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Helping You Through Separation and Divorce

Posted: 18th June 2019

Catherine Gatenby discusses family law, separation and divorce.

Catherine Gatenby Senior Family Law Solicitor at Newtons Solicitors

I’m Catherine, I work in family law which covers all aspects of family law from cohabitees who may separate and have disputes over property to children as to who they live with and who has contact with them, that may be parents, it may be grandparents, it could be extended family in some cases.

I also deal with financial aspects following divorce which may be the family home and other assets, pensions, to determine how those should be divided.

Is Family Law Stressful?

It certainly can be, it is people’s lives that we’re dealing with. It’s very important issues and it’s very important that we get it right.

Why Choose Newtons for Family Law Issues?

It’s the quality of work, the expertise is here, but also all of the people I have met in the departments are very approachable, very knowledgeable and very thorough in the work that they do.

Can Family Law Cases Take a Long Time?

The family cases certainly can, the courts do try to limit the time if it’s a children case, but divorce and finances, it depends very much on the individual aspects of the case.

Separation: Is Early Contact with a Solicitor Beneficial?

Sometimes a client will come to us at the very outset, when they become aware that they’re likely to separate, and they’ll seek advice as to the best way to go around that, and quite often those clients will have the best outcome because they’re planned, they know what they’re doing, they have the knowledge which gives them to confidence to take the steps that they decide to take.

What is the First Step in Getting Separated?

The initial step, from advising the client and explaining their options to them, it’s very much their case and they have to decide how they want to deal with it. With the benefit of that knowledge, they make that decision; we will try and resolve things where we can by agreement. We’ll try and do it in a gentle way – we don’t want to cause problems where there shouldn’t be. Quite often people still have to make arrangements for their children and we don’t want to cause problems unnecessarily.

Some cases, unfortunately, are not quite so straightforward, and we may need to take a stronger stance. When we need to do so, we do.

Separation: When Is the Right Time to Talk to Newtons?

If they’re unsure as to their position, and they’re starting to have those doubts about the relationship, I would say come along and speak to us, at that point.

To make sure they know where they stand, have an informal chat, they don’t have to take any further steps if they don’t wish to. They could instruct us at that point to have us on board, they have a point of call then, if anything develops they can contact us for further advice at that time or whenever they choose they may wish to take any further steps.


If you’re facing a separation, talk to Newtons about legal advice. Our divorce and separation team will help you through the process and provide a point of contact for any issues that may arise. Contact us today or see our article on dealing with divorce.