• Online Divorce

    Traditionally, applications for divorce have been made on paper and in recent years the process has become fraught with delays, with many people waiting for over a year for their divorce to be finalised. Since May 2018, an online divorce portal has been trialled to streamline the divorce process and according to HM Courts & Tribunals Service, more than 70,000 divorces have been initiated in this way: https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/thousands-go-online-to-apply-for-divorce/5102768.article The trial period for the new system is now at an end and we therefore have signed up for access to the online service, which we intend to use to provide our …

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  • “Divorce day” – just a myth?

    Every year the media appears to write articles about so called ‘Divorce Day’. The media suggests that there is an omen day for divorce, and that this is on the first working Monday after the Christmas break. The reality is that divorce takes place every day – divorce is unique and different for everyone.  That being said, the Christmas and New Year period can be a difficult time for many people. Sometimes during this time off work the cracks in a relationship start to show and pressure builds. It has been argued that there is a correlation between this and …

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  • Negotiating Separation: Brexit and Divorce

    Since 2016, Brexit has dominated the news. Everyone is well aware of the results of the referendum for the UK to leave the EU. Many people may have believed this to be a relatively straightforward matter. However, matters are often not as straightforward as they may appear, particularly when there is to be a separation.  As we often hear analysts say: Brexit is a “divorce”. When couples separate there may be various issues that need to be determined. Simply moving out of the family home and going off to live a new life of independence may not be realistic. The …

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  • Divorce: Why Instruct a Solicitor?

    An increasing number of people going through a divorce use unregulated legal services. What does this mean and why does it matter? Unregulated legal services are legal services offered by a person or organisation which is subject to no formal regulation. Such services may come in many forms and could be online, in person or via the purchase of information packs or forms. The advantage of these services is that they can be cheap but the disadvantages can be significant and many people are unaware of the risks. Unregulated providers have no professional body to maintain standards and the consequence …

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  • Christmas Day Divorces

    January is a famously busy time for family lawyers, with many couples on the brink of separation finding the stress of Christmas to be the final straw for their relationship. The first week of the New Year has become a much talked about period for new divorce enquiries. This year, with the introduction of an online divorce petition in May 2018, it seems that this busy period for divorces started earlier, with government figures saying that thirteen people actually completed the online application on Christmas Day. According to the Ministry of Justice, there were a total of 455 online applications …

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  • Renewed Calls for Divorce Law Reform

    The highly publicised case of Mr and Mrs Owens has focused considerable attention on the ongoing calls for divorce law reform in England and Wales. Under the current law, there are five “facts” (reasons) that can be used to demonstrate that a marriage has irretrievably broken down. These are:   1. Adultery 2. Unreasonable behaviour 3. Desertion 4. Living apart for more than two years, where both parties agree to the divorce 5. Living apart for at least five years, even if one party disagrees.   Desertion is a rarely used technical reason for a divorce. Adultery often does not …

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  • Children Arbitration Scheme

    In July 2016, a new Family Law Children Arbitration Scheme will be rolled out.  At present it is possible to arbitrate financial family disputes, but not matters relating to children.  The new Children Scheme will allow disputes concerning arrangements for a child and the exercise of parental responsibility to be resolved using arbitration, rather than the court system.   The benefits of arbitration are now well established in the area of financial disputes.  One of the main advantages of arbitration is the speed with which disputes can be resolved.  When children are at the centre of a dispute, resolving matters …

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  • Resolution’s Parenting Charter

    As part of the Resolution Manifesto for Family Law, Resolution proposes a Parenting Charter which clearly sets out what children should be able to expect from their parents if they are separating, and what separating parents need to do in the best interests of their children.   This part of the manifesto differs from the other aspects (the full manifesto can be found here) as it does not call for a change in the law or public policy.  Resolution hopes that the charter will be a tool for lawyers, mediators and others working with separating couples, as well as for …

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