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Children Arrangements

All of our family lawyers have considerable experience in dealing with children arrangements. This is often a very sensitive and highly emotional area of Family law.

As parents, you will, in the best interests of the children, be encouraged to communicate and come to an arrangement yourselves. After all, although your relationship may have ended, your relationship with your children will not, and as the years go by, you may need to come together for many important events in their lives.

Even where matters are reasonably amicable, you may just want some advice and guidance about your own particular arrangements.

You will certainly need advice if this becomes more acrimonious or where Court Proceedings are involved.

We can advise on:

Child Arrangements Orders including day to day arrangements

Live with Orders

Relocation within the jurisdiction of England and Wales, beyond or internationally

Specific Issue Orders

Prohibited Steps Orders

Parental Responsibility

Adoption

Court Process

Section 30 Parental Orders under the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act

Speak to our experts

For a FREE initial consultation with our expert Family Lawyers, simply complete the form on this page, call 01244 356 789 or email info@cullimoredutton.co.uk.

Why choose us? Because we are:

Experienced

Our team has in excess of 90 years’ experience of helping, supporting and advising clients, achieving the best possible solutions for them and their children.

Specialists

Members of our team are trained collaborative lawyers and mediators. This specialist knowledge enables us to deal with your family issue in a sensitive, constructive and cost-efficient way.

Understanding

We understand the emotional turmoil and distress that separation and divorce can create. Our promise to you is that we will be by your side, supporting you at every stage, assisting, advising and providing solutions for you and your family.

Who will work on your matter?

A fully qualified lawyer. Your matter will either be handled or supervised by a solicitor with at least 20 years’ experience in this area of work.

Some areas of work may be supported by our Paralegal team.

Administrative duties will be undertaken by our support staff.

As Head of Department, Brenda Spain has overall responsibility for the supervision of all work carried out by her team.

Our Family Law Department

Brenda Spain

Head of Family Law
Family Law and Litigation Teams
Qualified 1987
Additional Qualifications: Member of Law Society Family Law Panel, Qualified Mediator
Contact

Hello, I joined Cullimore Dutton in 2019 to take up the position as Head of the Family Law team.

I have been qualified for over 30 years having previously practiced in Worcestershire in a tier one Family Law team. I have considerable experience of dealing with all aspects of family disputes, with particular expertise in:

  • Divorce/separation and finances; particularly those cases involving Businesses, Pensions (NHS, Police, Armed Forces), Farms and Inheritance etc
  • Private children disputes including internal and international relocation
  • Cohabitation disputes
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements
  • Civil partnership disputes
  • Domestic abuse cases

I am also a qualified mediator, a member of the Law Society Family Panel and a member of Resolution.

I appreciate that relationship breakdowns can be a very difficult and overwhelming experience for many. This is where strong support, guidance and understanding is required.

I work extremely hard for clients to resolve matters in a clear, down to earth, professional and approachable way. I am always prepared to go that extra mile to help our clients achieve the best outcome for them and their children whether through the negotiation process or the Court process if Court Proceedings become necessary.

I was recently appointed as Cullimore Dutton’s Training Principal and am delighted to be able to mentor and support colleagues who are entering the legal profession.

I am proud to head a team of very talented lawyers, aspiring lawyers and assistants.

Away from work I enjoy spending time with family and friends and being outdoors with my Labradors. I enjoy sports, music and getting involved in charitable events and good causes.

Diana Williams

Legal Director
Family Law Team
Qualified 1977
Contact

Hello, I joined the firm way back in 1977 and specialise in Family and Matrimonial Law. I am a member of the Collaborative Law Group, an advanced member of the Family Law Panel and a qualified mediator. 

I am proud to be a Resolution Specialist Family Lawyer and particularly enjoy the practice of collaborative law. In essence, this means I work to resolve areas of contention to achieve practical solutions for both parties without the added distress (and cost) of going through the Courts. It is enormously rewarding work.  

