Family, Collaborative Law & Mediation
Life does not always turn out the way we plan. No family or relationship is immune to a breakdown. When the worst happens the best you can hope for is to avoid a traumatic and lengthy legal process – particularly when children are involved.
We have a team of lawyers with very wide experience in Family Law, all of whom recognise how difficult relationship breakdown can be and aim to provide you with specialist legal advice as well as support to deal with the consequences of relationship breakdown.
Our ultimate aim is to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients in the most cost effective and timely fashion.
Susan Knight, Claire Parsons and Charlotte Youdan are all members of Resolution, formerly the Solicitors Family Law Association. Charlotte Youdan is a member of the Law Society Childrens’ Panel and has been appointed a Recorder. Susan Knight is a trained Collaborative Lawyer and Claire Parsons is a trained mediator. Helen Evennett specialises in Financial and Children cases.
Our clients come from a wide range of backgrounds, mainly by personal referral. We have considerable experience in dealing with matrimonial breakdown including high net assets, family companies and pensions. Charlotte Youdan and Helen Evennett have extensive experience in child care cases, and Charlotte Youdan’s clients are mainly Guardians representing young children. Claire Parsons has a thriving mediation practice.
- Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
- Finance, property and pension division following Divorce and Dissolution of Civil Partnerships
- Pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements
- Financial matters
- Deed of separation
- Cohabitee cases
- Pre Nuptial and Post Nuptial Agreements
- Parenting Agreements, arrangements for children and Court proceedings relating to children
- Care Proceedings
- Injunction Proceedings
We try to avoid unnecessary costly legal proceedings for our clients, partly to preserve the family’s assets and partly to help preserve relations. Legal arguments over finance and children tend not to bring out the best in people. Of course, if legal proceedings become necessary we are skilled at conducting them.
We have a range of alternative options to court proceedings to include:
Susan Knight is a trained collaborative lawyer, Member of Resolution (First for Family Law), member of Sussex Family Solutions Group and a member of the Worthing Collaborative Law Pod. The collaborative law process involves a series of round table meetings and joint discussions with a shared commitment to avoid court proceedings. The parties and each of their lawyers sign an agreement setting out a mutual aim and commitment to reach a fair settlement outside the court process, and to apply to the court only to obtain approval to the agreement reached.
The collaborative law process enables parties to work at their own pace, focus on what is important to focus on what is important to them and resolve matters quickly. The process is confidential and allows families to find solutions that meet their particular wishes rather than fit into the rigid framework of court outcomes.
Claire Parsons is a trained mediator.
Mediation is a process to facilitate discussions between the parties with the mediator as a neutral third party who assists to identify the information needed to make informed decisions and to work through the options available helping you identify the solution which best fits you and your family.
If an agreement is reached in mediation Claire Parsons can draw this up for you into a Memorandum of Understanding, and each party then seeks separate legal advice to convert the agreement into a court order by consent. The goal is to reach agreement whilst negotiating direct and the process is confidential.
I want to give you (Claire Parsons) my warmest of thanks for all the hard work dealing with my case. I thought you handled what was a very delicate matter in a very compassionate but professional way. I know it certainly wasn’t the easiest of matters to deal with.
Thank you, Sue, you have made such a difference to the future of my family. Words cannot express how much that means to me.
Thank you (Sue Knight) so much for all the work that you did to help secure a favourable outcome for my son. Your professional diligence and support ultimately helped my son but it also helped me through a difficult time. Many, many thanks.
To Susan Knight, just wanted to say a huge thank you to you both for helping me to get a fantastic Contact Order to see my daughter, it means so much to me. I would recommend you to anyone in a similar situation to myself.
A big thank you (Sue Knight) for guiding me through my divorce with wisdom, great legal advice and a good dollop of humour.
Dear Sue (Knight), I would like to say how grateful I am for all your help, you are just what I needed at a difficult time in my life. So thank you, I am moving on to a new and much better phase of my life, yours Susie Pascall.
I would describe the best aspect of my dealing with Coole Bevis as the expertise of Sue Knight, coupled to her being very approachable. I highly recommended the firm and it would be difficult to improve her client service.
Thank you Sue (Knight). You are amazing.
I should like to thank you (Sue Knight) for all your excellent assistance for a very reasonable cost in what could have been a very stressful experience for us
Thank you (Sue Knight) for all your marvellous help. It was much appreciated. Kindest regards.
Thanks again for everything – you’ve (Sue Knight) been amazing and I have exactly what I set out to get and I’m very much looking forward to moving on
Thanks (Susan Knight) for your very good and prompt service it has made the whole process easier
Thank you (Susan Knight) once again for all the diligent and well balanced advice during this case
Sue Knight, Thank you for your support and professionalism. I am grateful that I have had you in ‘my corner’.
anonymous (Family Department)
I would particularly like you to pass on our thanks to Claire (Parsons) for her commitment and professionalism in all she did…Claire did an excellent job with the pre-nuptial agreement by providing comprehensive supporting notes covering all the main paragraphs. The scope was fully in line with what was requested…I would also like to thank you (Jenny Murphy) as well for the efforts you made in this attempt to reduce our potential inheritance tax liability.
Thank you (Helen Evennett) so much for this, and for being the most helpful, thoughtful and kind solicitor I’ve ever encountered. You’ve restored my faith completely; please don’t ever change!
Anonymous, Family Department
I just wanted to say thank you (Helen Evennett) for all your help through what was a difficult time for me you are a star thank you once again
Mr R, family client