Roskilly and Mills: new legal practice launches in Bristol, specialising in advising non-married couples on separation, wills and inheritance disputes
Emily Roskilly and Lucia Mills announce the launch of their new business, Roskilly and Mills, which will provide specialist advice to cohabiting couples pre and post-separation with a holistic, transparent and empathetic approach.
“Common law marriage is a myth,” explains Emily Roskilly, “In the legal world, there is no such thing. The truth is that married couples have greater rights than unmarried ones, and unmarried couples and those who co-own property may need specialist legal advice. Contrary to popular belief, when there is a property dispute, this area of law is civil Law and not family Law – the two specialisms are governed by different Courts with different rules. When cohabiting couples separate, it is often a huge shock because one of them may end up with nothing – and huge costs!”
Post-pandemic, there has been an increase of 9.6%* in granted divorces, but many couples who lived together through lockdown were unmarried (or were unable to wed) and are now looking to separate.
Lucia Mills adds “There have been calls to reform the law in this area, however, this is currently not being prioritised. We believe the law is out of step with modern-day society and there should be increased awareness for all unmarried couples”. When a couple is married, the matrimonial assets are considered to be part of the family financial pot (which includes pension, savings, etc) and the Court often addresses these cases on a need basis and considers equality regardless of legal ownership. However, this is not the case for unmarried couples and we therefore offer specialist advice to unmarried individuals in a changing world.
Emily empathises with those separating having been through it herself Roskilly and Mills are supportive of reform and are keen to raise awareness. They are both members of Resolution, a professional body committed to a constructive approach to family disputes, who are actively campaigning for reform in this area.
As well as providing legal services, Roskilly and Mills understand that cohabiting couples also need help with finances, childcare, divorce coaches and well-being. Roskilly and Mills have experts on hand and tailor-made advice to help with every stage. And Emily and Lucia – unlike many corporate law firms – do not have internal financial targets which means they can focus on their clients.
“We are transparent about our fees” explains Emily “We understand that sometimes clients need emotional support – and we don’t charge a fee for kindness and a confidential chat.”
“As mums ourselves, we are keen to put the human, compassionate element back into legal advice. We ensure clients are involved in all decision-making, kept informed and updated throughout and that they fully understand the specialist legal advice they receive. The last thing our clients need to feel is uncertainty, in these difficult times.”
Roskilly and Mills have the following advice for ALL couples currently cohabiting:
-Be clear on intentions from the outset – they can prepare Cohabitation Agreements
-Consider putting a declaration of trust in place on the purchase of a property
-Obtain specialist legal advice on your rights if you are unsure of your legal position or if you have already separated
Roskilly and Mills also provide advice in respect of will and inheritance disputes which is also a complex and niche area of law. We can advise on whether you have a claim against an Estate post-death, with regard to executor and beneficiary disputes and potential validity challenges against wills.
For more information about this modern forward-thinking firm go to https://roskillyandmills.co.uk
*ONS statistic 9.6% in granted divorces between 2020 and 2021 (Nov 22 figures)