With inter-disciplinary expertise across a diverse range of practice areas, our divorce law and family finance barristers are uniquely placed to offer advice and representation on the complete range of financial remedies arising from relationship breakdown.
Garden Court Chambers is ranked as a leading chambers for family law in the Chambers & Partners Bar Guide. Our barristers are skilled in both domestic and international cases, working with clients across a broad range of financial circumstances, from those with high net worth portfolios to modest assets; complex business and trust arrangements; and inherited or overseas assets.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Co-habiting and unmarried couples
- Schedule 1 and child maintenance
- Jurisdictional issues and cross-border enforcement
- Prevention of dissipation of assets, including freezing injunctions
- International cases and offshore assets
- Variation and enforcement
- Vulnerable clients: stranded spouse and financial abuse
As well as providing advocacy at all court levels, our barristers are happy to advise in conference or in writing and draft pleadings, questionnaires and orders as and when required. We offer a pragmatic approach, being mindful of the litigation costs for the parties.
Our barristers are skilled in mediation and arbitration, and will always seek to reach settlements out of court where possible. Where cases go to litigation, Garden Court family law barristers are known for their unwavering tenacity in fighting for the rights of those they represent.
Our barristers have considerable experience of the full range of applications arising under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. We act in applications for section 37 and freezing injunctions designed to prevent the dissipation of assets. We are involved in complex cases involving interveners or where there is an international element such as a foreign marriage or divorce, or one party or assets abroad.
Being an inter-disciplinary set, and as the team have diverse legal backgrounds, we are often instructed in cases where there are issues before the court arising from other areas of law such housing, benefits, mortgage fraud, undue influence and insolvency. We are also available to draft pre-nuptial agreements and post-nuptial agreements in line with the current guidance in Radmacher and from the Law Commission.
We have a proud history of providing advice and representation to same sex couples and will accept instructions in cases arising from the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.
Our barristers also undertake cases where there is a challenge to the validity of a marriage through petitions for nullity or applications for declarations as to marital status. Members also have expertise in cases where religious marriages do not comply with the requirements of the Marriage Act 1949.
financial disputes and settlements
Our persuasive family law barristers have a strong record of success acting in financial disputes for clients across the full range of circumstances, from those of modest means to high net worth individuals. The team adeptly handles disputes involving offshore assets, complex tax structures, businesses, landed estates, inherited and pre-acquired assets, and pre-marital agreements.
We are experienced in advising clients in relations to Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLTA) matters and schedule 1 claims. Our barristers can offer advice at any stage, including in the drafting of declarations of trust.
As the largest set of barristers in London our team has unrivalled crossover expertise with other areas of law. We can provide expert in cases with an international element such as a foreign marriage or divorce, or a family member or assets abroad. We are often instructed in cases where there are issues before the court involving housing, benefits, mortgage fraud, undue influence and insolvency.
Schedule 1 and child maintenance
Garden Court Chambers boasts a rare specialism in the field of child support law with several team members experienced in appearing in the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. We also accept instructions in respect of applications under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 (whether or not they are linked to an application under the Trusts of Land Act 1996).
We also represent clients where a child maintenance issue arises under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 where cases fall outside the jurisdiction of the Child Support Act, for example where children live abroad or where the application is for a school fees order or a top up order.
Our specialism means we can offer an unrivalled integrated service in both financial disputes and those regarding welfare arrangements for children.
cohabiting and unmarried couples
Our barristers can advise and represent unmarried individuals who need to reach financial settlements with a partner, whether or not they have been cohabiting. Out team has in-depth knowledge of this rapidly expanding area of law and is committed to defending the rights of those we represent.
Several of our barristers are experienced in appearing in the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal, giving our team a rare specialism in the field of child support law. We will fight all the way for a just outcome for your children, whatever the circumstances of your relationship with the other parent.
We would always advise on taking pre-emptive measures to avoid future conflict. Our skilled barristers can work with cohabiting partners to draft a cohabitation agreement clarifying the legal position to use if your client were ever to separate from their partner.
variation and enforcement
We take a practical remedies-based approach to cases. Our barristers are acutely aware that in a proportion of difficult cases the final order is not in fact final. We enforce orders for sale and other elements of final orders using the full range of remedies such as third party debt orders and applications for a judgment summons.
We also have considerable experience when it comes to dealing with variation applications, which are often the inevitable reaction to any application for the enforcement of a child or spousal maintenance order.
our approach to costs
In accordance with the ethos of Garden Court Chambers, we accept instructions in publicly funded cases where such funding still exists. Alternatively, we accept instructions on a private basis at competitive rates and we are committed to assisting lay clients of modest means or those who are otherwise vulnerable.
Members are acutely aware of the need for representation where the assets may be modest but the parties are most concerned about where their children are going to live or how they are going to discharge their debts. Members are also adept at providing advice and advocacy in cases involving high net worth individuals who may have complex business and trust arrangements, and significant inherited assets, whether they are based in London or further afield in the UK.