The breakdown of a relationship will always be a difficult time for all concerned, especially when there are children involved. It is understandable that there may be animosity following the divorce or separation, which can lead to conflict when making arrangements for your children or for the finances. While you may wish to go straight to Court, in most cases you will need to attend a Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM) to determine whether Family Mediation could be an alternative to the Court process. Sam Miles, Family Partner and Mediator, explains here why you may need to consider Family Mediation, and the exemptions that may apply.
Family Mediation is an entirely voluntary process and neither party can be forced to attend if they do not wish to. It is understandable that you may feel nervous or apprehensive about talking to a stranger about difficulties you are having in reaching agreement on certain matters following a divorce or separation. Claire Knight, Law Society accredited and Resolution trained Family Mediator, here explains how Family Mediation can help you reach an agreement and what happens if your former partner does refuse to attend.
We understand that if you are struggling to agree on arrangements for your children or your finances following a divorce or separation, you will be looking for support from those around you, such as your family and friends. Family Mediation can help you resolve and explore the options, and you may wish to have this support network around you during this time. In most cases, Family Mediation is just for the parties directly concerned, namely you and your former partner. Claire Knight, Law Society accredited and Resolution trained Family Mediator, explains more here about who can attend and how Family Mediation can help you.
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.
You do not have to wait two years to divorce if you can show the Court that your marriage has irretrievably broken down due to adultery or unreasonable behaviour, in which case you can divorce after one year. Stephanie Preston, Family Paralegal in our Southampton office, explains your position further if you find yourself in this situation, and advises what your next steps are.
The recent sentencing of Indea Ford, a mother who took her two young children to Alaska without the father’s consent, has highlighted that family proceedings are quite separate from criminal proceedings. Graeme Barclay, Family Partner, explains...
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,...
A recent divorce case has highlighted the question of whether the divorce legal system should be revolutionised, and consequently a new consultation has been launched to review the new proposals. Sam Miles, Family Partner, discusses here what the...
We have been keenly watching the case of Mills v Mills in recent years and last week the Supreme Court made their decision that could have far reaching implications for future divorce proceedings. Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews the...
Following a divorce, it can be difficult to make arrangements for your children, but what do you do if you are a step-parent? We understand that even though you are not a biological parent of the child or children, you will no doubt have built a bond...
2018 has begun and Christmas seems like a distant memory. For some however, their Christmas celebrations have been marked by family divisions or the break down of their relationship.
When a relationship breaks down, and if the couple are not able to agree on decisions regarding children or finances, a first step can be for them to go to Family Mediation. However, in some circumstances this is not an option, if there is an accusation of domestic violence for example, or if one party refuses to take part.
Christmas is the time to spend with loved ones and family; however for couples who have recently divorced or separated, it can be a particularly painful time. If there are children involved who now need to split their time between parents and extended family, these feelings can be heightened when a parent is facing Christmas without their children, possibly for the first time, or can be exacerbated if agreements can’t be reached.
Divorce rates are on the rise, according to the latest statistics, and with the increase in the value of family assets, couples should do more to face up to financial affairs during the good times. Sam Miles, Family Partner, reveals the latest divorce statistics and reviews the steps couples should be taking now when it comes to their finances.
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.
When deciding to divorce, there will be a lot of decisions to make regarding arrangements for children and division of financial assets. If there are any businesses or business interests in the family, these will need to be looked at carefully. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explains here what business owners should be aware of when making the decision to divorce.
A separation or divorce will be an emotional, confusing and stressful time for any couple, but these feelings are heightened when there are children involved. Parents will need to make plans with their children’s best interests at heart, remain aware that their children could pick up on negativity caused by disagreements, and recognise that they may even feel responsible for their split. Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews here what parents need to consider when it comes to arrangements for their children.
Celebrations are happening at Hampshire law firm Warner Goodman LLP as Trainee Solicitor, Hannah Rogers, qualifies after her two year Recognised Period of Training.
A new online divorce form has been released by the Government which invites the third party in adultery cases to be named by the person filing for divorce. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explains here what impact this could have on adultery cases being filed in the Family Courts and clarifies what the grounds for divorce are.
When a couple decides to separate it will naturally be a distressing and confusing time. While the majority of people go on to divorce, some couples decide to simply remain separated so as not to go through the seemingly stressful process of divorce, or there may be financial or business reasons why they wish to remain married. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explains here the implications of not divorcing, and reviews what steps you could take to decide what is best for you.
Many people do not realise but a marriage automatically revokes any existing Will, meaning that a person could die intestate without realising it. Caroline Johnstone, Private Client Lawyer, here explains the implications that marriage and divorce have on a Will, and what steps you need to take to avoid any issues for your family’s future.
