A number of counsel at Optimum Advocates have extensive experience dealing with family law and child law cases. This includes advising in public law cases such as children’s hearings and permanence and adoption cases as well as in private law divorce and separation cases.
Our counsel can advise in detail on how to deal with children’s hearing cases. This includes consulting and providing opinions at an early stage in proceedings and then providing expertise in court proceedings. A number of our members have appeared in cases concerning appeals against decisions of the children’s hearing and complex proofs involving evidence of non-accidental injury, neglect and abuse. We receive regular instruction concerning procedural issues in cases involving children in care including contact with those children and ‘relevant person’ status. We advise on and appear in cases in which it is said that a local authority’s actions are susceptible to judicial review.
Our members’ experience in adoption and permanence cases includes representation in Sheriff Courts across Scotland, both the Inner and Outer House of the Court of Session and the UK Supreme Court. We regularly argue matters arising from Article 8 ECHR.
In divorce and separation cases we can offer advice in consultations or opinions concerning division of matrimonial property. This can be pre-litigation in order to avoid disputes in court or as part of the ongoing court process. Our members have experience in complex financial provision cases including division of land and investments, pension sharing and hidden matrimonial assets. We also advise in cases where cohabitation has come to an end due to death or separation.
In private child law cases, our members advise in cases concerning relocation of children within and out of the UK and those concerning child abduction including enforcement of the Hague Convention. We have experience in advising on international jurisdiction in child law cases. We receive regular instructions in relation to complex contact and residence cases. These include cases in which it is alleged that the child has been alienated from one parent by the other and in which serious allegations are made concerning one parent’s behaviour either towards the other parent or towards the child. We can offer advice prior to proofs in respect of the pleadings and evidence and appear at procedural and child welfare hearings.