Family Law Articles & Advice

Read the latest articles on Family Law from our expert Family Law solicitors here at Evolve Family Law in Manchester & Cheshire.

We put a lot of family law legal information on our website and if you have a single question about your situation, you should find an answer in this blog.

If you need a greater level of help, please contact us and one of our team will call you to make an appointment.

Couple with divorce contract and ring on desk. Divorce

Reaching an Agreement When You Separate or Divorce

Most people realise that there are often no winners in a family law dispute. That is why it is so important to try to reach an agreement when you separate or divorce. In this blog, our family law solicitors outline the changes to the Family Procedure Rules (FPR) and explain how the rule change may affect whether you make an application to the court to resolve your family law dispute or choose a non-court based option to help you reach an agreement. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. The Family Procedure Rules  The Family Procedure Rules (FPR) set out the rules relating to making a family law court application. They must be followed by family law solicitors and barristers as well as litigants in person, professional experts, CAFCASS officers and the family law judge. On 29 April 2024, the FPR was changed. The reason for the change was to encourage non-court dispute resolution to reach a family law agreement over your financial settlement or child custody or contact dispute. The FPRs already required the applicant and respondent to most family law court applications to try family mediation before they went to court and asked the judge to resolve their family law dispute. There were a limited number of exceptions when you did not need to try family mediation before you made a family law court application. Those exceptions have been narrowed and reduced. The other major change to the rules is an emphasis on other non-court dispute resolution options, rather than just requiring most couples to try family mediation. Non-court dispute resolution options Whilst most people have heard about family mediation there are several other non-court dispute resolution options. They include: Family arbitration Collaborative law Private judge or financial dispute resolution hearing One lawyer divorce service A family law solicitor will go through each of these options with you to work out which one would suit you best and help you reach an agreement. Once an agreement is reached your lawyers can help you convert it into a binding court order from a family law judge. It is worth discussing your options with a family law solicitor as you may have ruled out family mediation or an alternative option. A family law solicitor can arrange family law mediation sessions where you are not in the same room as your ex-partner if there are concerns about this. Alternatively, if you do not want to negotiate in family mediation you may find that solicitor-involved family mediation works for you. If that does not suit you then using a one lawyer divorce service or a private judge may be your best option. Some might rule out using a private judge as being too expensive but it can be a cheaper and quicker option than court. Our family law solicitors will highlight the advantages and the disadvantages of the various non-court options so you can make an informed decision. [related_posts]  The Family Procedure Rule changes on non-court options   Couples in family law disputes now need to set out their views on the use of non-court dispute resolution options with a signed statement of truth. The statement is intended to highlight the importance of considering the non-court options. There may be implications if you decide not to engage in any non-court dispute resolution and you do so without good reason. For example: A judge could adjourn your family law application for non-court dispute resolution to be tried A judge could order that you pay some of your ex-spouse’s legal costs associated with the financial settlement court hearing because you refused to engage in any non-court based dispute resolution and the judge thinks money was wasted by taking it to court or a final hearing There are several reasons why applying to court and not using any non-court dispute resolution first is a sensible approach. For example: You need an injunction order to protect you from domestic abuse You fear your ex-partner is going to take your children overseas without your agreement Your spouse is transferring assets or money to other people and if you wait to bring a financial court application the money may have disappeared and your financial settlement claim will have been defeated by your spouse’s underhand behaviour Your ex-spouse is refusing to give you any financial disclosure so you cannot reach a fair financial settlement using any non-court resolution option as you do not know the extent of their assets Our family law solicitors can discuss the reasons why you think a court application should be started rather than look at a dispute resolution option so we can help you work out the best solution for you. The Evolve Family Law one lawyer divorce service Our one lawyer divorce service may be suitable for you and your ex-partner and this is one of the options we can explore with you. With this service, one divorce lawyer advises you and your former partner and prepares all necessary legal documents on behalf of you both in your divorce and financial settlement. The benefits of one lawyer divorce are that it can save time and money but it is not the right format for every couple. For example, if there is a power imbalance and you would prefer to have your own lawyer then collaborative law or arbitration might be a better fit for one of you. Next steps We offer a fixed fee initial consultation in which we can discuss all legal and practical aspects of your separation and assess the best non-court dispute resolution option is the best route for you to take. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Robin Charrot
Jun 12, 2024   ·   5 minute read
Young man sitting on bed and praying while his wife getting suitcase before leaving

Can I Force my Partner to Leave the Family Home?

