Ria Cohen Family Law

ria cohen family law

Resolution has over 6.5k members, made up of family justice professionals who try to resolve issues in a more constructive way.
We believe that a non-confrontational approach to family law issues produces better outcomes especially for separated families and their children. 
We adhere to a code of practice to support the client to resolve matters as constructively and with as little conflict as possible.
I will always advocate reaching an agreement rather than matters becoming combative and proceeding to the court arena. 
Children Issues
Domestic Abuse
Grandparents Rights
Parental Alienation

Professional, friendly, client focused, cost effective, efficient and straight talking

RIA COHEN FAMILY LAW is THE “Go To’ legal consultancy in the South West.  You are in control of your case, you are in control of your budget. No nasty surprises with bills on the mat at the end of the month.  You pay for what you instruct me to do and nothing more.  I do not add VAT on to your fees.

You will always know where you are with costs and I will never take money from anyone if  I cannot add value to their case.

With over 35 years experience in all aspects of family law and with a thorough working knowledge of the court system you can rest assured you are in safe hands and will always receive an efficient, professional and compassionate service but without the usual price tag.

My specialities are divorce, children issues, grandparents rights, parental alienation and domestic abuse.  In the past I have presented to Devon and Cornwall Police on implementing their zero tolerance policy to domestic abuse, I have led courses for Relate to try and assist parents to work together and co-parent effectively,  I have devised and held “woman to woman” legal advice clinics and I have regularly advised, assisted and presented to Families need Fathers.


My home is a safe and welcoming space for my clients to come and see me.  It has been designed with peace, harmony and serenity in mind and almost every client without exception says how welcomed they feel and how my house feels peaceful and makes them immediately feel at ease.

We will always spend some time talking about YOU not just your case – the more I learn about who you are and what you want to achieve the better I can help you. I believe in the holistic approach to problems – you will be dealt with considerately, compassionately and with understanding.  A coffee and a chocolate biscuit usually helps too!

You are being welcomed into my home and not a sterile office environment where, at a time when you are feeling anxious, stressed and vulnerable an office can feel rather intimidating.

When the child says no – understanding alienation in a child

The alienated child presents with particular clinical markers which differentiate their experience from the child who is rejecting because of harm or neglect. Karen Woodall has spent fifteen years with alienated children and shows how to understand the clinical markers as well as how to work with alienated children to help them speak from their authentic voice.

To enable me to provide my clients with the professional service that they expect from me, it is fundamental that I continue to educate myself in courses and programmes that are relevant to my clients needs, and I am proud to have recently undertaken ‘When the child says no – understanding alienation in a child’ via The Family Mediators Association.

I'm here to help

I will never speak to anyone in legal jargon; everything will be explained in plain english and I endeavour to answer every query within 24 hours of receiving it.

I do not work Saturdays but do work Sundays which might be helpful for you.  Appointments can be done remotely by video conferencing so can fit in with your schedule and evening appointments can be arranged in advance and it helps you to work around childcare and work


The law changed in April 2022 making divorce far more simple and less acrimonious by not apportioning blame on any party and (except in very special circumstances) the divorce application cannot be defended. 

Therefore here is a step by step guide to assist you in obtaining your own divorce:

Complete a divorce application as either;

  1. A sole applicant
  2. A couple
  3. Joint applicants (Form D8)

Submit the application to a divorce centre either online or by post with the correct court fee – currently £593 Apply for a conditional order (once the application is acknowledged by your spouse and after a 20-week cooling-off period) Apply for a final order (6 weeks after you have the conditional order) 

We would NOT suggest using our service for the divorce process itself as its really not necessary to have a lawyer and you can save time and money by doing it yourself! However, should you wish Ria Cohen Family Law to guide you through the process or answer any queries you may have relating to divorce we are more than happy to assist. 

As always, we will not take your money if we can’t add value.

Children Issues

You can choose how to make arrangements for looking after your children if you separate from your partner.

What you can do is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You and your ex-partner can usually avoid going to court hearings if you agree on:

  • where the children will live
  • how much time they’ll spend with each parent
  • how you’ll financially support your children

You can use a solicitor if you want to make your agreement legally binding.

You can agree on child maintenance at the same time or separately.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening, degrading and violent behaviour, including sexual violence, in the majority of cases by a partner or ex-partner, but also by a family member or carer. It is very common. It is experienced by people regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Domestic abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Coercive control (a pattern of intimidation, degradation, isolation and control with the use or threat of physical or sexual violence)

  • Psychological and/or emotional abuse

  • Physical or sexual abuse

  • Financial or economic abuse

  • Harassment and stalking

  • Online or digital abuse

Grandparents Rights

You do not have an automatic legal right to see your grandchild if a parent stops you seeing them. There may however be steps you can take to get contact.

There’s a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

You can try to get help in seeing your grandchild through:

  • an informal, family-based arrangement with both parents
  • mediation

If this does not work you can ask the court for permission to apply for a court order. You apply for permission on the same form as the court order application.

Parental Alienation

When a child is resisting or refusing time with a parent/carer post-separation, there may be a number of causes for this.

I can discuss with you the range of potential causes for the resistance and/or refusal of contact.

  • appropriate justified rejection, for example where the child has been harmed by the parent or is frightened of them because of domestic abuse or other harmful parenting, such as neglect or substance misuse
  • affinity/alignment
  • attachment
  • parental alienation (see information below)
  • harmful conflict.

It also provides guidance on children’s wishes and feelings and making recommendations to court in these circumstances.

I have very close working relationships with a mediation service in Plymouth and a set of barristers whom we can access directly.

I want you to feel very much in control.  It’s your life, after all.  Your case will run at your pace and on your budget. Costs will never change unless agreed in advance.

I pride myself on providing my clients with a thoroughly modern concept of legal consultancy without the price tag that comes with high street solicitors practices.

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