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1. Howells - The Citizens Solicitor
Our Family Department is the largest in this area and one of the largest in the country. We work closely together in two teams, based at our Sheffield and Rotherham offices. Our Matrimonial Team can assist with the consequences of any family breakdown including:
? Disputes about children?s upbringing
? Separation
? Divorce
? Disputes about money and property
? Injunctions

We can help whenever you have lived as a family whether or not you are married.

We operate a daily rota for urgent matters such as domestic violence or child abduction.

Four of our solicitors are Resolution Accredited Panel Members (formerly Solicitors Family Law Association).

Our Children Team specialise in all aspects of the law relating to children. Three of our solicitors are on the Law Society?s Children Panel, (a panel of solicitors specially trained and approved by the Law Society to represent children) more than any other firm in the area.

We regularly act for parents, relatives, others concerned about children and children themselves. We frequently deal with Social Services Departments, schools and health professionals.

Our Department can also help you make plans for the future including through the appointment of guardians.

At Howells, we believe that in a fair society, all people are entitled to equal access to justice. The lawyers at Howells have committed themselves to providing the highest quality advice and representation in the areas of the law that affect people as individuals. That is why we are known as "The Citizen's Solicitor".

All of our clients are treated as individuals, because we understand that a personal legal problem is unique and is often a cause of great worry and stress. We are here to help.

We aim to supply a quality service which is available to our clients regardless of their financial circumstances. This means that we will always provide our services under the public funding scheme, if it is available and will give the best value for money if the client is not eligible for public funding. Our service is the same, whether a client is receiving legal aid or paying privately. We believe that you will not find better legal representation anywhere for personal legal problems.
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Rating: [10.00]

2. Raleys
Raleys provide a specialist service in all aspects of family law. We aim to provide a sympathetic approach to resolving disputes amicably, whilst achieving the best possible outcome for you and your children.

Main areas of work undertaken:
Divorce and separation
Domestic violence injunctions
Disputes over maintenance and property
Disagreements concerning the upbringing of children (contact, residence and parental responsibility)
Intervention by the Local Authority in the care and upbringing of children
Raleys have been approved by the Legal Services
Commission (formerly the Legal Aid Board) and have a franchise in family law so that we can provide the appropriate public funded level of service where eligible.

Raleys were established in 1883. We have over 100 years experience built on representing all members of our community.
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Rating: [10.00]

3. Heseltine Bray & Welsh Solicitors - Barnsley - South Yorkshire
We can provide a sympathetic ear and advice and guidance on family and matrimonial problems.

We can discuss with you the wide range of options open to you and we will try to help you resolve your problem with the least possible upset to you and your family.

Seeking a Solicitor's advice does not mean that Court Proceedings will follow.

We can help you with the following areas:
Legal Separation
Related Matters which may include Residence, Contact, Finances and Local Authority Proceedings

If you would like further advice please arrange an appointment to see one of our family experts, David York or Iain Sutcliffe, or if you would prefer, telephone for a brief initial discussion.

Informal separation means living separately either at different addresses or in the same house. Long or short term, it doesn't need to involve the courts unless you disagree over arrangements for the children.

We can advise you on the merits of an informal separation and draw up a formal 'Separation Agreement'. We can also help you and your partner try and reach a future agreement.

Openness on both sides over money is essential for a negotiated agreement.

If the separation becomes permanent, the Separation Agreement can be incorporated into the final settlement.
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Rating: [10.00]

4. Sheffield Solicitors, Wake Smith, South Yorkshire UK
At precisely the time when the parties involved are having to cope with the emotional stress associated with the breakdown of relationships, a series of other vitally important issues, some of which are in themselves emotionally traumatic, and some of which are practical, fail to be addressed for example: family finances, children, housing and divorce.

We recognise that at this difficult time it is essential that the parties involved receive close personal attention and support. We are experienced in providing practical advice and guidance and are sensitive to, and attempt to meet, the needs of the parties at such a time. For example, we provide within our offices facilities to help to entertain young children whilst their parent is being given advice.

Wake Smith is the leading independent firm of business and personal solicitors in South Yorkshire, Humberside and North East Derbyshire, with offices in the heart of Sheffield serving clients throughout the region and the UK.

Employing more than 150 staff Wake Smith has doubled its turnover and staff in the last five years
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Rating: [5.50]

5. Tofields - Solicitors - Sheffield
Our Family law department is lead by one of our Partners, Carmel Doyle. Working alongside Carmel are solicitors Rosie Finn and Chris Patrick.