If you are separating from your partner the thought of living with them in the family home whilst you get divorced and sort out a financial settlement can be distressing. Our family law solicitors look at your options if you want your partner to leave the family home. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. Family home rights If you are married or in a civil partnership your right to stay in the family home after you have separated does not depend on whether you are the legal owner or a joint owner. If you are not a legal owner of the family home you still have rights. You cannot be forced out of the family home but nor can your partner unless: You or your partner agrees to leave One of you gets an injunction order forcing the other to leave – injunction orders are temporary A financial court order states that you or your partner should keep the family home or that it should be sold There are two issues here. First, injunctions are a short-term fix and do not transfer ownership of the property. The second is that it can take a long time to get a financial court order so you may need an injunction before you secure your financial settlement. It isn’t always easy to move out of a family home when you or your partner don’t have family living nearby or friends willing to put you up for what could be for over a year or until you can find somewhere to rent. When you look at the price of renting a property on Rightmove and the limited availability of rental property you can start to appreciate that your partner may struggle to rent somewhere suitable or, if they pay rent, they may not be able to pay towards the mortgage or pay spousal maintenance. You may want to look at timescales to see if you can speed up the process of reaching a financial settlement so you know where you stand with the family home and to make staying together in the property easier for both of you until the house is sold or the property transferred. It is possible to reach a financial settlement quickly and to record your agreement in a separation agreement. In any later divorce proceedings, the agreement can be converted into a financial court order. A family law solicitor will talk to you about the information you need to help you reach a quick financial settlement. For example, you will need to know how much the property is worth, the amount outstanding on the mortgage, the monthly mortgage figure, if your mortgage company would agree to either you or your partner taking the existing mortgage on, and if the mortgage company would lend you more so you can pay out your partner an agreed sum as part of an overall financial settlement. The payment needs to take into account the value of pensions and any savings. It is also sensible to look at rehousing costs for you and your partner so you know how much you would each need so you can work out if staying in the family home on a long-term basis is the best option for you. [related_posts] Occupation and ouster orders If your partner refuses to leave the family home while you are going through divorce proceedings and sorting out the financial settlement you cannot force them out, even if they are not a legal owner. You may be able to apply for an injunction order. An occupation order gives you the right to stay in the family home until a specified date. The order can give you exclusive occupation or say you can use parts of the house or share it all with your partner. An ouster order excludes or ousts your partner from the property. They cannot return to live at the property until the order ends. Applying for an occupation or ouster order You need to apply to the family court for an injunction order. The court will grant you an occupation or ouster order if it thinks it is just and reasonable to do so after considering all the circumstances and factors such as: Your housing needs and housing resources and those of your partner and any relevant child  Your financial resources and those of your partner The likely effect of any order, or the effect of not making an order, on the health, safety, and well-being of you, your partner, or any relevant child Your conduct and the conduct of your partner The court must also consider the likelihood of significant harm and the 'balance of harm'. This means the court must weigh up the likelihood of significant harm to you or your partner and any relevant child if an order is made, balanced against the likelihood of significant harm if an order is not made. If the court considers there is significant harm to you or any relevant child, the court should make an injunction order unless your partner or any relevant child is likely to suffer significant harm if the order is made, and the harm is as great or greater than the harm likely to be suffered by you or any relevant child (because of your partner’s behaviour) if the order is not made. If the court concludes significant harm is not likely, it is not obliged to make the injunction order but may do so. Getting help with an occupation and ouster order application Our family law solicitors can help you apply for an injunction order, start no-fault divorce proceedings on your behalf, and negotiate a financial settlement for you. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.  
Robin Charrot
  ·   5 minute read
How Much Does Getting Probate Cost?

How Much Does Getting Probate Cost?

