A Dorset family law specialist has helped a father secure an order confirming that his two children live with him after an acrimonious battle.

Laura Martin, Head of Family Law at award-winning law firm Blanchards Bailey LLP represented the Dorset man in matters concerning his children.

She was firstly successful in court proceedings and obtained an order that the children should spend time with him after their mother had refused permission.

However, four months after the granting of the order the mother told the father that she was moving to the north of the country and taking the children to live with her. 

The father did not give his permission for the children to be relocated and became deeply concerned that the mother would abduct them without his knowledge. 

Laura, based at Blanchards Bailey’s head office in Blandford, said: “I represented the father at court, making an urgent application for a Prohibited Steps Order without the mother’s knowledge and obtained an interim order prohibiting her from removing the children out of their current location and school.

“As the court proceedings progressed, it became increasingly apparent to the father that the children would be best placed living with him permanently.

“Consequently I successfully obtained an order changing the residence of the children, with this confirming that the children live with their father permanently.”

Laura, who joined Blanchards Bailey in 2004, is named in the Legal 500 and the department ranked. The Legal 500 is an independent guide ranking the best firms, departments and individuals.

Laura is also a Law Society Accredited Family Mediator, meaning she is among a select group of legal experts who must be consulted before any family proceedings can go to court.

She is also a member of Resolution, the national organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and professionals committed to a non-confrontational approach to divorce, separation and other family problems.

In a second case, Laura represented a wife in divorce and financial matters arising from divorce proceedings and helped her win, against the odds, pension equality and a property.

The husband did not want to share any of the assets, including his armed forces pension worth more than £1.2m, stating it was accrued solely by him and therefore should be retained by him. 

She represented the wife at court, applying for a financial remedy order and advised her regarding her matrimonial claims after 25 years of marriage, and assets including two properties totalling £1m equity and pensions totalling £1.6m.

“Pension experts were involved to look at appropriate split of pensions and at court, we achieved a pension sharing order for the wife of the husband’s armed forces pension to equalise their pensions.

“We ensured one of the properties was transferred to the wife outright so she had a property in which to live mortgage-free and sufficient by way of income to maintain her lifestyle.”

Laura said the husband had been particularly difficult throughout, was not co-operative, would not provide disclosure of his financial circumstances and not comply with court orders. 

“We were successful at court in obtaining a wasted costs order against the husband for non-compliance, which is quite rare in family proceedings, and he was ordered to pay part of the wife’s costs.”

Eighty-strong Blanchards Bailey is a Legal 500 firm – making it one of the top firms in the South West – and is based in Blandford with offices in Poundbury, Shaftesbury and Weymouth.

The firm received unprecedented recognition in the UK’s leading law sector directory, the Legal 500. The annual publication, The Legal 500 2019/20, mentions the firm in a record-equalling seven categories with eleven individual lawyers recommended.

Blanchards Bailey also won a hat-trick of titles at the 2019 Dorset Legal Awards: Law Firm of the Year (up to 99 employees), Company Commercial Team of the Year and Private Client Team of the Year.

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