Family Law

Fears of Domestic Violence spiking during coronavirus lockdown

In the words of Home Secretary Priti Patel, isolation and lockdown is a hard time for everyone, however for some people it is even harder, because home is not the safe haven it should be. The government have confirmed that, whilst the advice across the...

Anticipated inheritance under a Will during Divorce Proceedings

When the Family Court consider the matrimonial pot of assets to be divided during Divorce Proceedings, the Court treat "anticipated inheritance" differently to inherited wealth which has already been received. The main argument behind this is...

Progress of Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill

The first reading of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation bill (the “Bill”) took place in the House of Commons on 25 March 2020. The date for the second reading will shortly be scheduled. The Bill has passed through the House of Lords and at...

Family Law: Can I change the ownership of my property if I am separating from my partner?

When you own a property with someone, you can own it as joint tenants or tenants in common. If you own your property as joint tenants, you both have equal rights to the whole property and the other owner will automatically inherit the property regardless of...

Inherited assets and divorce. How is inherited wealth treated by the courts?

If you are getting divorced, you may be concerned that you wish to protect assets you inherited from your family members from being within the ‘pot’ of assets to divide with your spouse. The general starting point is that the court will consider...

What is the test for breaching a Child Arrangements Order?

The government’s recommendation to self-isolate or socially distance in light of the coronavirus pandemic creates an unprecedented circumstance for separated parents to work around.  If you are a parent with an existing child arrangements order in...

The impact of social distancing on child arrangement orders

  It goes without saying that the COVID19 outbreak across the globe creates unchartered territory for separated parents to navigate. If you have an existing child arrangements order in place, you may be concerned about the impact of the government...

Family finances on divorce - when is an agreement reached binding?

If parties have reached an agreement how to divide their finances during a divorce , a solicitor will usually prepare a consent order mirroring the terms reached and send this to the court for approval.  The consent order being sealed by the court is...

What are my property rights as a cohabitee?

Family law covers more than married couples separating; when cohabiting couples separate a family lawyer will be able to assist with any property disputes that arise. There may also be disputes arising around debts that the cohabiting couple have...

What does CAFCASS do?

CAFCASS is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service and is involved in public law cases involving local authority care proceedings and private law matters, such as where an application is made to the Family Court for a  Child...

What is a freezing order?

If you are going through a divorce or dissolving a civil partnership, you may be worried that your spouse or civil partner is spending as much money as they can or selling assets to prevent you from receiving any financial gain from them. You can apply to...

Dividing an Armed Forces Pension on Divorce

If you, or your spouse, has an Armed Forces Pension that has accrued during the length of your marriage – this will be a valuable asset to be considered during Divorce Proceedings . An Armed Forces Pension is one of the most generous pension schemes...

Can I move our children to a different country to live if we are separated?

If you are separated from the other parent of your child, you may decide that you would like to relocate to a different part of the country or even a different country.  The recent case of AY v AS [2019] EWHC 3043 (Fam) indicates that the court will...

What happens when a process server serves the divorce proceedings on my spouse?

If you have attempted to serve the divorce proceedings on your spouse and this has not been possible, or they have successfully been served but your spouse refuses to return the Acknowledgment of Service (AOS) form, you can instruct a process server to serve...

What happens at a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing?

When dividing matrimonial finances at court, the ‘Financial Dispute Resolution’ hearing (FDR) is usually the hearing after the First Directions Appointment (FDA).  At the first hearing, preliminary issues will be decided such as whether...

How does separating from my spouse affect Capital Gains Tax?

Typically married couples will be exempt from Capital Gains Tax (CGT) when they transfer (or sell) assets between themselves. This is because the disposal of assets is not treated as ‘chargeable’. The law states that the transfers between spouses...

Opposite-sex couples can now enter into civil partnerships

The Civil Partnership (Opposite-Sex Couples) Regulations 2019 (the “Regulations”) came into force on 2nd December 2019 and allow opposite-sex couples to enter into civil partnerships in England and Wales. The Regulations require couples to give...

Can I get divorced in England and Wales if I have lived abroad?

In England and Wales, the court can deal with your divorce or dissolution of your civil partnership if at least one of the following applies: Both parties are habitually resident i n England and Wales. Both parties were last habitually resident in...

Can I get divorced if my spouse lives abroad?

If you were married or entered into a civil partnership in England and Wales, but your spouse lives abroad, you will need to think carefully about how to serve the divorce proceedings on them overseas. You can initially post the issued divorce proceedings...

Entitlement to Universal Credit following a divorce

One of the sad realities of divorce is that a household that enjoyed a moderate income whilst married, will now need to be divided in order for two households to be supported. This may leave one, or both, parties in a position where they need state...
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