• Keeping your divorce out of court

    When a relationship breaks down some people are concerned that involvement from lawyers might escalate a dispute and lead them to court. In many cases this is not true as there are a variety of options available in order to resolve matters as an alternative to court. There has been a great deal in the media about mediation and the government would like to encourage people going through a divorce to use that process in order to resolve any issues. Whilst mediation can be effective in many instances, it is not suitable for everybody and there may be many reasons …

    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
  • Parenting Plans

    When parents separate, one of the most difficult issues to deal with can be the arrangements for the children. Care arrangements for the children may have worked seamlessly when the parents were together but on separation difficulties can easily arise. The best way to avoid problems with the arrangements for children is to sit down with your ex-partner as soon as you can and talk through the arrangements in detail. This may sound obvious but it can be easier said than done, especially where the separation has been acrimonious. It is important to remember that even though your relationship with …

    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
  • Arbitration in financial disputes

    In early 2012, family arbitration was introduced as a new option for resolving financial disputes in family law cases.  The process has therefore been in existence for just over two years and is still a relatively new option for clients.   Arbitration is a process tailored around the parties to a dispute but it is based on the principles of English law and it delivers a binding decision.  The parties to a dispute are able to define the issues to be determined in arbitration and can limit what it is they require the arbitrator to decide.  The decision would then …

    Read more
  • Changes to the Family Court System

    The whole family court system is changing: whether or not this is for the better remains to be seen. As Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division wrote in May’s edition of Family Law, “we must do the very best we can with what we have.” This is undoubtedly true but the changes to the new system do, on the face of it, give cause for concern. It is questionable how much of the new system has come from a desire to improve the Courts and how much from budgetary concerns.   Currently, solicitors consider each case and decide …

    Read more