• The danger of not having a financial order on divorce

    One of the main concerns of couples who are getting divorced, is the finances. Typically both parties will want to make sure that an agreement is in place that is fair and workable and that gives each of them a degree of financial security.   Where the assets are straightforward couples can sometimes reach an agreement between themselves, but problems can occur much further down the line if their agreement has not been approved by the Court at the time of the divorce. This problem can also arise where the parties have reached no agreement at all but have just …

    Read more
  • Mediation-Arbitration – a helpful hybrid

    Mediation can be a very helpful process when a marriage breaks down. It is a process which allows people to reach solutions which they feel are best for them.   Sometimes, despite the best efforts of the parties and the mediator, it does not prove possible to agree all issues within the mediation process. There are times when some things can be agreed but others remain in dispute.   If there are things which are not agreed within mediation, the appropriate next steps need to be considered. This can sometimes be daunting for the people involved as many people believe …

    Read more
  • Are we heading towards no-fault divorces?

    At present, the law sets out the circumstances in which a divorce can be obtained.  If a couple wishing to divorce would like to do so without apportioning blame against one another, the current law requires them to wait for a period of two years before they can proceed.  If they do not want to wait that long, then one of them will need to cite another reason for the divorce – usually either adultery or unreasonable behaviour.   The apportioning of blame can make an already difficult process much harder.  An element of unpleasantness can be introduced at a …

    Read more
  • Litigants in Person

    On 1st April 2013 the government withdrew legal aid for most family cases. The purported rationale behind this decision was to encourage people to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) such as mediation. This actual reason was to save money.   The problem is that where there are many cases in which ADR is appropriate, there are many cases in which it is not. It is also worth noting that even if you, as a client decide to attend mediation you will still need legal advice to understand your position and your options so that you can negotiate properly. You will …

    Read more
  • Divorce Rates

    According to the Office of National Statistics 42% of marriages in England and Wales will end in divorce. The divorce rate is viewed by some as a symptom of a broken society. The truth of the matter is that the divorce rate for those who have been married for over ten years hasn’t changed since the 1960s. Couples are more likely to divorce during the first ten years of marriage, particularly between years three and six. As many as 20% of marriages entered into 2013 are likely to end in divorce in the first ten years. When there are difficulties …

    Read more
  • Pensions

    When couples divorce, pensions are often one of the most complicated assets to deal with. Very often one spouse has a much larger pension provision than the other, particularly where one of the parties has taken time out of work to raise children. Sometimes, it may seem as though each spouse has a similar amount of money in their pensions, but because of the type of pensions they have, the values can be misleading. Finding a fair and sensible way to deal with any discrepancies in the pension provision, is not always straightforward. The first step is to work out …

    Read more
  • Court cases relating to children not in decline

    Litigation over children is not decreasing significantly despite the government’s push for parents to attend mediation. In April 2011, the government made it compulsory for parents to consider mediation before making an application to court in relation to arrangements for children. The idea was that parents should attend a meeting to find out about the mediation process before they could make an application to court, and that this should significantly reduce the number of court cases issued each year. However, according to figures from the Ministry of Justice, the number of cases has fallen slightly but not dramatically. In the …

    Read more
  • How to get the best out of your solicitor

    When you instruct a solicitor to deal with a family matter on your behalf, you may have many different concerns and issues. You may also be worried about the costs of instructing your solicitor. This guide is designed to help you get the best out of your solicitor in the most cost effective way.   Every client is different and will have their own set of priorities. Make sure you tell your solicitor what your main concerns are so that they can address them in the best way possible.   It can help to contain your costs if you try …

    Read more