Bradford solicitors announce same-sex legal specialists
4th July 2011
Bradford legal team Williscroft & Co is launching a specialist division following the doubling of same sex relationship dissolutions in recent years.
Partner Lucy Cohen is heading the firm’s drive to offer dedicated services to same sex couples as part of the company’s strategy to cover all aspects of family law and to offer a specialist service to manage the complex issues involved in gay relationships.
“We are known for our expertise in everything concerning the family from divorce through to wills and child care law but as there are currently no specialists in same sex relationships in Yorkshire, we want to focus closely on this section of our community,” she explains.
Civil partnerships became legal in 2005 allowing same sex couples the same legal rights as opposite-sex couples.
“When civil partnerships first became legal there was a boom in registrations and over 16,000 civil partnerships were formed in the UK in the first year,” Lucy continues. “Today however, the number of civil partnership dissolutions has nearly doubled since 2008 when there were only 180 and its these statistics and our own experience of advising same sex couples in relationship rights including prenups and property ownershp that has led us concentrate specifically on this area of law.”
Lucy and the 30-strong team of lawyers, are now undertaking additional specialist training to enable all the team to advise on how the law specifically applies to same-sex couples, to include, prenups, rights concerning children and property, issues in relation to wills, and dissolution of civil partnerships.
“A dissolution is effectively the same as a divorce and offers legal rights to both parties – but only if the couple are registered as a civil partnership” Lucy adds.
“Further complications arise if children are involved, particularly if a child has been born to one partner within a same sex relationship if the partners have not registered as Civil Partners. In these cases, even if the child was conceived with the intention that the child would be a children of the family, one partner may be left without any legal rights should the parties separate. With our specialist training , we can offer the skills and expertise to give the highest level of legal support to same sex couples to ensure all parties understand their legal rights whether they choose to co-habit or enter into a civil partnership, or in the worst case scenario – a dissolution is required.
Contracted with the Legal Aid Agency. Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Reg.No. 67202.
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