Family Law Solicitors

Family Law Solicitors

Experiencing family issues can be both emotional and stressful, especially where there are questions around people’s rights, finances, and children. When you need specialist support, matched to your needs and situation, you can trust our experienced family law solicitors to help you.

Our legal team at Watkins have supported families in a diverse range of circumstances. With our many years of expertise and our highly accredited team, we can ensure that your family law matters are handled efficiently and sensitively.

At Watkins, we always take an empathetic and direct approach to family legal matters. We can provide specialist assistance across a range of legal areas, including:

  • Divorce, separation, and civil partnership dissolution
  • International family matters
  • Domestic abuse
  • Child law matters
  • Cohabitee disputes
  • Prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements
  • Surrogacy
  • Adoption

Contact our family law solicitors in Bristol, Bath, Hereford and Evesham

For specialist advice with family law, please contact our family law solicitors today.

We support clients from our offices in Bristol (Southville and Fishponds), Bath, Hereford and Evesham, as well as serving clients across the rest of the UK and internationally. To discuss your requirements, please call us on 0117 939 0350 or email

Our solicitors will communicate in a way that suits your needs and preferences, whether that is in person, by phone, video conferencing or email.

Why choose Watkins as your family law solicitors?

Our team understand that family legal issues are often both stressful and sensitive. We know that when clients come to us for help, they may be worried or confused about their legal standing and options.

At Watkins, we have extensive experience across all family legal issues. We always make sure that we obtain an in-depth understanding of our clients’ needs, so that we can cater our support to you specifically.

We have a fantastic reputation in the family legal sector, all thanks to our committed legal team. Beverley Watkins, founder and managing partner, is a Family Law Advanced Member of the Law Society, a specialist accreditation which not many legal professionals hold. Our family solicitors dealing with divorce and separation are all members of Resolution, with a number of the team also being on the Law Society’s Specialist Panel. Additionally, our family law solicitors Sheldon and Vicky are both on the Children Panel.

As well as our daily legal work, we keenly contribute to our local community in other ways too, involving ourselves in charity projects in Bristol, and other areas. If you would like to learn more about our legal team, please do not hesitate to contact us at Watkins.

How our family law solicitors can help

Divorce and separation

Going through a divorce can be a difficult process, both practically and emotionally. Our specialist divorce lawyers can offer expert assistance throughout the entire process, including:

  • Filing a divorce application
  • Applying for a Conditional Order (after the mandatory 20-week waiting period)
  • Separate assistance to come to a financial settlement with your spouse, and or to make arrangements for any children if necessary
  • Later applying for a Final Order (once the Conditional Order has been granted)

Financial arrangements

When you are going through a divorce, separating your finances from those of your spouse is one of the most imperative tasks. It is necessary to reach a financial settlement, determining how assets will be divided, including property, savings, and pensions.

If you and your spouse are able to agree on how your finances should be divided, we can assist you to come to a voluntary financial agreement. Alternatively, if you and your spouse are unable to negotiate and agree, our solicitors can support you to apply for a Financial Order through the Court system.

Legal separation

If you and your partner would like to separate, yet you do not wish to divorce, we can help you to finalise the terms with a legal separation. Our solicitors can draft a separation agreement which covers:

  • How you would like to divide your assets and property
  • Establishing arrangements for your children if applicable
  • Any other financial arrangements that you feel should be defined

Civil partnership dissolution

If your civil partnership has unfortunately broken down, and you would like to apply for a civil partnership dissolution, our solicitors can help you to do so.

Dissolving a civil partnership follows a similar process to ending a marriage. When applying for the dissolution, it is necessary to state that the partnership has irretrievably broken down.

We have much experience supporting couples through the process, and can offer full support, as well as helping couples to divide their finances, and make arrangements for their children if necessary.

If you would like legal assistance to end your civil partnership, or you require support to settle a civil partnership dispute, please contact us to discuss your needs.

