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 »

Free DNA Tests in Family Courts

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Where parentage is disputed DNA testing can be used and is very effective. The dispute is often about who is the father of the child. However, the cost of paying for the tests is expensive and has often stopped parties using this service which frequently results in longer court cases. Examples of where these disputes… Read more »

Involving Children in Court Proceedings

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Justice Minister, Simon Hughes, has announced that children aged 10 and older will have an opportunity for their views and feelings to be heard by a judge in proceedings that concern them. No detail of how this will work in practise has been announced except that this initiative is to be implemented as soon as… Read more »

New Child Maintenence System

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On 30 June 2014, a new system aimed at ending the Child Support Agency over the next 3 years, comes into force. Applicants for child maintenance will have to pay a £20 fee to the Child Maintenance Service and there will be financial penalties of up to £300 for payers who try to avoid payments…. Read more »