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. Hope you are well. Sorry it's been a while. Thought I'd drop you an email and touch base with you to let you know I finally have supervised contact at High Holborn contact centre. I have 3 more sessions before we move to supported contact which will be for 6 months. Just wanted to say thank you to you for all your help from the start. I wouldn't have been able to endure the process without your support and guidance. Kind Regards
– Mr K. (London)
Hi Jeff. I hope you had a good holiday. I’m writing to let you know the outcome of the court hearing last week.

Thanks to your excellent witness statements and a really good CAFCASS reports we came away with all the orders applied for. All in All a very good result!

Your help in this matter was invaluable. 6 months ago I was lost and in despair but thanks to you we can now settle back and get on with Family life again. Hopefully stress free from this point onwards!

I would not hesitate to recommend You to anyone in need of your services.
Very Best Regards
– Mr E. (Norfolk)
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)
I came to meet Jeff for a urgent matter of leave to remove abroad. On this kind of complex cases I believe emotions make it really hard to focus and see the right angles of approach. Jeff has been able to break things down for me and bring the focus on the children's welfare. His knowledge of the law and experience in court have been crucial on my case. In a really short time he has been able to understand the problem and propose solutions.

Despite the fact I wasn't able to get a barrister, Jeff and his associates have been able to bring my case forward, and defend my position in a way a barrister probably wouldn't have, and for a very affordable cost.

I recommend Jeff to anyone facing legal family issues and wish to have tailor made defence.
– Mr G. (London)
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)
I contacted Jeff and explained my situation with the sudden notification of the lodging of an Application for Leave To Remove in the middle of child arrangement proceedings. He did listen and was calm which gave me comfort. As he questioned me about my case I felt Jeff knew what he was talking about. We agreed for me to send him all the files and evidence and my rough draft and he gave me a date for him to provide me a comprehensive statement in response to the LTR. This was about 2 weeks before my deadline so gave me plenty of time to check and learn more. Indeed, Jeff's statement was effective. He was there responding to questions no doubt about it! I have experienced a solicitor that I have had to chase up for updates. I am very happy with Jeff's service – You get an answer by email or on the phone definitely.
– Mr F. (London)
I have for the support and advice from Jeff invaluable. I decided to act as a litigant in person for a combination of financial reasons but also because I wanted to maintain control of my case and ensure the best outcome for my children. Initially I did this on my own and soon ran into difficulties (despite being a confident person in a profession which involves public speaking and analyzing information).

Having Jeff’s support has helped due to his: knowledge of legal matters; ability to prepare clear concise statements; and quick thinking in the court room. But its not just these knowledge and skills – he combines a supportive understanding of a very difficult and upsetting situation with a clear headed willingness to tell you when he think such emotions risk making you say or do unhelpful things. Thanks to Jeff’s support I have seen my children for the first time in a couple of years and am awaiting a more permanent contact order to be put in place.
– Mr C. (Hampshire)
Jeff, your experience of the English Family Justice System is second to none and you have been invaluable in helping me achieve 50/50 contact for my daughter. Thank you very much for all your help and advice.
– Mr B. (London)
With Jeff Botterill's guidance, I was able to get my application successfully heard at the Central Family court and secure an order to see my 14-year-old daughter.

My application had previously been dismissed and I was losing hope and lacking the motivation to make progress. Jeff's direct and no-nonsense approach was invaluable throughout very complex and difficult proceedings. Even though we did not always agree he was able to see the best way forward and even gain the respect of the Judge. He was always calm, reliable, professional and reassuring when I needed it. I am now seeing my daughter regularly and am grateful to benefit from his experience.
Thanks,
– Mr S. (London)
Hi Jeff, Thanks for writing up these notes and helping me to win the case. Good result. Best wishes
– Ms B. (London)