Family Disputes

Dedicated to resolving family disputes

Here at Hart Brown, we understand that a relationship breakdown is never easy. Our team of specialist lawyers are experts in family law dispute resolution, seeking the best for all parties involved. If your relationship has broken down, you will want to resolve issues in an amicable and constructive way if possible. Using alternative dispute resolution methods, our family law lawyers use the collaborative process or mediation to resolve disputes wherever possible. We use these family law dispute resolution methods as we find them less stressful for our clients and these methods keep costs down compared to going to court.

All of our family dispute resolution specialists are trained in the collaborative process which involves all parties agreeing to work together and not go to court during the negotiation. We work hard to ensure that the dispute resolution process goes as smoothly as possible and that both parties are well informed throughout the proceedings. Our team are highly experienced in resolving family disputes and are here to help parties reach an agreement they are both happy with.

Throughout the family dispute resolution process, we will always advise you on the best method of resolving your dispute. Whether that is the Collaborative Process, Mediation, or through the courts.

Our dedicated team of solicitors are able to help with the following:

  • Resolving disputes during divorce and separation
  • Disputes involving children
  • Disputes over the family home
  • Disputes over financial arrangements during divorce
  • Disputes over pension provisions during divorce

For more information about our family law dispute resolution services and to find out how we can help you, please get in touch with a member of our team on 01483 887766 or via live chat.

Who to contact

Vanessa McMurtrie

Partner, Family

Partner, Family

Vanessa McMurtrie

Vanessa trained and then qualified as a solicitor in 1991 with Hart Brown working in the Cobham office's family department for a decade. She then worked for us on a part time consultancy basis while devoting more time to her family. During this period she was instrumental in implementing Hart Brown’s family department’s case management system and later, the quality system that led to the firm’s ISO 9001 accreditation.

In 2005 Vanessa returned to client work and joined Mackrell Turner Garrett where she stayed for ten years, before re-joining Hart Brown in 2015. Vanessa knows Woking and the surrounding area well and enhances the work covered at our Woking office as part of the family team.

Vanessa has been a Resolution member since 1991, committed to resolving disputes in a non-confrontational and constructive way. She has served on the Surrey Resolution committee since 2008. She is a Resolution accredited collaboratively trained lawyer and welcomes the opportunity to help separating couples adopt this process as an alternative to the more traditional options available.

Over the years, Vanessa has gained a wealth of experience in dealing with the legal aspects of personal relationships, not just those coming to an end, but new relationships, too, where a pre-nuptial or cohabitation agreement is required. She prides herself on being approachable and understanding as she helps her clients go through the legal process.

    Sharon Powell

    Partner, Head of Family

    Partner, Head of Family

    Sharon Powell

    Sharon has over 20 years experience in all aspects of family law and in particular the financial aspects of high value divorces. Sharon is a trained collaborative lawyer and she is particularly experienced in dealing with couples who have assets abroad.

    She is a Resolution member and qualified in mediation and collaborative family law.

    “A break up of a relationship is very sad for everyone concerned” says Sharon. “I believe that our role is to try and help both parties reach a solution which they are both happy with. When feelings are running high this can sometimes be difficult but I believe we can make a difference”.

    Sharon is often thanked by her clients for her sympathetic and supportive approach through a traumatic time in their lives.

    Her most memorable case was in a divorce where financial matters involving significant assets were resolved amicably yet parties persisted to argue about kitchen utensils!

    Sharon qualified as a solicitor in 1986 and joined Hart Brown in 2007 becoming a partner a few months later.

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