Family Law

Do Harry and Meghan have a prenup?

Unfortunately unless Harry or Meghan choose to tell the world we will probably never know. Prenuptial agreements are private documents, they are not a matter of public record and are not done through the courts. There is therefore no record of them, other...

Blameless divorce?

Next month the Supreme Court is due to hear the case of a wife currently stuck in a loveless marriage but who has been denied a divorce. Mr and Mrs Owen were married in 1978 and had two children together. Their marriage broke down and they separated in 2015....

What is a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice?

If you are married or in a civil partnership and the family home is held in the sole name of your spouse or civil partner if the relationship breaks down you should consider registering your home rights.  Home rights permit...

Can I stop my former partner from entering our home?

If you are not married and your former partner is not a legal owner of the property they do not have the right to enter it without your permission. If they insist on doing so you can seek the assistance of the Police in removing...

Can I start divorce proceedings?

You are able to issue a Divorce Petition for dissolution of your marriage provided you have been married for at least 12 months. You will need your marriage certificate and also your spouse’s contact details. The court fee is currently £550...

What is a non-molestation order?

A non-molestation order is an order preventing a person from molesting another person (or a child). The parties have to be associated in some way. Usually they would be former partners, but certain family members and people who have lived together...

Can I change my child's surname?

From the age of 16 your child can change their own surname by executing a Deed of Name Change.  Under the age of 16 the consent of everyone with parental responsibility is required.  While this does not necessarily...

Is it OK to take my spouse's documents if I think they are hiding something?

The short answer to this question is no. You should not access any confidential documents belonging to your spouse or civil partner.  This includes communications regarding their private life and their personal business dealings.  Your solicitor...

83 Year Old Husband Jailed for Breach of Court Order

An 83 year old businessman has been sentenced to 14 months in prison after failing to comply with a Court order regarding the financial settlement arising from the breakdown of his marriage. In 2015, the Court ordered that his wife be awarded £3.5m of...

Do I have Parental Responsibility?

Parental Responsibility refers to the rights, responsibilities, duties and authorities that a person can have in relation to a child. Parental Responsibility for a child is automatically acquired at the child’s birth by the following: 1) the...

What is Parental Responsibility?

The term ‘Parental Responsibility’ refers to the rights, responsibilities, duties and authorities that a parent (or, in some circumstances, a third party) can have in relation to a child. By way of example, anyone with parental responsibility ...

'For Richer, For Poorer'- Money Worries & Marriage

New research has shown that financial difficulties is one of the most cited reasons behind the breakdown of a marriage. In fact, the same research suggests that over 1 in 10 married couples may divorce in 2018 due to concerns regarding money.   ...

When is a final order final in children matters?

Research published by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has shown that 30% of the c40,000 private law application in 2016/2017 had been to court before.  Most of them returned within 2 years and almost 1/3 rd...

Can I take my child abroad?

If there is no court order in place in respect of the arrangements for your child, then if the other parent has parental responsibility (you were married or they are named on the child’s birth certificate) then you would need their permission.  ...

Parental Alienation - Cafcass announce a new approach

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has recently highlighted the phenomenon of parental alienation which takes place when one parent deliberately turns a child or children against the other parent with a view to excluding...

Is there such a thing as Common Law Marriage?

The number of cohabiting couples (i.e. unmarried couples living together) has increased significantly over recent years. Despite this increase, there remains an urban myth that couples who live together have similar rights to those who are married under what...

We're getting married next year, should we be discussing a pre-nup?

An engaged couple may consider preparing a pre-nuptial agreement documenting what should happen to their assets in the event that their marriage comes to an end. Such an agreement may be contemplated, in particular, in the following circumstances; ...

What happens to the dog on divorce?

What happens to pets on divorce can be a very contentious issue.  As far as the law is concerned, they are treated in the same manner as the furniture in the family home i.e. they go under the umbrella of chattels.  In some cases, sadly, pets...

What happens to the kids on divorce?

If you and your spouse can agree the arrangements for your children when you get divorced , then no one else needs to get involved.  The court does not need to sanction your agreement because you are expected, as parents, to act in the best...

How much will my divorce cost?

If you are considering starting divorce proceedings, you may have concerns in relation to the cost of the process and how these costs will be met. In order to send a Divorce Petition to the Court , there is a Court fee of £550. This is a standard fee...
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