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, Just to say thankyou for your support at the hearing your advice was really helpful and your knowledge in legal matters was very useful.
– Ms L. (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)
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 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)
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)
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)
Colin Brealey has been a massive support throughout our recent dealings with the family courts.
 
My case began as a relatively simple one, seeking to extend my shared residence of my children to include one midweek overnight stay during term time, rather than simply taking them out for tea after school and returning them to their mother.
 
Things became more complex when false allegations of violence against the children were made by the children’s mother against my fiancée. Social Services intervened, with both my fiancée and I unable to see the children for a period of time whilst investigations took place. Social Services thankfully saw through the allegations and determined that my fiancée posed no risk to the children.
 
Throughout the entire case, from drafting the initial application to court, accompanying me at court, drafting position statements, advising on dealing with social services, to negotiating a consent order with the other side’s solicitor, Colin’s assistance has been instrumental in ensuring that the final outcome not only met my initial objectives, but in fact exceeded them.
 
Colin has performed all of these services professionally and to an extremely high standard. I have encountered quite a few solicitors and barristers over the years in the course of mine and my fiancées dealings with the family courts. I would place Colin as at least the equal of the best of those legal professionals.
 
I should also make mention of Jeff Botterill, who deputised when Colin was unavailable. Like Colin, Jeff also provided a highly professional service, and gave me confidence when appearing in court.
 
I will forever owe these gentlemen a debt of gratitude for their assistance. I have no hesitation in recommending the services of Colin and Jeff.
– Mr T. (Merseyside)
Almost a year ago contact broke down between myself and my ex partner. As a result of this I lost regular and agreeable contact with my now 3yr old son. Although I didn’t want to have to go through the legal channels, after about 3 months this appeared inevitable.

Although I had an idea of what I had to do next with regard to starting legal proceedings I knew I needed help. I visited my local Families Need Fathers meeting and met Mr Colin Brealey who chairs the monthly meetings.

Right from the start I found Colin to be helpful, professional and above all – totally child focussed. Colin advised and continues to advise me, along with many others within the Families Need Fathers meetings. Seeing Colin’s professionalism, I decided to accept his offer of assistance to help me through the legal process as a Mckenzie Friend. - This has got to be one of the best decisions I have ever made!
Colin advised me throughout the whole process – which in my opinion was much better than any solicitor I have ever had to deal with previously.

As I have already explained, Colin is totally child focussed and therefore deals with any issue in an unbiased and morally proper way rather than one of financial benefit to himself. That is evident when my costs for everything came to approximately 10% of a similar case I was involved with almost a decade earlier.

In short, I would have no hesitation whatsoever in strongly recommending Mr Colin Brealey to represent anyone who required a professional service for any matters involving children & family.
– Mr M. (Staffordshire)
Hello Jeff, I have read the witness statement and took on board what you advised.

There are a couple of amendments to make, rest is perfect and to the point. You have really nailed it Jeff by making it flow so well and to the point. Thank you so much for your immense help and for being there with me all the way. I will send you an email when all is done or I need any other advice.
Until then a massive thanks once again.
All the best.
Kindest regards
PS: I told my sister about you liking the different spicy food. She told me to invite you at some point to try ........... food.
– Ms S. (London)
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)