Theresa May bids to end civil partnership inequality

The last big family law news was Theresa May’s announcement at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham earlier this month that every couple in England and Wales will be able to choose between a civil partnership and marriage when they formalise their relationship. Civil partnerships have been available to same-sex couples since 2005 and guarantees […]

OWENS -V- OWENS: Where do we go from here?

The family law community was in a state of suspense today as the Supreme Court handed down its highly anticipated judgement in the case of Owens -v- Owens. The case was heard by the highest appellate Court on 17th May 2018 and concerns the interpretation of section 1(2)(b) of the Matrimonial Causes Act (MCA) 1973 […]

Will I lose my rights in connection with the family home if I move out?

As family lawyers, we are frequently approached by clients who are panicked and distressed about their living arrangements and rights in connection with the family home, following separation. This article will provide some insight as to your rights, depending on the circumstances, and the steps you might take to protect your rights. In the vast […]

Married, but not married – Is my religious marriage recognised in the UK?

The UK is one of the more ethnically diverse and multicultural nations in the world. It is therefore no surprise that the UK sees its people celebrate their marriages in various ways and in accordance with a number of different customs and faiths. But, where does it leave you if your religious marriage is not […]

The Pensions Series: Beware applying for Decree Absolute where there are pensions

Over recent years I have observed an increasing number of litigants’-in-person (private individuals dealing with their own legal matters) filing for divorce. Indeed, to assist, the Court Service has amended the standard divorce petition removing legal jargon and simplifying the form and process. If someone is minded to petition for divorce and it is not […]

Dealing with Parental Alienation during a Relationship Breakdown

Parental alienation is a situation in which one parent (usually the resident parent but not exclusively) poisons their child against the non-resident parent. Parental alienation often occurs following the hostile breakdown of a relationship. The definition of parental alienation as a recognised concept in family law cases remains debatable, however it is widely accepted that […]

Dividing assets in a short marriage

Short marriage example: Sharp v Sharp 2017 It has long been the case that the family courts divide assets on divorce by reference to the “yardstick of equality”; following the then land-mark case of White v White over 17 years ago. Many practitioners have taken this to mean an equal 50/50 split, although that is […]

Maintenance for life?

 A cautionary note for Financial Advisors I am presently involved with a challenging but very interesting case involving the variation of spousal maintenance following divorce. My case involves the variation of a joint lives order for periodical payments, made upon the parties’ divorce some 17 years ago or put more simply, an application by the […]

Paying for divorce

It is fair to say divorce (and relationship breakdown for unmarried couples) is one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. My clients often tell me that what compounds stress levels is when essential legal advice seems unaffordable. Understandably, both parties want to preserve or secure what they each perceive to be their […]

Financial provision on divorce

The purpose of this article is to explain how the court distributes assets and income on divorce. There is no standard formula for calculating appropriate financial provision on divorce. Instead, the Court has a duty to consider all the circumstances of the case to take into account a range of specific statutory factors set out […]