Domestic Abuse Solicitors in Plymouth
Absolutely no one should ever have to suffer any type of domestic abuse or violence. It’s hideous and quite simply, there’s no excuse for it happening. Unfortunately, as we all know, the fact that it shouldn’t happen doesn’t prevent it. Many people live in fear of violence from an abusive partner or family member. This undoubtedly has devastating effects on their own lives, and often the lives of their children too.
That’s where we come in. Here at Nash & Co Solicitors, we’re all about helping people. Our lawyers have years of experience and expertise in ensuring that domestic abuse victims get the protection that they deserve. We’ll be there to help you every step of the way. We’ll take control of the situation, give you the support you need, and ensure that you are safe (together with any children involved too).
“It takes a huge amount of courage to break away from a relationship where abusive behaviour has become normal life. The court condemns all forms of domestic abuse. And there’s a wide range of orders that we can use to give victims the protection they need moving forward.”
Gemma Stevens, Solicitor
Helping you to gain protection from domestic abuse
Unfortunately, domestic abuse takes many forms. Some of the recognised signs of domestic violence include:
- Threats, intimidation and harassment
- Emotional abuse, coercive controlling behaviour and gaslighting
- Sexual and physical violence
This behaviour often affects other household members, including children. Whether you’ve been affected by domestic violence, emotional abuse, coercive controlling behaviour or financial abuse, our experienced domestic abuse solicitors are on hand to help protect you and your family.
How we can help you
If you’re a victim of violence or other domestic abuse, please contact us and we’ll be able to help you. We’ll find a way to stop it and get you the protection you deserve to stop it from happening again.
Obviously, if the threat you face is serious and immediate, then you should call the Police immediately. But if you’re looking for legal forms of protection, we’re there to help. We can put you in touch with organisations that can help you find a temporary place of safety for you and any children involved. And if you’d like us to, we can also liaise with the Police. Once you’re safe, we’ll use the law to give you protection from your abuser.
When it comes to legal protection from domestic abuse, there are many things we can do to help. We can help you obtain an injunction in the Civil Courts that can ban the abuser from your home. It will also specifically prohibit the abuser from behaving in particular ways. The Court may grant you a Non-Molestation Order which prohibits the abuser from harassing, pestering or frightening you or any children involved. An abuser who breaches this type of Order is committing a criminal offence and could be jailed.
If the Court thinks that you’re at a high risk of harm, it can grant you an Occupation Order that sets out who can live in your home and impose an exclusion zone around it. The Court can also attach a power of arrest. This means that Police can arrest the abuser if the Order is not complied with.
Please get in touch with Eleanor Barber or one of the team; we’ll listen to you and we’ll help you. This can be a difficult call, but in the time it has taken you to read this page, another case of domestic abuse will have been reported to the police. We don’t want that statistic to be you, so it’s important to seek help if you feel under threat.
You can also schedule a call back from any of our solicitors in Plymouth by submitting a request through our contact form.
No, we do not offer a free half hour initial appointment as we have found that this type of appointment rarely gives clients real help or assistance. In half an hour, we would only be able to take from you the bare outline details and there would be no time to give you anything but the most basic advice, which would not cover the specific details of your case. We believe that to be able to take your information fully and to be able to give you advice that will actually help you, we need a lot longer than half an hour! Firms that offer a free half hour appointment are using it to ‘hook’ new clients and a second appointment, at full price, will almost certainly have to be booked before you can give full information and receive any sort of detailed advice. We understand that you do not want to be limited to half an hour when seeking expert legal advice and therefore we offer a reduced price initial appointment for £150 plus VAT. This appointment will take around an hour or so and after the meeting, we will send you a detailed attendance note, confirming the information provided by you and our advice, setting out your options, the necessary steps and cost estimates. We want to offer the very best service to all our clients, and we strongly believe that a free half hour appointment does not allow us to do that. We want you to leave your initial meeting feeling that you have been able to fully explain the issues and having received clear and detailed advice about your legal situation and the options available to you.
We understand that knowing what your costs are going to be is very important. We offer fixed fees for divorce / civil partnership dissolution. We can also agree a fixed fee for the preparation of a Separation Agreement, Financial Consent Order or Pre-Marital Agreement once we know what the issues to be covered are. With other matters, such as financial negotiations arising from relationship breakdown or disputes about children, it is not possible to agree a fixed fee, as it is rarely sufficiently clear from the outset what all the issues will be. We do however break your likely costs down into stages, telling you how much each individual stage is likely to cost before you embark on that stage if possible. We will send you regular bills and update cost estimates where appropriate to ensure that you have the best information available to help you understand and budget for your costs.
There have been significant changes to the availability of legal aid for family matters, however it can still be available when dealing with some aspect of family law, if you can prove your status as a victim of domestic violence or if Social Services have concerns about the safety of your children.
In order to prove your eligibility, there are a number of standard letters provided by the Legal Aid Agency which can assist you. Please click the link below to see what evidence will be accepted by the Legal Aid Agency. You cannot apply for legal aid without an ‘evidence letter’ if you are seeking assistance with divorce or children matters. Should you be seeking legal aid in relation to protection from domestic violence an ‘evidence letter’ will not be necessary.
As well as the above evidence, you will need to be assessed as financially eligible for legal aid. Please use the online eligibility calculator to give you an indication as to whether you may be financially eligible. This will assist you in knowing whether legal aid may be an option.
Once you have obtained one of the standard ‘evidence letters’ from a professional, and have checked your financial eligibility, please give us a call to discuss making an appointment.
If intending to issue an application to Court for an Order relating to children or an Order relating to matrimonial finances there is an expectation that you will have attempted mediation before your application can be issued at Court. There are limited exceptions where attendance at mediation is not necessary, however in most cases it will be necessary to attend at least a first mediation meeting, known as a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).
As a rule of thumb a divorce can take between 4 and 6 months from the date that the petition is lodged with the Court but it very much depends upon the complexity of the issues and how much co-operation there is between the parties.
We do work towards bringing about a conclusion as soon as possible for our clients as we recognise that it is an incredibly difficult time for them. However, each case will turn on its individual facts and it is difficult to know how long a divorce will take before the particular circumstances of the case are known. We recommend that anyone considering divorce makes an appointment with one of our specialist solicitors to come to the office to discuss matters where a time estimate can then be provided.
It is not always the position that family home will have to be sold following separation but this will depend upon the financial circumstances of the parties.
It is very uncommon for both parties to remain living in the same property following separation and so, it would seem fairly inevitable that one of the parties will have to move from the property but this does not necessarily mean that the property will have to be sold.
In cases involving children, as long as it is financially possible, every effort is made to ensure that children do remain in their home to provide stability and security for them at what is, for the whole family, a very difficult time.
We recommend that anyone concerned about what would happen to their property following separation makes an appointment to come in and meet with one of our specialist solicitors for further detailed advice.
Parental Responsibility is all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his/her property.
Mothers automatically have parental responsibility. Fathers can obtain parental responsibility by satisfying one of the below:-
- jointly registering the birth of the child with the mother (from 1 December 2003)
- getting a parental responsibility agreement with the mother
- getting a parental responsibility order from a court
- married to the child’s mother (this does not give step-parents parental responsibility)
For a straight forward, undefended divorce you will not need to attend Court.
Where you cannot reach an agreement and you have to issue an application to Court, for example to resolve the concequent financial issues arising out of your divorce or in relation to a dispute regarding children, then Court attendance will be necessary.