• Thinking about Christmas…

    Although it is only just October and Christmas may still feel far away, for separated parents it is worthwhile spending sometime sorting out the holiday arrangements early, if this has not already been done. Christmas is a special and magical time for children and any conflict surrounding the arrangements can dampen the celebrations considerably.  Each December, we are contacted by clients who are having difficulty finalising the arrangements for the Christmas holidays.  Sometimes we are asked to sort things out as late as the week before Christmas, which can be incredibly stressful for parents (as well as the children). Some …

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  • Separated Parents Information Programme

    When a couple separates there are many difficult issues that may need to be resolved, from what should happen to the family home to who should keep the car. There is often a difference of opinion as to the appropriate outcome, but what people generally agree is that they want the best for their children. What is not always clear is how to achieve this. Contemplating an ongoing relationship with an ex-partner can be daunting, but where there are children involved it is something that is worth thinking about at an early stage. Communication can be challenging and many parents …

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  • Codicil or new Will?

    Most people understand what a Will is. However, not many people know what a Codicil is.  A Codicil is a testamentary document which would be read in conjunction with a Will. A Codicil must comply with the same legal requirements and be executed in the same way as a Will. Codicils should be kept safe with your Original Will.  You might want to make slight changes to your Will, but not change the whole document. A Codicil can be drafted to change specific provisions of a Will but leave the rest of the Will the same.  It could be that …

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  • Is an “out of court service” more appropriate for my family than court?

    The number of court cases relating to children has increased significantly since the beginning of 2016, and there is no sign of this trend slowing down.  Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family judge in England and Wales, is conducting a review of the system and has said the family courts are having to “run up a down escalator” due to the increased burden. The president of the family division has said that some parents needs to be persuaded not to bring their cases to court, in order to reduce the pressure and begin to stop the delays that are …

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  • What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why should I make one?

    A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘Donor’) appoint and give legal authority to one or more people (known as ‘Attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf. You can choose when you would like the LPA to take effect – this could be immediately, or only if you lack mental capacity. An LPA gives you more control over what happens to you if you lack mental capacity in the future and can no longer make your own decisions. Research shows that the number of people in the UK with dementia is set to …

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  • A quick guide to pre-nuptial agreements

    Most people are aware that a pre-nuptial agreement can be entered into before marriage in order to help determine what would happen to finances in the event of any divorce. What people are often not aware of is that a pre-nuptial Agreement is a complex legal document with various technical requirements that need to be complied with. This means that even if you think that your pre-nuptial agreement is going to be very straightforward, it will still need to be properly drafted by a specialist solicitor to ensure that it is valid. Pre-nuptial agreements are not currently binding in English …

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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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  • What does normal look like?

    This is a question we are often asked by separating parents deciding how to agree the arrangements for their children. Parents often ask what other families do and what is considered usual or normal when deciding how many nights per week their children should spend with each of them, or how they should divide school holidays.   The advice that we often give is that there is no normal. Each family, and each child, is unique and therefore the arrangements that will be in their best interests will also be unique. What works for one child may not work for …

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