At Evolve Family Law our private client solicitors, Chris Strogen and Judith Chesters, are getting inquiries about the cost of instructing a solicitor to obtain probate and to administer and distribute the estate of a loved one. Some of the inquiries we receive are from executors who have instructed other law firms to obtain probate for a fixed fee and who are disappointed to discover that the fixed fee does not cover all the work required. In this article, our probate solicitors have put together some information on probate and how solicitors charge for probate services to help executors make an informed choice about whether they need a probate solicitor, and if so, the service they require. For expert probate advice call us or complete our online form. Is probate necessary? Before we look at how much probate costs we should first ask if probate is necessary.  Not all estates require a grant of probate. Smaller estates where the deceased did not own a house and did not have a lot of savings may be able to be sorted out informally using the bank or building society’s bereavement service to close the account and transfer the funds to the beneficiary. If the only asset owned by the deceased was a house jointly owned with their spouse as joint tenants, then probate may not be necessary as the property paperwork can be sorted out with the land registry. In most cases, probate is necessary. The executors then need to decide: Do you want to use a probate solicitor? If you asking the probate solicitor to obtain the grant of probate or if you are asking them to get the grant and then distribute the estate under the terms of the Will or following intestacy rules (where there is no Will) The type of probate service fee structure you want to agree to The costs of probate and the solicitor's fees will be taken out of the estate before the estate is distributed to the beneficiaries. In some, but not all cases, the executors and the beneficiaries are the same people. Why use a probate solicitor? You do not have to use a probate solicitor but many executors prefer to do so simply because they do not have the time to sort out and deal with the paperwork involved in getting probate and distributing the estate. Many executors underestimate what is involved and how time-consuming it can be if they have not previously had to deal with the probate service or with HMRC. Other than the time factor, there are advantages of using a specialist regulated probate solicitor: The solicitor reduces the stress of sorting out the estate. This can be helpful when an executor is grieving the loss of the deceased or if there are difficult family dynamics between the executors or between the executors and the beneficiaries. A probate solicitor can give the executor and beneficiaries a realistic time estimate for obtaining the grant and distributing the estate An executor is personally liable for some things. For example, if they forget to pay a debt from the estate, do not pay the right amount of inheritance tax, or do not distribute the estate in the precise terms of the Will or under the intestacy rules. A probate solicitor has a professional insurance policy and the executor can refer any issue that crops up with the estate administration to the probate solicitor provided that the solicitor's retainer covers the issue. For example, a solicitor asked to obtain the grant of probate is not responsible for any problems in paying debts or distributing the estate if the solicitor was not asked to handle that aspect of the estate administration [related_posts] What type of probate service does an executor require? If executors decide to use a probate solicitor the next decision is to decide what the solicitor should do. This is called the scope of their instructions or retainer. Where a grant of probate is required, an executor can ask the probate solicitor to: Sort out the grant of probate alone including completing the appropriate tax form or Handle the grant of probate and some bits of the estate administration or Obtain the grant of probate and deal with all the estate administration from start to finish Option 3 is the least stressful option for the executors and may result in the beneficiaries receiving their share of the estate more quickly than if the executors dealt with all or part of the estate administration.  Option 2 works if the executors and probate solicitors know who is dealing with each aspect so there is no confusion or delay. The executors' decision will probably depend on their willingness and availability to do some of the work and to take responsibility for it. Another factor may be the cost, particularly where the executors are also the beneficiaries of the estate. Solicitor charges for probate services If the executors decide to instruct a probate solicitor the next question is whether to choose one that offers a fixed fee service or charges for their time spent in sorting out the grant of probate and/or distribution of the estate. At Evolve Family Law our probate solicitors charge on a time-spent basis rather than providing a fixed fee. That way there is no confusion over what  ‘’fixed fee’’ covers or upset that executors are paying a large fixed fee based on the value of the estate when, if the assets are relatively straightforward, the large fixed fee may not be justified and cannot be renegotiated. Our approach at Evolve Family Law avoids the issues that many executors have with ‘’complete’’ or fixed-fee services.   The executors may think that the service covers all the assets but the lawyer may say that the ‘’complete service’’ only covers the assets that pass under the Will. This may not include all the deceased’s insurance policies or pensions, leaving some of the most complex assets to be sorted out by the executors and not covered by the fixed fee. The majority of the probate work we do is carried out by solicitors Judith Chesters or Chris Strogen. They have both been qualified as solicitors for over 30 years. To make our probate service as efficient and as cost-effective as possible they are supported by legal assistants Katie Leake and Tracey Carney. We can give an estimate of the likely charges once we know a bit about the estate and what will be involved.  There is no obligation to go ahead. When our probate solicitors give a quote, we explain our likely legal fees plus VAT and the expenses the estate will need to pay. Typical expenses include: Expense Cost Probate Fees paid to the Court £300 Copies of the grant of probate £1.50 per copy Copies of the death certificate £10 per copy Property land registry information £6 Statutory advertisements for debtors under the Trustee Act Normally around £300 inclusive of VAT but the precise figure depends on the estate   Other expenses may sometimes be necessary, such as tracing fees to find a beneficiary or fees to replace a lost share certificate or to value an asset for probate. In addition to these expenses, the estate will also pay for the probate service provided by our probate solicitors on a time basis. Our time is charged by: Using the exact amount of time taken. Unlike some other law firms, we do not round the time taken up to 6 or 10-minute units of time Using the best person for the job. The executors get a named probate solicitor with over 30 years of experience but appropriate work is tasked to our legal assistants. That combination means the work is undertaken efficiently We have to add VAT to our solicitor charges. Evolve Family Law probate services Most executors want to know how much an average probate costs on a time basis.  We set out and update this information on our website cost page so executors have a rough idea of the cost before calling us. It is always worth a call to discuss potential costs as the estate may be more straightforward than a typical case. Time to get probate Solicitors can get bad press about the time taken to get probate. Admittedly some solicitors are slow (not us) but a lot of complaints about probate solicitors and estate administration stem from misunderstandings about the reasons for the delay. However efficient we are in sorting out the grant application and the paperwork, a tax return may need to be processed by HMRC and the application for probate must be processed by the probate registry. We can give you an indication of timescales. After the grant of probate is obtained it is then a question of our liaising with banks, investment funds, HMRC and others to gather in all the assets so we can do our job of finalising the estate, completing any final tax return and distributing bequests. We appreciate that delays can be frustrating but we give realistic time estimates and make sure that beneficiaries understand that any delays are not down to executor delay. Next steps  If you are an executor and need help with getting probate or estate administration our experts can help. We find that our probate fees are often more competitive than those offering a fixed-fee probate service. With us, there are no surprises with executors being told that the complete fixed fee service does not cover the work the executors envisaged it would. For expert probate advice call us or complete our online form.
Chris Strogen
  ·   8 minute read
Applying for an Injunction

