Family Law

Family LAW

Family Law Professionals to Support you Through Difficult Times

Family law matters are rarely straight-forward and we have decades of experience in helping people in all sorts of circumstances, from families on a low income to high earning professionals, and those with family farms and businesses.

Our specialist family team is dedicated to helping you reach an agreement in relation to all issues by way of constructive negotiations. Our aim is to avoid court where possible, and the advice and practical support we provide will hopefully lead to solutions which will benefit the whole family. The family law team at Fraser Dawbarns provides advice and assistance on all aspects of family law and services.

"The family practice at Fraser Dawbarns excels in complex financial matters" Legal 500 (2020) Family Law.

Our Specialists

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Daniel Sims

Solicitor - Kings Lynn

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Emma Stearman

Senior Associate Solicitor - Kings Lynn

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Rebecca Woodley

Solicitor, Senior Associate - Downham Market

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Family Law Services

Fraser Dawbarns offers a comprehensive range of family law services to our clients, ranging from significant and life changing issues such as divorce and financial settlements to documentation that can protect you in the future such as cohabitation agreements and pre-nups. Read on to find out more about the family law services available at Fraser Dawbarns.


If you are going through a relationship breakdown, you will understandably feel that this is a difficult and life changing time for you. If you are uncertain about the future of your marriage or civil partnership, it could benefit you to seek legal advice as soon as possible. Having good information and understanding the choices available will help you to deal with issues as they arise.

If you have decided to get a divorce, you will likely be unsure about what will happen to your children, property and finances as well as how much it will cost. Fraser Dawbarns will help you to understand the process by answering your questions and explaining your options. Our team can provide you with guidance and help you to formalise a financial agreement that protects you against future claims. We can help you with your paperwork and guide you toward a settlement. 

Financial Settlements

You may have seen the horror stories in the press about financial settlement proceedings costing thousands of pounds and therefore be daunted by the prospect of resolving your financial claims. At Fraser Dawbarns, we believe that your money should be shared between you and your partner and not used to pay unnecessary legal fees. Our financial settlements experts will advise you on what you need to know about each other’s finances, the extent of your claims and the process best suited to you to achieve an amicable cost-effective settlement.

We will do our best to help you come to an amicable settlement through mediation and negotiation, however, should this fail, we will guide and advise you through each stage of your settlement claim, aiming to achieve a reasonable settlement at the earliest stage.  For more information on financial settlements and related matters, contact the specialist team of family lawyers at Fraser Dawbarns. 


All mothers automatically have parental responsibility and a father who is married to the child’s mother or is listed on the birth certificate usually will too. Parental responsibility is a series of legal responsibilities for their children which are not lost upon divorce or in the case of new relationships. This means that both parents should continue to be involved in all aspects of their children’s welfare consulting upon issues such as health and education.

Unfortunately, sometimes parents cannot agree on these issues or generally upon the arrangements to be made for their children. In such cases, Child Arrangement Orders can be made that cover where children will live and the time they spend with the other parent. Occasionally parents threaten to remove their children, and in those circumstances, we can make an immediate and urgent application to the Court for a Prohibited Steps Order. We encourage parents to resolve these types of disputes through negotiation, but if that fails we are here to fully support and represent you through the Court Process.

If you would like further advice on this area of law, please contact a member of our family law department to discuss how we might help. 

Changing Your Name

If you wish to change either your Christian or surname you can do so as long as you are over 18. It is no longer necessary to register a change of name deed, and you can record a change by a Statutory Declaration. How ever you would like to do this, we can help you and we will provide you with up to six certified copies together with a list of the Agencies you will need to notify of the change.

Changing a Child’s Name

You cannot change a child’s name without the consent of both parents or the leave of the court. If the parents were not married, and the father does not have parental responsibility (any child born before December 2003), the mother could legally change the child’s name but it is generally ‘frowned upon’ by the Courts. It would then be open to the father to make an application to the Court for the child’s name to revert to his or her birth name.

If you would like advice on changing either your name or the name of a child, please contact us for a discussion about how we can help you. 

Cohabitation Agreements

It is commonly believed that parties who live together for any significant length of time gain ‘rights’ against their partner and/or their partner’s property and assets. People often refer to ‘common law’ husbands or wives when referring to couples living together. However, in law, there are no rights that are automatically gained by either party when a couple simply live together. Their position in terms of financial provision for the other is entirely different to that of a married couple, regardless of the length of time a couple may live together.

Cohabitation or living together agreements are not officially recognised in English Law, but if they are drawn up correctly, a Court will take serious note of any existing agreement in the event of a dispute between the parties at a later date. Because of the protection they can offer, a cohabitation agreement is something that all unmarried couples living together or intending to live together, should consider. Speak to our family law team if you would like to find out more. 

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-nuptial agreements have become increasingly common over recent years, but, at present, are still not formally recognised as a part of English Law. However, the Law Commission have recommended that such agreements should now become a part of matrimonial law, subject to certain conditions. Even though these agreements are not yet formally recognised by English Law, the existence of a pre or post-nuptial agreement is something which the Court will pay serious attention to.

As unromantic as it seems, discussing a pre-nuptial agreement is something which should be considered where one party or the other is coming into the marriage with assets which they wish to preserve. Of course, everyone would hope that the agreement may never have to be relied upon, but for most couples the peace of mind that it brings makes the existence of such an agreement well worth it. 

Post-nuptial Agreements

Post-nuptial agreements are similar to pre-nuptial agreements, although not as common or well known. As with pre-nups they are not formally recognised as a part of English Law but the Court will give serious regard to any agreement that has been freely entered into by both parties.

A post-nuptial agreement is signed by a married couple and sets out exactly how the marital assets will be divided in the case of a break down of the marriage. While everyone would hope that the agreement may never have to be relied upon, a post-nuptial agreement can bring peace of mind to a couple who did not sign a pre-nup. If you would like to discuss a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, contact our family law team who will be able to help you. 


Emma was so friendly, informative and guided me all the way through my difficult 2.5 year process. Highly recommend.
Client - Kings Lynn Office

Why Choose Fraser Dawbarns To Help you?

Pricing Options

Our family law team recognises the concerns you have in relation to costs. As well as avoiding court if possible, which is extremely expensive, we also offer flexible payment schemes including fixed fee packages and a service we call ‘Advising in the Background.’ This is the ultimate flexible service and allows you to use us as much or as little as you like which means you are completely in control of the costs. In certain circumstances we are able to offer a free consultation, please contact us to find out more about this.

Family Law Finance Service

We are also pleased to be able to offer you help in financing your legal costs, with funding options through specialised lending companies providing innovative family law finance. This will provide you with instant access to funds to meet your costs at preferential rates. This method of financing will not be suitable for everybody but please contact us for more information.

Contact Us Today

Our team will help you from the beginning of your case to the end, giving you total peace of mind. If you would like friendly, client focused advice on a wide range of legal issues, get in touch and see how we can help you.

Call or email us today and find out how we can make your life easier. 

Wisbech: 01945 461456
March: 01354 602880
King's Lynn: 01553 666600
Ely: 01353 383483
Downham Market: 01366 383171
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