Family Law

On occasions, situations can change for various reasons and this can have an impact on your family life and you may need to seek specialist advice. This can be a difficult and emotional time so be assured that we have an experienced team of family, children and divorce solicitors who can offer a tailored service to suit your requirements. Our focus is centered around helping you to move on to the next stage of family life, whatever that may be, in way that saves you time and costs.

So, if you are just getting started and need help with pre-nuptial or co-habitation agreements or if a relationship is coming to an end and you require advice on separation or divorce give our expert team a call to make an appointment.


Adopting a child is a complex step that can take time, we provide support, advice and guidance through the process to reduce the stress involved. Our expert team have a wealth of experience relating to adoption and offer an understanding and supportive environment for you.

Care Proceedings

If Children’s Services are working with your family it can be a very stressful time for all involved. We are able to provide help and advice at the start of this process and assist in discussions with the Local Authority. We provide a supportive service throughout the course of any level of local authority involvement with your family, including pre proceedings and if court proceedings are initiated. We take pride in ensuring that you are fully informed of the process at each stage and that you feel confident in our ability to represent your position throughout.

Change of Name Deed

We offer Change of Name Deeds for both adults and children (with parental consent). This is a quick and cost-effective process to change a name. Get in touch today to start the process. Our fixed fees begin at £75+vat.

Children Issues

It is very hard when families breakdown. It seems commonplace in the world today, but we know that it is not easy, and it is often complicated trying to work out what is best for everyone.

Your children should be at the heart of all decisions that are made, after all there is nothing more precious. We understand how difficult it can be to reach an arrangement that works practically for you and we will make sure that you are provided with the best legal and practical advice when it comes to trying to resolve these situations.

Maybe you are not being given any time with your children; maybe you do not want your children to spend time with the other parent as you are fearful for their safety; maybe you want to change your child’s school; or want to move away, be it in the UK or overseas. You may just have some questions that you have been trying to get answered but keep hitting a brick wall. We have a dedicated family team that will be able to help you and provide you with the necessary legal and practical advice that you will need when experiencing this change.

Any issues that involve the safety and welfare of your children will be at the forefront of our mind when working on your case. We are skilled at both representing Applicants and Respondents in applications regarding many different issues in respect of children and family breakdown.

If you have any questions about how you make arrangements after separation for your children, or what happens if arrangements have broken down or orders have been breached, and you want good solid advice regarding the options available to you then contact us and arrange to meet with one of the team so that we can start to address your concerns and try and guide you in the right direction.

Child Abduction

If you feel there is an immediate risk your child will be removed from the country without your permission, we can take prompt action in preventing this. If your child has been removed from the country we can act quickly to offer support and guidance during this difficult and upsetting time. Call us on 0161 480 6551.

Civil Partnerships

If you are about to enter into a Civil Partnership then you may want to consider the use of a pre-partnership agreement. There could be implications for your tax, pension or will. Considering these factors first can save time and distress at a later point. If you wish to dissolve a Civil Partnership our experienced team can offer sensitive and practical advice on how to achieve this.

Cohabitation Agreements and disputes

If you are living with someone else, a cohabitation agreement can prevent issues arising later down the line should your circumstances change. This can include the division of property and assets at the end of the agreement. If a dispute should arise we can offer advice, this could include one party becoming bankrupt and the implications associated with this. Should you have any queries relating to a dispute or drafting an agreement, get in touch with one of our specialist team so we can help.

Divorce (including Financial Issues for Separation and Divorce)

The breakdown of a marriage can be one of the most difficult and emotional challenges to deal with. As part of our service we offer you supportive assistance throughout the process to ensure it is as smooth as possible. In addition, we can give you advice on other issues which can arise as a result of a marriage breakdown, such financial issues. We also advise on International and Military divorce; should you require more information please get in touch.
We can deal with divorce under legal aid provisions, should you qualify for funding, or if you are responsible for the costs, we can provide you with a fixed quote to cover the divorce procedure at a very competitive rate.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic Abuse can come in a manner of different forms; physical, verbal, psychological and financial. You may be subjected to harassing behaviour or intimidation. Don’t suffer in silence if you are being abused, speak to one of our team to see how we can help you. You may be entitled to free advice, Legal Help is available as is Legal Aid. We offer a Legal Aid assessment before your appointment and if you are not eligible, we will offer a competitive initial fixed fee appointment.

At your initial appointment we will assess your case and speak to you about the domestic abuse that you have been subjected to and may continue to be exposed to.

We will provide you with the best advice based on your circumstances. There are a number of steps that we will discuss with you before considering any application to the court to obtain a Non-Molestation Order. This can include reporting the matter to the police, sending the other party a warning letter or referring you to local support services.

If a court application is considered necessary, then we will take you through the process of completing the application and preparing your statement. We appreciate that this will be a difficult time for you and as such we will be sympathetic to your needs, whilst ensuring we obtain all of the necessary information required.

Different levels of domestic abuse will generate different ways in which your application will be dealt with. In the most extreme cases an application can be made without notice being provide to the other party, in other cases the application will be listed in the usual way and a hearing date will be set by the court.

If you require a Non-Molestation Order then this will involve attending court and there is a possibility you will have to give evidence. This can be a daunting prospect, but our highly trained legal team will take you through this process and be with you every step of the way.