Disputes involving social services

Our solicitors have extensive experience working with families on social service and child public law cases. Two of our family law solicitors, Sheldon and Vicky, are on the Law Society Children Panel, putting us in an excellent position to assist with cases such as these.

At Watkins, we can provide expert children public law advice, including:

  • Reviewing the contents of a ‘letter before proceedings’ and providing legal advice
  • Providing guidance on attending meetings with social services, and or accompanying clients to meetings
  • Court representation in child care proceedings
  • Legal assistance with any child law related disputes that you are having with social services or a local authority
  • Generally assisting clients at any stage where social services have sought involvement with their family

We appreciate that it can be incredibly stressful when social services become involved with your family matters. Our team can ensure sensitive expert advice at every stage, helping you work towards the best outcome for you and your children.

International family matters

At Watkins, we are experts in all aspects of international family law, and can assist international families with a wide range of legal needs, including:

  • International divorce: including guidance throughout the application processes, and recommendations on jurisdiction, allowing you to decide whether you will instigate your divorce proceedings in the UK, or abroad
  • International divorce settlements: Assisting you to untangle your finances, protect your interests, and reach a satisfactory financial settlement
  • Child arrangements: Helping you and your divorcing spouse to agree on matters including child maintenance, child residency and child contact
  • Parental child abduction advice: If one parent has taken their child out of the country without the permission of the other parent, or a client is concerned that this might occur, we can advise on your options

Domestic abuse

Being in an abusive relationship is incredibly traumatic, and if you are in this situation, you will need support right away. Depending on the circumstances, our solicitors can offer help in various ways, to safeguard you and your family.

The firm has extensive experience dealing with domestic abuse cases. If your case is an emergency, we can take action urgently.

Our team can work quickly to help you to obtain a Non-Molestation Order, which is a Court Order that protects a person, and possibly their children, from harm or receiving threats from an abuser. We can also assist clients to obtain Occupation Orders. These determine who can and who cannot live in your home, also serving as a means of legal protection.

We appreciate that it can be extremely hard to reach out for help. Our experts have a great deal of experience in domestic abuse cases, and can guarantee sensitive support to assist you. To access support today, please contact us at Watkins Solicitors.

Child law matters

Divorce or separation is rarely easy, particularly where the couple have children. Our expert children law solicitors can assist you to make the necessary legal arrangements for your children, including helping you to negotiate with your spouse or former partner.

Our support spans all child law related matters, such as:

  • Assisting you and your spouse to agree on where your child will live, and how much time the child will spend with each parent
  • Assisting with Court proceedings (where parents cannot agree on child arrangements)
  • Supporting parents to apply for Specific Issue Orders where there are disagreements concerning one specific part of your child’s upbringing, for example, education or religious matters
  • Supporting parents to apply for Prohibited Steps Orders to prevent a parent carrying out certain actions, for example preventing a change of surname

Cohabitee disputes

Cohabitee disputes tend to occur where a couple that has been living together decide to end their relationship. When cohabiting couples part ways, disagreements can often arise regarding who is entitled to certain assets, and who has the right to remain in the property.

Our experts at Watkins can help separating couples to settle cohabitee disputes, using mediation processes to negotiate financial and residency matters.

For more information about cohabitee disputes, and to discuss your circumstances, please contact our family law solicitors.

Cohabitation agreements

Where partners are planning to cohabit, but are not planning to marry or enter into a civil partnership, our specialist family law solicitors can assist. A cohabitation agreement is a useful way to offer financial protection for unmarried couples, usually these are used to cover matters including:

  • What would happen to the home, savings and any other shared assets in the event of a separation
  • How the couple will use any shared bank account
  • How much each individual will contribute to the rent or mortgage
  • What share of the bills each person is responsible for
  • Liabilities for any debts

Cohabitation agreements are a useful way to help a couple establish each person’s financial responsibilities, and avoid potential financial disagreements. This can offer both parties protection if they were to separate in the future.

