Our Specialist Team provides expert and sympathetic advice on the following:-

  • Divorce and separation;
  • Pre and Post nuptial agreements;
  • Cohabitation agreements;
  • Disputes between unmarried partners,
  • Domestic violence and injunction orders and
  • Child care issues and care proceedings.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that not all marriages or relationships are successful. When a relationship breaks down it is not unusual for one or both parties to seek to dissolve the marriage or to seek to resolve the child and financial arrangements on separation.

A fair division of the family assets, including the matrimonial home, must be worked out. Arrangements for children must also be resolved. In the majority of cases this is achieved by negotiation between Solicitors and agreement between the parties. We emphasise negotiation and agreement rather than conflict and confrontation in the application of the principles of Family Law to the special circumstances of each individual case. We are also able to offer the Collaborative Law process to assist you in dealing with all aspects of marriage and relationship breakdown. In the Collaborative process each person has their own solicitor but the solicitors and clients meet together to work through the issues to reach agreements and find solutions amicably in a structured and constructive way, which avoids confrontation and conflict.

We provide advice, assistance and representation on all issues concerning children including difficulties on separation or between separated parents, about the arrangements for the children.

We can also provide advice on Local Authority involvement with children. It can be very distressing when faced with Social Services involvement regarding your child or a child you care for. We are here to advise you in respect of Child Protection procedures commenced by the Local Authority providing supportive advice and representation in Court.
We also provide advice on family protection, Domestic Violence, Injunctions, Wardship and Adoption.

The prospect of dealing with any of the above can be daunting but our experienced, approachable and efficient team will provide excellent independent advice, assistance and representation on all family matters.

We have members of The Law Society Family Law Panel, The Law Society Children Panel, Resolution, and Collaborative Lawyers.

Family Legal Aid Has Changed

Legal Aid is now administered by the Legal Aid Agency and is part of the Ministry of Justice. It is the sad case that less people are now eligible for Legal Aid. Some levels of service are still automatically covered by Legal Aid, such as public family law which means the protection of children and usually involves Social Services.

Some areas of service are now not automatically covered by Legal Aid but you may still be eligible if you can show evidence of Domestic Violence or evidence of child abuse and you are eligible financially. You will need to contact us and we can do an assessment of the circumstances of your case and your income to assess your eligibility and the correct documentation to support this can be obtained.

Legal Aid in support of Mediation is available and evidence of Domestic Violence and evidence of child abuse is NOT required in this case but you must be financially eligible.

If you are thinking of referring yourself to a Mediation service you can contact us during and up to three months after the mediation process has ended for advice regarding the outcome and the legal implementation of any agreements arising out of Mediation concerning financial matters.

Protection from Harassment cases are still covered by Legal Aid and evidence of Domestic Violence or child abuse is NOT required.

If you want more information regarding legal aid please contact us on 0191 5670465 and ask to speak to a member of our family team or you can email us at

If after assessment we find that you are not eligible for legal aid we can offer Fixed Fee and Pay as you Go facilities.



Richard Reed Solicitors is a trading name of Richard Reed Ltd. A full list of company directors is available at 3 – 6, Frederick Street, Sunderland SR1 1NA. Registered in England and Wales. Company Registration No: 05702566 VAT Registration No: 176 6121 59. This firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA No: 000568890. Richard Reed Ltd is contracted with the Legal Aid Agency.