Autism and Family Law

 

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Lead Contact

MaryCarmel Wilson

Senior Associate, Solicitor

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Meet the team

How we can help

Ellisons Family Team have all undertaken training with Autism Anglia and have an understanding of what Autism means for individuals and their families. We offer support, empathy, patience and understanding.

Our team can help families effected by Autism in a number of different ways. We can provide advice to individuals who are going through a separation whilst raising autistic children and consequently require specialist family law advice in relation to all matters surrounding a separation whether the client is married or unmarried. This would include divorce and financial matters arising and advice regarding child arrangements. We understand that the arrangements and considerations around children (diagnosed and undiagnosed) with autism, need thoughtful and careful discussions taking into account issues that are heightened with an autistic child.  We will have an understanding that the arrangements for the child (or children) need careful consideration to ensure all their additional needs are carefully met.

We also provide specialist family law advice to the Autistic person (including individuals who are undiagnosed) and are going through a separation. The advice would again be in relation to all aspects of Family Law including individuals who are going through a separation whether married or unmarried. We know how important consistency and good communication are to everyone, but particularly the Autistic person. For example, we understand it is often much easier for the Autistic person to meet in person or via Teams rather than on the telephone and this is something we are mindful of.

We will as a matter of course take a sensory audit of the meeting room before seeing a client on the spectrum to ensure that surroundings for the meeting are as comfortable as possible. We are aware that it can be difficult for an individual on the spectrum to process information, and therefore pausing to allow information to be processed, as well as adjusting eye contact to meet the individual’s level of comfort, is important and something we are conscious of when carrying out the appointment.

We endeavour to set clear parameters for communication, preferring to use bullet points rather than lengthy correspondence are often helpful. Often it is easier for the autistic person to read correspondence with a contrast such as grey and white rather than black and white which can be too overwhelming.

We can also support the ex-partner or spouse of an autistic person. We have an understanding as to the challenges your ex-partner or spouse may face during the divorce, and any ongoing litigation, and work with you with this at the forefront of our minds to try and ensure a swift and effective conclusion.

At Court the process can simply be overwhelming, and even more so for the Autistic person. It is important to consider which representative to send to Court and also to keep consistency. If necessary, applications can be made for additional measures, for example attending remotely or alerting security to the need for a person on the spectrum to enter Court in a different manner. Courts are noisy places with bright lights and compounded with this being a first experience, can take an individual with an already heightened state of anxiety to complete overwhelm.

Please contact MaryCarmel Wilson or another member of the Family Team for more information on how we can help.

As a team we are actively involved in fundraising for Autism Anglia. We recently took part in the Autism Anglia Corporate Challenge and Silly Sock Day. We were also delighted to attend the Autism Anglia 50th Year Celebration Ball at Braxted Park.

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INSIGHTS

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Pattern

Get in touch

If you have any enquiries please contact any one of our specialist team who would be pleased to advise you on your options. You can also contact your lawyer individually from ‘Our People’ using the link below.

Our People

MaryCarmel Wilson

Senior Associate, Solicitor

Get in touch


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