Children

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At Family Law Decisions our McKenzie Friends will be involved in a large variety of situations regarding children matters. We help you put children's needs first and foremost, which generally means they should have the best opportunity possible to have as full a relationship with both parents as depending on the individual circumstances.

The types of cases we assist in will vary immensely but one thing that never varies is that these will be the most important decisions in children's lives over the short-term and long-term.

We try to make sure that we provide the most appropriate and practical advice and information available, so matters are not prolonged and as satisfactory an outcome as possible is achieved at the least possible cost in terms of stress, time and money.

We are frequently told by the parents we assist that our advice and guidance helps them hugely. Often they tell us despite spending large amounts of money with lawyers, we are the first people who explain the issues, likely outcomes and options in a straightforward easy to understand way.

What our clients have to say...

Hi Jeff. Thank you for the notes, and for supporting me like you have over the past few months - We really got the outcome we were hoping for. You do a sterling job, really supported and guided me through the most difficult days and time of my life.
Thank you so much again.
– Mr H. (Worcestershire)
Jeff is an excellent MF. During the final hearing, in which I had to face my abusive ex husband, Jeff's knowledge and professionalism gave me the strength to stay calm and confident. He is very upfront and honest with the merits of your case and where there may be problems which means that you go into the session feeling like there are no surprises that can appear. Jeff was so good in preparing my closing submission as he was able to get to the main points of my complex case and put forward suggestions and justifications for my arguments. I felt safe in his capable hands and would highly recommend him to any woman going through the family court system

Thanks a million again for yesterday, the notes were great and I will be pursuing this transcription of the judgment.

All the very best
– Ms K. (London)
I used Jeff Botterill as my Mckenzie Friend for my case. After experiencing the expense of using a solicitor the initial attraction of using a Mckenzie Friend was the price, however the advice and support I received was invaluable.

Going to court is a nerve racking experience in any situation and representing yourself seems like an extremely daunting task, questions like what to prepare? where to stand? what to say? Were just a few of the things I was concerned about but having Jeff with me gave me the knowledge and confidence to successfully represent myself.

I am now enjoying regular and increasing access to my daughter
– Mr O. (Essex)
On the advice of my McKenzie (the excellent Jeff Botterill), we appealed successfully to a Circuit Judge - who also then reserved the case to her - and the whole momentum of the process shifted, ultimately to my (and my son's) great benefit...excellent level of parenting time, SRO, etc.
– Mr T. (London)
I am writing this to express my sincere delight, happiness and any other fantastic word you could add of the assistance provided by Mr Colin Brealey regarding my family matters in the county court.
 
I had pre Colin paid out over £10,000 in solicitor fees and got no where fast, i contacted Colin after he was recommended by a friend in a similar situation. It was at very late notice but Colin assured me he would assist with all my legal paper work and proposals regarding my two children. Colin contacted me at a suitable time for both of us but then stayed up via phone contact till 02:00AM!!!!!
 
UNBELIEVABLE but yes he did, he managed to complete all my necessary paper work for the court on such late notice due to my late contact but he stayed awake completing this as the next day was the court trial. Colin also attended court in person as my McKenzie friend and assisted me in what i needed to do to get the desired result.
 
I was awarded the children more favourably than my ex partner and i feel, no i know it was down to Colin’s help, i will be ever in his debt as my children are my world and having them taken away by a court and their mother was the single most worst thing i have ever had to experience in my life.
– Mr G. (Leicestershire)
Colin is very professional and intuitive, combine this with a great ability for problem solving and his excellent skills in diplomacy, he is a force to be reckoned with. He has a keen eye for detail and can resolve any situation that is put in front of him. He is always ready to go the extra mile to ensure he delivers and is one of those very rare dependable individuals.
– Mr H. (Staffordshire)
Jeff, good luck for the future. You're a credit to what you do, very skilled and kind. Merry Xmas and a Happy New Year.
– Mr L. (Norfolk)
Hi Jeff, how are you I hope you are well. Thank you again for your support and help yesterday. I couldn't have done it without you.
– Ms H. (London)
Hi Jeff, I would like to thank you for your assistance in my case. At least 13 hearings as a LIP 'prior' to seeking your help, and I now have all the contact I wanted! Using a McKenzie friend should be advertised more aggressively as many fathers/children are missing out without it.

You stopped me deviating and gave me the focus and reassurance I needed. Your help with the position statement was invaluable and was definitely a key factor in helping me gain the contact I wanted.
– Mr W. (Surrey)
I have just concluded 14 months of litigation which I would not have managed without the invaluable insight and knowledge that Colin possesses.
 
Having previously had a contact order in place my contact was stopped due to malicious allegations being made against me. I contacted Colin for advice and we set out on a long journey which culminated this last week. 
 
During the 14 months of litigation Colin held my hand every step of the way helping me to navigate the numerous reports and interviews with Cafcass and Social Services. Colin also guided me through a Finding of Fact hearing listed for a whole day after which no findings were against me. 
 
Throughout all the ups and downs Colin has been there for me day and night whenever I have needed him and I cannot thank him enough for all the support he has given me.
 
I no longer consider Colin as just somebody I turn to for advice, but a true friend, thank you.
– Mr V. (Derbyshire)