Divorce And Family Articles
Have the winter blues got you thinking about planning your summer getaway? With January finally out of the way, weekend plans are filling up and many families are turning their attention towards this year’s summer holidays.
James Haworth, Head of Family Law at Lawson-West Solicitors reflects on the events of 2018, what we learned and how they will shape Divorce Law in the year ahead.
Lawson-West Solicitors are thrilled to be involved with the Leicester Business Festival 2018, the region’s largest business event. The Leicester Business Festival is an annual, two-week festival incorporating hundreds of free business events staged by local organisations within the local vicinity.
Separating isn’t a decision that is taken lightly. Whether it was your decision or your partner’s you’re still likely to experience a rollercoaster of emotions. Married or not the consequences can be equally difficult.
The Government has announced plans to reform divorce laws, something that hasn’t been updated in 50 years despite colossal changes in modern society. In the past 50 years there has been a sharp rise in the number of marriages ending in divorce and the process is often unpleasant for those involved. Considered ‘archaic’ the reform is being welcomed by many.
The recent case regarding an unmarried mother of four’s right to receive this allowance has highlighted the difference in the rights of cohabiting, unmarried couples compared to those of couples who are married or in a civil partnership.
‘Schools out for summer’ is music to the ears for school children, less so for parents however. The prospect of having six weeks off school is really exciting but for parents, particularly separated ones, it can be a logistical nightmare. Juggling work commitments and child care arrangements can be a balancing act and when there is an ex-partner involved the level of complexity can often increase some more.
Since 2005 same sex couples have been able to form civil partnerships and in 2014 were granted the right to marry. Heterosexual couples can marry but cannot form civil partnerships and there is a call for this to be changed.
This week there has been a momentous breakthrough leading to a possible change, away from marriage. A heterosexual couple have won their legal bid for the right to have a civil partnership instead of marriage.
The Office for National Statistics published a review in 2017 which revealed that the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million in 2017. This makes households of cohabiting couples the second largest family type in the UK, and the fastest growing. If this applies to you, it is important to know exactly what legal rights and entitlements you have.
Does divorce law need updating?
Divorce Law in England and Wales is now over 50 years old. Couples seeking a divorce must spend at least two years separated or one must blame the other for the breakdown of the marriage citing either the adultery or the unreasonable behaviour of the other. Even if both parties agree that the relationship is over, a divorce cannot be obtained on the basis of “irreconcilable differences” as is often thought. So even in those circumstances if a couple wishes to avoid waiting two years from the date of separation before commencing divorce proceedings, one must blame the other.
At Lawson-West our Family Law team deal with a variety of cases that vary in complexity and cost. The following case study is based on a separation where one party earns considerably more than the other, it looks at what factors are important when considering the division of matrimonial assets and in this case, how they are divided.
With the first school holiday of 2018 having already taken place, and the Easter break approaching quickly, many parents may be planning their next holiday with their children. But, when parents have separated this may not be an easy task. Consideration needs to be given to how much time the children will spend with each parent which can often lead to disagreements.
By instructing Lawson-West to deal with your divorce or separation you know that you are going to receive the very best legal advice and representation from a team with a combined 50 years’ experience.
At Lawson-West we understand the sensitive nature of divorce and separation, especially when children are involved. Despite a divorce ultimately being between two people, we believe where children are involved they must come first.
Depending on the age of the child, their awareness of the situation and understanding of the outcome is going to vary massively. Trying to get your own head around what is happening might seem difficult enough, but you must remember the children are equally affected by what is going on too and you need to put their needs first.
The breakdown of a relationship isn’t something people really want to think about, but with 42% of marriages ending in divorce, this is a reality for a lot of people.
If the worst was to happen, and you and your partner were unable to reconcile, the next step is seeking advice and finding a solution that is best for you.
Alistair Dobson, head of the Lawson-West Family department, has provided some advice for things to consider before instructing a Solicitor.