Following a separation there could be many reasons why someone may wish to relocate abroad; they may originate from another country and wish to return to their home and be around a familiar support network, they may have been offered employment, they may have a new partner who lives abroad, or they may simply wish to try a new culture and make a fresh start.
Sam Miles, Family Mediator and Partner at Warner Goodman, has recently received accreditation to practice Child Inclusive Mediation, a unique qualification held by only a small number of Family Mediators in Hampshire.
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.
The importance of pre-nuptial agreements has been highlighted in a divorce case taken to the Court of Appeal this week, as well as raising many questions about how long a marriage should be before the ‘sharing principle’ of assets should apply. Claire Knight, Family Lawyer, here reviews the case and offers advice as to how couples should protect themselves and their assets when considering marriage.
A wife has taken her request to divorce her husband on the grounds that she is ‘desperately unhappy’ to the Court of Appeal after her divorce petition was refused in family courts last year.
A Judge has recently ruled that an ex-wife, who has been divorced from her husband for 15 years, can have the amount of spousal maintenance she receives each month from her ex-husband increased by £341 per month. Sam Miles, Family Partner, here reviews the case and considers the ways in which this could have been avoided.
Divorce is an emotional time for any couple, but if you serve in the military you may feel that your decision needs to be put on hold until you have returned from deployment. Sam Miles, Family Partner, here answers the questions she often faces explaining why this is not always a requirement and that you can continue with your life while continuing to serve your country.
Couples looking for a romantic day on which to wed would naturally choose Valentines Day; a day to celebrate love. A recent study has shown however that choosing ‘gimmicky’ dates are more likely to lead to divorce.
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.
23 years after their divorce, former spouses Kathleen Wyatt and Dale Vince reached a financial settlement. Ms Wyatt applied for a financial order against her ex husband, after discovering Mr Vince’s business venture had been successful in the years after their divorce.
A vegan couple in Milan have lost custody of their 14 month old after being taken to hospital by grandparents and found to be seriously malnourished, weighing 5kg.
A new three-part documentary series “Call the Mediator” takes a look behind the curtain of family mediation on Tuesday nights on BBC2. In an aspect of family life that is rarely shown in the media, it was the perfect opportunity to showcase an alternative to the depiction of slamming doors, and drawn-out arguments that often represent separation.
A new documentary series premiering on BBC2 tomorrow night; Mr v Mrs: Call the Mediator sets out to explore the experiences of splitting families at the time of divorce using footage of the mediation sessions, and the effects the experience has on both parties in their home and social lives.
With celebrity divorces making headlines, financial affairs of the rich and famous are brought to light. Johnny Depp’s 15 month marriage to Amber Heard is under fire as she files for divorce after being granted a restraining order against him.
Reaching an agreement in child arrangement disputes can be one of the biggest challenges a parent can face. Just ask Madonna; The 57 year old entertainer has been locked in a bitter child residence battle with ex-husband Guy Ritchie.
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.
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.
A study was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) aiming to shed light on how parental separation might affect children’s well-being.
Family solicitor and Partner Sam Miles is awarded Law Society accreditation for mediation services.
Most couples will hit a bump at some point along the path of married life. For most, it can be easily overcome, sometimes with marriage counselling, sometimes without. When you feel like your marriage has more bumps than you can iron out, and you are tired of having the same conversations again and again, there is a point when it is easier to walk away than to keep fighting.
Today marks the start of international marriage week, celebrating the love and union of two people intending to spend their lives together. If you’re engaged and on the road to wedded bliss, then Congratulations! While organising the venue, flowers and seating plans, a few legal aspects often get overlooked.
The first working day in January is commonly known as Divorce Day, when family lawyers receive more enquiries than at any other time of the year, but they are more likely to be faced with ‘silver splitters’ than young couples these days.
On the 22nd January 2016 the no-fault divorce bill will get a second reading, which could lead to a major shake-up in the future of divorce proceedings if passed. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explores the bill and explains the impact this could have.
Parents are being urged to realise their rights should their children need to be taken into temporary foster care. This follows a recent family law case in which the most senior family judge in the UK accused the local authority involved of abusing the process and holding the children in temporary care for too long.
This phrase has rung true for two ex-husbands who have recently been uncovered as being dishonest during their original divorce hearings, meaning their ex-wives are now entitled to re-apply for their financial settlements. Sam Miles, Family Law Partner, here reviews the case and advises those who are currently divorcing to be open about their financial arrangements.
A businessman is facing a hearing in the Supreme Court to answer claims that he misrepresented the value of his company to cheat his ex-wife out of millions in their divorce settlement. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explains here that carving up a family business for a divorce settlement can spell disaster for the company, and the best option is to plan ahead rather than resort to crisis management.
