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...

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)
Jeff Botterill was my McKenzie friend for a Leave to Remove from the Jurisdiction hearing which I was opposing. I was very impressed at the quality of service Jeff provided. He helped prepare a Position Statement to present to my ex-wife's solicitor for negotiation in advance of the final hearing. He was very well prepared for the 2 court appearances (a further directions and a final hearing) and provided case history which won me my request for a Shared Residence Order, which on the advice of her legal team, had been turned down by my ex-wife when presented in the position statement. I think her legal team was rather surprised by the knowledge and case notes that Jeff had provided me in court.

His guidance and support throughout the court hearings was excellent. He put me at ease and gave me the confidence to represent myself. His knowledge of the law and the case history surrounding leave to remove exceeded any that I had heard from the two solicitors that I had used. He is also passionate about the need for both parents in the lives of their children. I would highly recommend Jeff to anyone else looking for a McKenzie friend.
– Mr W. (London)
Court proceedings between my son's mother and me had been ongoing for a year before I contacted Family Law Decisions. The case had become quite complex, with social services, a legal guardian, and other expert witnesses becoming involved. The way things were going, there was a distinct possibility that I would lose touch with my son. With the help of Family Law Decisions over the past year, I have been able to turn my case around and my application for Parental Responsibility and Shared Residence has now been ordered.

Family Law Decisions provided me with a McKenzie friend (Jeff Botterill), advice on the process, help working with the various experts, and other ongoing support, maintaining their child-focused ethos throughout. They clearly have extensive experience of the family law process, and they are sensitive to the effects that it all can have on a 'litigant in person'. I am hugely grateful to the support that Family Law Decisions have provided in helping me stay in touch with my son, I could not have done it without them. I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone seeking a child-focused resolution.
– Dr P. (Surrey)
Hi Jeff,
Hope you are well?

Apologies for taking so long to write to you. I’d wanted to get in touch and thank you for your service during court proceedings. It was really comforting to have someone there with me that knew the process, was understanding of my situation and wanted the best for myself and child.

I know that you went above and beyond and ended up doing CAFCASS’ job on the day too so really appreciate everything.
Take care
– Ms H. (London)
Without Jeff would I be seeing my daughter?
Probably not.

I see my daughter now regularly, go on holidays with her, she plays with her baby sister, sees her grandparents and I am seeing her grow up.

Jeff tells you it as it and not just what you want to hear, unlike so many solicitors I encountered.

He has many helpful tips on how to deal with the whole situation and provides thorough support

I would highly recommend using his services.
– Mr B. (Birmingham)
After using a solicitor and barrister for a couple of years (and getting nowhere). I have found Jeff’s knowledge of the court processes and family law invaluable in progressing my court case for contact with my two boys.

Whenever we have been in court Jeff has always been fully prepared for the appearance and the suggestions/advice he has given me has helped me set the agenda in court. Jeff is measured in his approach and calm at all times whether in or out of court.
– Mr S. (London)
My name is ……. and on the …. ……. 201. I found myself being arrested by the Metropolitan Police. I was not allowed to live in my own house. I was cautioned and released from …… Police Station on a common assault charge. A non-molestation order was granted to my Wife in my absence and I was not allowed to go to my own home or see my daughter. I was not allowed to see my daughter at her school, take her to school or collect her from school. I lost my job as a …… manager at a …………….. school as they were informed of all of the above. I was homeless for …… weeks and my life was hell. Everyone was against me. Police, Social services, School teachers. I was completely demonised, ostracized, and kept completely in the dark about everything that was going on regarding my child and my rights. Nobody cared or gave a bloody damn about me the father trying to see my child.

I had become the latest casualty in a greatly unfair legal system where woman can abuse the system to get rid of their husbands or fathers and put the man through the most unjustly unbelievable nightmare experience where the law treats the man like dog poo and puts the woman in full control of events, calling all the shots. My mental state was called into question. I was accused of being a domestically violent man etc.

It wasn't until somebody introduced me to Colin Brealey (Family Law Decisions) that someone listened to my plight. Mr Colin Brealey is a 'McKenzie Friend' a person that fights cases for men at a vastly reduced cost.

Mr Colin Brealey is not a man of many words. He is so vastly experienced in all of these matters he will get straight to facts. He will just deal with the facts not the emotional gossip or unhelpful slagging off of your ex-partner or situation. He quickly dismisses with the useless emotional stuff and gets right down to business. Just give the man the stuff he asks for, stick just to the facts, do exactly as he tells you and let him take over completely.

I went to court with Mr Colin Brealey six times. Each time I went to court he reigned supreme. He knew more than any of the judges and had them eating out of his hand. He was very influential in Court and with each hearing successfully obtaining more and more meaningful contact with my daughter.

On ../../201.. Mr Colin Brealey successfully won my final child arrangements court hearing victoriously! Overwhelmingly! I was awarded full joint shared care of my daughter. Mr Colin Brealey is the peoples champion. He is passionate about delivering justice for men. He is a no-nonsense person and will not suffer fools gladly, he will not waste words, but his actions say it all. I implore any man out there whatever your own personal story may be this is the man who can. Mr Colin Brealey did it for me in style! If anyone can Mr Colin Brealey can. He is just one amazing human being but you must do as you are told stick to the facts and let him take over completely and do his thing. He is a bloody marvel! An amazing man who can.
– Mr T. (London)
Jeff Botterill is a highly experienced and technically skilled McKenzie Friend with experience at all levels of court, including appeal. Jeff's knowledge of case law and court procedure is impressive. Such knowledge is essential in more complex cases, as is an ability to help construct effective, fact based and child centered arguments. In technical areas of law such as leave to remove, Jeff's name readily comes to mind as someone I can recommend with confidence. I am often asked if I can recommend a McKenzie Friend to assist a parent or grandparent in court, and Jeff Botterill is someone whose name I have no hesitation in putting forward.
– Author and Creator of The Custody Minefield
Dear Jeff. Thank you for writing such a good position statement. I was really pleased at how thorough you were in highlighting all the important points that needed to be brought to the court's attention.
– Mrs K. (Manchester)
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)