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Sarah Pennicott
 

What is a financial order in divorce proceedings?

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Upon separating, many married couples assume that the financial arrangements and division of assets will be considered by the court at the same time as the divorce petition. This is not the case however, and so a legally binding financial order may be needed to specify how any monetary assets will be divided. It will also bind you to an agreement that no future claims will be made against your former spouse’s financial assets, for example if they receive a large inheritance or sell their business. Sarah Pennicott, Associate Solicitor in our Family team, explains more about how the application for a financial order works and when you should apply.

Wedding season is approaching - when should I apply for a pre-nuptial agreement?

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There are currently no prescribed time limits as to when a pre-nuptial agreement should be completed. It is best practice that the agreement should be entered into at least twenty eight days before you celebrate your marriage, but you can also enter into post-nuptial agreements shortly after marriage and these should not be treated differently by the Courts should your marriage end. Sarah Pennicott, Associate Solicitor in our Family team in Portsmouth, explains the facts you need to consider regarding pre-nuptial agreements, and whether it may be right for you.

How do I end my civil partnership?

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The number of couples entering into a civil partnership has increased in recent years; the most recent Office of National Statistics from 2017 show an increase of 2% compared to 2016. With the increase in those entering a civil partnership also comes the increase in the number of those coming to an end. Sarah Pennicott, Family Solicitor in our Portsmouth office, here explains how a civil partnership legally comes to an end, and how we can support you through this emotional change in your life.

How to support your child through your divorce or separation

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Statistics show that over half of divorcing couples have at least one child at the time of their divorce but, of course, many more children go through parental separation each year because these statistics do not include parents who have not been married.

Legal battle proves the importance of written agreements when discussing property

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A midwife has succeeded in claiming she is entitled to 50% of the £1 million home she had shared with her CEO ex-partner after a High Court Judge agreed that he had promised her half the property during a conversation in a pub 13 years ago. Hannah Rogers, Family Solicitor in Portsmouth, reviews the case here and advises how you can possibly avoid the same situation through a Declaration of Trust or Cohabitation Agreement.

What is a PLO meeting?

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We understand that the welfare of your children is of paramount importance, and if you are looking for legal advice to improve your situation, there may be terms or parts of the process that you do not understand. Hannah Rogers, Family Solicitor in our Portsmouth office, here explains what a PLO meeting is, and what you should do if you are invited to a meeting of this nature.

Change in divorce law looks set to stop the blame game

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The news that no-fault divorce is likely to become law has been welcomed, but what does this mean for couples in the future? Hannah Rogers, Family Solicitor in Portsmouth, explains what the change in legislation means and why Family Mediation still has a valuable part to play.

Divorce rates drop but separation still on the rise

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Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have shown that divorce rates are on the decline however separation is increasing; indicating that a growing number of couples are choosing not to marry. Sarah Pennicott, Family Solicitor,...

What rights do grandparents have in a divorce?

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Grandparents can often be caught up in the breakdown of a marriage, which can sometimes result in the breakdown of any contact they would normally have with their grandchildren. Hannah Rogers explains here what rights grandparents do have when their son or daughter divorces from their partner, and the steps that can be taken to ensure the best resolution for every party.

£453million divorce pay-out highlights potential of family mediation and pre-nuptial agreements

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A recent case judged in a private hearing is believed to have led to the largest divorce pay-out in the UK of £453million. Sarah Pennicott, Family Lawyer, here reviews the case and explains why it has an impact on not only high-net worth individuals, but all couples considering a divorce.

Resolution calls for family law reform ahead of new Parliament

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In light of the upcoming election, Nigel Shepherd, National Chair of Resolution, has urged the major political parties to commit to family law reform in their manifestos. Hannah Rogers, Family Lawyer, here reviews the contents of the letter, and why they are necessary to keep up with today’s modern families.

Number of divorces fall while the cost increases

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January is notoriously known as the month when family lawyers become busy following Christmas chaos and arguments. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) however show that the overall rates of divorce are continuing to fall.

Can children appoint their own solicitor in family cases?

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Children proceedings, whether public or private, include children of varying ages and all with different levels of understanding of the process that they are involved in. Within public children law cases which can involve children going into foster care, the Guardian appointed by CAFCAS (Child and Family Court Advisory Service) represents the child, their wishes and best interests. However, the view of the Guardian does not always align with the views of the child. In some cases a child is also entitled to appoint their own solicitor. Hannah Rogers, Trainee Solicitor, explains here what a child can and cannot do during proceedings in which they are involved.

Cohabitation - It's all quite simple, isn't it?

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So, you’ve met someone you want to share your life with and want to make a home together. Neither of you are in a rush to marry, maybe one or both of you have been through a marriage that went wrong and don’t want to go through it again. Maybe it just isn’t on your agenda. You decide that it’s much simpler to just live together. All well and good….until it isn’t.

What is a McKenzie friend in family law proceedings?

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With Legal Aid becoming more difficult to obtain and the cost of legal services being too high for some, more people are conducting their own Family Law cases in court. Anyone involved in a family law case is entitled to represent themselves and they can also be accompanied by someone who can give them reasonable assistance. This person is called a McKenzie friend. Hannah Rogers, Trainee Solicitor, here explains what a McKenzie friend is and, while able to lend support during an emotional time, why having a solicitor is of paramount importance.

Should children be witnesses in family proceedings?

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When a couple goes through a separation or divorce, it will be an exceptionally trying time for all concerned, but when children are involved it can become even more emotionally difficult. Depending on the nature of the dispute, children could feel they are in a position where they must choose between their parents, they could be used as leverage and their whole routine and way of life will change. The decision may even be out of the parent’s control, if the Local Authority is involved and the children are at risk of being removed from the parents care.

Is an oral agreement between cohabitees binding?

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A recent Court of Appeal decision found that an oral agreement agreed by an unmarried couple was legally binding; reiterating the benefits of obtaining legal advice at the time when couples begin to live together.

Rising costs of divorce encourage couples to 'nest' together

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Separating couples are facing a further rise in the cost of divorce with a big increase in court fees, and many are facing up to the challenge of asset-sharing and high property prices by turning to innovative solutions to deal with the change.

Divorce - Court Fee Increase from Monday 21st March 2016

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An increase to the Court fee payable to file for a divorce has long been on the horizon. It has now been confirmed that the fee will increase by a whopping 34% rising from £410.00 to £550.00 on Monday 21st March 2016.

National Adoption Week highlights plight of siblings

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National Adoption Week was launched in 1997 by BAAF Adoption and Fostering with the aim of raising awareness of adoption and the process across the UK. Each year sees a different focus to the campaign and this year the week, running from Monday 3rd November to Sunday 9th November, will focus on siblings.

Wardship proceedings back in the limelight

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The world of family law has evolved greatly over recent years, with the media heavily commenting on the removal of Legal Aid, the number of couples divorcing on the rise and the introduction of compulsory Mediation. It’s only recently however that children becoming wards of court has been a topic of conversation. Sarah Pennicott, Family Lawyer, explains exactly what wardship proceedings are and the implications for families.