Declining Popularity of Marriage

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The Office for National Statistics (Families and Households survey, released 5 November 2015) has shown that unmarried living together is the fastest growing family type. The statistics disclose that in 2015 there were 3.1 million opposite sex cohabiting couple families, an increase from 14% of all families in 2005 to 17% in 2015. This difference… Read more »

Civil Partnerships

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In March 2014 the law changed to allow for same sex marriage. The result has been a 70% fall in the rate of civil partnerships from 2013 to 2014. ( Office for National Statistics ). When these partnerships/marriages end they can raise exactly the same issues as on the termination of heterosexual relationships. Family mediation… Read more »

Is there Common Law Marriage?

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It is commonly thought that unmarried couples living together have legal rights. These relationships are referred to as common law marriages. Those who are married or in civil partnerships have rights to claim against each other, on the ending of their legal relationship, for maintenance, orders concerning capital (property such as houses, savings and other… Read more »

Divorce Fees Set to Rise Again

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The government has issued a consultation paper on court fee increases (responses by 15th September). It used to be the case that the courts were regarded as part of the public service funded mostly by the taxes citizens pay. However, over the last few years that has changed to trying to make the courts self… Read more »

Children’s Part in Family Mediation and Court Proceedings

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Over the years the prevailing view on this question and what is in the best interests of the children has shifted from saying that the children should be heard, to keeping them away from the court and the parental dispute, leaving it to the court and the parents to decide what is in their best… Read more »

Privacy in Family Mediation

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Separating couples considering family mediation sometimes worry that what they say in mediation or other matters relating to the mediation process will be reported to the judge if the mediation doesn’t work. Whilst not unusual, this worry is ill founded. Mediation is a private process which is one of its main principles. Accordingly, a judge… Read more »

Divorce Court Changes

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  HM Courts and Tribunals Service are making changes in the way they work following the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which enabled legal advisers to deal with applications for uncontested decrees nisi of divorce and with directions for trial. Before it was District Judges who did this work. The country, this is England and… Read more »

PENSIONS Changes April 2015

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  From 6 April 2015 those aged 55 and over with a defined benefits pension will be able to access all of their pension savings. Before then this was limited to 25%. There is a government website which gives information to help you to understand your options and obtain guidance www.pensionwise.gov.uk That site provides guidance… Read more »

The Importance of Financial Finality after a Divorce

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A recent case, decided by the Supreme Court, Wyatt and Vince, has allowed a wife to make financial claims after separating in 1984 ( 3 years after the marriage) and 18 years after their divorce. During the marriage the parties had no money and after separation neither had money for some time. They had a… Read more »