Carmel and Rosie are both members of the specialist Law Society family law panel and Rosie has is also one of only a small group of family lawyers in the Sheffield area to have been accepted onto the Family Law Association's specialist accreditation scheme.

The department provides advice and representation in all aspects of family law including:
Divorce & Separation
Financial and property settlements
Children issues - Residence/contact/maintenance
Domestic Violence
Child care
Cohabitation agreements & disputes

All of our solicitors specialise in a particular area of the law and therefore whatever your requirements for advice or representation you will find that we have someone who has the necessary specialist expertise to assist.

Our solicitors are supported by a dedicated office staff who in turn are assisted by cutting edge information technology systems all of which enable us to react to our clients' requirements rapidly and provide high quality legal advice that is cost effective, pro-active and understandable.

When you become a client of this firm we become totally committed to serving your best interests at all times.
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Rating: [5.50]

6. Harthills Solicitors
Do you need a solictor?
Whenever couples want a divorce, clear legal procedures need to be followed. A Solicitor can advise you about the law, prepare the necessary paperwork and advise you about related matters. Having a Solicitor will not increase the amount of bitterness in obtaining a divorce and this firm will also follow a policy of negotiation between parties wherever possible.

Who can apply for a divorce?
Anyone who has been married for 1 year can apply for a divorce provided one or other of the parties is domiciled here or has been resident in England and Wales the preceding year.

Grounds for divorce
There is only one ground for divorce in this country. That is, that the marriage has ?irretrievably broken down.? To satisfy the Court that there has been an irretrievable breakdown the Petitioner must prove one of the following five facts:

Adultery. If your spouse has committed adultery and admits it or you can prove it. If you live with your spouse for more than 6 months after finding out about the adultery it may be more difficult to get a divorce. If you have committed adultery and want a divorce you could ask your spouse to divorce you.

Desertion. If your spouse has deserted you for at least 2 years before applying for a divorce and they have not attempted to return in that time, you can ask for a divorce. This fact is rarely used.

Unreasonable Behaviour. If your spouse has behaved in such a way that you feel you cannot reasonably be expected to continue to live with him or her. The test is subjective and the Court will consider what is unreasonable to the Petitioner.

?Unreasonable behaviour? need not consist of extensive violence, drug or alcohol addiction or other extreme behaviour. A combination of less obviously unreasonable behaviour can be sufficient.

If you live together for more than 6 months after the last incident of unreasonable behaviour it may be more difficult to get a divorce.

Two year Separation. If you have been separated from your spouse for 2 years and you both agree that the marriage has broken down and consent to a divorce.

Five year Separation. If you have been separated from your spouse for 5 years. Your spouse does not have to consent to the divorce.

Every divorce petition contains the same basic information (e.g. names, addresses, date and place of marriage). It will also contain a statement stating that the marriage has irretrievably broken down and the fact relied upon with details.

In most cases there is no need to go to Court. You do not have to be present when you are granted a divorce. You may only have to attend Court if the divorce is defended or if you are contesting a claim for costs made against you.

The normal time estimate for a divorce is approximately 6 months. It is very hard to be precise. There is no guarantee that your divorce could be dealt with within this time. Quite often, it depends on factors outside our control.

If your spouse has applied for a divorce and you do not agree, you can try to defend the divorce petition. This is difficult and Public Funding is not normally available. It will also involve attending a Court hearing. Please ask if you require more details.

A form is sent to the Court with the divorce petition that sets out the arrangements for the children. It is better to try and agree the arrangements with your spouse but if that is not possible the Court will make a decision for you. A Court is unlikely to interfere if matters are agreed.

Financial matters can be complicated and can sometimes involve houses, insurance policies and savings. We strongly advise you to seek legal advice on the most appropriate action for yourself. Often people are concerned that they will have to sell their house. This is often not necessary. If you cannot agree financial matters the Court will make a decision for you. This may include what will happen to the house.

Public Funding is available to apply for a divorce and also Court cases about children and financial matters. We will tell you if you qualify. If you do not qualify for Public Funding we will tell you more details about our costs and estimate the total costs of your case. We will regularly update you with details of our costs throughout your case.

Divorce proceedings can be stopped at any time before Decree Absolute. If you want to stop the divorce or just put it on hold for a short period, you should tell us immediately.

Alternatives to a divorce:

Judicial Separation. If you prefer to legally separate from your spouse without divorcing, you can apply for a Decree of Judicial Separation. This involves a Court procedure, which is virtually identical to a divorce. The essential difference is that the Court pronounces a Decree of Judicial Separation rather than a divorce and therefore you and your spouse would remain married.

