exeter 01392 285 000 CULLOMPTON 01884 338 18 Email mail@dunnandbaker.co.uk contact us free consultation

YOUR LOCAL LEGAL EXPERTSWe can help you resolve
whatever issues you are facing

YOUR LOCAL LEGAL EXPERTSOur family law specialists
are here to help you

YOUR LOCAL LEGAL EXPERTSAt Dunn & Baker Solicitors
we use plain English – not legal jargon

Family Law Services


In today’s modern world there is no such thing as an ‘average’ family or ‘normal’ relationship.

You may be married, living together, or separated. Children, step-children or adopted children are perhaps living with you or elsewhere. Grandparents or other family members could also be involved. Whatever your situation, relationships can sometimes break down and that’s when turning to a legal expert can really help you to resolve difficulties quickly.

It can be a stressful and emotional time whenever there are issues within relationships but we are here to help make things easier. We will work hard to get to know you and understand your own unique situation so that we can help to resolve whatever issues you are facing, allowing you to start planning for a happier future.


If children are involved, we know that their welfare is paramount and we will provide complete support to help ensure their wellbeing is prioritised. If situations arise where children may be at risk, we will work quickly to protect them. Our family law specialists are experts in dealing with a wide range of disputes involving children. This includes disagreements about with whom the children should live with, arrangements for other family members to see them, disputes over paternity, or disagreements about who should be responsible for making important decisions in the children’s lives.


One way of resolving relationship difficulties is through mediation. This is a recognised process where the people involved in a dispute can come together with a trained expert who will help you reach an agreement. Dunn & Baker Solicitors provide an expert mediation service that can try to help avoid a more lengthy or complex legal case.


Our family law specialists have in-depth knowledge of all aspects of family law and provide sympathetic legal advice, ensuring that the practical implications of any relationship breakdown are dealt with properly. We can also advise on financial and property matters but we never lose sight of the fact that, although practical issues need to be resolved, feelings and emotions are just as important.

At Dunn & Baker Solicitors we use plain English – not legal jargon. We will explain everything in a way that is clear and easy to understand. We also offer a FREE initial consultation and will explain the likely costs and timescales involved up front so you always know what to expect.

If you are looking for confidential and friendly family law advice, contact us and speak to an experienced member of our legal team for your FREE initial consultation.

Associated Services

Divorce & Separation

If you are contemplating divorce or separation, it is helpful to obtain legal advice as soon as possible so that you know what your options are.

If you decide to proceed with a divorce or separation, it is natural to have lots of questions about the process. This might include the impact on your children, home, possessions and finances.

Dunn & Baker Solicitors aim to make the divorce and separation process easier. We provide expert advice from our approachable team who do all they can to ensure that you are treated fairly during and following your separation.

Our legal experts will answer any questions you have clearly and concisely whilst providing tailored and practical advice to help you make informed decisions.

We will do all we can to ensure that the process progresses with as little delay as possible in the hope that this will reduce the financial and emotional impact of what can be a difficult stage in your life. If there are children involved, our first consideration will be their best interests and safety.

We offer a FREE initial consultation which we can explore the issues involved together with the likely costs and timescales particular to your needs.

Arrangements for Children

When a relationship breaks down and children are involved, your main concern will be to protect their wellbeing. At Dunn & Baker Solicitors, we make your children our number one priority too.

We never lose sight of the fact that your children’s wellbeing comes first.

Our specialist legal experts are experienced in helping parents and families make arrangements for children. We will make sure that you understand your legal position whilst ensuring that your views are heard.

Children have practical needs as well as emotional ones and sometimes it can be difficult to focus on the best solution. However, our specialist legal experts will bring clarity to your situation. We will clearly explain what arrangements for children need to be considered and help you put things in place to create a stable and happy future for you and your children.

If an agreement cannot be made then we can discuss the prospect of mediation. If this is not suitable, we can assist you in the court process which, although best to avoid, is sometimes necessary. If you decide to take court action, we will continue to maintain a conciliatory approach to assist you in trying to reach an agreed resolution if appropriate.

