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Family Mediation Week - Is Family Mediation the right path for me?

Sam Miles
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When going through a separation, communication with your ex-partner can be incredibly challenging, making it difficult to reach agreements that benefit your family, especially your children.  As a parent, prioritising the well-being of your...

Family Mediation Week - Frequently Asked Questions

Sam Miles
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Over the years, we've helped many families navigate the complexities of separation through the robust family mediation process. As part of Family Mediation Week and to help separating couples better understand the family mediation process, we have...

Family Mediation Week - The Role of Child Inclusive Mediation

Sam Miles
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In family mediation, Child Inclusive Mediation (CIM) is an approach that advocates the voices of the often-overlooked participants - the children. This specialised form of mediation provides a platform for children to engage in confidential discussions...

Family Mediation Week 2024

Sam Miles
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Family Mediation Week takes place in January each year, and this year will run from the 22nd to the 26th of January 2024. It's an opportunity to raise awareness of family mediation and its benefits for separating families. The aim is to let more...

Why clear language is crucial when drafting a Will

Kevin Horn
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Why clear language is crucial when drafting a Will Three children have won a share of their father's £700,000 estate after a hard-fought case that reached the High Court in London.  The siblings took action when their father, Kenneth...

Cohabitation and your Legal Rights - What are the rules?

Sam Miles
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Cohabitation has become increasingly common, with more and more couples choosing to live together without getting married or entering into a civil partnership. However, it is essential to note that cohabiting couples do not have the same legal rights...

Important Changes to Statutory Legacy: What Surviving Spouses and Civil Partners Need to Know

Kevin Horn
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When a loved one passes away without writing a Will, their estate is distributed under a set of legal rules called intestacy laws. In such cases where there is a surviving spouse or civil partner, that spouse or civil partner is entitled to a fixed sum...

The Dynamics of Divorce: What if David Beckham did have an affair?

Sam Miles
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The new Beckham documentary on Netflix has recently resurfaced a swarm of social media attention about the celebrity's life. One topic in particular that has caused a fiery debate is Beckham's alleged affair. So, if hypothetically Beckham did have an...

Child with a different surname - Can I take them abroad?

Stacey Robertson
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When travelling abroad with a child, parents often question the legal implications, especially if the child has a different surname. In England and Wales, parental rights and responsibilities are primarily governed by the Children Act 1989, which...

Digital Divorce - The highs and lows of blame-free paperless divorce

Sam Miles
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Divorce applications rose by 20% in the year following the introduction of no-fault divorce (according to figures from the Ministry for Justice.) But while the headline process may be easier, couples going through the legal break-up stage are still...

Back to School - What are the legal requirements as a parent for your child to attend school?

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As the Summer holidays draw to a close, it's time to prepare for the new school year ahead. Whether your child is starting school for the first time or returning after a break, knowing the attendance requirements and related information is crucial...

What Happens When a Parent Breaches a Court Order?

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When a court makes an order, it becomes legally binding and must be followed by all parties involved. Unfortunately, there are instances where one parent may disregard or breach a court order, causing frustration and potential harm to the child and the...

What is Public Law Outline (PLO)?

Stacey Robertson
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A Public Law Outline (PLO) is a serious matter that can be highly concerning for parents. Stacey Robertson in our Family team explains everything you need to know about PLO and why seeking professional advice can help achieve a positive outcome for all...

Domestic Abuse Victims - How to turn off Emergency Alerts on your phone to stay safe

Sam Miles
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The Government will test a nationwide emergency alert system on people's phones at 3 pm on Sunday, the 23rd of April . The alert will last approximately 10 seconds and still sound even if the phone is on silent. Domestic violence charities have...

National Pet Month - Have you got a 'pet nup' in place?

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National Pet Month runs from April 1 - May 1 2023, and aims to promote responsible pet ownership. As a nation, we love our pets, and with more than half of households in the UK owning at least one pet, pets are a huge part of our lives for many of...

Does common law marriage exist in the UK? Here's what you need to know

Stacey Robertson
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Common law marriage is a concept that refers to a marriage-like relationship between two people who live together for a certain period of time but without actually getting married or registering their partnership formally. This type of arrangement is...

The benefits of having a prenuptial agreement

Sam Miles
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While a 'prenup' can be difficult to discuss with your partner and may seem unromantic to factor into your list of wedding preparations, it's important to understand the benefits of having one and to discuss it openly and honestly. This article...

