Coronavirus and Family Law: child contact, Court hearings etc

Coronavirus and Family Law- Child contact, Court hearings etc

Coronavirus poses a serious risk to the health of our loved ones. But there are additional worries:

  • Can you see your children
  • Will your Court case go ahead
  • Money worries – some action you can take
  • Domestic abuse and domestic violence

Time to consult an experienced family lawyer – we can assist you with remote advice by phone or Skype. In the meantime I will answer some of your most urgent questions in this blog. But first, a reminder of the coronavirus rules.

How to stay safe and reduce the spread of infection

The Government has issued social distancing rules to limit the spread of coronavirus:

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. Those at increased risk of severe illness are advised to be particularly stringent. This group includes those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition – a list of these conditions is here.

For those with possible coronavirus in their household

Here are the stay at home rules.

Should you send your children for contact? Can you see your children?

You have a Court order or an agreement setting out the child arrangements. This sets out the contact routine, or that the children live part of the time with you, part of the time with their other parent. The Government says: Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homesThis doesn’t mean children must move between parents’ homes, it just means they can. 

In normal times, no one should break a Court order, and if they do, the other parent can ask the Court to enforce it. The Court may agree there was a ‘reasonable excuse’ for breaching the order. But otherwise the penalties are unpaid work, compensation, fines etc. However if you both act in good faith and do your best to reach a sensible arrangement in the current crisis, the Court is unlikely to object.

But what if someone has coronavirus symptoms

If either household has a member with coronavirus symptoms, then the stay at home rules apply. Try to reach a common sense agreement between you. For example, during the fourteen day quarantine period have contact with the children by FaceTime, Skype, or phone instead.

What if someone is vulnerable

If someone in either household is in a vulnerable category, you need to protect them against infection. This could mean the children can’t move between households safely. Make alternative arrangements, for example contact by FaceTime, Skype, or phone. This is hard, I know, but taking this precaution could literally save someone’s life. This is a particularly tricky area. Consult an experienced family lawyer.

Remote contact with a young child – how to make it work

How about each household having a stock of age appropriate books, games, art materials, crafts. This will help make remote contact a constructive and creative play session for younger children.

Be flexible

One or both of you may now have full time child care responsibilities, and be struggling to work at home. You may be unable to travel on public transport because you fear infection. Try to rethink your arrangement for as long as the crisis lasts. For example, alter the arrangements for transporting the children to and from contact. If you can’t agree this between you, consider mediation (which can be offered remotely) or collaborative law.

What can I do during contact visits

Obey the social distancing rules: stay indoors with the children.

Try to adapt amicably

The top rule in dealing with child contact at the moment is to come to an amicable agreement: try to smooth things over, stay calm, find a middle ground – if only in the interests of the children.

Money worries

If you’re worried about debt, take a look at StepChangeIf you’re worried about your job and wages, take a look at the guidance for employees on gov.uk. If you’re self-employed or a member of a partnership and have lost income, take a look at guidance on gov.uk.

Child support

If the paying parent’s salary evaporates because of the current crisis, they will need to inform the Child Maintenance Service and be reassessed. If you have agreed payments between yourselves, perhaps you could agree a lesser amount, or a payment holiday, on a temporary basis. This is a difficult time for both households, you’re both facing unusual financial challenges. Try to agree something if you can. Otherwise consult an experienced family lawyer and/or consider mediation (by Skype) or collaborative law.

Maintenance

Similarly with maintenance paid by one former spouse to another. If there’s a Court order, you must keep to it, and make an application to the Court for a variation order. If you don’t keep the maintenance payments going, your ex can make an application to the Court for an enforcement order, which can include payment of the arrears. In these financially precarious times, consult an experienced family lawyer and/or consider mediation (by Skype) or collaborative law.

Court hearings about the children or the family finances or domestic violence

The Court wants all family hearings to go ahead and most will go ahead remotely with the use of technology.  The Court has issued guidance, COVID 19: National guidance for the Family Court 19th March 2020 with the aim to “keep business going safely“.  Hearings should be by email, telephone, video or Skype if at all possible. This will be a learning curve for the Courts and will take a week or two to settle down.

The guidance covers how to arrange telephone and video hearings. There is a list of the type of hearings that must now go ahead remotely. The guidance lists who is responsible for making the arrangements for the remote hearing. A Court bundle must be submitted – a PDF by email.

If it’s not clear whether your hearing can go ahead remotely, it will be necessary to have a remote directions hearing. This hearing will make the necessary plans.

Domestic abuse/violence

If you are the victim of domestic abuse or violence, the Courts and the police are there to protect you. Here are some things you can do right now:

  1. If you ever feel in immediate danger, contact 999 immediately
  2. Domestic abuse or violence is a crime and you should report it to the police. Various organisations offer help and support. The gov.uk site has a list with links
  3. Phone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247, or visit their website
  4. Consult a family solicitor in strictest confidence. You may need the protection of a Court injunction:
    1. A non molestation injunction prohibits an abuser from using or threatening violence against you, or harassing, pestering or intimidating you. The police can arrest the abuser if they breach the order
    2. An occupation order will say who can live in the family home or enter the surrounding area

Coronavirus and Family Law: Child contact, Court hearings etc

Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial consultation on Coronavirus and Family Law: Child contact, Court hearings etc. In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family lawyers. We offer Pay as you go costs. We offer Collaborative law solutions tailored to your family’s needs.

The topics covered in this blog post Coronavirus and Family Law: Child contact, Court hearings etc are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.

image for Coronavirus and Family Law: Child contact, Court hearings etc, A woman looking out the window (Unsplash) by Kate Williams on Wikimedia

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Divorce finances: what happens at the final hearing

Divorce finances what happens at the final hearing

This is the most challenging time – make sure you get advice from an expert family lawyer on the subject of divorce finances: what happens at the final hearing.

The FDR crumbled

You didn’t reach agreement at the FDR, but not all is lost. The Judge’s indication of the likely outcome of your case can be a wake up call. There’s plenty of opportunity in the weeks before the final hearing to negotiate and reach a settlement.

