Areas of Expertise
Angela joined SL & Co in 2017 and has proved a valuable addition to the team. Angela specialises in all aspects of family law, including divorce and separation, assets division, maintenance, father’s rights, children’s matters, grandparents, pre-nuptial agreements and domestic violence.
Angela’s legal career spans over 14 years and she has extensive experience in all types of matrimonial matters. Angela, with a team of experts, uses innovative solutions to protect the client and is known for her sympathetic and sensitive approach in helping and supporting them through the process.
Angela’s attention to detail and comprehensive knowledge in her field means that she is the first port of call for many clients who appreciate her approachable manner and her competence in handling their problem.
In addition, Angela also deals with civil litigation. Her experience in all aspects of civil law has proved invaluable in the pursuit of our commitment to offer a service to our clients which is second to none.
The drafting of the Pre-nuptial Agreement is something that need not be entered into lightly. The most famous case that the Supreme Court heard in relation to this issue was a case called Radmacher v Granatino  UKSC42. In this case so long as the pre-nuptial agreement was entered into between both parties freely and with a full appreciation of their consequences the parties signing it would be bound by it. This was reaffirmed in a recent case of BN v MA  EWHC4250 (FAM) where Moston J rejected the wife’s challenge. Therefore, for clients who have wealth to protect it is worthy to consider a pre-nuptial agreement.
Angela is aware that every divorce case is individual. Her most unusual case was dealing with a client who had received an Order from the Court in relation to her divorce proceedings because the divorce was defended several times over by her husband. When obtaining the details, the client had in actual fact issued numerous Divorce Petitions based upon every reason possible, in that she issued for adultery and her husband notified the Court he intended to defend, so then she issued on unreasonable behaviour and the same happened again. She had continued using Petitions based upon 2 years with consent, 2 years desertion and 5 years. The client had to file a statement and a hearing was listed. At the Court, 4 of the Petitions had to be withdrawn and the divorce proceeded with the husband defending the Petition based upon 5 year’s separation. She was finally divorced! Financial Remedy
It is not always clear at the outset of embarking on financial remedy that the solution is immediately clear. For example, in one case that Angela dealt with, there was a long marriage of 25 years. The assets were the former matrimonial home and the wife had a pension valued at £800. The husband however had a pension from the outset of the marriage which was valued at £125,000. The husband was working but the wife was not due to ill health and the wife was in receipt of incapacity benefit. Financial Remedy proceedings were issued. Earmarking of the pension was considered but due to the age of the parties was not felt to be appropriate. A Pension Sharing Order was felt to be the best option because the wife could put her share into a fund and pay into it, thus enabling her to have a reasonable pension on retirement.
Outcome – the wife received half of the sale proceeds of the former matrimonial home. She also received a Maintenance Order of £300 per month and 50% of the husband’s pension. The husband’s pension provider would not allow the funds to remain in their fund and so the wife saw a financial adviser who placed the fund into an appropriate growth fund which, meant that on retirement she would have a reasonable standard of living.
TOLATA (Co-habiting couples)
Making the decision whether to live together is a decision that couples often make. The attractions of sharing the financial burden, splitting the living costs like energy bills make life more affordable. Often couples purchase a property and acquire other assets. However, when these relationships then end, unlike marriage where the law is very clear in relation to couples who live together the law is more sketchy. If there is a property then it is often possible to, if appropriate, make an application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 often referred to as TOLATA. This looks very much like a family law dispute, however, close up it is very different indeed.
In a financial remedy claim (on divorce) you can (broadly speaking) tot up the assets and divide by 2, a TOLATA case can end up being all or nothing. Few financial remedy cases depend upon who said what years ago – they are largely forward looking and the Court often paints justice with a broad brush. The preparation for these types of claims is completely different to that of family law and that is something that Angela is very comfortable with in that area of law having dealt with numerous cases.
Anyone can experience domestic abuse and if you are worried about your own relationship or frightened of someone close to you, there is help available. The UK Government’s definition of domestic violence is “Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, of have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional.”
It is often very hard to admit that you are a victim. However, once this has been acknowledged there is help and protection available. In the first instance, the police should be contacted. However, some victims do not feel they can approach the police and therefore seek the assistance of a Solicitor. Angela has throughout her career dealt with numerous cases of domestic abuse and fully appreciates the difficulty that a victim has in coming forward in the first instance. Any victim contacting Angela can be assured of complete confidentiality and would be dealt with sensitively and appropriately to resolve the situation that a victim finds themselves in. There are a range of Orders that are available through the Courts and these include, but are not limited to, obtaining an Order against the perpetrator and also, if appropriate, obtaining an Occupation Order so that the victim can remain in the property that they reside to the exclusion of the perpetrator. For victims, it is helpful to know that they are not alone and it is not their fault and Angela fully appreciates how tough it is to talk about their situation. It is important to understand that what is happening is unacceptable and it does not have to be tolerated.
It is not always easy when dealing with the issues regarding where children should live for any of the parties involved. Indeed, it can be a very emotional time for all concerned. Cases going to Court are often as a result of negotiations between the parties that have broken down. It is not unusual to deal with mothers, fathers and even grandparents who seek to have defined Order as to where the children will live (Residence). However, during her wide experience across the country, Angela has in actual fact dealt with many of these and Court is often the last resort but in some cases it is needed to provide stability and security for children.
When considering the issue of contact this is often an area fraught with difficulties. Sometimes this can be because of a matrimonial break down and sometimes through co-habiting couples. For whatever reason, contact has broken down and therefore a Defined Contact Order is required so that the child or children can have a meaningful relationship with either the absent parent or relative seeking contact. The range of orders obtained throughout Angela’s career is extensive and often when it looks as if no contact will in actual fact occur, through negotiation (sometimes at the Court steps) contact has been arranged and very rarely has broken down.
Grandparents are often the first people to suffer when a relationship breaks down and the bond that children have with their grandparents is not to be underestimated. Grandparents do not have an automatic right to bring proceedings. However, Angela throughout her career has, in actual fact, dealt with numerous applications on behalf of the grandparents and successfully reinstated contact between the child/children and this contact has continued, which is only beneficial for the children and their grandparents.
In relation to specific issues, these can range from the change of name of a child to the removal of a child from the area or jurisdiction (moving to a different country) to the type of religion that the child will follow and the type of school. All these applications are made to the Court and then either by agreement with the benefit of a Court Order the specific issue is resolved.
Prohibited steps and removal from jurisdiction
A Prohibited Steps Order is often sought to prevent something being done by one party in relation to children which the other does not agree with. This enables the matter to be considered by the Court. Sometimes these applications have to be made on an emergency basis and this is something that Angela has regularly done, for example, an application to prevent the removal of a child or children from the jurisdiction is something that Angela has dealt with on numerous occasions.
Angela has represented both Claimants and Defendants in personal injury matters.
Angela has dealt with a great number of civil litigation matters from Small Claims to Fast Track and Multi Track.
Outside the law, Angela enjoys many hobbies including walking, swimming, tennis, music, reading and painting.