Christmas arrangements for separated parents

Stacey Robertson
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Being a separated parent over Christmas is never easy. It's a time to spend it with friends, family, but most of all your children. But what if you can't? We review a range of mediation methods that can help achieve a positive outcome for both parents and most of all the children over the festive holidays. 

Taking positive action in tricky times

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When the chips are down and divorce is the only card left to play, tax planning is unlikely to be top of the list for many couples. But failing to transfer assets at the right time may result in unexpected charges for capital gains tax, eating into...

No-fault divorce comes into force today

Sam Miles
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The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act (2020), represents the biggest stir in divorce law for more than half a century. It eliminates the need for separating couples to assign blame for their marriage's breakdown, allowing them to concentrate on...

Importance of Family Mediation recognised by extension of Government voucher scheme

Sam Miles
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For separating or divorcing couples, making life changing decisions will be part of the process of starting a new life, however this can not always be achieved amicably.  Agreeing on arrangements for your children or your financial matters will be...

My ex is refusing consent to have our child vaccinated against Covid-19; what can I do?

Sam Miles
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With children as young as 12 now being offered the Covid-19 vaccine, parents are currently considering whether to consent to their child receiving their doses.  This option does also beg the question; what happens if one parent does not wish their child...

Considering applying for a divorce? - Your Guide to Divorce

Sam Miles
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Reaching the decision to divorce will understandably be an emotional one for all concerned and it will be the beginnings of a new chapter in your life.  Knowing where to turn for the right legal advice and having knowledge of what lies ahead can help you face the coming months with certainty and stability during what can be an upsetting time.  Sam Miles, Partner in our Family Law department, explains everything you need to know here, reviewing the key questions and how we can support you.

What is an Emergency Protection Order (EPO)?

Robyn Finnegan
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Occasionally, a situation may arise in which it is necessary for a child to be urgently removed from their current living situation if they are in imminent risk of harm, be that physical, emotional or psychological harm.  In this event, an Emergency...

What happens to my pension when I divorce?

Sam Miles
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One of the matters that a divorcing couple may need to consider is the arrangements for their finances. These can include property, income, investments, contributions towards children, and pensions.  For some, the pension can be one of the largest...

What rights do I have if my child is taken into care?

Graeme Barclay
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Having your child placed into the care of the Local Authority will be life changing, and we understand that you will have a whole variety of questions.  Graeme Barclay , Family Law Partner, explains here in more detail the rights you have as a parent...

The three practical first steps when divorcing

Claire Knight
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Whether your spouse has asked for a divorce or it’s you who has reached the decision to end your marriage, a divorce will inevitably be an emotional time for you and your children.  You will likely be feeling overwhelmed about the upheaval that will come over the approaching months, and anxious about what the future holds for you and your family.  You will naturally be looking for support from your friends and family, but also seeking practical, legal advice to makes the next steps into your new life as manageable as possible.  Claire Knight, Solicitor in our Family Law team, here reviews the three initial considerations if you are facing a divorce, and how we can assist you moving forward.

What is a care order in family law?

Robyn Finnegan
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If the local authority has contacted you regarding a care order relating to your children, we understand that you will be feeling anxious and you will have questions about the next steps in maintaining your relationship with your children.  Robyn...

The four financial considerations to make when applying for divorce

Robyn Finnegan
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There have been so many consequences of Covid-19 on our personal lives, our working lives, our economy and of course our health, with the impact likely to stay with us for many years, especially for those who have also seen their relationship break down...

The importance of White Ribbon Day in the time of Covid-19

Graeme Barclay
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White Ribbon Day is an important day every year in the bid to raise awareness of the domestic abuse men and women suffer every day, however this year brings with it more importance in light of the current lockdowns we are enduring due to the coronavirus...

Revolutionary Domestic Abuse Bill takes one step closer to being passed

Graeme Barclay
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The highly anticipated Domestic Abuse Bill has recently passed its final stage in the House of Commons and will now be debated in the House of Lords before bringing into force a variety of new measures that will change the landscape for those who have been...

No fault divorce comes closer as Divorce Bill receives Royal Assent

Sam Miles
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9th June 2021: Since publication of this article, it has been announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020, will come into force on 6th April 2022. The long awaited changes to the divorce regime which seek to remove the need to...

