act upon a client’s behalf when it comes this tricky area.
Advice from our Family Solicitor is strongly recommended for this important and complex aspect of Family Law.

How Can a Family Solicitor Help?

Once the divorce process is decided upon, it can seem overwhelming as to what there is to consider.
This is one of the reasons why getting in touch at the earliest opportunity is key.
While you’ve already made the most difficult decision, Alison can help with the complexities of the situation.
With her expertise, Alison can see how much assistance you will need.
She will also explain the divorce or dissolution process clearly.
Alison can even start off the proceedings if you haven’t already done so, particularly in light of the recent changes, detailed above.
Alison will also support with other legal issues which you might not have come across as yet, such as where each party will live and arrangements for any children involved.
If a client is also considering separation following cohabitation, Alison can help with this complex area too.

Get in touch with Alison today:

What About the Children?

If you have children, then one of your main concerns is their emotional wellbeing.
Alison understands this can be one of the most worrying aspects of a divorce or dissolution.
Her expertise can lead clients to reaching an agreement without the stress and expense of court.
Alison can provide representation for clients if, for whatever reason the divorce or dissolution can only be resolved through court proceedings, and when other avenues have failed to reach an agreement.
Clients can have full confidence that Alison will support them throughout the case.
Again, Alison can offer her expertise and her knowledge is this complex and emotionally charged area of Family Law.

Divorce Settlements

Another big worry is the financial impact of separation and divorce.
More often than not, there are shared assets, property or properties, savings, pensions and other important assets.
Again, early advice is essential as the right questions will be asked and considered from the start.
A typical settlement can take between 6 months to a year to reach as both parties need to agree to the sharing of the assets or the settlement will need to be determined by the court.
Alison can ensure her clients are robustly represented in all cases and situations.

Civil Partnership Dissolution

Couples in civil partnership have the same rights as married couples and the process for dissolving a civil partnership is similar to that of a divorce.
When a Civil Partnership comes to a close, then the Dissolution Order can be applied for.
It is a legal document that terminates a civil partnership.

Reaching a Dissolution Settlement

When a civil partnership ends, then just as with divorce, complicated issues may need to be considered and resolved. Alison can help with these.

The Role of The Family Court

Ending a marriage or a civil partnership will involve a Family Court to finalise the divorce or the civil partnership dissolution.
The Family Court is just one branch of the legal system in England and Wales, which deals with divorce or dissolution cases.

About Birdsall & Snowball

Birdsall & Snowball offer legal services locally and nationally, and have done so since 1886.
We can help with Conveyancing, Wills, Probate and Lasting Powers of Attorney, Divorce and Separation.
In addition to the Scarborough Office, Birdsall & Snowball have an additional office at 12 West Avenue, Filey.

What Happens Next

Alison offers a free first appointment when you can have the opportunity to meet her and have a chat about your circumstances. She can advise you on next steps.

Get in touch today on 01723 351351 or by emailing