I am an Associate (Senior Paralegal) within the Family Team, specialising in arrangements for children following parental separation or divorce. Whilst appreciating that an application to Court is sometimes necessary, I adopt a no-Court approach wherever possible and adhere to the Resolution Code of Practice whilst offering practical advice, with a view to achieving agreements between the parents, thereby preserving the co-parenting relationship.
I also advise grandparents following the breakdown of the parental relationship in maintaining or restoring their bond with their grandchildren.
I am a Fellow of the Institute of Paralegals, the highest grade of membership for practising paralegals. I was awarded Best Family Law Paralegal in the National Paralegal Awards in 2019 and 2020. In addition, in the 2020 National Paralegal Awards, I was highly commended for Paralegal of the Year (South).
"I would like to extend my gratitude to you and those who have helped with this matter, I don't half sleep a lot better nowadays." - Mrs K Costello (2021)
Areas of Expertise
Represented the father of a child with significant disabilities and special needs who was living with his mother and spending weekends with the father. Father believed it was in child’s best interests to live with him and spend time with the mother. Unfortunately no agreement could be reached an application was made to the Court for the child’s arrangements to be determined. Significant negotiations took place which resulted in an agreement being reached that the child would live with the father and change school. The Court then made Orders confirming the living and school arrangements and determined the arrangements for the child to spend time with the mother, including refusing to allow the mother to remove the child for a pre-arranged holiday.
Represented the mother of a child who was sharing her time between the parents’ homes in different Counties. The father was of the opinion that the child should live with him and spend weekends with the mother, remaining at school in his County and made an application to Court for Orders reflecting this arrangement. The mother was of the opinion that the child should live with her, spend time with the father and change schools and therefore opposed the application. The Court determined the arrangements for the child and made Orders that she should live with the mother, spend time with the father and attend a school local to the mother.
Represented a kinship carer who was effectively the step-mother to her former husband’s young children from his second marriage. Significant cultural issues and allegations of abuse both towards the client and the children. Orders made which provided for the children to live with the step-mother and not to have any direct or indirect contact with the father or their mother. Orders also made which prohibited the father from the town in which the children lived.
What others say
Recognised in Legal 500 (2017) for my knowledge of children in law which was quoted as being “second to none” and for the “superb assistance” I provide to Head of Team, Andrew Mercer.
“Good advice and focussed on the best outcome”
“Excellent and comprehensive”
“Over the years, Dawn has made a very stressful and unpleasant case as bearable as possible. Her friendly, honest advice has been valuable. I will be forever grateful to her”
Away from the office
Previously an avid archer in Hampshire, I now spend the majority of my spare time enjoying long countryside walks with my dog. I enjoy travel with my husband and pursuing a growing hobby of landscape and wildlife photography.