Urgent care proceedings still going ahead in spite of coronavirus

Robyn Finnegan
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For those parents who are facing Court proceedings over their children, the coronavirus pandemic will be bringing additional stresses to an already emotional situation.  If you are currently in the midst of proceedings or the Local Authority have...

Safe spaces to become available for people suffering domestic abuse

Graeme Barclay
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The coronavirus pandemic has brought with it much devastation in our family lives, including the rise in domestic abuse .  Findings have shown a higher than average number of people suffering domestic abuse since the introduction of lockdown and...

Can I still attend Family Mediation sessions during lockdown?

Sam Miles
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The coronavirus crisis is redefining lifestyles and the boundaries of our interactions; a situation that can challenge even the strongest bonds.  For couples who are struggling in their relationship, or were in the process of divorce or Family...

Co-parenting and maintenance payments during lockdown

Robyn Finnegan
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We are all currently adjusting to a new way of life since the coronavirus pandemic led to country wide lockdown, and it is vital that parents are there to support their children through these troubling times.  This can be difficult if you are no longer...

How will my Financial Order be affected in light of coronavirus?

Sam Miles
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If your divorce has recently been finalised and as a result you are either reliant on or are obliged to adhere to a Financial Order, we understand that you may have questions due to the uncertainty now created by the coronavirus pandemic.  Sam...

How will coronavirus impact my divorce?

Sam Miles
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Making the decision to divorce or separate will be a difficult one for any couple, but in the current climate when we are also facing the coronavirus pandemic, self-isolation and financial concerns it can add even more strain.  Our Family Law team...

Guide to Family Mediation - the 10 facts you need to know

Sam Miles
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Following a divorce or separation , you may be struggling to have conversations with your former partner or spouse regarding your children or financial arrangements.  With your history and potentially fraught breakdown of your relationship, you may be...

Should I wait to apply for my Decree Absolute?

Sam Miles
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Once you have made the decision to divorce, we know that you will be keen to finalise the details as swiftly as possible to allow you to move forward with your new life. The first step is to apply for your Decree Nisi and once that is granted you can apply for your Decree Absolute; we are often asked whether we would recommend applying for the Decree Absolute at the earliest opportunity or whether it would be more prudent to wait. Sam Miles, Family Partner, explains here why it could be in your best interests to wait to apply until the time is right. 

Do I need a Solicitor for Family Mediation?

Sam Miles
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Family Mediation is an alternative way to resolve disputes with your former partner if you are divorcing or separating; however, there is often some confusion over the roles of a Solicitor and Family Mediator, and whether a Solicitor should be appointed to coincide with Mediation. While a Solicitor is there to advise you legally throughout your divorce or separation, a Family Mediator will work with both you and your former partner to help you to make joint decisions involving your children or finances. Sam Miles, Family Partner and accredited Family Mediator, here explains the difference between a Solicitor and a Mediator and the roles they have to play.

What happens if my former partner won't go to Family Mediation?

Claire Knight
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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.

Can I bring someone with me to Family Mediation?

Claire Knight
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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.

How much does Family Mediation cost?

Claire Knight
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The cost of Family Mediation will depend on your own personal circumstances as that will determine how many sessions you need.  There are three separate costs to consider; the first for the Mediation Information Assessment Meeting (MIAM), the second cost for the Mediation sessions themselves and the third cost for the preparatory work involved.  Claire Knight, Resolution trained and Law Society accredited Family Mediator, explains more about the costs involved and why Mediation can be more cost effective than going to Court.

What is Family Mediation?

Claire Knight
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Family Mediation is a way to discuss and resolve arrangements regarding financial assets and children following the break down of a relationship with your former partner, or after a divorce.  Making these arrangements after a relationship has ended will be incredibly difficult, as feelings can cloud your discussions. 

Family Mediation expands as Claire Knight receives accreditation

Claire Knight
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The Family department are congratulating Associate Chartered Legal Executive, Claire Knight, after the successful completion of her Law Society Family Mediation Accreditation. 

What is a financial order in divorce proceedings?

Sam Miles
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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?

Sam Miles
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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.

What notice pay should I give my employee if she resigns whilst on maternity leave?

Employment Team
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This is a tricky area of employment law and will be determined by your employee’s employment contract as this will state the notice pay they are entitled to if you have chosen to go over and above the statutory entitlement. Our Employment team explain your position and how you can calculate the amount that your employee is entitled to.

