Children

children_and_parents.jpg

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...

Having utilised Colin’s services previously, I had no hesitation in engaging him once again to assist with a new matter. Although I’m now a veteran of over ten court hearings concerning various child-related issues, and was confident of representing myself in court without accompaniment, the assistance Colin gave in advising on the correct application to make to court, drafting the position statements, and helping me focus on how to present the case on the day, helped me achieve the required outcome.
– Mr T. (Merseyside)
Thank you for the amazing support and help you have been over the last few years. I really can't tell you how grateful I have been for everything you did.
Have a lovely weekend!
– Ms F. (London)
My Father left me in Colin’s capable hands when he had to leave me to go abroad for 12 months on business.
After 18 months of sky high legal fees that I could no longer afford, I had no choice but to represent myself and take on my former husbands’ London based legal team with the help of Colin Brealey. This was a hugely daunting task but one that I immediately felt was attainable with the help of Colin. Colin gave me the confidence and support that I needed to stand in Court and fight for myself and my children.
I can only describe my marriage and my divorce as something out of a horror movie. My divorce was a hugely complex case, extending over 3 years with countless files of litigation including 2 Non Molestation Orders and an extensive Police chronology. The litigation included details of the domestic violence I endured, my former husband’s drug and alcohol addiction, children’s care issues, complex financials and extensive Police involvement.
Colin took it all in his stride and took time to read through the extensive history and made sure he was familiar with all the previous orders and applications. Colin assisted me at all times in the preparation of applications on email and over the phone, and in person at all the numerous hearings.
Colin always arrived early prior to the hearings which gave me great comfort as it allowed us time to meet and talk through everything before we went in. I was always terribly nervous and anxious but Colin was great at calming me and preparing me and focusing me for each hearing, particularly when I was facing counsel.
As well as helping me with all the litigation and hearings. Colin would always contact me to hear how any meetings went with the Police as well as when the children spent time with their appointed guardian.
Sadly, my divorce was one of threat and violence. Although I had panic buttons in my home - If I was ever in fear or panic, then I knew I could call Colin for help or advice 24/7.
Colin was, and continued to be, a huge support to me and my family throughout the ongoing proceedings. Colin has a vast knowledge and extensive experience in the legal field. As well as this, Colin has been an emotional support to me through the most painful and traumatic years of my life.
– Ms G. (Berkshire)
Result! Jeff helped me to win my Final Hearing so my daughter can now come and stay at my house. Straight talking and knowledgable he was better than my previous barrister and around a quarter of the price. I wish I had known about McKenzie Friends a year ago and would recommend Jeff to any father going through the slow pain that is the UK family court system.
– Mr S. (Bristol)
Having spent thousands of pounds with solicitors and barrister's in court over a battle to see my children, I ran out of money but wanted to continue with the proceedings. I was advised to look for a Mckenzie friend, I found Jeff Botterill. He was honest, clear and very helpful. He produced brilliant statements and on the day of court he gave me lots of support and guidance. I wish I had found Jeff sooner!
– Mr M. (Surrey)
Having been given notice that my ex-partner was applying to the Family Courts to relocate our daughter to Australia, I knew I had a serious, potentially life changing, problem on my hands but I was instantly certain I would be defending myself. Previous experience I had garnered in the courts was nothing short of depressing and had left me eminently reluctant to be legally represented. Aware that various historical incidents provided for a strong defence, I simply did not trust any solicitor to care enough to collate and disclose the wealth of information I had at my disposal in the manner which best suited my case, nor did I have the funds it would have cost me to commission them to do so.

Previous experience had also taught me that attending court is an overwhelming and daunting experience so I was conscious that I needed some form of guidance to see me through to the end. Which is when I found Family Law Decisions and in particular, Jeff Botterill, whom I knew straight away was the person I wanted by my side during the whole process. Jeff is extremely calm and reassuring with a knowledge base that is immediately evident. It also helped to learn that once upon a time he had been in my shoes and could recognise the anguish and anxiety I was feeling.

Jeff Botterill is simply a genius and I’m utterly convinced my life would not be so wonderful now if it were not for him. From the moment he agreed to assist me, I knew I was in great hands and a lot of the tension which inevitably builds up seemed to dissipate there and then. Once we got started, Jeff was great at stripping the emotion away and helping you to focus on what is important and ignoring what is irrelevant, as it is very easy to get caught up in the bitterness and unjust nature of everything. He keeps you thinking straight.
He is also a master at drawing up any court documents that will be required along the way and is exceptional at articulating every point of your defence. I was truly blown away when I saw my initial position statement – It summed up perfectly in 10 or 12 sentences what I had been frustratingly screaming about for years. A work of art.

Long story short, my ex-partner dropped her application completely after the first hearing and I was able to amend the existing contact order we had in place to provide for more time with my daughter at weekends and school holidays. The result is my relationship with my daughter is as good now as it’s ever been and I feel that I have been treated fairly by the courts. This is all thanks to Jeff.

I would recommend Jeff in an instant. He really is a godsend.
– Mr P. (London)
Hi Jeff, I would just like to thank you for all the help you have given me it has been truly invaluable.
I hope I never have to employ you again, but knowing her I probably will!
– Mr C. (London)
Hello Jeff, and Happy New Year to you.

We’ve been back at court today and finally have a judgement from His Honour Judge Bellamy who has granted me permission to appeal and has agreed to investigations in accordance with our skeleton argument.

I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you have done for us. HHJ Bellamy commented that it was a very detailed and extremely helpful skeleton argument, so basically you’re brilliant and I owe you so much.
– Ms C. (West Midlands)
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)
Hi Colin, just a quick line to wish you a merry Christmas and happy new year. I would also like to thank you for your help with my case for my child arrangements order for my children.
I was completely out of my depth in this case with my ex partner and her solicitor and was basically getting wiped the floor with. That's when I decided to contact families need fathers who put me on to you. After speaking with you, you came to Lincolnshire and took charge of my case for me, liaised with my ex partners solicitor and after two hearings got the outcome we wanted.

I can't thank you enough for your help and professionalism, it's been 6 months now and everything's going well, the children are happy and we are having a great time together making memories.

All the best.
– Mr B. (Lincolnshire)