Separation Agreement. Many couples prefer to reach an agreement about financial matters without involving any Court procedures when they separate. It is possible to prepare a written legal document that sets out the agreement that has been reached. Both parties then sign the document. There are no restrictions on what can or cannot be included in the agreement but it important to bear in mind that if either person applies to the Court about financial matters, the Court is not bound by the financial arrangements contained in the separation agreement.

We understand that the decision to apply for a divorce is very important and can be difficult. If you do not feel that your marriage is over there are a number of agencies, which will help with Marriage Counselling and Advice. We can put you in touch with one if you think that there is any possibility of reconciliation with your spouse.

In addition, you should consider mediation (negotiation) with your spouse, whether directly or through ourselves. We can offer a mediation service provided we have not already advised one of you or we can put you in touch with other mediators.

Often people disagree about the arrangements for a child or children in their care. The purpose of this page is to explain what kind of Orders the Courts can make in relation to children and the principles the Court use to resolve any disagreements.

The law relating to children is in the Children Act 1989. This firm also follows a code of practice recommended by the Solicitors Family Law Association.

The Children Act also introduced the concept of ?Parental Responsibility?. The legal definition of this is: ?All the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to a child and his property?.

In practice, it includes the right to decide where a child should go to school, what form of religious upbringing the child should have and what medical treatment the child should receive. Often it means, that schools, doctors, hospitals, Social Services, and other organisations may not deal directly with someone who does not have parental responsibility for a child or children in their care.

A child?s mother automatically has parental responsibility. A child?s father only has parental responsibility for that child if he was married to the child?s mother at the date of birth, or has since married the child?s mother.

It is possible for a father to obtain parental responsibility either by agreement with the child?s mother or by Court Order. In order to obtain parental responsibility by agreement, it is necessary to complete a form that has to be signed by the child?s mother and father in the presence of independent witnesses and that form then has to be lodged at Court. If no agreement can be reached, it is possible to apply for a Parental Responsibility Order from the Court.
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Rating: [7.67]

7. Graysons Solicitors
Sheffield and Chesterfield based solicitors dealing with divorce, will and probate, personal injury compensation claims, medical negligence, industrial disease, child care and conveyancing. Free initial consultation offered to all clients.
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Rating: [10.00]

8. Cotton and Co Solicitors, Sheffield
Cotton AND Co are situated in Bells Square, Sheffield a beautifully converted building which for over 100 years had been the workshops of "Little Mesters" - traditional Sheffield Cutlers who made the city famous around the world for its quality cutlery. Cotton AND Co keep to these traditions using the most up-to-date technology to deliver a quality but personal legal service.

Hugh Cotton the senior partner has been practising Law in Sheffield for over 30 years and aims with his team to deliver sound and sensible legal advice with a view to settle rather than encourage legal disputes. Legal problems are often serious matters and, whilst we treat every client's problem with our full attention and complete confidentiality, we offer a friendly and reasonably priced service.

Mediation is a process which involves you and your partner meeting with a skilled and impartial family mediator. The mediator will help you to find solutions to your disagreements which are mutually acceptable and fair to you and your partner and which meet the needs of your children. Meetings are informal and can take place either in our Sheffield or Doncaster office or in Scunthorpe.

Mediation can help to reduce tension, anger and misunderstandings and improve communication between you and your partner. Mediation empowers you to make the decisions about your family's future. Mediation is quicker and cheaper and avoids the need for lengthy acrimonious court applications. Mediation encourages constructive communication and co-operation for the future.
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Rating: [5.75]

9. Ashton Morton Slack, Sheffield's largest non-national law firm
With hundreds of collective years in legal practice, our solicitors are truly expert in their field. We can provide a quality legal service with a balance of professionalism and personal touch, and we’ve been doing exactly that for over 100 years.
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Rating: [0.00]

10. Keeble Hawson
Keeble Hawson's family department specialises in all aspects of family law relating to separation, divorce, children or finances. We offer an extensive range of services that covers pre-nuptial agreements, contact and residential disputes, mediation, child support applications and more.

Vanessa Fox, the highly experienced partner in charge of the department, practises as a mediator as well as being a member of both the Family and Children Panels.

If you need help or advice, please get in touch. There is no charge for the initial interview. We have a family franchise with the Legal Services Commission, and so are also able to obtain public funding for many clients.

Over two hundred years of experience has made Keeble Hawson one of the oldest and best-established law firms in the North. Founded in 1788, Keeble Hawson has grown substantially throughout the last two centuries. The firm's Senior and Managing Partner is Tony Gregory.
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Rating: [5.50]

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