Prenuptial agreements

A prenuptial agreement, or a prenup, is a type of legal document, existing between a couple and drafted prior to their marriage. The agreement details ownership of assets, financial responsibilities, and how financial assets will be divided if they divorce later on.

Areas that are usually covered in a prenuptial agreement include income, property, and debts. Both parties will need to obtain independent legal advice. If a  prenuptial agreement is signed, then this is one of the factors taken into account if the parties later divorce.

Postnuptial agreements

A postnuptial agreement works just like a prenuptial agreement, however, these agreements are created once a couple is married, instead of prior to the marriage.

As a couple goes through their marriage, their financial circumstances may significantly  change, and as such, they may regret not drafting a prenup, and then choose to create a postnup later on. Creating a postnuptial agreement allows couples to establish how assets will be divided if the couple were to eventually divorce.


While surrogacy can be an exciting venture for couples who would like to have a child, navigating the strict surrogacy laws in England and Wales can be complicated. To ensure that the process is without setbacks, and to safeguard your interests, it is vital to work with a specialist solicitor.

Whether you are planning to have a child through a surrogate, or you are considering acting as a surrogate for an individual or family, our lawyers at Watkins can provide expert surrogacy law advice.

We can help clients with all legal stages and considerations, including:

  • Assistance with surrogacy applications
  • Recommendations on and assistance to draft surrogacy arrangements
  • Advice on parental order requirements


If you are considering adoption, seeking legal support in the beginning can help you to ensure that the process runs smoothly, and that any issues that arise are dealt with promptly.

At Watkins, we have much experience working with clients who are looking to adopt a child. We appreciate that whilst this is an exciting time, clients may have concerns regarding the associated legal stages. Our specialist team can explain the processes to you carefully, answering your questions, and providing legal guidance at each stage.

Specifically, we can provide:

  • Guidance throughout the adoption application process
  • General legal advice and recommendations on adoption
  • Legal assistance with adoption appeals (in circumstances where a birth parent would like to appeal against an adoption order)

Family Court representation

In some family law cases, clients wish to deal with Court cases themselves, yet they do wish to have legal representation at a Court hearing. At Watkins, we can provide excellent representation at family Court hearings, having much experience doing so, across a wide range of cases.

To discuss your case and needs surrounding Court representation, please contact our legal team at Watkins.

What our clients say about us

“Watkins Solicitors, helped me through two extremely difficult periods - in my life. Both cases were successful. I will continue to recommend Watkins Solicitors - to my family, friends and work colleagues. I can't thank them enough, for what they have done. It has been life changing!”

“The whole team at Watkins solicitors were professional, helpful and friendly. They responded to any queries in a timely manner. They were approachable and nothing was too much trouble. I am happy to highly recommend them. Thank you.”

“Excellent service, would highly recommend. A great team helped us through a very stressful and difficult time. Gave great advice and were very thorough and tenacious on our behalf. Thank you Watkins, fantastic work.”

Family law fees

At Watkins Solicitors, we appreciate that clients need to be informed of their legal fees from the start. Our fees can vary according to the type of legal assistance needed, and the details of your case.

Under some circumstances, we can provide our services for a fixed fee. If your needs are more complex, and varied stages of assistance are required, we will charge an hourly rate to reflect our top-quality service.

Once we have an appreciation of your case, we will provide an accurate estimate. To discuss your needs with our family law solicitors today, please contact us.

Contact our family law solicitors in Bristol, Bath, Hereford and Evesham

For specialist advice on family law, please contact our family law solicitors today.

We support clients from our offices in Bristol (Southville and Fishponds), Bath, Hereford and Evesham, as well as serving clients across the rest of the UK and internationally. To discuss your requirements, please call us on 0117 939 0350 or email

Our solicitors will communicate in a way that suits your needs and preferences, whether that is in person, by phone, video conferencing or email.