The earlier you settle, the better. Heading towards a final hearing is when the serious stuff kicks in – vital and detailed preparation – and if at this stage you decide to get legal help, it won’t come cheap: it’s the most expensive time in any Court case.

You need to follow the Court order setting out the timetable for the lead up to the final hearing. You’ll either have agreed it with your ex, or the Court will have imposed it.

What’s the plan

Follow the timetable. It’s not optional, and there are dates to keep to. It can include orders to provide:

  • updated financial disclosure
  • valuations of land and property
  • pensions report
  • tax report
  • Court bundle
  • costs estimate
  • open offers of settlement

What’s a Court bundle

It contains all relevant documents plus the “preliminary documents” (see below). It’s paginated and indexed, and is extremely useful in a final hearing. But who prepares it?

  • the applicant (as opposed to the respondent). If you’re not sure who’s who, look at your latest Court order. And it’s not necessarily the same as who started the divorce. But if the applicant is a litigant in person, the bundle is prepared by:
  • the respondent. But if the respondent is a litigant in person there’s no bundle, unless the Court directs otherwise.

What’s in the Court bundle

Not every single document, letter, email – just what’s set out in Practice Direction 27a

What are the preliminary documents

see Practice Direction 27a, but in brief:

  • case summary
  • statement of issues
  • position statement by each of you (what you want and why you think it’s fair – in line with your open offer)
  • chronology

If you haven’t done a s25 statement, your position statement will have to include it.

What’s a s25 statement

Provides all the details required by s25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

  • income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources 
  • financial needs
  • standard of living before the marriage breakdown 
  • age
  • duration of the marriage
  • physical or mental disability 
  • contributions to the welfare of the family
  • conduct of your ex

Conduct 

S.25 mentions conduct “inequitable to disregard” – and it goes well beyond committing adultery. My next blog will cover this subject.

Conference with Counsel

Or, in plain English, a meeting with your barrister.

Now’s a good time to take expert legal advice and employ a barrister to represent you. It’s an expensive step, but you need to make sure your position and your needs are fairly and expertly represented.

The doors of the Court

Quite often an agreement is reached just before you’re due to walk into the final hearing.

What happens at the final hearing

In brief:

  • it won’t be the same Judge as at the FDR, and they won’t know what happened at the FDR
  • you and your ex will give evidence under oath and be cross examined
  • experts will be questioned about, for example, the value of the business or of the home
  • the Judge will make an order

What is cross examination

It’s when you or your barrister ask your ex questions. These focus on the areas in dispute, for example:

  • fitness to work
  • earning potential
  • new partner
  • household expenditure.

Don’t forget – you’ll be cross examined, too.

Orders the Judge can make

See the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 . Examples:

  • property adjustment
  • maintenance
  • pension sharing
  • orders for sale
  • duration of financial orders

Questions about financial disclosure

This is the sixth blog in a series, and includes blogs on how to complete Form E; prepare a statement of issues, chronology and questionnaire. You are also led through the First Appointment and the FDR.

Divorce finances: what happens at the final hearing

Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial consultation on Divorce finances: what happens at the final hearing. In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family lawyers. We offer Pay as you go costs. We offer Collaborative law solutions tailored to your family’s needs.

The topics covered in this blog post Divorce finances: what happens at the final hearing are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.

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Your Top 10 Divorce Questions Answered

Your Top 10 Divorce Questions Answered

1. Can I do the divorce/end our civil partnership myself

Yes, here’s a guide to how to file for divorce in the UKIt also tells you about the challenges you might faceIf in doubt, consult an expert family lawyer.

2. How much will it cost

The Court fee is £550 but:

  • are you eligible for an exemption? Here’s a link to an application form, or
  • will your ex pay? You can ask the Court to make an order although it’s not guaranteed the Court will agree so try to reach agreement with your ex.

3. How long will it take

About four months ruling out mishaps with the paperwork. But it’s wise to delay completing your divorce until you have a financial order. Why? Because you might miss out on your fair share; eg if your ex dies after the divorce but before you have a financial order you could lose out on their pension. Not sure? Consult an expert family solicitor.

4. How are the finances split 

Equally – subject to the following factors:

  • welfare of children
  • income and earning capacity –  a “clean break” means a payment of capital instead of ongoing maintenance
  • financial needs – eg the care of children
  • standard of living during the marriage – in rare cases where there is an excess of capital and income this is an argument for a greater share
  • your ages, and the length of the marriage – different considerations apply if it’s a short marriage
  • disabilities – ongoing maintenance or extra capital may be the answer
  • contributions to marriage – high achievers can attempt to ring fence their “stellar contribution

Try to agree the finances with your ex – see my recent blog How to avoid Court for your options:

5. Do I have to disclose my finances

Yes. Hiding assets or income drags things out and can result in an expensive and never ending court case. You will disclose your assets and income in a Form E Financial Statement, and/or a Statement of Information for Consent Order (if your agreed settlement is protected in a consent order)

If you don’t make full disclosure you risk:

  • adverse inferences being drawn as to the extent of your assets
  • extra costs
  • imprisonment for contempt of Court

Think you’ve got away with it? The Court can overturn financial orders when non disclosure or fraudulent disclosure comes to light. Transferring assets to someone else? You risk a Court order freezing your assets and a hefty costs order. Hiding assets? You risk imprisonment for contempt of Court.

6. Can I ring fence my assets 

Yes, sometimes, but you must still give full and frank disclosure first. What’s the best way to ring fence and protect assets on divorce? A prenuptial agreement.

If you’re already married, a post nuptial agreement. 

7. What’s a non matrimonial asset

Take advice because it depends on all the circumstances:

  • the house you owned before the marriage
  • the pension you paid since you started work
  • the inheritance that post dated separation
  • your business

But if there aren’t enough matrimonial assets left to fulfil your ex’s needs eg for housing, non matrimonial assets can be used to plug the gap.

8. Is it possible to ring fence and protect an earlier inheritance

Possibly if you never allowed it to be used as a matrimonial asset.

