I am delighted to have recently taken up the post of Family Solicitor with Julie McDonald Family Law and look forward to assisting Julie with her existing clients and meeting many new ones!
My first career was in education services although I had had a longstanding interest in the legal professions. Eventually I decided to change career and was awarded my Legal Practice Diploma from De Montfort University in Leicester in 1995. After that I worked as a paralegal in North Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire before entering into my Training Contract with a firm of solicitors in Skegness. I qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and went to work for a while with in Luton as a Family Solicitor. I have specialised in family law ever since.
Subsequently I returned to my old home of Cambridgeshire and based myself in Fenland where I worked before joining Julie McDonald here in Newmarket.
Because I have lived and worked in this area for so long I know all the local courts, barristers’ chambers and other solicitors’ firms very well.
I am experienced in a wide range of family work. Much of it centres around divorce of course, the associated problems that arise with regard to the family home and finances, and issues about who the children are going to live with or appropriate financial provision for them. With so many people now entering into second marriages there are often concerns about protecting the rights of children from a first marriage or property acquired as part of a previous financial settlement or inheritance, so I also advise on pre-nuptial agreements, which are becoming increasingly popular. For couples who are in no rush to divorce they can formalise matters concerning property, finances and the children by entering into a Separation Agreement.
I also help civil partners with dissolutions, and cohabitees with matters relating to Cohabitation and Separation Agreements.
When relationships end people are very often not aware that the laws relating to cohabitees is very different from that of married couples and there are a lot of myths about cohabitees’ rights; I can advise and assist on the reality of the situation, as to what rights and legal entitlement the parties actually have and what steps can be taken in the courts if appropriate, in particular with regard to the shared home and obtaining financial provision for any children.
I can also draft Change of Name Deeds for adults, and, in certain circumstances, for children.