I have expertise in: 

  • Divorce and finances  
  • Private children disputes  
  • Collaborative Family Law  
  • General civil litigation 
  • Building disputes 
  • Debt recovery 
  • Litigation 
  • Chancery work. 

Away from my desk, I love to swim, walk, and socialise. I enjoy all the delights that Chester city centre has to offer. I am a self-confessed ‘townie’. I relax by playing the piano (reasonably), bridge (my partner would probably say badly), and the guitar (enthusiastically) in a band at barn dances. 

Francesca Crank

 Legal Assistant
Family Law Team
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I joined the Family Law team as a Legal Assistant in January 2021 having previously worked as a Paralegal at a Stockport based solicitors’ practise. 

I graduated from the University of Manchester in 2018 with a degree in Law with Criminology before completing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) with Masters at the University of Law in Chester in 2019, achieving a Distinction. 

I have always been passionate about Family Law and was delighted to have the opportunity to work with such an experienced team here at Cullimore Dutton. I look forward to developing my knowledge further within this team as my career progresses. 

In my spare time I enjoy running, horse riding and socialising with friends. 

Jesca Knott

Trainee Solicitor
Family Law Team
Contact

Hello. I joined the Family Law team in May 2020 as a Paralegal after graduating from the University of Manchester with a Law degree and subsequently gaining a Distinction in the Legal Practice Course as well as a Masters in Professional Practice. 

Having previously worked in a large legal practice in Manchester I relocated to Chester to join Cullimore Dutton. I enjoy working closely as part of a team and I am passionate about working with clients to achieve the best outcome. I look forward to improving my knowledge and skills in this area of law. In 2021 I was delighted to be offered a training contract and to take on the role of Trainee Solicitor. 

Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, going to the gym and socialising with friends and family. I am also enjoying getting to know the lovely City of Chester and all it has to offer. 

Susan Alexander

Consultant Solicitor
Family Law Team
Qualified 1981 (Scotland), 1994 (England & Wales)
Additional Qualifications: Collaborative law practitioner, Child inclusive mediator, FMCA accredited mediator
Contact

Hello. I joined the firm as a Consultant Solicitor and Family Mediator in May 2016. I am an accredited family law specialist with over 35 years of experience as a family lawyer dealing with all aspects of Family Law, including divorce, separation, children and financial issues, cohabitation disputes and preparation of pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation deeds.  

I am a fully accredited Family Mediator and provide Child Inclusive Mediation. I practise collaborative law where couples sit round the table with specially trained lawyers to help them reach solutions which are best for them and their children. I promote the benefits to separating couples and their children of having a dialogue together in a safe and supported environment to make decisions that need to be made about money and property and child care arrangements.  

Divorce is not easy nor is it easy to sit down together and talk about how assets should be shared or how child arrangements should be worked out when emotions are running high. Using Family Mediation and Collaborative Law usually means that agreements are reached more quickly and the uncertainty (and costs) of court proceedings are avoided.  

I am an experienced litigator in cases that cannot be resolved by mediation or collaborative law. I take pride in being thought of as an efficient, hardworking yet approachable and supportive solicitor who helps people through a very difficult time. 

My expertise is in: 

  • Family Mediation including child inclusive mediation  
  • Collaborative family law 
  • All aspects of divorce and separation including financial and children issues 
  • Pre and post nuptial agreements 
  • Cohabitation agreements  
  • Cohabitee disputes 
  • Resolution accredited Family Law specialist  

Away from my desk I like to go to the gym and the lawyer’s fit club, I play bridge and I sing in the Rock Choir. I love socialising with my friends and family. I am also involved in organising events for charity. 

Thank you, Diana, Laura, and all that have worked on my case. It has been a very tough process for me but made easier with your professionalism and reassurance. Please accept my utmost gratitude.

Cullimore Dutton Family Law client

Thank you for letting me know the excellent news that the Consent Order has been approved. Thank you for the work you have done to ensure this went through so smoothly.

Cullimore Dutton Family Law client