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Divorce

 

When can you annul a marriage?

Rebecca Higgins
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A marriage can be annulled if it is a void or voidable marriage and an annulment can take place at any time after the wedding, unlike a divorce where you have to wait a year. What is a void marriage? A void marriage is where your marriage is not legally...

Adopting the right negotiating style for your situation

Pascale Adam
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There are family lawyers and family law teams who promote themselves as always adopting a particular negotiating style: for example very consensual or very hard-edged. This might appeal when you are deciding who to instruct, particularly in the often...

Information for victims of domestic abuse

Emma Walker
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Regrettably, the festive period often strains already difficult relationships and as a result, reports of domestic abuse and violence invariably increase during this period. Domestic abuse can be perpetrated by men and women.  Whilst there is...

Christmas: Taking the pressure off already strained relationships

Lucy Phipps
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It is well known that the most busy time for divorce lawyers is January.  This is because already strained personal and family relationships can come under particular pressure over the Christmas and New Year period. Having seen many January divorces of...

Fathers' rights in light of the convicted Rotherham rapist story

Rebecca Higgins
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You will all be aware of the recent headlines regarding the ‘Rotherham Rapist’ and the steps taken by Rotherham Council when they contacted Mr Hussain about care proceedings regarding the son he fathered through the rape of his mother. What...

Divorce 'Urban Myths' Busted

Emma Walker
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As we have cautioned previously, you need to be careful not to be misled by urban myths that frequently circulate online. To help you, we call out and bust four urban myths concerning divorce law. Myth: If you live together for two years you acquire the...

Choice of school

Lucy Phipps
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In many cases, the choice of school is straightforward but what happens when parents who are divorced can’t agree on a choice of school? Where parents both have parental responsibility for their child, major decisions relating to the child,...

Googling divorce questions

Pascale Adam
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It is so easy - a quick Google search and, bingo, you have answers to questions you may have about divorce proceedings, separation or what should happen with the family home. However, proceed with caution, the answer you find may not apply to your...

Parental Alienation

Lucy Phipps
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For separated parents there can often be a worry that as a result of living apart from your child, your parent-child relationship may start to suffer. In extreme cases, children can become estranged from one parent as a consequence of the other...

Legal 500 recognition

Peter Mills
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Every year Legal 500 assess the reputation and quality of client service of the top 10% of UK law firms using a mix of primary research and feedback from a sample of law firms’ clients. The latest report has just been published and I am pleased to...

What happens to my pet on divorce

Rebecca Higgins
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A pet is often seen as an integral part of a family – but, in the eyes of the law, household pets are treated only as property. What happens if there is a dispute? If there is dispute about ‘who should have the pet’ upon divorce, it is...

Broken engagements - your rights

Lucy Phipps
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If your engagement breaks down, do you have any rights? A broken engagement might be devastating to one party or might be a mutual decision but either way it’s likely to cause upset and sadness. Once the initial shock has eased, it will be necessary...

Pension splitting on divorce

Pascale Adam
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Divorcing couples often focus on dividing their ‘visible’ capital in the family home and in bank accounts, overlooking assets accumulated in occupational or private pensions. The financial value of such pension rights can, in many cases, be...

Divorce and severing joint tenancy

Rebecca Higgins
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Decisions regarding the family home are usually those which can cause the most conflict and need to be considered in detail during divorce and financial proceedings, but what else do you need to think about? When you purchase a family home purchased jointly...

Why was Mrs Owens denied the right to divorce?

Rebecca Higgins
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It might surprise many people to discover that ‘no fault divorces’ do not exist under English law – though they do in other jurisdictions like Scotland and the USA. The current position is that divorce can only be granted within the first...

Acquiring legal parental responsibility

Lucy Phipps
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Becoming a parent is momentous and, with all the life changes, brings the rights and responsibilities every parent needs to care for their child properly. The legal term for these rights and duties is 'parental responsibility'. This term is...

Bank of Mum and Dad 'feels the pinch'

Pascale Adam
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You may have seen recent coverage of Legal and General's research into 'Bank of Mum and Dad' which reveals the average parental contribution for home buyers this year is around £18,000; this is some 17% lower than last year’s figure...

