Family Law

Domestic Abuse - What is coercive control? How do I know if I'm experiencing it?

Coercive control is a form of domestic abuse which is not necessarily physical. It is a type of controlling behaviour which is a regular pattern, making the victim feel isolated and deprived of their independence and confidence. It often makes victims feel...

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 would...

A non-molestation order has been made against me. Will this impact on my job?

A non-molestation order is not the same as a criminal conviction.  The standard of proof is not as high as in criminal proceedings and it can be put in place by consent without any findings being made against the individual involved at all.  It...

I lived with my husband/wife before we got married. Will this make any difference if we get divorced?

This can, in fact, make a big difference as when cohabitation passes seamlessly into marriage the years of prior cohabitation are generally added to the length of the marriage. If a couple lived together for 10 years before marriage and then divorced 2...

Does my husband/wife have to have a solicitor when we divorce if I have one?

The short answer to this question is no.  Your solicitor cannot however legally advise your spouse and will regularly remind your spouse in correspondence of their right to receive their own independent legal advice.  When you and your spouse have...

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 are...

Why can't I divorce my spouse straight away without alleging fault?

It is very unfortunate that under the law of England and Wales as is currently stands you have to allege fault in order to obtain a divorce unless you are prepared to wait for 2 years and have the consent of your spouse.  This means that for the...

Divorce and Finances: Is capital always divided equally?

The starting point when considering finances on divorce is an equal division of capital and marital assets. However, there are a number of reasons which can displace this starting point.  These are known as the ‘section 25 factors’ found in...

Do I have to continue paying child maintenance if either me or my ex-partner remarries?

Child maintenance is paid by an absent parent for the benefit of the children concerned.  If you are a non-resident parent, you have an ongoing legal duty to maintain your child financially up until they reach age 18.  Whether or not you have...

Can I move abroad with my children?

You cannot move abroad unilaterally without gaining the consent of all parties who have Parental Responsibility for the child.  This is most likely to be the other parent, however it is possible for other parties to have acquired parental responsibility...

Children: Can I stop a violent ex-partner from seeing his child?

If you have concerns about the safety of your child having contact with a violent partner , you may be justified in withholding contact between the child and your ex-partner until the appropriate safeguards are put into place in order to protect the...

How long do I have to file for divorce if I have discovered adultery?

There are currently five ‘facts’ that can be used as evidence to show that a relationship has irretrievably broken down in order to begin divorce proceedings in the UK.  If you wish to rely on the fact of adultery, you have 6 months from...

Divorce proceedings: At what stage is my divorce complete?

There are many stages to the divorce process, and you are officially divorced from your spouse only when the court has granted your Decree Absolute.  The entire process can take between 6 to 12 months, however this can vary from case to case.  The...

What is the difference between Decree Nisi and Decree Absolute?

A Decree Nisi is an order from the Court confirming that the Petitioner is entitled to a divorce . It confirms that the marriage has broken down irretrievably and that the reason for the divorce has been accepted. It does not complete the divorce and the...

No-fault divorce to start in autumn 2021

A bill to introduce no-fault divorces in England and Wales has been debated in Parliament this week and has now received backing from MPs. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has now reached the finishing line of its parliamentary journey and time...

Am I entitled to any benefits if I separate from my spouse?

Divorcing or separating couples can often have a number of concerns regarding their finances and how they will manage to meet their own outgoings once they separate and no longer have financial support from their former partner. One party in particular...

Do I need to wait 6 weeks to apply for my Decree Absolute?

As the law stands, a Petitioner in Divorce Proceedings cannot apply for their Decree Absolute until 6 weeks and 1 day have passed from the granting of their Decree Nisi. Whilst it is possible for an application to be made to expedite a divorce and to...

Can I get divorced during the Coronavirus pandemic?

The current lockdown restrictions are hard for everyone, but for those contemplating separation or divorce , this is likely to be an incredibly difficult situation. Many of those may have been on the verge of issuing divorce proceedings and are now unsure...

Myths about Parental Responsibility: what am I allowed to do?

Myths about Parental Responsibility:  what am I allowed to do?  Most parents will exercise their Parental Responsibility day to day without realising. However, when parents separate, it can become at the forefront of their minds. There are...

Domestic Abuse: Do I have to flee my home, or can the court force my partner to leave instead?

With the outbreak of coronavirus, the government advice is for much of the country to stay at home as much as possible. There are exceptions to this rule, one of which is that victims of domestic abuse can leave the home to seek refuge.  Therefore,...
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