The A-Z of Family Law – U, V & W

This week, we talk you through the U, V and W of Family Law, including uncertainty, the voice of your child/children and the Welfare Checklist.



This is not a very nice emotion to feel as it very often generates feelings of fear. Sadly, it’s something that you’re going to experience from the outset. But once you’ve received some legal advice, some of this uncertainty might be alleviated.


Another quality that a good family lawyer must have.


This is a legal term that features quite a lot in a financial court order. It’s a promise that one party makes to the Court to do or not to do something. Breach of an undertaking amounts to contempt of court.


Sometimes the legal costs associated with pursuing a particular issue will outweigh the overall financial benefit. We’ll always tell you if we think this is the case.



Mediation can be used to give children the opportunity to speak with someone independent about their wishes and feelings when there is a dispute between parents. Ask us about child consultation mediation and how this might benefit your children.


Sometimes it’s necessary to obtain a professional valuation of an asset, such as the family home or a company shareholding. If the couple are able to agree on the valuation themselves then often a formal valuation from a professional can be dispensed with.


Sspousal maintenance can be varied upwards or downwards by the Court upon application by either party.


Sometimes it can be useful to allow a couple to vent their feelings, particularly at the outset of a mediation or collaborative session. But if left to go on for too long, it can distract from the main issues that need to be dealt with. Mediators and collaborative lawyers are skilled in getting the balance right in the sessions.



We urge parents not to use their children as weapons against each other. Your ex will not be the one that suffers the most – your children will.


The cornerstone of the Children Act 1989 is known as the Welfare Checklist. It lists factors that the court has to take into account when deciding any dispute involving children. A judge has a discretion as to how much weight he/she gives to each factor and this will depend on the facts of each particular case.


We know that at times the legal process will grind you down.


“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce

Join me next week for our last post in this series, The X, Y and Z of Family Law.

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