• 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 …

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  • 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 …

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  • 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 …

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  • 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 …

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