Hiring the right firm of family law solicitors is an important yet often difficult choice, particularly in the challenging circumstances in which many clients find themselves at the time when they most need good, solid advice from impartial and practical lawyers with the right experience.Whether you're planning on getting married and require a financial agreement (often mistakenly referred to in Gibraltar as pre-nuptial agreements) before you do so, or you require an agreement during your marriage or are thinking of separating, the family and matrimonial team at ISOLAS is here to help. At ISOLAS we pride ourselves on listening carefully and then providing you with the best advice for your specific circumstances in a straightforward and very approachable manner.

We offer specialist family and divorce lawyers and advise both local clients as well as those who are living outside of Gibraltar but have a connection with Gibraltar.

Financial Agreements 

Gibraltar is more advanced than England in relation to financial agreements in that Gibraltar law provides that qualifying financial agreements (also referred to as pre-nuptial agreements) are binding. It is important to understand that the UK position is a different one and that the distinction is as important as it is sigificant. There are a number of formal provisions that have to be followed for the agreement to be effective, but when these are all complied with the agreement is binding in law. Financial Agreements can be entered into by the parties either before, during or after the marriage.

The Supreme Court does, however, have wide discretionary powers to allocate property in divorce proceedings, and also extensive maintenance powers, which would not be protected or restricted by the financial agreement.

At ISOLAS we have extensive experience in drafting financial agreements for all clients; whether there are minimal assets but the clients want an agreement in place to finalise a separation; or whether there are substantive assets held both in Gibraltar or worldwide, we have the expertise to help you and satisfy your requirements.

Separation Agreements 

The old term of separation agreement is still used by many clients. These Separation Agreements would qualify as financial agreements made after the marriage. These types of agreements are entered into between the parties and do not have to be registered in Court.

Divorce

A non-confrontational and constructive approach to the divorce is often the best and cheapest way of resolving the issues between the parties. Under Gibraltar law, parties can petition for divorce after they have been separated for 2 years (with the consent of the other party), or if the other party does not wish to consent, after 3 years of being separated. There are also other grounds for divorce such as adultery, rape, sodomy, homosexuality, desertion, or unreasonable behaviour.

At ISOLAS we try and encourage out-of-court solutions where possible and we will give you the advice to enable this to happen. However our specialist lawyers have the expertise to fight for your rights and obtain or defend your share, whether it is a simple personal situation or a highly complex matter involving substantial assets, property or businesses held in various jurisdictions.

Contact and Maintenance Agreements

In many circumstances parties have been in a relationship and have had a child without getting married. They then wish to separate (without the need for divorce) and wish to have an agreement in place. In these circumstances ISOLAS offers contact and maintenance agreements.

Child Proceedings

Child Proceedings are always delicate, however at ISOLAS we provide comfort with the wealth of knowledge that we can provide in order to assist our clients in dealing with their requirements.

By reason of Gibraltar’s importance as a financial centre, the recognition of foreign financial judgments is important when dealing with clients based outside of Gibraltar or concerns of the other party being outside Gibraltar. Gibraltar has adopted the Brussels I and Lugano Conventions, together with the reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders.

Gibraltar has adopted the Hague Convention on the International Aspects of Child Abduction with its own International Child Abduction Act 2010. There is however provision for a parent to apply to remove their child from the jurisdiction against the wishes of the other parent.

Change of Name

ISOLAS can help you change your name or change your children’s name legally and simply. The legal process is relatively straightforward and is therefore not too costly. Parents often wish to change the name of their child or children, from either their birth name, for adoption purposes or from a named acquired by them upon marriage.  If you are the only person with Parental Responsibility for the child in question then this can be relatively straightforward. If however someone else has Parental Responsibility for the child then they too must give permission for the name change.

Whatever your circumstances ISOLAS, provide a quick, straightforward and cost effective change of name service that ensures all the relevant paperwork is completed and that the name is changed quickly and easily.

A change of name deed is drawn up by one of our expert lawyers and the proper procedure is followed to ensure its legal status.