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I am a Partner within the family law team in Sheffield. I assist Martin Loxley with complex high asset ancillary relief cases. My role also involves dealing with divorce and financial issues arising from divorce. Children's disputes including acting for parents and grandparents in applications under section 8 of Children Act. I have specialised in dealing with matrimonial affairs since 1993.
Part of the work is now dealing with pre and post separation agreements for couples who are not married.
Zoe is "very down to earth and practical" - Chambers & Partners 2017
Zoe is "committed" - Legal 500 2016
I really enjoy meeting people and the idea of helping others through difficult times has always been very rewarding to me.
Ensuring that my clients feel that their case has been heard properly and presented appropriately. Feeling as though people have a simple explanation of the rights and responsibilities they have during the breakdown of their marriage or relationship.
The expanse of knowledge throughout the firm, all of which is on hand to assist when required. The building itself, the client meeting areas and facilities for clients. The restaurant is lovely as are the staff and the environment is an overall bonus.
I like to socialise with friends in bars and restaurants. Getting dressed up is always good for a laugh. I watch my son play football and shout a lot on the touchline.
"The rise in older people divorcing has been a trend for the past few years and reflects that fact that divorce is no longer the stigma it once was. In general, attitudes have changed towards relationships and divorce. The older generation have realised that they can separate, often amicably, and still meet new people and lead a more enriched life rather than staying in relationships which may be making them unhappy. Social Media is also helping to open up new ways of finding others and developing new hobbies, interests and partnerships.
“People in their 30s are more likely to be cohabiting than others partly because of attitudes to marriage but also because finances have been squeezed for many during the past 6 years when traditionally they would have been paying for their weddings.
“With more older divorcees, it also comes as no surprise to see more older couple’s cohabiting too. They may be starting new relationships but don’t feel that marriage is right for them. With people living longer lives the current generation of people over 60 and 70 will inevitably be setting new trends in how they live.
“What cohabitants need to understand is that there is no such thing as a common law partner and that they may not have the rights they think they do in the event of any separation. ‘Living Together Agreements’ can help to set some boundaries in relationships. While it won’t help them organise the washing up rota or schedule date nights, it is legally binding if it deals with shared interests in property such as the home, furniture, cars and other valuable assets.
"Sorting out break-ups for unmarried couples can be costly because unlike divorce there is no straightforward legal framework to help decide how they may share assets after any potential split."
"The court is very reluctant to allow a former husband or wife to reopen financial arrangements following a divorce where there is a final order. There are strong public policy reasons for finality so that people can rely upon what has been decided by the court and move on with their lives.
"However in very limited circumstances the court will set aside an order, such as where there has been material fraud or if there has been a new event which was unforeseen at the time and which undermines the entire basis of the original financial order.
"It is very rare that a court will allow an appeal because of a supervening event. These are known to family lawyers as Barder events, after a case where tragically a wife killed herself and her children shortly after an order had been made which was based around providing a home for them.
"However, if Mr Davison’s physical health was a known quantity at the time of the trial, it is unlikely the effect of his death would be a Barder event.
"Other changes of circumstance such as the increase or decrease in property or share values have not been considered by the court to provide sufficient reason for an order to be revisited."
"The reports on this case hint at a separating couple putting their differences aside in order to reach the best outcome not only for themselves, but also more importantly for their children.
"Divorce is an emotionally difficult and stressful time for everyone involved – including the children – and we would always encourage couples to consider all options when it comes to formalising their separation, with an emphasis on ensuring that they work together.
"Alternative dispute resolution approaches such as mediation and collaborative law can help in this regard, as they allow parties to sit down with trained and qualified professionals who can assist them in making key decisions about finances and access to children in a constructive way.
"For many, divorce often equals costly and time-consuming court battles and while those who have experienced a difficult break-up may be left with little option but to go down that route, there are alternatives for those who are in a position to work together."
We see a number of cases involving grandparents being denied a relationship with their grandchildren as a result of family breakdown. This is not limited purely to divorce but also to the many couples who cohabit without ever marrying.
"Grandparents have an increasingly important role to play in the lives of children, often providing childcare so that the parents can go to work. We also see instances when grandparents are often required to step into the breach and provide primary care for children if the parents are unable to do so for any reason.
"It is clear from research in this area that it can cause significant emotional harm to children if they grow up without an appreciation of their full family background, while the emotional turmoil the situation can create for grandparents can be incredibly difficult to deal with.
"The courts will generally support a grandparent’s wish to have a full and meaningful relationship with their grandchildren and recognise the benefits to the child this can bring.
"Any grandparents affected by these issues should seek legal advice so that they can be given a full explanation of the options available to them to ensure they maintain a relationship with their grandchildren despite the breakdown of the parents’ relationship.
"We would always urge separating couples to always consider the wider impact of a divorce and how it affects not only their children but also other family members."
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