9. Can a business be ring fenced

Your ex might make a claim over your business but won’t automatically be entitled to a share of the business on divorce, and if they are, they could instead receive a larger share of other assets such as savings or the family home. Take advice, this is a tricky one.

Joint business? The options are:

  • split it between you
  • buy each other out
  • sell it

Here again a you might want to consider a post nuptial agreement.

10. My husband/wife/civil partner has left me what are my rights

Worried your ex will:

  • sell your home because it’s not in joint names
  • sell, hide or move valuable assets

The answers are:

  • an application to the Land Registry to register a Notice of Home Rights – anyone who is not a joint owner should register their home rights when a marriage breaks down
  • an urgent application to the Court to freeze assets

You need maintenance:

  • on an emergency basis
  • to support the children

The answers are:

Your Top 10 Divorce Questions Answered

Contact Family Lawyer Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for an initial consultation on Your Top 10 Divorce Questions Answered. In this 20 minute session she will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family lawyers. We offer Pay as you go costs. We offer Collaborative law solutions tailored to your family’s needs.

The topics covered in this blog post Your Top 10 Divorce Questions Answered are complex. They are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog apply to you, seek expert legal advice.

image for Your Top 10 Divorce Questions Answered – Facial portrait of sad expression by a female actress by xusenru on Wikimedia

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Brexit, Divorce and Family Law – What if there’s “No Deal”?

Brexit Divorce and Family Law

See February 2019 update, What Does Brexit No Deal Mean For Family Law 

Brexit, divorce and family law is a vital topic for international families and lawyers in the UK, and UK families in the EU, although you wouldn’t know it from the amount of media coverage it receives. Depending on the EU deal we get family law could be turned upside down. But what happens if there is no deal?

On 13 September 2018 the Government published its plans for family law in the event of a no deal Brexit, Handling Civil Cases that involve EU Countries if there’s No Brexit Deal

This follows the Brexit white paper on 12 July which I considered in my blog Brexit White Paper and Family Law – What You Need to Know. 

Who should read this blog about Brexit, divorce and family law?

International families with EU connection – were you or your ex or your children:

  • born in another EU country but live in the UK
  • born in the UK but live in another EU country?

Law practitioners and students might find it helpful, too.

What would happen if there was a no deal Brexit?

Our Government would repeal a host of EU regulations. Why? Because even if we kept these EU regulations the remaining EU countries would not consider we were covered by them.

What do these EU regulations do?

They provide rules for:

  • Jurisdiction, in other words, where to start Court cases
  • Procedures for child abduction cases under the Hague Convention
  • Recognition and enforcement of Court orders  

Should we panic?

We currently use domestic laws in international family disputes for non EU countries. And of course the UK is a member of the Hague Convention. Together these would cover some of the holes left by the EU regulations.

The Government would take steps to patch up the remaining holes left by the repealed EU regulations. This includes joining the 2007 Hague Maintenance Convention as soon as possible after 29 March 2019. See below for more on maintenance in the event of a no deal Brexit.

But there would be controversial changes to child abduction procedures and divorce jurisdiction. See below for more on children and child abduction and divorce jurisdiction.

Enforcement of maintenance orders and child support

We would join the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance (‘the Hague Maintenance Convention’) as soon as possible. This provides broadly the same rules as the EU regulations.

This would make maintenance orders enforceable, although maintenance orders made between 29 March and 1 April 2019 could pose problems.

However the Hague Maintenance Convention is not so strong on jurisdiction which means it will not be clear where claims may be started and what happens if there are Court cases going on in different countries.

Make sure you seek expert legal advice if you have any concerns.

Court cases about children and child abduction

The 1996 Hague Convention on parental responsibility and protection of children (‘the 1996 Hague Convention’) covers jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement in children cases. This means families know where to start cases, and Court orders are recognised and enforceable in other countries.

But we would lose helpful EU regulations on child abduction procedures. These impose the following rules:

  • A stricter timetable
  • The children’s home country must make the final decision
  • The Court will hear evidence from the child.

These rules are significant in child abduction cases so it would be regrettable if they were lost.

See my blog about child abduction 10 Points about Child Abduction.

Also the 1996 Hague Convention lacks automatic enforcement of contact orders. This means parents will have to get their Court orders certified which of course creates delay.

Make sure you seek expert legal advice if you have any concerns.

Jurisdiction – where to start your divorce case

Jurisdiction in all our divorces, even non international families, is based on EU regulations. The Government would adopt these regulations so it is clear in England, Wales and Northern Ireland where a divorce can start.

But we would be losing the ‘first past the post’ rule for divorces.

What is the ‘first past the post’ rule and is it a good thing?

If you are in an international family there can be a choice of countries in which to start divorce proceedings. Under EU regulations a race can start if one country’s legal system benefits the wife, and the other, the husband (or the equivalent in same sex marriages or civil partnerships). This is because EU regulations say the first to start proceedings wins the race.

Some commentators say starting proceedings in a rush means the couple don’t have the opportunity to consider reconciliation or mediation or collaborative law. And Court proceedings are expensive and stressful – no one should rush into them.

But if there is a no deal Brexit there could be divorce proceedings about the same marriage going on at the same time in different countries. And there could be Court cases solely on the question of which country should hear the case. This would certainly be frustrating and expensive for international families. And it would make our busy Court system even busier, which means slower for everyone.

This rule is also known in legal circles as forum racing or ‘lis pendens’.

If it is important to you to start your divorce in a particular country, please do not delay seeking legal advice from an expert family law solicitor on Brexit, divorce and family law.

What about my ongoing international family law case?

What happens if you have a case ongoing on 29 March 2019? How would it continue? Would the eventual order be enforceable elsewhere?

The Government guidance says, “We will seek to provide legal certainty … Broadly speaking, cases ongoing on exit day will continue to proceed under the current rules. However, we cannot guarantee that EU Courts will follow the same principle, nor that EU Courts will accept or recognise any judgments stemming from these cases.”

So the answer is, no one knows, which is difficult if you are in this position. Please seek legal advice from an expert family law solicitor on Brexit, divorce and family law.