At Dunn & Baker Solicitors, we use plain English and not legal jargon. We will explain everything in a way that is clear and easy to understand. We also offer a FREE initial consultation and will explain the likely costs and timescales involved up front. We will also send you regular updates of your costs and future costs estimates throughout your case so you will always know what to expect.

Domestic Abuse

If you are in an abusive relationship or you feel threatened and intimidated, it can be difficult to know where to turn to for help. It is important not to suffer in silence. Asking for help is the first step to try and resolve the situation.

At Dunn & Baker Solicitors, we have legal experts that you can talk to in complete confidence. We will listen to your feelings and concerns, and make it our priority to support and help you through your situation. Domestic abuse takes many forms and can include, but is not limited to, psychological, physical, sexual, financial, emotional, controlling and coercive behaviour.

Domestic abuse is unacceptable in any circumstance and no one should ever be made to feel scared or threatened in their relationship. Our legal experts understand that simply walking away from an abusive partner is not always an option – particularly if children are involved or you do not have your own finances. That is why it is vital to talk to someone who is experienced. We can provide sympathetic but practical advice, explaining your options and helping you try and put an end to domestic abuse.

We work quickly to understand your situation and make the safety of you and your children our priority. If you are at risk of immediate danger, we can take swift action and, where necessary, assist you in applying for urgent court orders to protect you and your family from an abusive partner.

We will discuss the best options in your case and what outcome you would like, as well as clearly explaining the ways in which the law can protect you from domestic abuse. As well as providing legal advice, we can put you in touch with a range of organisations who can offer additional help and support. We will keep you informed at every stage using straightforward terms and help you to take the right legal steps to protect you and your family.

Domestic abuse can take many different forms but in whatever way you are experiencing it, it is important for you to ask for help as soon as possible. In many cases you may be entitled to legal aid. However, if you are not eligible then we will advise you of alternative funding options.

If you are in an abusive relationship, please pick up the telephone and talk to one of our family law experts for your FREE initial consultation.

Legal Matters Regarding Children

If you are contacted by Children’s Services for any reason, having expert legal advice is vital. Dunn & Baker Solicitors can support you at this difficult time.

The decision by a Local Authority to become involved with your family can be a very emotional and traumatic experience for everyone. Local authorities have a duty to safeguard the welfare of children who they consider as being “in need”.  As far as it is possible, their duty is to promote the upbringing of the child within the family by providing a range and level of services appropriate to the child’s needs. The Local Authority will hold meetings to decide what they view as being best for the child before they consider making an application to Court.

However, the only way that a Local Authority may feel able to ultimately safeguard a child is by applying to Court for a Protection Order such as a Care Order. There are a range of Orders that a Local Authority can seek in respect of a child. The Court must decide which Order, if any, will be in the best interests of the child. The Court requires that the child’s welfare be the paramount consideration when deciding whether or not to make an order. The Court will have the final decision about your child’s future.

In cases where a Local Authority has made an application for a Care or Supervision Order, Legal Aid is available for the parents and those with Parental Responsibility who need to be represented.

Dunn & Baker Solicitors have family legal experts who can advise you on these issues. Regardless of whether you have been asked to attend a meeting or are being told that you may be taken to Court about your child, the options can be explained before any action is taken. We clearly outline all stages of the process and the options that may be available to you. We explain things in plain English and make sure you are kept informed throughout. Call us today to arrange your FREE initial consultation with one of our legal experts.

Living Together

More couples are now choosing to live together and share their lives without getting married.

Whilst emotionally you may feel no different to a married couple, under the law, couples that live together without getting married do not share the same legal rights as those who marry. This can make things difficult if the relationship breaks down in the future, particularly in regards to finance and property. If children are involved, it is important to protect their future as well.

Although separating may be the last thing on your mind presently, if you are currently living with or intend to live with a partner, it is sensible to plan for the future by creating a living together agreement (sometimes called a cohabitation agreement). In the event you and your partner decide to separate in the future, this agreement documents the financial arrangements between you. In the event of a future separation, they can help to reduce conflict and disagreement.