After the Judge has read and, in some cases, heard the evidence it will be for them to decide if an order is required. Any Non-Molestation Order made by the court must be personally served upon the other party. We will be able to take care of that for you.

It is important that there is evidence the receiving party has been served with the order as if they breach the terms of the Non-Molestation Order it is a criminal offence. You should report any breach to the police who will then take appropriate action.

If you believe that you are in a situation where you are experiencing any level of domestic abuse, then please do not hesitate to contact us and we will do all we can to assist you.

Occupation Order

We can also obtain an Occupation Order which can enable you to stay in your home where there has been domestic abuse or enable you to re-enter to your home if you have left because of suffering from abuse.

If an Occupation Order is sought, the mortgage provider would need to be notified if both parties are on the property register. Each parties circumstances will be considered by the Court before making this order and they are not usually granted without first hearing each parties decision.

So the difference being that a Non-Molestation Order can be granted without notice, an Occupation Order requires an initial hearing where both parties are present before that can be granted.

If you need any further support we have included below details of support available in your area.

National: –

1. National Centre for Domestic Violence, 0800 970 2070,,
2. GALOP, 0800 999 5428,,
3. National Stalking Helpline, 0808 802 0300,

Stockport: –

1. Stockport Without Abuse, 0161 477 4294,,
2. Stockport Women’s Aid, 0161 477 4271,,
3. The Prevention Alliance, 0161 474 1042,,

Cheshire East: –

1. Cheshire East Domestic Abuse Hub, 0300 123 5101,

Manchester: –

1. Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse Helpline, 0161 636 7525,
2. Men’s Advice Online, 0808 801 0327,,

Tameside: –

1. Jigsaw, Bridges, 0161 331 2552,

Grandparents Rights

Grandparents are sometimes confused about what rights they have in respect of seeing their grandchildren. Here at Alfred Newton, we will talk you through all of the options that are available to you and ensure that our specialist team can advise and assist you in respect of your specific circumstances. Grandparents do have some limited rights, and so it worth contacting us to see if we can help. Please get in touch with a member of our experienced team to discuss your situation.

Pre-Nuptial Agreements

Pre-Nuptial agreements are now recognised as carrying more weight when a couple separate, subject to the parties involved taking legal advice, entering into full financial disclosure and the agreement being entered into more than 21 days before the wedding day and on the basis the contents are reasonable. This area of the law remains under development and we will take you through the process clearly and efficiently. A pre-nuptial agreement can be something invaluable for individuals who have considerable assets prior to marriage. The purpose of a pre-nuptial agreement is to ensure that should the relationship fail or lead to divorce neither party can benefit financially from the other. We look at your personal situation and offer advice based on the information supplied with a view to protecting your assets now and in the future.

Separation Agreements

Not all couples wish to file for divorce immediately, in these circumstances it may be appropriate to agree financial arrangements following the breakdown of a relationship. At Alfred Newton our sensitive approach can help you to navigate this often tricky and emotional experience. Our expert team can draft the appropriate documentation in a timely manner at competitive prices.
Legal Aid may be available for some aspects of family law. Please click here for further information if you are interested in applying for Legal Aid.

Meet The Family Law Team

Sarah Anne PenmanAnthony Penman Interest

Sarah Anne Penman

Partner & Head of Family Law

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Qualifications & accredited industry associations:
B.A (Law), Member of Law Society Children Panel and Resolution

Year of qualification: 1982

Specialties: Children law, divorce and financial matters.

Jennifer PenmanJennifer Penman Interest

Jennifer Penman

Partner & Head of Legal Aid

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Qualifications & accredited industry associations: LLB (Hons) Member of the Law Society Children Panel, Higher Rights Advocate, Trustee of Child Concern

Year of qualification: 2010

Specialties: Family law, specialising in children work, representing both children
and parents in public and private proceedings. Adoption work.

Helen BatesHelen Bates Interest

Helen Bates


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Qualifications & accredited industry associations: LLB (Hons), LLM

Year of Qualification: 2022

Gemma CockittGemma Cockitt Interest

Gemma Cockitt


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Qualifications & Accredited Industry Associations: LLB (Hons) Member of the Law Society Children Panel

Year of qualification: 2009

Specialties: Family Law, specialising in Children Work, Injunctions and Adoptions.

Charlotte Kerr

Paralegal (Family)

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Qualifications & accredited industry associations:

Specialties: Paralegal (Family)

Leah McAdamsLeah McAdams Interest

Leah McAdams


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Qualifications & accredited industry associations:

Masters of Law & Practice, Law Society Mental Health Accredited Representative, Law Society Children Panel Specialist 

Year of qualification: 2017

Specialties: Mental Health Law, Family Law – particularly representing parents in care proceedings

Karen Missenden

Family Solicitor

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Qualifications & accredited industry associations: 1998

Specialities: Family Law specialising in public law children work. Accredited children panel member from 2011 to 2019. 

Jennifer StephensonJennifer Stephenson Interest

Jennifer Stephenson


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Qualifications & accredited industry associations:
Children Law Accreditation/Advanced Family Law Accreditation

Year of qualification: 2004

Specialties: All aspects of Family Law, although have a particular interest in care proceedings, both representing parents and children.

Robert WestRobert West

Robert West


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Qualifications & accredited industry associations: LLB (Hons)

Year of Qualification: 2008

Specialties: Family Law

Legal aid may be available for your family matter, please click here for more information