If you find yourself in a relationship that is breaking down, the chances are that you will need someone who can give you practical advice and someone who can help you through all the issues that you will be facing, including the legal ones.
I am a solicitor specialising in all family issues, from financial and property matters, to arrangements for children. I have been helping people through the most emotional times of their lives for a long time, and it’s a job that I love doing.
I encourage my clients to take a constructive approach to their divorce and separation, and will suggest mediation or collaborative law where it is appropriate. That is not to say that I don’t deal with my fair share of acrimonious divorce matters. There are many cases that will involve hard fought litigation and my promise is to be there for you, to provide support and give you the best advice for your own, very personal circumstances.
Mediation Information & Assessment Meeting
As the Citizens Advice Bureau explains mediation is a way of sorting any differences between you and your ex-partner, with the help of a third person who won’t take sides. The third person is called a mediator. They can help you reach an agreement about issues with money, property or children.
The Family Mediation Council lists trained mediators near you. If you go to a solicitor first, they’ll probably talk to you about whether using mediation first could help.
You don’t have to go to mediation, but if you end up having to go to court to sort out your differences, you normally need to prove you’ve been to a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM). This is an introductory meeting to explain what mediation is and how it might help you.
There are some exceptions when you don’t have to go to the MIAM before going to court – for example, if you’ve suffered domestic abuse.
If you need to go to court and your ex-partner doesn’t want to see a mediator, you should contact the mediator and explain the situation. You can’t force your ex-partner to go to mediation.
Whatever the situation you find yourself in, I will do my best to craft a resolution that provides fairness to everyone involved, and cocoons the children as much as possible.
Many of my clients are based in Surrey and I continue to offer meetings by appointment in Richmond, although I am based primarily at our office in Russell Square.
Just as it sounds collaborative law describes a process where both separated partners sit down with their own legal representatives in a four way meeting, and work through matters concerning the children and finances.
The meetings can also include specialists, such as accountants and financial advisers. On the whole clients who opt for a collaborative law approach find their future lives more settled, more quickly.
- Listing in the Leading Lawyers category in Citywealth for the past four years
- Citywealth nomination as a “power woman”
- Listed as a “rising star” in Superlawyer
- Awarded the title of Family Lawyer of the year, Surrey in 2015 by Corporate Livewire.
- Legal 500 – “Louise Barretto takes a wide, strategic view of a case”
This is what some of my clients have had to say:
“Louise Barretto at Fisher Meredith was recommended to me by an acquaintance. I had initially instructed a local lawyer to represent me, after my ex wife had filed for divorce. My wife had instructed high profile lawyers, and I didn’t get the assurance that my then solicitor was at the top of his game, and so I contacted Louise. From the outset Louise put my mind at rest, and made me feel totally at ease. After the first meeting I knew I had instructed the perfect lawyer to fight my case. She represented me expertly during the acrimonious divorce, and I was very satisfied with the outcome. I recommend her to anyone who requires legal representation during a divorce.” – Richard Caruana
“At a very stressful time in my life, I found Louise Barretto to be a rock of calm and objectivity. I had every faith in her judgment. I really appreciated the sensitivity and understanding with which she delivered all her advice to me.” – Barrister
You can see more of my client’s comments on my Bishop & Sewell profile.
I am also offering half-an-hour consultation slots each Thursday afternoon between 2.00pm and 5.00pm at a fixed cost of £120 (inclusive of VAT). We can arrange to do this with you by telephone, Skype, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, depending on what you would prefer.
The above is accurate as at 10 August 2020. The information above may be subject to change during these ever-changing times.
The content of this note should not be considered legal advice and each matter should be considered on a case by case basis.