Same sex marriages and civil partnerships

The UK would remain the ‘forum of last resort’ for couples who enter marriages or partnerships in the UK. In other words these couples can start Court proceedings here. This is important. If another country doesn’t recognise their marriages or civil partnerships this is a bar to Court proceedings in that country.

What about the recognition of divorces?

The 1970 Hague Convention would still allow mutual recognition of divorces in the UK and the remaining EU countries.

Are we better off without the EU regulations?

In 2017 3.8 million people in the UK were citizens of another EU country. That’s about 6% of the UK population. Similarly, 6% of the UK population were born in another EU country (Full Fact). And in 2017 1.3 million people born in the UK lived in other EU countries (Full Fact)

Some commentators would welcome the repeal of EU regulations. They say family law would then be the same for all international families – EU and non EU.

But I say no, we would not be better off. Keeping the EU regulations, and keeping them synchronised across the EU, would be helpful for UK based international families with EU connections. And this of course applies to UK families living in the remaining EU countries too. But we are heading to leave the Court Of Justice Of The European Union (CJEU) so keeping EU regulations synchronised doesn’t seem likely.

There’s the option of signing the Lugano Convention as proposed in the Government’s white paper of July. But as I mention in my blog Brexit White Paper and Family Law – What You Need to Knowthe Lugano Convention would need knocking into shape before it was of much use.

Hopefully the Government will reach some sort of deal which will take into account these international families. And as the Government guidance states, “A scenario in which the UK leaves the EU without agreement … remains unlikely.”

Brexit, Divorce and Family Law – What if there’s “No Deal”?

Contact  Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for free advice on Brexit, Divorce and Family Law – What if there’s “No Deal”? In this 20 minute session we will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions. We offer collaborative law which is especially relevant in providing solutions tailored to your family’s needs. This includes same sex couples and their families. Visit our website just-family-law.com The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. Therefore if any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog have application to you, seek expert legal advice.

image Worried Little Girl by Ignas Kukenys on Wikimedia

 

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Grey Divorce? Making the Best of Life

Retirement is on the horizon or has already arrived. The children are, or will shortly be, independent. Now is the time to make the best of life but couples can find they have grown apart, or that they cannot progress together beyond their roles as parents. Is it time for a ‘Grey Divorce’?

Nowadays there is no stigma attached to divorce, whatever your age. And with dating apps and a burgeoning population of single, older people, there’s less chance of being lonely.

Divorce always involves lots of decisions and emotions, some of which are hard. You can get all the advice in the world but there will still be surprises. So make sure you give a bit of thought to these points.

Punch & Judy or keep it amicable? …

The answer is, of course, to try to keep it amicable. If possible agree the financial aspects by negotiation, collaborative law or mediation

And as for the divorce proceedings, with the Government consulting on ‘no fault’ divorce, things are set to become easier. But for now you need to think whether you want to start proceedings yourself or whether you need a fixed fee quote from an expert family law solicitor.

What are the grounds for your divorce? See my blog, Grounds for Divorce, 5 Things You Need To Know.

Family home or pension …

You might have lived there for decades, perhaps you brought up your children there. But don’t fall into the trap of keeping the family home rather than receiving a realistic share of the pension pot. You could face an old age of financial insecurity whilst your ex is sitting pretty.

Pensions especially final salary policies can be worth a great deal more than the family home. You might plan to realise cash from the family home when you need it in the future but this is likely to represent only a tiny fraction of the capital required to provide you with a pension.

Pensions may be shared, or offset against other assets, or maintenance may be paid to equalise income. See my blog, Pensions on Divorce, What Can You Expect? for answers to the following:

  • How are pensions valued?
  • Do you need an actuary?
  • What is your entitlement to state pension?
  • How to keep your pension out of the divorce
  • What is a pension sharing order?
  • What is offsetting?
  • Can you claim your ex’s state pension?

Investments, savings and inheritances …

Through the course of your life you may have accumulated significant assets. How can you protect them in your divorce? See my blog, Ring Fence and Protect Assets on Divorce.

Grey divorce: is maintenance the answer? …

Special considerations apply in older divorces. Earning capacity might be limited because of age or illness, and this might suggest long term maintenance is required. Or one or both of you may have reached retirement age and pensions may be in payment.

See my blog, Maintenance and Clean Break On Divorce. This explains entitlement to maintenance, and the many different forms it can take.

Your new relationship …

Protect your assets and peace of mind by entering into a cohabitation agreement or a prenuptial agreement. This doesn’t mean you don’t love and trust each other. It simply demonstrates you’re not together for the money.

See my earlier blog, How to Protect Your Assets with a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement

How about the children? …

If you are remarrying or buying a property with a new partner you need to give careful consideration to how your estate is to be distributed in the event of your death. To what extent do you want your new partner to benefit as opposed to your children? Avoiding the issue could leave your loved ones with a dispute or possibly even a court case under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act.

Get advice from an expert solicitor and make a will. This is also a good opportunity to safeguard your future with a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Grey divorce? Making the best of life …

Contact  Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for free advice on Grey Divorce. In this 20 minute session we will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

See my blog about how to get the best financial settlement on divorce.

Did you know there are different rules for Short Marriages?


JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions. We offer collaborative law which is especially relevant in providing solutions tailored to your family’s needs. This includes same sex couples and their families. Visit our website just-family-law.com The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. Therefore if any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog have application to you, seek expert legal advice.

image Old Couple In Love by Ian MacKenzie on Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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Brexit, Family Law & Divorce – March 2018 Update

Brexit, Family Law And Divorce

 

See February 2019 update, What Does Brexit No Deal Mean For Family Law 

Brexit, family law and divorce – do you think this might have relevance to you? Well, yes, if you’re part of an International Family, and you’re involved in a family law dispute.

Are You In An International Family?

If you or your ex were:

  • born in another EU country but live in the UK
  • born in the UK but live in another EU country

you’re part of an International Family.

How Do EU Rules Help Family Law?

