Family Law

Do I have to go to court to get divorced?

To legally end your marriage, it is necessary to apply to the court and begin the legal divorce process . However, unless the divorce is defended by the other party, there will be no need for you to attend court. The judge will consider the divorce...

Can a parent change a child's school without the other parent's consent?

Mark Vandaele, the Head of the Family Department at George Green Solicitors Wolverhampton, has recently dealt with the above issue at court on an urgent basis. A parent cannot unilaterally change their child’s school without the consent of others who...

Can I apply for Decree Absolute out of time?

The Decree Absolute is the formal legal document which ends your marriage. If you are the Petitioner you can make your application for Decree Absolute as soon as six weeks and one day after the pronouncement of the Decree Nisi. However, if you apply for ...

Should I issue my divorce petition online?

Since May 2018, individuals but not solicitors, have been able to issue divorce petitions online, and 40% of divorce petitions are now issued online. However, recent Ministry of Justice data shows that petitions issued online are less likely to result...

What rights do I have if I cohabit rather than marry?

Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal that only 50.5% of people in England and Wales were married in 2018; which has decreased from 51% in 2017. On the other hand, cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type, with an...

What are lump sum payments in a divorce settlement?

Even after you have divorced your ex-spouse, you must also reach a financial settlement with them to avoid any outstanding financial claims in the future even after your divorce has been finalised. If you cannot reach an agreement with your ex-spouse...

Who pays the costs of Private Children Proceedings in court?

The starting point is always that each party will pay their own legal costs in private children proceedings , regardless of the outcome of the case. The case of Re T (a child) (2005) confirms that it will be exceptional for the court to make a costs...

Protection from Domestic Abuse: Can I obtain an injunction?

Non-molestation orders are a common type of injunction that can protect victims of domestic abuse. The order prohibits a person (the respondent) from molesting another person, i.e the applicant or their child. The types of behaviour that can be prohibited...

Children Law: Can a parent be restricted from making further Court Applications?

When the court is considering an application for a Child Arrangement Order , the court has the power to order that no further applications can be made in respect of the children without the express permission of the court. These orders are often called...

Grandparents: Court Applications for Contact with Grandchildren

Grandparents play an important role in the lives of their grandchildren. A grandparent may want to make a court application for contact with a grandchild in the event that contact breaks down.  Typically, grandparents do not have automatic...

My ex has been abusive and I am worried about becoming homeless. What can I do?

If you have suffered domestic violence and you are worried about having a safe place to live, we can apply to the court for an Occupation Order to regulate the occupation of the family home. The court has the power to order the respondent to leave the...

My income has dropped now that I have separated

If your income has reduced following your separation from your partner, and your partner still enjoys a high income disproportionate to their needs, you can apply to the court for a ‘Maintenance Pending Suit’ application. The court has the power...

What is a clean break?

The object of a clean break is to settle once and for all the parties’ financial responsibilities towards each other and to end their financial interdependence, enabling them to leave their past behind and begin anew.  The court has a duty to...

Can the court order my partner to pay the costs of the divorce petition?

When a divorce petition is issued, it is possible to include a request for the court to order the Respondent to pay the costs of the petition. This can include an order to pay the Petitioner’s legal fees, as well as the court fees for the...

Can my partner and I decide how to split our assets following a divorce?

It is possible for partners to agree amicably how their assets and finances should be split following a divorce . However, for the agreement to be binding, it must be sent to the court and approved in a consent order. Typically, neither party needs to...

How do the court divide finances following a divorce?

There are numerous ways that assets and finances can be divided between parties following a divorce . The court will consider the factors in section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, these factors will assist the court in what type of order should be...

Is a marriage abroad legally valid in the UK?

When a marriage has taken place abroad, it will be recognised as valid in the United Kingdom if the marriage complied with all the matrimonial laws of the foreign country. This principle is called “Lex Loci Celebrationis” and it means “the...

Will my pension be affected by divorce?

Over the past 20 years, pensions have become an increasingly important part of financial settlement in divorce proceedings . Pensions are most likely to be considered relevant if the marriage has been long and the majority of the pension has accrued...

Does it matter who starts the divorce process?

The person who begins the divorce process is called the 'petitioner'. The person who is responding to the divorce is called the 'respondent'. A petitioner will usually incur greater costs during the initial stages of the process due to...

What is a Child Arrangements Order?

The Court can make a Child Arrangements Order if parents are unable to agree between themselves what the arrangements for a child should be. The Order can cover a variety of factors, including: Which parent the child will live with How much time...
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