Simcocks has an experienced family law team with specialist skills in all aspects of what has become an increasingly complex and challenging area of the law.
We work closely with experts across Simcocks in corporate, trust and property law to provide a complete service for our clients. We are committed to the resolution of family problems by negotiation and conciliation wherever possible and have a high success rate in negotiating favourable settlements on behalf of our clients.
Our expertise lies in the ability to mix robust and rigorous litigation skills inside the courtroom with effective negotiation outside.
The head of family law at Simcocks, Caroline Jennings, is an Affiliate member of Resolution, a group of lawyers committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to problems where appropriate.
Divorce and Separation
The ending of a marriage or civil partnership can be a distressing time whether you have made the decision or your spouse has made it for you. We recognise the stress that accompanies the breakdown of a relationship and offer specialist, sensitive and practical advice.
We are able to issue divorce or dissolution proceedings on your behalf and in the event of you receiving a divorce or dissolution application we can deal with this quickly to protect your interests. We are able to provide advice on other options available to you such as separation agreements.
Our practitioners are accustomed to advising in complex financial cases often with an international dimension. We can take any necessary steps to bring financial claims, including the obtaining of interim orders to protect assets and/or compel proper disclosure of relevant documents and information.
We often liaise with lawyers in other jurisdictions to deal with cases where there are assets in more than one country, sometimes held through companies, trusts or other asset protection structures.
When a relationship breaks down we can help you safeguard the interests of your children. This may be through negotiation, mediation or by an application to the court.
We provide practical advice and assistance designed to minimise upheaval and disruption and aim to ensure your child’s welfare is the primary consideration.
Some parents are unsure how to tell their children about their separation or divorce and we often guide parents to the Resolution website which includes a very comprehensive advice centre for parents.
Simcocks has considerable experience in advising parents, whether married or unmarried, in relation to the whole range of private law matters involving children. We are also accustomed to dealing with matters that have an international element.
We also have the expertise to represent parents and children who have become involved in public law proceedings brought by the Department of Health and Social Care.
If you are intending to live with someone, but are not married, Simcocks can draw up an agreement reflecting your intentions.
At present in the Isle of Man, there is relatively little legislation governing the breakdown of relationships between unmarried couples who live together, in contrast to divorcing couples. As a result, there is very little legal protection for cohabitees. Cohabitation agreements can increase your legal protection in the event of separation.
If your relationship breaks down and you have not been married or in a civil partnership, we have the expertise to advise you on the rights that you do have. We can guide and represent you through issues including claims based on interest in property or land, or for financial provision for children, which may be in addition to child maintenance.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial agreements are entered into before marriage with the intention of providing a framework for the division of property in the event of a divorce. They are increasingly popular as a means of increasing financial certainty in the event of separation, but also as an important part of wealth and estate planning. This is a rapidly developing area of the law so expert advice, which Simcocks can provide, is essential.
Postnuptial agreements are entered into by a couple at some stage after their marriage and the 2008 Manx case of MacLeod v MacLeod indicates that such agreements are likely to be enforced by the Court.
We have the expertise to advise upon and to prepare appropriate agreements including those involving international elements.
Whilst never acceptable nor legally permissible, threats, bullying and actual violence do occur as a result of tensions arising when a relationship breaks down. If you have been subject to any form of domestic violence, whether physical or emotional, we can advise and take action on your behalf when necessary.
Mediators are trained to help you and your partner work things out together. They meet with you and your partner to identify issues you differ over and help you both reach an agreement. Mediators are neutral, will not take sides and usually recommend each person obtains legal advice alongside the mediation process. Further information about mediation can be provided on request.