Summer holiday arrangements

Lucy Phipps
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It is around this time of year that families start to plan their summer holidays but, if you are separated from the mother or father of your children, what do you need to do legally before you book your holidays? If you have a Residence Order or a Child...

The Split: the drama vs the reality

Lucy Phipps
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Like most family lawyers, I have felt compelled to watch the BBC1 drama ‘The Split’ to see how my day job is represented -  albeit I watched most of it distracted by some pretty significant inaccuracies! The drama centres around a high...

Does all property have to be divided up when divorcing?

Pascale Adam
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There is a common assumption that all property assets, such as the family home and investment properties, are shared by spouses and so subject to sale or sharing out on divorce. This is not necessarily the case. If you acquired or inherited a property...

What happens to pensions on divorce?

Lucy Phipps
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A pension can be a very valuable asset in a marriage and dealing with it on the breakdown of a relationship can be complex. There are three main ways the pension can be treated: Pension Sharing – the court has power to order a pension share,...

Real Life Dramas

Emma Walker
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Some of you reading this may have watched Eastenders recently, whereby there was a delay in Martin returning the children to Stacey following contact.  The programme showed Stacey calling at Martin’s home address with the Police to collect the...

The Grandparent Trap

Lucy Phipps
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There is no automatic right in England & Wales for grandparents to see their grandchildren or to have any involvement in their upbringing. However, the Courts are beginning to recognise the often invaluable role that grandparents can play both in...

5 reasons to consider mediation when facing relationship breakdown

Lucy Phipps
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When thinking about how to settle the issues that arise from a separation, the benefits of mediation are well worth considering. Mediation won’t suit everyone, but for some couples it can be a valuable way to reduce the stress involved in relationship...

Can I get divorced online?

Lucy Phipps
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The answer is yes, but do so with extreme caution as dealing with your divorce incorrectly can result in missed financial claims or a failure to stop your ex from coming back and claiming against you in the future. There are at least two strands to every...

The Importance of Contact Centres

Lucy Phipps
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Recent news that another Supported Child Contact Centre is closing its doors should give us all cause for concern. When parents separate, the relationships between adults can be difficult and the months following a separation can be enormously painful....

I'm a celebrity divorcee, get me out of here!

Lucy Phipps
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He already shares half of his wealth with double-act best friend Dec, so will Ant McPartlin now be required (or agree) to share that half again with estranged wife Lisa Armstrong? The announcement that one of TV's best loved presenters is separating...

How can you divorce quickly without creating acrimony?

Lucy Phipps
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During a recent ITV 'Tonight' documentary, the subject of divorce was discussed and the issue of whether England & Wales should allow parties to separate on a no-fault basis (as you can in Scotland or the US) was debated with valid arguments made...

"Divorce Day"

Lucy Phipps
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It is a recent phenomenon that the first Monday in January has become known as ‘divorce day’.  In 2018 that day in fact falls on Tuesday 2nd January as the first Monday is of course New Year’s Day. We are often asked whether or not...

Practical information for those at risk of domestic abuse

Emma Walker
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It’s that time of year again when the festive period is upon us. Sadly, instances of domestic abuse and violence increase significantly over this period. If you are concerned about a family member or loved one who you believe is at risk of domestic...

End the blame game - time for reform of divorce law?

Emily Moss
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Some 118,000 divorces are granted in England and Wales each year; that’s more than 300 couples every day. Divorce in itself is difficult enough, but when the outdated laws surrounding divorce are largely fault-based, it makes it even harder and often...

Guide to the first meeting with your divorce lawyer

Lucy Phipps
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Going in to meet a divorce lawyer can be a daunting prospect.  So, what do you need to know from them and what are they likely to ask you? You need to trust your divorce lawyer You need to know that you can be open and honest with them - both about...

No such thing as a common law spouse

Pascale Adam
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Buying your first house is exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. Couples who are buying together for the first time are making a huge financial and emotional investment, often funded by one or both of their respective parents. An important factor...

Divorce myths explained

Lucy Phipps
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In a generation of celebrity and social media, it comes as no surprise that ‘split rumours’ and ‘custody battles’ amongst the rich and famous are filling up the columns of our daily news feed. This reporting means that divorce is now...