They say:

  • Where to start Court cases. Otherwise there can be cases going on in two different countries at the same time
  • Court Orders made in this country can be enforced in other EU countries and vice versa

Do EU Rules Help Children In Family Law Disputes?

Yes.

  • They say where to start Court cases. This is the country where the children live. Otherwise there could be cases going on in two different countries at the same time
  • They tighten up the Hague Convention in child abduction cases:
    • A stricter timetable
    • The children’s home country must make the final decision
    • The Court will hear evidence from the child (a benefit shortly to be added)

What Difference Will Brexit Make?

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill will bring all EU family law rules onto our books. But we need new agreements with the remaining EU countries to ensure these rules remain reciprocal. In other words, both we and the remaining EU countries must agree to be bound by them. Because otherwise there will be confusion, delay and extra expense for families.

Why Is Reciprocity Vital?

The Government must knit our family law system and the EU family law system together

Will These Vital Reciprocal Agreements Be Made?

It’s uncertain. The Government is concentrating on trade and other important agreements.

What Will Happen Without Reciprocal Agreements?

We will lose the straightforward enforceability of orders in EU countries concerning maintenance and children.  And the question of where to start divorce cases or cases about the children will be complicated.

Is The Court Of Justice Of The European Union (CJEU) Important?

Yes. It updates and interprets EU family law rules. But the Government wants to end all links with it.

What Happens If We End All Links With The CJEU?

Changes in the interpretation of EU rules, and amendments to these rules, will apply to all the remaining EU countries, but not to us. So our rules and the remaining EU countries’ rules will not knit together.

What Should Happen?

Family law organisations such as Resolution are lobbying Parliament about Brexit, family law and divorce. They’re saying in particular we should maintain links with the CJEU. This means we’d have a say in EU family law procedure and interpretation, and keep our laws and rules up to date.

Has The Lobbying Of Parliament Had Any Effect?

Yes. Amendments have been tabled to The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill currently going through the House of Lords. These are the amendments:

  • A requirement on the Government to report every six months on the progress of negotiating new reciprocal arrangements in family law, and a specific requirement to seek ongoing reciprocal arrangements;
  • Allowing UK Courts to refer family law matters to the CJEU for eight years and, where a referral has been made, to be bound by that decision. In addition, for the English Court to have regard to other CJEU decisions; and
  • Ensuring the Hague Conventions are ratified by the UK.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Help?

But Please Remember …

If you are keen to divorce in a particular country for financial reasons you should seek legal advice without delay

Brexit, Family Law And Divorce

Contact  Joanne Houston on 01962 217640 for free advice on Brexit, Family Law and Divorce. In this 20 minute session we will review your situation and how you can achieve your objectives.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions. We offer collaborative law which is especially relevant in providing solutions tailored to your family’s needs. This includes same sex couples and their families. Visit our website just-family-law.com The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. Therefore if any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog have application to you, seek expert legal advice.

 

image Happy Family by Vera Kratochvil on Wikimedia Commons

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6 Things You Need To Know About “Common Law Marriage”

common law marriage partner1.   There’s no such thing as common law marriage but there are steps you can take to protect yourself. Couples who live together have only a fraction of the protection afforded to those who are married.

2.   Unless your home is in joint names, and there’s a declaration of trust, there’s no automatic right to a share, or a fair share. If the worst comes to the worst it may be possible to come to an agreement by negotiation, mediation or collaborative law (or even by going to court) but it’s a legal minefield.

3.   Update your Wills regularly. If your partner doesn’t leave a Will you may end up with nothing and face a complicated and expensive application to the court with no guarantee of the outcome you expected.

4.   Children of separating cohabitees are treated the same when it comes to arrangements for where they’re going to live and who they’re going to see, and the Child Maintenance Service (the Child Support Agency) can help if the absent parent isn’t paying up. But there are significant differences when it comes to lump sum payments, property orders and extra maintenance, and there are special provisions under Schedule 1 of the Children Act.

5.   Nowadays pensions are of utmost importance. Would you be entitled to your late partner’s pension? It’s not guaranteed so don’t leave anything to chance, find out now.

6.   A cohabitation agreement offers some protection but will need regular updating and won’t be binding in court proceedings, particularly if there’s a change in circumstances such as the arrival of children. It also won’t cover for example your entitlement to your partner’s pension if your partner dies before you.

Phone me on 01962 217640 for a free 20 minute consultation on these important issues.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions.

Visit our website just-family-law.com

The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog might have application to you, you should seek expert legal advice.

Pair of Mandarins by Francis C. Franklin on WikiMedia Commons

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DIY Divorce and Online Divorce – What are the Risks?

online divorceYou’ve reached the end of the road and you want a divorce. You want to get on with it, you don’t want any fuss and bother, and you want to spend as little money as possible.

I’m not surprised at the rise of DIY divorce. There are sites all over the internet telling you how to do it or offering online assistance. It’s like everything else. Need a holiday, a new washing machine, a recipe for tonight’s dinner? Go online. You’ll find the answer.

But please always check with a real life family solicitor first, especially if there’s a disagreement about the children, or there’s a property, or valuable assets such as a pension. Speaking to a solicitor doesn’t have to cost anything (firms often offer an initial free discussion). And check they are a member of Resolution, an organisation committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes.

And of course talking to a solicitor doesn’t mean you can’t have a DIY divorce.

But if you need some help along the way a solicitor might be able to suggest a “pay as you go” or “fixed fee” scheme. Compare these to the charges for online divorce – you might be pleasantly surprised. You will have the assistance of a properly qualified and experienced solicitor with personal knowledge of your case. And if your solicitor is local, you can actually meet her.

I have acted for many distressed and heartbroken clients going through divorce and I know it’s never easy. Quite often the emotional fallout is much greater than anyone imagined. But from a purely technical point of view I can tell you that divorces vary tremendously in complexity. Some are straightforward. Some are not.

Let’s take two extreme cases.

A young woman consults me. She and her husband married just over a year ago and it hasn’t worked out. They have no children and they don’t own any property. They’re both young and healthy and have jobs. There are no savings or pensions. There’s been no domestic abuse. They both want a divorce and to move on.

