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Family Law in England and Wales – to be Distinguished from Inheritance or Succession Planning

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Having met with a number of international family law experts at the Consulegis conference in Cyprus last week and delving into a comparison of the legal systems concerning family law, it became apparent that the role of the family lawyer in England and Wales is unusual in its narrow specialism. In England and Wales a family law solicitor advises on divorce, the division of a couple’s financial assets if married, ownership of property if unmarried, pre-nuptial and post-nuptial and cohabitation agreements, as well as the plethora of child-related aspects. Whereas, the family lawyer in France, Germany and the US to name a few, deals with all of those aspects of family law, they would also deal with what they would call Succession Planning so the drafting of a Will, the implementation of estates and the setting up of financial structures within which to hold assets.

In England and Wales, that’s a separate ‘private client’ lawyer and can often be approached on a joint basis. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages as we saw them and an interesting point about how to deal with confidentiality and conflict between parties. There are very clear boundaries in England and Wales and definitive rules on conflicts of interests.  We all agreed that collaboration is key and the best results are attained by identifying the individuals who not only have the expertise required but who are also the best fit for our clients’ needs. That can only be established by forming strong links with collaborators. At Rayden Solicitors we work hard to collaborate both domestically and internationally.

The advantage of coming to a well-connected specialist family law firm such as Rayden Solicitors, is the strong links we have with other specialist firms, whether that is in England and Wales or across the globe with whom we can collaborate to be able to provide the best and most tailored advice to a client’s circumstances. With so many couples living global lives; through work, investment portfolios, nationality, choice of residence or inheritance, all angles must be explored in an international separation.

If there are international elements to your circumstances, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d be more than happy to help and if needed, collaborate with experts to see which route is the best for you.

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