McHale & Co. Solicitors Blog

Our family law team has recently been involved in resolving some matrimonial disputes containing significant assets together with some rather individual issues.

One such example is when they were instructed to represent a client who was suffering with mental health issues whilst also going through a breakdown in their marriage.

As there was concern about the ability to provide instructions it was necessary to obtain from the client\s treating psychiatrist confirmation that the client had the mental capacity to provide instructions.  Without this important little certificate we would have been unable to proceed.  Fortunately this was provided which meant that negotiations with the other side could commence.

However, the importance in this case was to ensure that matters were resolved as quickly as possible as it was certainly not in the client’s best interests for matters to drag on unnecessarily.  The decision was therefore made to issue an application for ancillary relief to the court for the court to become directly involved in the case and for matters to be placed on a timetable to be resolved sooner rather than later.

The procedure ensued with both parties providing details of their financial situation.  In order to protect the client as far as possible it was agreed with the other side that the first hearing would be dealt with in the absence of our client, as it was merely procedural.  However the second hearing would require the attendance of the client in order for instructions to be taken.

Due to the sensitivity of this case the decision was made to instruct Counsel to assist with the settlement of financial matters bearing in mind the likelihood of the client not being able to work in the foreseeable future.

With the assistance of Counsel and a very pro-active judge we are pleased to say that a financial agreement was reached at the second hearing, therefore avoiding the need for a final hearing and significantly increasing the costs. 

This case shows how by using the court process matters can be resolved quickly and how applying to the court does not have to be an acrimonious action but, rather, one that enables the case to reach a more speedy conclusion.