She asks me whether I think she could do the divorce herself, I say, Yes, certainly. I suggest that she and her husband get together and draft the divorce petition themselves. As she’s ready with her questions about the documents I’m able to help her within our free twenty minute discussion.

I advise her she needs a court order recording that their financial claims against each other are over for good. This will protect her if her circumstances change in the future and her ex makes a claim against her. I tell her I can do this for her and will charge her a fixed fee (again you might be surprised how well this compares to online providers in terms of cost and service).

Another extreme would be the man who has been married seven years and has two children. He suspects his wife is hiding valuable assets, and is planning to dispose of them so he can’t claim a share. She was born in another country and is hinting that she will return and take the children with her.

Obviously he will need a great deal of expert legal advice. It might be necessary to go to court to prevent the wife disposing of assets or moving them abroad, and to clarify the position in regard to the children.

If your marriage or civil partnership has broken down and these or any other similarly serious issues apply to you, I would urge you not to delay. You need to see a family solicitor urgently. These are not the sort of issues suitable for a DIY or online divorce.

If there any issues about property, or assets, or children, or if there is an international element (especially if there is the risk of child abduction), you need someone on your side who knows family law like the back of their hand, someone who is prepared to drop everything to do what is necessary to protect you and your children, someone who will give you unbiased and independent advice.

In the long run consulting a family solicitor might even save you money because questions about property, pensions and other assets can affect the rest of your life.

It’s not just about agreeing to whatever your other half suggests here and now, it’s about the future, about where you’re going to live, how the children will be supported, how much you will have to live on in your old age (a vital question nowadays when people are living longer).

A family law solicitor will be able to tell what you should expect to achieve financially.

Anyone going through marriage breakdown needs as many options as possible. It doesn’t have to end up in court (but if it does, your family lawyer will be there for you). Maybe collaborative law or mediation is the answer?

And as you turn the corner and are able to look to the future, do you need help moving forward? Maybe you will need the support of a counsellor to help you see a brighter future?

A good family lawyer will be able to provide you with a range of services herself or be able to give you genuine and unbiased recommendations of services you can use.

I believe everyone has the right to seek the advice of a properly qualified and experienced expert. So certainly look online, but don’t forget to protect your future and the future of your children by organising a free or fixed cost interview with a family law solicitor.

It’s like when you’re organising a holiday. However independent you want to be in your travel plans, you certainly don’t want to fly the plane yourself. There’s an experienced pilot for that.

And that’s the value of a family law solicitor

Did you have a DIY Divorce? Are thinking about one? We would love to hear from you with your opinion so please leave us a comment.

If you have found this post interesting please sign up below for new posts by email.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions.

Visit our website just-family-law.com

The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog might have application to you, you should seek expert legal advice.

photograph by Darron Birgenheier on flickr

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A Guide to “Needs” on Divorce – Christina Estrada’s Extraordinary Essentials

christina estrada

photo by Taber Andrew Bain

Christina Estrada’s case against her ex husband Walid Juffali was reported with astonishment in the national media. Her yearly “needs” totalled £6.5m and included:

  • October half term in the Presidential Suite of The Ritz, Paris, for just under £250,000
  • £58,000 for two luxury handbags, £23,000 for six casual handbags, and £35,000 on ten clutch handbags
  • fifteen new cocktail dresses at a mere £83,000

She sought a lump sum of £127m to cover her income needs for the foreseeable future, and £62.8m to buy a suitable house in London.

Her husband’s legal team described her claim as being in “gasp” territory. I think we can all agree on that.

But how can such a claim be justified? I will try and answer that question in this post. I will also be taking a quick look at recently published Guidance for Judges on the subject of “needs”.

Christina Estrada has certainly led an extraordinary life. Born in Santa Monica, California in 1962, she moved to Paris when she was 19 where she rose to international fame as a supermodel. In 1988 she arrived in the UK where her dazzling career continued. But in 2001 she gave it all up to marry Mr Juffali (born in 1955), an extremely successful and wealthy businessman whose family riches stem from the supply of electricity and telecommunications throughout Saudi Arabia.

Adapting Mrs Merton, one might ask, What first attracted Ms Estrada to billionaire Walid Juffali? But it seems they had a genuinely happy marriage. They had a daughter upon whom they both doted. They lived in a Berkshire mansion and assorted second homes – a Venetian palace, a substantial “iceberg” chalet in Gstaad – which they filled with art treasures and antiques they scoured the world to find. He demonstrated his love for her with sensational gifts, on one occasion a large blue diamond thought to be worth £10m.

But in 2014 he divorced her without her knowledge (having married a second wife during 2012).

The case was heard in the Family Division of the High Court in London at the end of June 2016 (sadly in the absence of Mr Juffali who is seriously ill). Mrs Justice Roberts stated in her Judgment that she wouldn’t disagree with the description of the couple’s standard of living as “stratospheric” and “unimaginably high”.

You are probably thinking, Diamonds? The Ritz? A Venetian palace? In what universe does this apply to me or to anyone I know? But pause for a moment and think about it. Ms Estrada gave up her career for her husband, they had a child together, the family enjoyed a certain lifestyle. Doesn’t that apply to a lot of ex wives?

But why was her claim based on “needs” and why were her “needs” so astronomically high?

The answer is in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act which sets down the matters to which the court is to have regard and these include the financial resources of the couple, their financial needs, and the standard of living they enjoyed during their marriage.

We have also to consider case law in particular the landmark case of White v White.

This considered Mrs White’s entitlement beyond her immediate needs in the context of assets, in particular two farms, worth in excess of £4m. What is striking about this case is despite Mr White’s claim that he created much of the family’s wealth, the court said the starting point for division was equality.

White v White is probably one of the reasons wives prefer their cases to be heard in this country, and in particular in London, and has no doubt contributed to London gaining the reputation as the “Divorce Capital of the World”.

But there are of course circumstances in which “needs” override equal division. The first is where there isn’t enough to go round, for example where equal division wouldn’t provide enough to house the children.