Who has parental responsibility?

Sam Miles
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All birth mothers automatically have parental responsibility as do fathers who are married to the mother at the time a child was born.  The rules regarding parental responsibility do alter for children whose parents are not married; Sam Miles, Partner in our Southampton based Family team explains more about parental responsibility in these situations and what this means for the input you have in your child’s life. 

Do I have to wait 2 years for a divorce?

Claire Knight
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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.  Claire Knight, Family Solicitor in our Southampton office, explains your position further if you find yourself in this situation, and advises what your next steps are.

How do I end my civil partnership?

Sam Miles
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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

Sam Miles
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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

Sam Miles
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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?

Graeme Barclay
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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.  Graeme Barclay, Family Law Partner, 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

Sam Miles
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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

Sam Miles
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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.  Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews...

Could we be separating from fault-based divorce system?

Sam Miles
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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...

Supreme Court rule divorced husband should not increase ex wife payments

Sam Miles
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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...

What are my rights as a step-parent following divorce?

Sam Miles
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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...

Access Disputes - how to settle your differences without going to court

Graeme Barclay
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Whether you are married, in a civil partnership or cohabiting, splitting up can be an emotional time.  If there are children involved, the feelings of hurt and anger can be magnified.  However, this is the time when your children need you to be at your most level-headed. 

Could a pre-nuptial agreement be the answer for your marriage?

Sam Miles
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As we move closer towards Spring, thoughts turn more to wedding season and if you are tying the knot this year it is likely you have spent time carefully planning everything from the bouquets to the table centres.  

Falling out from Christmas

Claire Knight
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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.   

Parents representing themselves in Court; what is the impact on the children?

Sam Miles
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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.  

Making Christmas arrangements for your children following a divorce or separation

Graeme Barclay
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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.  

How to negotiate finances in a divorce

Sam Miles
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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.  

What rights do grandparents have in a divorce?

Sam Miles
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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.

Will my business be used in my divorce?

Sam Miles
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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.

What plans should I make for my children when I divorce?

Sam Miles
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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.

Could new divorce form increase blame culture?

Sam Miles
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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.

Should I divorce or stay separated?

Sam Miles
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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.

International relocation of a child following separation - what are the facts?

Graeme Barclay
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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.  

Family Mediator receives accreditation for Child Inclusive Mediation

Sam Miles
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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.  

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

Sam Miles
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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

Sam Miles
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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 domestic violence victims prosecuting their abusers on the decline

Sam Miles
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Cuts in police and support services are being blamed for an increase in the number of domestic violence victims withdrawing charges against their alleged abusers.  Worryingly, in correlation with this decline in victims following through their charges, the number of domestic violence incidents is on the increase.  Sam Miles, Family Lawyer, explains here what support is out there for victims, including the importance of legal advice.

Divorce case calls 'sharing principle' into question

Claire Knight
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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.

Greater rights for cohabiting couples?

Sam Miles
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After an eight year legal battle, a Northern Ireland woman has won her case in the Supreme Court to claim a share of her former partner’s pension, who died in 2009.  Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews the case here and explains that, while this now brings Northern Ireland in line with laws already in England, Wales and Scotland, this does have larger implications for cohabiting couples rights.

Judge rules unhappiness is not a reason to divorce

Sam Miles
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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.

Husband ordered to increase maintenance payments to ex wife despite divorcing 15 years ago

Sam Miles
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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.

How to divorce when serving in the military

Sam Miles
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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.

Does a Valentines wedding mean divorce?

Graeme Barclay
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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. 

Number of divorces fall while the cost increases

Sam Miles
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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?

Sam Miles
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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?

Sam Miles
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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?

Sam Miles
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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?

Sam Miles
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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?

Sam Miles
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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.

Financial claims still possible 23 years after divorce

Graeme Barclay
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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.

Mr vs Mrs: A mediators verdict

Sam Miles
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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.

Call the mediator

Sam Miles
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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.

Compromise is key to an amicable divorce

Graeme Barclay
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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.

Residence disputes can arise long after divorce proceedings are finalised

Sam Miles
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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.

Rising costs of divorce encourage couples to 'nest' together

Sam Miles
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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

Sam Miles
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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.

Ministry of Justice study shows children "do better" when they see both parents

Sam Miles
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A study was commissioned by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) aiming to shed light on how parental separation might affect children’s well-being.