Ipswich - 01473 213311
Colchester - 01206 584584
Felixstowe - 01394 834557



Kerseys’ Family Law Department is a team of experienced and sympathetic people dedicated to helping clients – whether married or unmarried – through serious family troubles. The team has many years of experience in acting for clients in difficult matrimonial cases and child care proceedings.

We can help you through the most delicate and emotionally upsetting of family problems with sensitivity coupled with practical efficiency.

I need help with:


If you have cohabited with a partner, but not married, our solicitors can advise you about your options where the relationship has broken down.


Same Sex Relationships

In a same sex relationship, do I still have rights Yes you do still have rights.

We advise on the legal aspects of same sex relationships.

Same Sex Relationships

Purchasing a Property

A Declaration of Trust is a legally binding document which sets out who owns the property, what proportion of the property they own, and whether anybody else has an interest in the property.

Purchasing a Property

Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Pre-Nuptial Agreements and Post-Nuptial Agreements are contracts between people who intend to marry or have already married, dealing with what should happen to assets in the event of a divorce.

Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a legal separation (often referred to as Judicial Separation)?

A judicial separation is a formal separation which is sanctioned by the court. It enables the court to make orders about the division of money and property, similar to the orders which can be made on divorce, without actually terminating the marriage.

What are legal proceedings?

Legal Proceedings are court based applications such as divorce, finances, children arrangements as well as Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustee Act applications which cover unmarried couples with property disputes.

Is a name change legal?

Yes, as long as it is correctly undertaken. We offer a Change of Name Deed service. If seeking to change a forename or surname of a child, both parents need to consent. Where consent is not given, a court application can be made to deal with this specific issue.

Is a pre-nuptial agreement legal?

Pre and post nuptial agreements are yet to “bind” courts to their content should they be disputed. However there has been a raft of case law since the leading case of Radmacher in 2009 in which Courts are now attaching significant weight to their existence as long as the criteria for their formulation has been strictly adhered to. Ultimately however, a court will always consider the content of such an agreement when deciding financial relief cases.

The way we work

Fair, acceptable settlement through negotiation is always the preferred solution, to save you stress and expense. If that’s not possible, then we will fight your case strongly through the courts.

We encourage you to gather as much relevant information and documentation as you can, in order to lessen your costs. Our initial advice will include assessing whether you can handle the case, or elements of it, yourself. It’s another potential way you can contain expense.

We prefer to give you a firm quotation of costs upfront. If that isn’t possible in your case, we will explain why.

Do you offer a free or fixed fee appointment?

Where applicable we offer a 45 minute fixed fee appointment in which we will provide you with bespoke legal advice which includes setting out your options on how to move forward. We have two fixed fee options. (1) If you require a face to face appointment our fee is £212.50 plus VAT (£255.00 in total) . (2) If you require a Zoom/telephone appointment our fee is £192.50 plus VAT (£231.00 in total). Both options also include within the price the fee for Anti Money Laundering checks we have to perform. The fixed fee is payable in advance of the meeting. However, don’t worry if your meeting runs over, you will not be charged any additional fee.

What are your Family Opening Hours

Whilst our standard working day is 9.00am to 17.15, our family lawyers are flexible to support your needs and will if possible arrange out of hours online appointments for you.

What constitutes a common law relationship?

There is no such thing as Common Law husband and Wife. The law does not recognise this term. No rights are conferred to any party simply because they live together – If you are concerned that you may not be protected in law in the event of a relationship breakdown, you should seek legal advice.

Cohabiting Property Rights?

This is a complex area of law where one party can seek to acquire an interest in property, even if they do not own it. Advice should be taken from the outset of any cohabiting relationship – where options include a cohabitation agreement, or the execution of a declaration of trust. What should be understood is that property rights are not “certain” – Even if a property is bought jointly. Legal advice should be taken at the earliest juncture.

What does a Declaration of Trust cost?

A Declaration of Trust should be considered by unmarried couples, or even those that buy a house together outside a relationship – it could be siblings, or with a friend, or with another family member. When buying a property and each is contributing money to its purchase in, say unequal shares, or perhaps only one of the parties is buying it but its recognised the other should have a share in the property, it is sensible to seek advice before purchase on the options available – A Declaration of Trust could be prepared to reflect the parties wishes and avoid any ambiguity later, should one party wish to realise their share. As to cost, this will depend on the complexity of the protection put in place but generally a basic Declaration of Trust starts from £350 plus VAT.

Family Team

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