The second is the extremely unusual circumstance where it would be unjust for the immense fortune amassed by one spouse to be shared with the other. It looks like this was the advice Ms Estrada received from her legal team because of course by the time she married Mr Juffali he was already super rich.

So Ms Estrada based her case on her “needs”, and these “needs” were considered in the context of the “standard of living” she enjoyed in her marriage.

But what does “needs” mean? Does the recently published Guidance for Judges help us to understand the concept?

The Law Commission recommended that this Guidance be published to promote consistency between the Judges in London and their colleagues elsewhere. Apparently the problem is a different approach to maintenance orders, in other words orders about the payment of income from one spouse to another.

There are a number of ways the court can deal with maintenance. One way is to order that it be paid for a fixed period of time to allow the receiving spouse to adjust to their changed financial circumstances. Another is to make an order without an end date, in other words an open ended order. Apparently it is more likely that a Judge in London will make an open ended order. This is probably another reason why London is viewed as the Divorce Capital of the World.

I have read the Guidance for Judges. There are helpful subheadings, and statute and case law are quoted at length. This surprises me. It’s one thing to promote consideration of the different ways in which judicial discretion may be exercised, and quite another to provide materials which surely the Judges should already have under their belts.

I wonder to what degree this Guidance will be cited by lawyers in court? Is there a risk it will hamper judicial discretion rather than inform it?

I would recommend the Guidance to anyone involved in family law – law students, solicitors and barristers in particular – because it’s pretty much divorce finances in a nutshell. And I imagine it will be essential bedtime reading for Judges.

But what does the Guidance say about “needs”? The introduction makes the point that if the public had a clearer understanding of “needs” this would be of great benefit as couples might be more ready to agree and to move on with their lives. The Guidance says the term includes income and capital, present and future; the provision of a home and provision for old age. And in high value cases it may be defined as “needs (generously interpreted)”.

It continues, “…in cases involving more financial resources and higher marital standards of living, ‘needs’ can be met at a higher level than would otherwise be possible”.

In other words if there’s a lot of money around while you’re married, there’s likely to be a lot of money around when you divorce.

Will this Guidance for Judges achieve greater consistency between London and the rest of the country? Who knows, we’ll have to wait and see. But it’s worth bearing in mind there are in fact few maintenance orders, and most are not lifelong but designed to support the spouse towards independence. There are always going to be exceptions, of course, for example to compensate for future economic disparity. Such an order can be open ended, or can be a lump sum, which returns us to the case of Christina Estrada.

So what did Ms Estrada get?

The court held that she should receive maintenance to cover her “needs” initially at the rate of £2.5m per annum reducing over a period of about twenty years to £1.2m per annum when she turns seventy five. This maintenance is “capitalised” in other words she gets a lump sum upfront instead of regular payments. She was also awarded a fund of £18m to buy a house in London.

She claimed a total of £196,500,000 and was awarded £62,300,000, and despite the media’s incredulity, it’s probably a fair enough result in terms of the Guidance for Judges. It certainly ranks as the largest ever “needs” award made by an English court.

In summary

  • Parliament has set down in Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act the matters to which the court must give consideration. These include:
    • the resources of the couple
    • their needs
    • their standard of living during the marriage
    • their ages
    • duration of the marriage
    • any disabilities
    • their respective contributions to the family
    • conduct that would be inequitable to disregard. NB “conduct” is rarely relevant. I’ll be looking at this question in a future blog
  • Case law suggests that the starting point is equal division
  • Division can be unequal where needs cannot be met, or in high value divorces where there has been a “stellar” contribution by one party
  • “Needs” on divorce include for income and capital, present and future; the provision of a home, the provision for old age
  • “Needs” in a high value divorce can be defined as “needs (generously interpreted)”
  • Read Christina Estrada’s fascinating and ground breaking case Juffali v Juffali
  • Need guidance?

Do you think that financial “needs” should be considered on divorce? Or do you think there should be an “equation” for dividing the finances? We would love to hear from you with your opinion so please leave us a comment.

If you have found this post interesting please sign up below for new posts by email.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions.

Visit our website just-family-law.com

The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog might have application to you, you should seek expert legal advice.

 

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Why can’t divorce be cheap and easy?

cheap and easy divorce

by Robert Occhialini on flickr

That’s what we’d all like, isn’t it?

When a relationship breaks down the last thing you need is an expensive and protracted argument. No one wants a fight, well, very few in my experience.

Our legal system tries to get it right but sometimes you could be forgiven for thinking that in fact it gets it very, very wrong.

So can anything be done to make the whole process cheaper and easier?

Divorce? Matrimonial finances? It’s all the same thing isn’t it? 

This may sound like technical nitpicking but the proceedings to end a marriage or a civil partnership are run separately, but often in parallel, to proceedings in respect of financial matters.

So it’s important to bear in mind that while there has to be a court procedure to bring the marriage or civil partnership to an end, how the finances are sorted out is up to the couple. At one extreme, everything is agreed and so it’s relatively cheap and easy, and at the other, nothing is agreed and the only way to reach a resolution is to go to court.

Could “No fault divorce” help?

Yes, I think so.

At the moment the only way to avoid having to blame your spouse for their behaviour or adultery is to live apart for two years and both agree to divorce. 

There’s an organisation for family solicitors and other professionals called Resolution which has more than six thousand members who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters. Resolution has a new chair, Nigel Shepherd, who has said, “It’s wrong – and actually bordering on cruel – to say to couples: if you want to move on with your lives…. one of you has to blame the other.”

It would definitely be helpful to get rid of the idea of blame. If allegations of adultery and unreasonable behaviour were behind us it would make the whole process a lot less traumatic and would probably make the division of the matrimonial assets easier to agree.

So what’s the answer?

Gary Lineker raised blood pressure in legal circles recently in an interview in the Radio Times when he criticised the role of solicitors in divorces and said there should be an equation for deciding matrimonial finances. He said his online divorce had cost only £400.

I think he must have been referring to the pre 21 March 2016 court fee for a divorce which was £410, and of course this fee does not cover anything to do with the division of matrimonial finances.

