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MKB Law is a leading Family Law solicitor based in Belfast. Our specialist team is led by Director Anne Marie Kelly, with lawyers, Karen Edwards and Aine Toner. Our team is highly experienced in all aspects of matrimonial law namely divorce, separation and child contact matters. We provide only the highest standard in legal advice to our clients.

Our approach is to ensure that your case is dealt with in a professional, efficient and sensitive manner. We understand that the decision to engage a family lawyer is one not taken lightly. We therefore tailor our approach to suit your specific needs. To discuss your family law matter with our professional and approachable team, please contact us today.

Divorce & Separation

If you are going through a separation, divorce or civil partnership dissolution, it is essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible. What you say and do at the early stages may have an impact on the eventual outcome. When a relationship breaks down, it is often in circumstances where there is little time to prepare for all the decisions that need to be taken.

Divorces and dissolutions of civil partnerships are dealt with by the County Court and High Court in Northern Ireland. The person making the application (the ‘petitioner’) is able to do so themselves or through a solicitor.

For a divorce to be granted, one of the following grounds must be met:

Two years’ separation (when the other spouse consents to the divorce)
Five years’ separation (when the other spouse does not give their consent)
Unreasonable behaviour

For a civil partnership to be dissolved, one of the following grounds must be met:

Two years’ separation (when the other partner consents to the divorce)
Five years’ separation (when the other partner does not give their consent)
Unreasonable behaviour

When all documents have been submitted, the case will be listed before the court. In cases where both parties consent to the divorce or dissolution, they will be asked to confirm that the information provided to the court is accurate. If one of the parties defends the petition, the spouse applying for divorce may have to give evidence in support of this. Once the judge has heard the case, they will grant a decree nisi ending the marriage. For civil partnerships, a conditional order will be granted.

Our Matrimonial team will ensure that you are informed on all decisions that must be taken, especially regarding children and finances. You can read more on our dedicated Divorce and Separation page.

Financial Settlements

When it comes to establishing the extent of the financial settlement that a spouse will receive, there is no set formula used by the courts. Instead, broad discretion is afforded to judges in deciding what is fair. A range of factors are considered, including the length of the marriage and the contributions made by each of the spouses.

While there is no requirement that parties in settlement proceedings take legal advice, doing so is highly advised. A solicitor will act on your behalf to ensure that these arrangements are recognised by the court to prevent any disputes arising in the future.

Today, many couples chose to enter into agreements as to how their finances should be shared if they separate. These agreements, referred to as prenuptial agreements or ‘prenups’, are often are becoming increasingly common. While a prenuptial agreement is not legally binding, the courts are increasingly likely to uphold their terms if it can be shown that both parties entered into the agreement having sought independent legal advice.

Child Contact & Welfare

Legal issues relating to children, such as child custody and contact matters, require sensitive handling. MKB Law’s Family Law team has extensive experience in acting for families during these difficult and emotive situations. There are two different types of cases involving children. Those under Child Private Law and those under Child Public Law.

Private Law cases are usually as part of a divorce or separation. If an agreement cannot be reached as to where a child will live and what contact the other parent will have, we ensure that all avenues are pursued in order to achieve an amicable and negotiated agreement.

Public Law cases are brought by local authorities in regard to child welfare. These cases are complex in nature and usually concern families with multiple problems. We understand how difficult it is for parents to give a good account of themselves in these cases and we will help you each step of the way.

Anne Marie Kelly, Karen Edwards and Aine Toner are members of the specialist Children Order Panel accredited by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. This ensures our team can represent clients in all public law proceedings.

You can find out more about this area on our dedicated child contact and child welfare page.

Domestic Violence

At MKB Law we have the knowledge and experience to assist victims of domestic violence. We make sure that they have access to the protection provided in civil and criminal law. We also work closely with Women’s Aid NI, Domestic Violence Officers and Social Services to ensure that the victim receives support for themselves and their children. Please see our Domestic Violence page for more information.

Why instruct MKB Law?

MKB Law’s Family Lawyers offer a complete service for clients concerning all family law matters. We understand how stressful these proceedings can be for all concerned. Our team will endeavour to take a professional and caring approach to ensure that issues are dealt with as quickly and sensitively as possible. As a full-service law firm, we can liaise with our colleagues in other areas of law in order to offer you comprehensive legal support, for example if you wish to sell the marital home.

Contact our team today on 028 9024 2450 or email us:

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028 9024 2450 or email

MKB Law Solicitors Belfast is regulated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland. Content is copyright © MKB Law 2021. Terms & Conditions apply.