We find that those who create a living together agreement whilst in a strong and loving relationship, succeed in negotiating a financial agreement in a much more timely and cost-effective manner than those dealing with financial matters following a complicated separation at a later date.

We understand that every couple is different and with this in mind we will draft a customised agreement that reflects your personal circumstances. The agreement will seek to protect both you and your partner and set out each of your responsibilities in the event of a separation. With the agreement in place, you can move forward with more certainty and a better sense of the financial implications that would emerge upon separation.

At Dunn & Baker Solicitors, we offer a FREE initial consultation to explore the issues involved together with the likely costs and timescales particular to your needs. Contact us today.

Pre-Marital Agreements

Planning a wedding or civil partnership is an exciting time and a life event when you begin to think about your long-term future. It is hoped you will have a long and happy marriage but it is also natural to wonder what the landscape might look like if you later separate or divorce.

That is why, when planning a wedding or civil partnership, it is sensible to prepare for the future and every eventuality. With a pre-marital agreement in place, you and your partner can enter into your marriage or civil partnership with a better sense of knowing where you stand if you do choose to end your marriage or civil partnership in the future.

Asking for a pre-marital agreement does not mean that you expect your relationship to fail and it does not have to detract from the romance and excitement of your special day.

Pre-marital agreements, sometimes called pre-nuptial agreements, set out in writing what happens to each person’s assets and finances if the relationship breaks down. It gives you both the opportunity to agree in advance what is fair, with the intention of assisting you protect your respective financial interests in the event of a divorce or dissolution of civil partnership.

The proposed agreement must be prepared well in advance of your wedding or civil partnership – usually at least 21 days prior to your ceremony. There must also be an opportunity to fully understand the financial position of each other and to make an entirely informed decision. It is essential that each of you have the opportunity of taking independent legal advice.

With Dunn & Baker Solicitors, we help by making the pre-marital agreement process as straightforward and hassle-free as possible. Our friendly legal experts will explain the steps clearly and answer any questions you may have.

We offer a FREE initial consultation in which we can explore the issues involved, together with the likely costs and timescales particular to your needs. Contact us today.


If you decide to adopt a child, either in the UK or from overseas, having expert legal advice is key. Dunn & Baker Solicitors can support you in this highly complex legal area.

The decision to adopt a child involves a detailed legal process. It usually includes you as the prospective adopter, the children’s guardians and/or birth parents, local authorities, and the child. Where the child is being adopted from can produce complications and consideration may need to be given to matters such as contact with birth relatives.

Conversely, if you object to an adoption, you need to know what to do too.

Dunn & Baker Solicitors’ legal experts are able to advise you on the adoption process from all sides. Regardless of where you plan to adopt from, options are explained before any action is taken. We clearly outline timescales, costs and what you should be thinking about at every stage of the adoption process. We can also help and provide guidance if you are having a child taken away for adoption. We explain things in plain, simple English and make sure you are kept informed throughout. We can attend case conferences, court appointments or negotiate with social workers.

Adoption is a challenging time. To get the best advice, contact us today and arrange your FREE initial consultation.

Family Law Team Members

Family Law


Family Law


Family Law


Family Law


Family Law


Family Law


Family Law


CONTACT FORMSend us a message

    Exeter Solicitors

    21/22 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon EX1 1QQ
    Tel: 01392 285 000
    Fax: 01392 285 001
    DX - 8311 EXETER

    Cullompton Solicitors

    38 High Street, Cullompton, Devon EX15 1AE
    Tel: 01884 338 18
    Fax: 01884 323 56
    DX - 49600 CULLOMPTON

    Dunn & Baker Solicitors and QualitySolicitors Dunn & Baker are trading names of Dunn & Baker LLP which is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales. Registration number: OC386610. Registered Office: 21 Southernhay East, Exeter, Devon EX1 1QQ. A list of members is available at the registered office. Any reference to a partner of Dunn & Baker LLP include members of Dunn & Baker LLP and authorised persons of equivalent standing. Dunn & Baker LLP is part of QualitySolicitors, the largest network of law firms in the UK, with local law firms spanning the whole of England and Wales and customer service at the heart of everything we do.