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Samuel Phillips Law Blog

Family Law

Family Law

No-Fault Divorce – The Basics

In less than a month the biggest shake up to divorce laws, for over half a century, shall come into force. The change aims to reduce conflict between a divorcing couple.

Family Law

Cohabitation Agreement & Joint Ownership

In the previous 12 months, owing to Covid-19 and the Stamp Duty holiday, there has been a property boom, and this appears to show no signs of stopping with the housing market remaining extremely competitive. For couples moving in together or relocating to a new family home it will no doubt be an exciting time and there will be a variety of important decisions to be made. Should we laminate or carpet the house? Which utility provider should we choose? Will the spare room be a guest room or home gym?

Family Law

What happens if I get back together with my spouse – can the divorce be stopped?

If you and your spouse reconcile at any time, even after the pronouncement of Decree Nisi (but before Decree Absolute) you can ask the court to cancel the Decree Nisi and dismiss the Petition. If you have a solicitor acting for you, make sure you inform them straightaway that you wish to stop the divorce.

Family Law

What happens to the family home upon divorce?

What happens to the family home upon divorce? There are various options you and your spouse can consider.

Family Law

Whats happens if I did not get a clean break order when I divorced?

A Decree Absolute ends your marriage but unless you have a clean break order, your ex-spouse could make financial claims against you in the future. Your ex-spouse could make a claim against assets and money you acquire after you divorce, for instance claim for a share of your bonus or inheritance or any windfall. There is no time limit for making a claim, so it could be many years before a claim is made by your ex-spouse.

Family Law

What happens to my pension on divorce?

It is usual for your pension fund to be treated as an asset that should be divided between you and your spouse upon divorce. This will not always happen. Particularly if you both have pension funds with a similar value.

Family Law

What happens to debts on divorce?

As far as any creditors are concerned the debt belongs to the person whose name it is in. It is therefore imperative that you continue to discharge any debts in your sole name or you run the risk of a county court judgment and a poor credit rating.

Family Law

What happens if I have no money to pay a solicitor to help with my divorce?

If you are considering a divorce, a major concern is likely to be how you will pay for legal advice. At a time when finances are often already under considerable strain, fears about potential costs of legal fees puts many people off obtaining early legal advice.

Family Law

What happens to my child after I separate/divorce?

Ideally you and the other parent will agree living and contact arrangements for your child following your separation. Usually, differences of opinion can be resolved through conversation and compromise. Try to consider what’s best for your child and put your own feelings to one side. However, if you cannot reach an agreement, then the next step would be to attend mediation.

Family Law

What happens when my spouse/partner refuses to move out?

Living in the same property after a relationship has broken down can be very difficult and in some situations not safe. What is the best course of action to take?

Family Law

What happens to my surname when I divorce?

It is easy to assume that once you are divorced and receive your Decree Absolute, your name changes back to the name you used before you were married, however this is not the case.

Family Law

What happens when my spouse refuses to divorce me?

A common problem within divorce proceedings is that one party simply refuses to cooperate and ignores the divorce petition. If you anticipate that your spouse will hold up the divorce proceedings or refuse to cooperate, it would be unwise to base your divorce petition on 2 years separation or adultery - which both require your spouse’s active involvement to progress the divorce.

Family Law

What happens to inheritance when I divorce?

Going through a divorce is difficult for any couple, especially when it comes to dividing up assets. Past and future inheritances are often looked upon as a bolster in the family’s financial situation and many question if this will become part of the ‘marriage pot’ which is divided up on divorce.

Family Law

What happens to my Will when I divorce?

Whether you are in the early stages of a separation or your divorce has been finalised it is important that your Will is up to date, to ensure that your estate is divided up in the way that you want.

Family Law

What happens to our dog if we divorce?

A rarely talked about aspect of going through a divorce is – “Who gets the dog if we divorce”? As it stands in law, pets such as dogs and cats are considered property just like cars, handbags and furniture. This means that if there is a dispute over a pet the Courts will not in the first instance consider the pets welfare in the same way as they would for any children.

Family Law

What happens to my engagement ring on divorce?

The general position is that the giving of an engagement ring is presumed to be a gift, meaning it is assumed that the person who receives it should keep it, however there can be exceptions to this rule.

Family Law

I married abroad, will my marriage be valid in England?

Almost certainly, provided that the marriage ceremony complied with the local customs and laws of that country. For example was the correct notice given? Were the required number of witnesses present ? Was it necessary to have a religious ceremony as well as a civil ceremony ? If the local laws and customs were followed the marriage will be recognised in England.

Family Law

If I commit adultery, does it affect my divorce settlement?

The recent resignation of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, over his affair with his aide Gina Coladangelo, has played out in front of the nation’s media. Many people have called for Martha Hancock to ‘bleed him dry’ and ‘take him for all he’s got’, but does an affair really make a difference to the financial settlement?

Family Law

No fault divorce

Divorce “blame game” is set to end. Ministers announced yesterday that the long awaited “no fault divorce” will mean that from April 2022 divorcing couples will no longer have to blame one another for the breakdown of their marriage. Currently, a person wishing to divorce either has to make allegations about their spouse’s conduct or wait until they have been separated for at least 2 years.

Family Law

FAQs – Family Mediation

Family mediation is a process that resolves disputes involving children and/or financial issues following separation. The sessions are led by a fully trained, independent mediator who is neutral and will not take either side.

Family Law

Interview with Jennifer Goldstein

As part of mediation week, we have put questions to our very own resident Family Mediator, Jennifer Goldstein. We are keen to find out more about family mediation and how it used to help separating couples. Jennifer is a Senior Partner at Samuel Phillips Law, specialising in Divorce and Family Law. She has been an accredited Family Mediator since 2015.

Family Law

Family Mediation

Taking place between 18 – 22 January 2021 is Family Mediation Week. The aim is to raise awareness of mediation and how it can help separating families reach an amicable agreement about family-based issues. Many couples going through a separation or a divorce do not know that mediation is an option for them.

Family Law

Home Working, Home Schooling & Child Welfare Guide

In a slight departure from the usual legal and HR focussed articles we thought, in light of the latest lockdown and its implications for working parents we provide a piece that may support your staff in such a position. Please feel free to share this with your employees if you think it may offer some insight and support at this very difficult time.

Family Law

Lockdown 3.0 – How does this impact childcare arrangements?

England will return to many of the toughest restrictions imposed in March last year as the new variant of coronavirus spreads rapidly across the country. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced last night that England will be placed under a third national lockdown. The new restrictions will become law on Wednesday and are expected to last until mid-February.

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