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Civil partnerships for all? - An update

Julie Bennett
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Section 2 of the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc) Act 2019 requires the government to make and bring into force regulations to extend civil partnerships to mixed sex couples by 31 December 2019. Other countries, including South...

Time to reflect - does a divorce petition have an expiry date?

Louise Rhys-Thomas
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Where one party to a marriage decides to send their divorce petition to the Court, formally starting those proceedings, this can be an emotionally difficult journey and one which may take some time. Why then would the Petitioner (as they then become known)...

WHAT IS PARENTAL ALIENATION?

Katie Buswell
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  Parental alienation occurs where one parent (whether deliberately or otherwise) turns a child(ren) against the other parent.  Children’s reactions and feelings to separating parents are hugely influenced by the adult behaviour to which...

New Guidance on the Treatment of Pensions in Divorce

Julie Bennett
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On 01 July 2019 the Pension Advisory Group published its report providing guidance on the treatment of pensions in divorce. The Pension Advisory Group ( PAG) is a multi-disciplinary group of professionals specialising in financial remedies and pensions on divorce jointly chaired by Mr Justice Francis and His Honour Judge Edward Hess and supported by the President of the Family Division and the Family Justice Council.

The ability of the court to make a pension sharing order in divorce has existed since 2000, despite this there has been a lack of clear guidance to assist in how to treat what can often be one the largest assets in a marriage. Dealing correctly with pensions on divorce is one of the most complex aspects in family cases. 

The PAG report aims to provide this guidance.

The (start of the) Family Court's Digital Revolution

Louise Rhys-Thomas
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As a society we are increasingly moving towards ‘online’ being the default way in which we manage many aspects of our lives. Being able to manage our bank accounts and paying bills online saves many an hour stood in line at the bank or Post...

Summertime - How to Make the Livin' Easy

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The summer holidays are usually a time when the routine of term time is set aside and replaced with later nights, multiple daytime activities and trips away. For divorced or separated parents, the summer holidays may mean that any term time contact...

But who keeps the dog?!

Marcus Crawley
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George Eliot once wrote that “Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms”. When considering the impact of divorce , dissolution or separation, usually people’s main priority is to think...

A No Blame Divorce

Jennifer Allen
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Today the Government have announced there will be new legislation in divorce law. This new law will update the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in due course. It will mean that, in the future when the legislation comes into force, divorcing couples will no longer have to ‘blame’ each other for the breakdown of their marriage. It is hoped the new law will help reduce family conflict.

Saying "I Do" to Pre-Nups

Julie Bennett
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Spring is in the air and many happy couples are looking forward to getting married this year. The wedding planning ‘to do’ list can seem endless, with some aspects of the big day ‘nice to have’ rather than ‘essential’, but...

Did you attend Mediation during Family Mediation Week?

Louise Rhys-Thomas
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Mediation is one of the options available to separating couples for resolving issues following the breakdown of their relationship. It is a pre-requisite to attempt mediation before launching into litigation. It allows parents, divorcing spouses, separating...

New Year, New Me

Marcus Crawley
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‘Divorce Day’ and the post-Christmas spike in Divorce Rates For many, the New Year is a time for reflection and resolutions. Whilst for most, this means that they decide to get back to the gym, read more or achieve some other goal of...

COHABITATION: Universal access to Civil Partnership

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At the start of this year I wrote about the common-law marriage myth, which continues to endure so pervasively within the national consciousness, and how this widely assumed fiction misleads many cohabiting couples as to their legal rights  (click here...

We have separated, who will the children spend Christmas day with?

Jennifer Allen
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Separating/ divorcing parents can find that it is difficult to reach an agreement as to who their children spend time with at Christmas. Difficult conversations can be a source of stress over the Christmas period, resulting in family disputes. In order...

Bitcoin in family cases. An asset to form part of the pot?

Jennifer Allen
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The “bitcoin” currency came into existence in 2008. With digital currency beginning to acquire legitimacy of traditional assets (as bitcoin are now worth substantially more than their nominal value in 2008) these assets must not be overlooked....

Is divorce reform around the corner? An update

Louise Rhys-Thomas
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On 15 th September 2018 the Justice Secretary, David Gauke, announced proposals to change the procedure for obtaining a divorce for separated couples and introduce a ‘no-fault divorce’. The prospect of divorce reform was considered recently by...

Is divorce reform around the corner?

Louise Rhys-Thomas
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Is divorce reform around the corner? We take a look at this question in our latest blog and in the light of the recent Owens vs Owens case where the husband was represented by Hughes Paddison.

Why Can't I get Divorced?

Marcus Crawley
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Behaviour Divorce Petitions and the Dismissal of the Owens Appeal The Supreme Court handed down Judgment on 25 July 2018 in respect of the appeal of Mrs Owens, who was appealing against the decision of the lower Courts who dismissed her petition for...

Civil Partnerships for all?

Marcus Crawley
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On 27 th June 2018, the Supreme Court handed down Judgment in respect of the appeal of a different sex couple who wish to enter into a Civil Partnership, rather than marry. Civil Partnerships were introduced in 2004 to allow same sex couples to have their...

Mortgage Assessments in Matrimonial Financial Cases

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During the course of financial remedy proceedings, it is likely that there will be some change to lifestyle, future plans, housing, etc. The Court is focused on parties being able to suitably re-house with the paramount consideration being to any children...

If I have a Non-Molestation Order, can I provide a copy of my statement to the police or third parties?

Jennifer Allen
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Often an overlap between family and criminal law can occur for victims or those accused of domestic abuse, harassment or threats. It is not unusual for victims of domestic abuse to require the advice of family law solicitors as well as criminal solicitors,...

Decree Absolute Myth

Julie Bennett
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It is a dangerous myth that once you have your Decree Absolute in divorce, this automatically dismisses all financial claims you and your spouse have against each other.  This is not the case, a financial order is required to dismiss all financial...

Special Guardianship Orders

Marcus Crawley
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Dealing with the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult experiences that a person can go through. This grief is made all the more painful when the loved one in question is taken before their time and leaves behind a young child or children without...

COHABITATION: SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION

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The common-law marriage myth A recent poll conducted by the Office for National Statistics (Families and households: 2017) showed that unmarried couples living under one roof is the fastest growing family type in the UK, more than doubling from 1.5...

The Divorce Process Explained

Marcus Crawley
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The Court of Appeal has recently had a rare opportunity to consider the position in respect of defended divorce. A defended divorce is one in which the respondent either does not agree that the marriage is at an end or does not agree with the...

Variation of Spousal Maintenance

Marcus Crawley
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During the course of a divorce, a tricky task is to unpick the family finances and then agree who should take what from the matrimonial pot. If agreement cannot be reached between the divorcing couple or in mediation, an application will need to be made to...

How long is my Marriage?

Marcus Crawley
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When you first read the question that forms the title of this article, one might automatically think that the answer is obvious; 'the amount of time that has passed since your wedding day' . This is certainly how to work out which anniversary you...