While Christmas is enjoyed by the majority of us as a time for family, friends and merriment, for some families it can be a time of conflict. In situations where parents are separated, arrangements need to be made for where the children will be spending Christmas, and without proper preparations in place, instead of wishing for the latest computer game in their stocking, children could simply be wishing for an argument free holiday.
No matter the reason for a divorce, all couples will be feeling hurt, confused and possibly betrayed by the loss of trust in their relationship. During proceedings there may be the temptation to find out if a spouse is seeing a new partner, maybe looking for evidence of adultery taking place, or to see if they are hiding assets during financial proceedings. Graeme Barclay, Family Partner, here answers the question… are you ever entitled to hack their emails or sneak a peek at their post to find this out?
The Court of Appeal has recently upheld a family judge’s decision to order an anaesthetist to give 100% of his assets to his former wife. The case comes as a warning to those looking to shy away from making regular maintenance payments for the benefit of their children, and here Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews the facts of the case and what motivated the judge to make the remarkable award of 100%.
For the many couples who face a divorce or separation each year, the process is a stressful one, stretching them on both emotional and financial levels. When considering the latter, there are many areas that need to be confirmed, and it’s in these situations that a family financial order is normally implemented.
The number of divorces and separations is constantly on the rise in the UK, with 118,140 divorces occurring each year. With so many people affected, Resolution, the organisation representing 6,500 family lawyers and other family professionals, is calling on Government to change the law to make the whole process less stressful, leading to less conflict and less impact on the children involved.
Those who have divorced without making proper financial arrangements should take heed from a recent case which could spell a very different future. In the case of Wyatt v Vince, the court ruled that an ex-wife could proceed with a claim against her former husband who, since their divorce 20 years earlier, had turned into a successful businessman worth millions. Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews the case and advises how divorcing couples can avoid this in their own future.
Almost a year after the launch of our Family Mediation service, we have trained another of our lawyers’, Claire Knight, to practice as a Resolution Mediator to meet the demand for the service from divorcing couples.
Come January you either look back at the year or forward to the next. Family lawyers instead expect to be preparing for their so called busiest time of year. The first working day in January is known as ‘Divorce Day’ each year, as lawyers receive more enquiries than at any other time of the year, and the latest EU data shows that the UK has the highest rate of family breakdown in Western Europe.
Making the decision to divorce or separate is a life-changing one for everyone involved, and while it’s the parents who ultimately make that choice, they’re not the only ones who suffer. Recent figures from family lawyers’ association, Resolution, show that some children not only perform worse at school, but also turn to drink and drugs in an attempt to block out what is happening at home.
Graeme Barclay, Family Partner at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP, was recently selected for interview to contribute towards important research conducted by Cardiff Law School. The aim of the research was to ascertain how often the courts make orders on divorce sharing pensions between couples, as initial signs show they are not as popular as predicted they would be. Graeme explains further on the purpose of the research, and what this means for couples in the future.
Pre and post nuptial agreements are likely to be given binding status, in a move that’s intended to give couples a more predictable outcome on divorce. Samantha Miles, Family Partner, here explains the reasons behind the move.
Hard on the heels of Britain’s longest-running and most bitter divorce, the Government has said it will be pushing more couples towards mediation. Working as a mediator, Samantha Miles, Partner and Head of the Family department, has seen first-hand how mediation can help couples make life-changing decisions in their relationship, and so is wholly supportive of this initiative.
The stress, worry and upset of divorce is all that couples should have to face when making this difficult decision, but now divorcing couples also have to manage the financial cost since Legal Aid disappeared for the majority of cases earlier this year. Samantha Miles, Family Partner at Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP, looks at the effect this is having on couples looking to divorce, and how the launch of their new fixed fee packages will help them.
Official figures released in December 2012 show that the number of divorces dropped by 1.7% in the previous year, but Hampshire based law firm Warner Goodman LLP highlight that divorce statistics continue to peak in the period following Christmas, with the second week in January notoriously the busiest month for couples taking the decision to part.
Experts predicting a ‘run on the bank’ as divorce payouts look set for reform. The trend for massive divorce settlements is set for seismic change if new recommendations go ahead, and experts are predicting a rush to the courts for unhappy spouses looking to capture a big pay-out before changes are introduced.
Confusion reigns in the divorce courts over the division of matrimonial assets in England and Wales with the news that the High Court has refused to award a man a half-share of his ex-wife’s lottery prize but elsewhere the Court of Appeal has included a husband’s inherited wealth in a payout to an ex wife.