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Family Law

During life’s difficult times, our Family Law team will be there to listen, guide and reassure you through the consequences of the breakdown of a family relationship. With branches throughout Cheshire and Manchester, we are the solicitors that care, right there on your doorstep.

In a world where it would appear that answers to all your questions can be found online, we believe that there is no substitute for advice tailored to your own particular situation, which is relatable, accurate and straightforward.

We aim to get to know you, to understand your needs and objectives. By building a relationship with you based on trust and understanding, we aim to ease the emotional, and practical, burdens that come with making life changing decisions.

Butcher & Barlow believe in access to justice for all and offer a free initial assessment for most family law issues, after which we will assess your case, explain how we can help and discuss funding options. Our team is also keen to achieve a positive outcome without the need for court proceedings if at all possible. We also offer legal aid contracts where appropriate to provide cost-effective advice, and affordable, fixed-price fees wherever possible.

We pride ourselves in remaining robust yet non-confrontational, which we find can reduce costs and cause less stress for our clients. We have an in-house qualified Mediator and a Qualified Collaborative lawyer, and you can find out more about those alternative means to resolving disputes here.

Our experienced Family team is made up of members and accredited specialists of family law associations including Resolution and the Law Society’s Children Law and Advanced Family Law Panels. These accreditations recognise the specialist knowledge and expertise that our family law team has in all aspects of family law.

How can we help you?

Whether as a result of breakdown of a marriage, a civil partnership, or a relationship where you have not been married, our team can help you resolve outstanding financial issues. If you have reached an agreement with the other party, we will assist you in getting this written into a Court Order which is binding on both parties and prevents any further financial claims. Where no agreement is reached, we will talk to you about the benefits of mediation, and if necessary, guide you through the court process.

From the issuing of the divorce proceedings through to the grant of the decree absolute, our team will guide you through the procedure as quickly and efficiently as possible, whether you are the applicant or the respondent. It is also important that we talk together about related property and financial issues, as well as issues relating to children.

Research has proven that if issues concerning the children can be agreed amicably and positively, this benefits the children. We therefore aim to resolve any disputes without the need to attend court, which can be costly and emotionally draining. Whether you are a mother, father, grandparents, step parents or other relative, our team can provide advice and assistance relating to contact, residence, injunctions, parental responsibility, adoption and special guardianship orders.

Sadly, domestic abuse is an issue in a large number of relationships.  Domestic abuse can include physical abuse and also emotional or financial abuse.  At Butcher and Barlow, our supportive team are able to advise on these sensitive issues and the support that can be put in place to assist you and your children if you are victims of domestic abuse. This includes applying to the court for non-molestation orders and occupation orders (injunctions). These orders can protect you and your children from domestic abuse and protect your occupation of a home.

In cases where Children’s Services (Social Services) and the Local Authority are involved with your children, our specialist care team can guide you through the process, whether a parent, grandparent or family friend. To read more about this process, click here.


Relationship agreements are legally prepared documents designed to give protection in the event that things do not work out as intended. They can be in the form of a Cohabitation Agreement if you are thinking of moving in together and sharing living costs, or a prenuptial agreement, whether for a marriage or a civil partnership. To ensure they are legally binding contracts and therefore enforceable, it is essential that they are prepared by a legal expert and executed in accordance with their instructions.

Mediation is a voluntary process used during separation in which family members sort out any differences face-to-face with the help of a neutral third party, the Mediator.  Using Mediation can help to settle arrangements for the future of the family without having to go to Court to resolve the dispute.

Our role is to help you find a way to resolve your problems in a way to suit everyone  involved. Mediation can take less time than protected court proceedings and therefore be less costly for everyone involved.  In our experience, people also find mediation to be less stressful than going to Court.

If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss your situation, whether that be by video, telephone or in person, please get in touch with any member of our team. Alternatively, complete our Enquiry form by clicking the link and we will call you back as soon as possible.


What is a Separation Agreement



Prenuptial Agreements



A guide to spousal maintenance



Grandparents rights



The role of a child in a court case


Divorce and Dissolution

Divorce and the family farm



The Mediation Process


Case Study: Using family mediation to resolve disagreements over contact arrangements

Butcher & Barlow LLP has its own independent B&B Mediation service, which provides alternative dispute resolution for multiple parties in...

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Kevan Hankinson

Kevan Hankinson


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Nicola Wingfield


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Caroline Cockill-Guy


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Meet the
Family Law Team

Our people are what makes Butcher & Barlow what it is. Each one of our team is committed to building a solid, long-lasting working relationship with our clients across Bury, Manchester and Cheshire.

What our clients say about our Family Law Service

Excellent and professional service. Claire made me feel at ease and was always there too answer any questions. Thankyou so much for all your hard work.


Thank you for all the support an encouragement you gave me as I went through my divorce. Your kindness and consideration helped me cope and gave me strength when all seemed hopeless.

F Jones

My most sincere thanks for staying with me and the settlement given. The satisfactory result was achieved by your determination to reach this end and by your skills and perseverance. Without your professional approach this would not have happened.

Claire Jackson was my solicitor that looked after my family court application from the first step to the last and her, experience, professionalism, attention and care ensured that my kids got their Dad back in their lives after a nasty breakup. So from me, T and J. Thanks Claire for all that you did.

D Smith

Thank you for the way you dealt with my divorce. You were always professional, gave good advice and with the human touch at some very difficult times. Thank you for the way you put my case forward at the telephone Court hearing – absolutely way ahead of his solicitor and in a class of your own.

This note is provided to express my sincere thanks to Butcher & Barlow LLP, in particular for the exceptional service received from Ms. Angela Gleave. Angela provided legal advice and representation as my solicitor in relation to a Family Law matter involving the establishment of a Child Arrangements (i.e. residency) Order. During what was an extremely stressful period, Angela’s calm professionalism, trustworthy decisiveness, efficiency and friendly service provided complete and welcome reassurance that I had the best possible legal representation. As a great ambassador for Butcher & Barlow, I would not hesitate to recommend Angela’s services to any prospective client!

I would like to say a massive thank you to Rachel and the team based in the Tyldesley office. From start to finish I was provided with expert advice when completing the stages of a separation agreement. Rachel was able to alleviate any concerns I had and suggest methods which have most certainly benefited my situation. I was particularly happy with the speedy responses from the team to any issues I raised and the professional manner used when communicating with both myself and my ex partners solicitors. I would most certainly recommend using Butcher and Barlow as they made what is an overwhelming, daunting scenario an extremely positive experience.

I would like to take this opportunity to make known my gratitude for your support at court yesterday. Your presence and knowledge made a very difficult day much easier.

Susan Splain

I would like to say a big thank for stepping in and helping me out getting divorced. If it wasn’t for you I would still probably have been married. I would recommended you to my family and friends if they need a Solicitor regarding family issues. Your service had been phenomenal and I give you 10/10 for the service you have provided.

I am extremely happy with all of you and the service provided. I can not express how much you have helped me through the divorce process. You have proven time and time again, that humanity is there as people sometimes need more than just explaining the business side of things. I will be recommending you forever and I will be grateful for a long, long time.

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