DRN’s leading Family Law team have achieved
an Excellence review rating following an independent external review of their
work by the Legal Aid Agency.
Legal Aid Agency Audit
“Excellence” is the number one rating that
can be achieved by a legal team during a Legal Aid Agency audit. The full list
of ratings is as follows:
competence plus (2)
threshold competence (3)
below competence (4)
failure in performance (5)
To gain this exemplary rating, 25 files from
DRN were requested by the Legal Aid Agency. These files were chosen at random,
and were then independently reviewed by an external assessor. Their
comprehensive report concluded with positive findings in all areas, including:
Advice tailored to clients
Linked advice and client
Proactive steps taken on
behalf of clients
Client’s needs being met
Keeping clients up to date
All of the above findings were met with a glowing report, as well as a host of additional positive findings.
Family Law Team
Nicola Barrow, head of the Family department
at DRN said:
incredibly proud of the continuous hard work from the Family Team at DRN, who
dedicate themselves to ensuring client’s receive the best advice and
representation possible every single day.”
DRN’s leading family law team are available
to support you with legal advice and representation in all matters concerning
family matters, including custody, adoption, name changing, divorce and
If you would like to talk to a member of our
friendly team, call our Burnley office today on 01282 433 241 and we will be
happy to help you.
Staying together isn’t possible for every family. Even though it’s a difficult situation, sometimes separating is necessary in order for everyone to live happily, sometimes parents have never lived together.
At DRN, our clients are often separated parents and want to do the right thing by their children, and our family solicitors are trained to give advice on child arrangements that is practical and straightforward. Our guidance comes from years of experience in family law, and our family solicitors work sensitively with separated families and their children to make sure the best possible agreement is reached.
To agree, whether in person or through a mediator, on the arrangements
for your child can seem an impossible task, but we are here to help.
The Courts and family solicitors now refer to what used to
be known as “child custody” as “child arrangements”. These arrangements are a
broad description of how your child spends their time with you and the rest of
What are Child
The details for where the children live, and if not living
with both parents, also setting out the time they spend with the other parent (which
is often referred to as contact.)
Children can enjoy spending time with a parent in person, by
telephone, social media, letter or any other method which is reasonable and
allows the child and parent to stay in ‘contact’.
Each child and family will have different needs depending on
their own circumstances, including but not limited to the children’s ages,
needs, wishes and feelings.
Contact can take place in different forms and will vary with
each family. Contact can be for short periods of time for example during the
day, or cover long periods of time over a number of days and possibly weeks. It
can take place in a variety of venues. A lot of children do stay overnight with
the parent with whom they do not ‘live’ on a regular basis.
A lot of separated parents are able to reach a mutual
agreement about the arrangements for their child and are able to vary the
arrangements as the child’s needs change. Other parents cannot for various reasons
and do need specialist advice and assistance.
If you would like help in reaching suitable arrangements for
your child, then our family solicitors can help. Our solicitors can advise you
on the most appropriate method to try to achieve an outcome.
This may be by way of one of our solicitors negotiating on
your behalf, setting out your position and the reasons why, if an agreement is
reached by drafting an agreement setting out the arrangements which are to be
put in place.
Legal aid is available, but only in limited circumstances.
You may be advised to attempt mediation with a view to
resolving any disagreements. Family mediators are trained professionals, who
help you discuss any issues, let you both have your say and try to help reach
an agreement. Mediation can work, even where the parties initially have very
Mediation is not appropriate in situations where there has
been any form of domestic abuse.
The mediator will assess whether the case is suitable for
Legal aid is available to assist with the costs of mediation
where one or both parties are on a low income.
Applying to the court
If solicitor negotiation and mediation are not successful or are
unsuitable then an application to court may be necessary. Court applications
should only be made when all other options are unsuitable or have failed. Court
proceedings can take time and be costly, and you may end up in a situation
where the court has made a decision that you do not want.
The court whether a bench of magistrates or judge
will encourage you to reach an agreement, if you cannot agree then the court will determine what if any evidence
is required and how the case will proceed. The court will then make a decision
about what the arrangements for your child should be to live with and spend
time with you and the other parent. In deciding the arrangements, the court
will decide what they believe the best interests of your child to be.
If you would like any advice or assistance on arrangements for your child then please contact one of our family solicitors at DRN on 01282 433241 or email@example.com