If this is all he paid then I can only assume that Gary Lineker and his wife decided not to have a court order confirming their financial situation. Such an order would of course protect them both from future claims.

But he raised two important questions

  • How can we keep the cost of divorce down?
  • Could an “equation” be applied to matrimonial finances?

DIY divorces – do they do save money? Are there pitfalls?

Anyone can do their own divorce and pay only the court fee (now increased from £410 to £550). And, as already mentioned, a divorce, in other words the court proceedings which bring a marriage or civil partnership to an end, can be kept completely separate from the matrimonial finances.

So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do your own divorce and pay only £550. All you need is form D8 and your marriage certificate (or civil partnership certificate). Here’s a link to help you.

Alternatively ask your solicitor for a fixed fee quote. Although you would be paying more than just the court fee you might find it a lot less stressful to have a sympathetic professional handling all the technicalities for you.

Yes, there are pitfalls in DIY divorces 

There are a number, the chief of which is applying for the decree absolute (the decree which brings your marriage to an end) before you’ve sorted out the finances, or, if you have run the risk of applying for the decree absolute before you’ve sorted out the finances, remarrying.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, your spouse or civil partner could die after the decree absolute and you could lose out under their pension. Or you could decide the time has come to sort out the matrimonial finances and discover you can’t because you have remarried.

To be on the safe side, the matrimonial finances should be sorted out before the decree absolute.

What happens about the matrimonial finances? The assets? Maintenance? Your estate if you die?

Decisions have to be made, agreements have to be reached, and ideally they would be encapsulated in a court order to make sure a line is drawn under the whole question.

A court order means that if one of you changes your mind, or if one of you comes into some money, there’s no going back for a second bite of the cherry.

If you are in agreement about the finances it’s a relatively simple matter for a solicitor to draw up an order and to send it into court. Ask your solicitor for a fixed fee quote to undertake this work for you.

An equation for matrimonial finances – is that possible?

Does Gary Lineker have a point? Should there be an equation?

The current system is certainly complicated and confusing. Even though the aim of the court it to achieve fairness it’s not always clear how this is brought about.

The Resolution Manifesto for Family Law calls for reform of the law relating to matrimonial finances. It supports pre-nuptial agreements and calls for guidelines on the division of matrimonial assets. A particular bugbear is the difference between matrimonial and non-matrimonial property.

What is the difference between matrimonial and non-matrimonial property and why is that important?

This issue is often highly fraught. For example, a couple has a range of assets, including the wife’s savings. But she says this is her inheritance from her parents. And what about the money the husband received when sold his business after the couple split up?

Should her inheritance be taken into consideration? Should his post separation profits be in the melting pot?

It gets even more complicated with property owned pre-marriage. What about the wife’s flat? Should this be taken into consideration?

The answer is not straightforward

It would certainly be easy to argue in respect of the examples above that they are non-matrimonial property but sadly it’s not always that simple. Has there been “mingling”, in other words has non-matrimonial property become matrimonial property because, for instance, the couple have lived in it as their matrimonial home?

And what are the couple’s individual needs? Is it only possible to meet them by including non-matrimonial assets?

What does our legal system try to achieve?

Under our current system we are guided by s.25 Matrimonial Cases Act 1973, “Matters to which court is to have regard in deciding how to exercise its powers” together with “case law”, in other words cases the courts have already decided.

And of course the first consideration is the welfare of the children.

At the moment there is no equation for the distribution of assets, no black and white definition of matrimonial and non-matrimonial assets, and pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically enforceable.

Instead our system is based on fairness and the needs of each member of the family.

What an equation could look like

There are many jurisdictions which have hard and fast rules about the division of assets on divorce. For example in Italian family law the matrimonial home always goes to the parent with whom the children live. In Ontario all post marriage property is divided equally on divorce.

These solutions do not have the flexibility of our system where a court can order an unequal division based on differing needs.

How can a flexible approach be better than an equation?

Whilst clarity in these issues is important I don’t think many solicitors would go for a rigid equation. Why not? Because take any couple, take any family, and compare it to any other, and consider how different their circumstances and finances and needs are likely to be.

So I don’t think there can be “one size fits all” in matrimonial finances

Our system actually tries to take into account how different all of us can be. It doesn’t go for the easy route but it tries to achieve fairness. And this is important when you are trying to provide for your children, and for yourself, in the long term.

I believe there has to be a tailored approach in every case but this doesn’t mean that there has to be acrimony and significant expense.

Could mediation or collaborative law be the answer?

If you can’t agree how to divide your matrimonial finances it doesn’t mean you have to opt straightaway for expensive court proceedings.

Perhaps mediation or collaborative law would be the answer? Quicker and cheaper and less stressful than court proceedings, couples can retain control of their decision making and not hand over all the questions to the court.

If you both want to find a way of agreeing the matrimonial finances and you want to avoid going to court then either of these approaches could be the answer for you.

Summary 

  • Cheap and easy divorce? Do your own divorce with guidance from the gov.uk site. Or ask your solicitor for a fixed fee quote
  • Are DIY divorces risky? Yes. Seek legal advice before apply for your decree absolute (which brings your marriage to an end)
  • Cheap and easy settlement of matrimonial finances?
    • A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can help
    • Ask your solicitor for guidance on what you should expect to achieve in a settlement
    • If you can’t agree a settlement try mediation or collaborative law
    • Whether you are in agreement, or you reach agreement through mediation or collaborative law, ask your solicitor for a fixed fee quote to prepare a court order confirming your agreement because this will give you peace of mind for the future.

Do you think that financial “needs” should be considered on divorce? Or do you think there should be an “equation” for dividing the finances? We would love to hear from you with your opinion so please leave us a comment.

If you have found this post interesting please sign up below for new posts by email.

The topics covered in this blog post are complex and are provided for general guidance only. If any of the circumstances mentioned in this blog might have application to you, you should seek expert advice.

JUST FAMILY LAW are specialist divorce and family law solicitors offering personalised legal solutions.

Visit our website just-family-law.com

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