Divorce or separation can be a time of heartache and conflict, but there are occasions where couples mutually agree that their marriage is over. Sadly however, current divorce law makes an amicable separation difficult by forcing couples to place blame on each other unless they can wait two years to process their divorce.
According to a recent report in the Telegraph, more men than ever are receiving generous payouts from the divorce courts, with some also securing ongoing monthly maintenance from bread-winning wives.
This is likely to be an increasing trend, with women earning higher salaries and often being the main earner in a family. The Institute of Public Policy Research states that for 1 in 3 UK families, it is the wife who is the higher earner.
Relationship breakdowns are often more challenging where there are children to consider. The children rarely understand why their parents must live apart and have difficulties themselves coping with the changes. Resolving issues such as where your children will live and how you’re going to care for them now you are separated can be a minefield.
The potential complexities surrounding childcare have featured heavily in the media as, following his recent and very public split from Angelina Jolie, actor Brad Pitt is seeking joint custody of their six children.
This month, a new power came into force enabling the courts to make female genital mutilation protection orders.
This means that potential or actual victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) can now apply to the Family Courts for a protection order to ensure the necessary steps to guarantee their safety. This includes preventing girls being taken abroad to undergo FGM and the surrender of travel documents and passports.
As well as the girls themselves, other people who can apply for an order include the Police, Local Authorities, teachers, family members and friends.
Recent years have seen visible campaigns to drive more individuals and couples wishing to become parents to consider the adoption route.
From the beginning of May 2015, the £19.3 million Adoption Support Fund became available nationwide however, it has been reported that the number of babies made subject to special guardianships, and therefore placed with extended family members, friends or foster parents rather than adopters, has tripled.
Adoption has changed. As same sex couples gain the right to marry, and England and Wales allowing single people to adopt, there are more prospective adopters waiting to start or grow their family.
Couples who finalised their divorce before 2000 should take immediate measures to protect their share of any pensions or suffer significant losses advise family specialists at Linder Myers Solicitors.
Under recent pension reforms couples who were divorced before pension sharing orders became widely used are exposed to the risk of their ex-partner withdrawing their entire pension from the age of 55 – including any share provided for them as part of an earmarking order.
Family specialist Colin Davies, a partner at Linder Myers Solicitors, will be presenting a seminar tackling the issue of forced marriage at an event hosted by the Association of Asian Women Lawyers.
Taking place at JMW’s offices on Byron Place on 25th November between 5.30pm – 7.00pm, the seminar will cover the scale of the issue in this country and victims’ legal rights in such circumstances.
Leading family judge Sir James Munby has indicated that there may be further radical changes to the way in which divorces are dealt with in the UK questioning the need for the courts’ involvement and pushing for reforms to remove the current fault based system.
The announcement, made during a conference in Wales, criticised the Government which according to Munby, ‘has failed to act’ on making the changes which, in his view, are ‘desperately needed – have been desperately needed for at least 40 years’.
A recently published report by national counselling service Relate has found that many couples are only staying together because they can’t afford to go their separate ways.
The Relationships, Recession and Recovery report also found an increase in the number of cases of domestic violence indicating that the stress of financial pressures is placing a significant strain on some couples and escalating to physical abuse.
Tom Wordsworth, a paralegal in Linder Myers Solicitors’ family team in Chester, recently took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, the high profile charity fundraiser in aid of The Motor Neurone Disease Association.
The private client and commercial law firm co-ordinated colleagues across its five locations including Preston, Lytham, Manchester and Shrewsbury, to raise money for this charity and Macmillan Cancer Support with participants including trainees through to senior equity partners taking part across the business.
A new independent study published by the University of Exeter has shown that a staggering 45% of those surveyed in England and Wales were completely unaware of the options available to them to help dissolve their marriage out of court.
Justice minister Simon Hughes recently announced that children will have a say in family proceedings in England and Wales in the future during a Voice of the Child annual conference.
The House of Lords has recently heard a private members’ bill which seeks to simplify the process of divorce. The proposed changes could harm more families than they help however, according to family law specialists at Linder Myers Solicitors.
Major changes to the way in which family matters are dealt with such as divorce, domestic violence, adoption and Local Authority intervention cases have come into force impacting thousands of families in England and Wales.
Aiming to reduce the number of Court battles between divorcing couples, new proposals being introduced by the Law Commission are set to enshrine prenuptial agreements in law. The changes are set to revolutionise the divorce process in England & Wales, with couples being able safeguard their assets in the event of a relationship breakdown. The…
This week’s Supreme Court ruling in favour of the wife of an oil tycoon against the companies owned by him has set a precedent for business owners says a family law specialist at Linder Myers.
Colin Davies, partner in Linder Myers’ family team, has recently qualified as a family arbitrator providing separating couples with an alternative to the Courts when trying to resolve financial disputes.
The NHS recently paid a five figure compensation to the children born through sperm donation in a medical negligence case raising the question of the parental rights and obligations of a sperm donor.
As the media storm and consumer frenzy continues to swirl around the book Fifty Shades of Grey, which is being credited with everything from encouraging a baby boom to bringing fire back into bedrooms, putting the spice back into a failing relationship can only be a good thing according to Linder Myers.
As the UK’s Muslim population is predicted to double to 5.5 million in the next 20 years, the recent landmark case in the Court of Appeal ruling that a Blackburn Doctor, married under Sharia Law had to pay his ex-wife maintenance has sent out a strong signal.