Applying for an Injunction

Do you need protection from domestic abuse or coercive and controlling behaviour? Are you worried about your estranged husband or wife transferring money to their parents or siblings to try and hide money from your divorce solicitor? If you need help with applying for an injunction order our family law solicitors can assist and guide you through the injunction application process. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. What is an injunction? An injunction is an order from the family court telling someone to stop doing something. An injunction order can stop: An ex-partner verbally harassing you A spouse from physically or sexually assaulting you A partner from exerting financial control over you A spouse from psychologically abusing you The other parent from emotionally abusing or otherwise abusing your children A partner from stopping you from returning to the family home A husband or wife or civil partner from transferring the house or the savings to their relatives to defeat your divorce financial settlement claim If you are not sure if you need an injunction order the best thing to do is call one of our family law solicitors to see how we can help you. Do I need an injunction order or to call the police? In an emergency, we would always recommend that you call the police. If they arrest and charge your partner and impose bail conditions you may decide that you do not need to apply for an injunction order as the police can arrest your partner again if he or she breaches their bail. If you do not want to contact the police, they will not get involved as they say it is a ‘civil matter’, or they do not give you the sort of support you were looking for, then you may need an injunction order. For example, a police officer may tell you that you need to apply for a child arrangement order if you and your ex-partner are arguing about where your child should live. For example, the police may just warn or caution your partner about their behaviour. If your concerns are money-related, the police will advise you to talk to a family law solicitor about getting a freezing or family law money injunction. [related_posts] Common myths about injunctions There are a lot of misconceptions about injunctions. Here we dispel some common ones: You don’t need to be married or in a civil partnership to apply for an injunction Men or women can apply for injunctions If you are in a same-sex relationship you can apply for an injunction order An injunction order does not change legal ownership of the family home but the order may give the injunction order applicant the right to live in the family home until the end of the injunction order or until the court makes a financial court order An injunction order can be enforced by the police You can apply for an injunction even if you did not report the domestic violence to the police You do not need to have been physically assaulted to apply for an injunction – if you have experienced any type of domestic abuse you can apply to the court for an injunction order You can apply for an injunction order even if the police have arrested or charged your partner You do not need to own your home to apply for an occupation injunction order. You can also apply if you rent your house or if your partner is the sole legal owner You do not need to have started no-fault divorce proceedings before you can apply for an injunction Applying for an injunction Applying for an injunction involves filing a court application with a statement in support and paying a court fee. If your application is urgent the court can agree to hold a first hearing without giving your partner notice of the hearing. If the court makes an injunction order at a without-notice hearing your partner will have the opportunity to object to it and put their case at another injunction hearing. The court can make an injunction order that prevents your ex-partner (and if relevant other family members or their agents) from continuing to abuse you. This type of injunction is called a non-molestation order. A court may make a non-molestation order at a without-notice hearing but list your application for an occupation order injunction at a hearing when your partner is present. An occupation order or ouster injunction order says if you can occupy the family home and if your partner can be excluded from all or part of the property. The injunction order does not transfer ownership of the family home – you will still need to negotiate a financial settlement or ask the court to make a financial court order.  Family law help As well as needing help with an injunction application you may also need assistance with: Sorting out residence and contact arrangements for your child – if you are concerned about your child’s safety or your ex-partner’s ability to prioritise your child’s needs you may need to apply for a child arrangement order or prohibited steps order Reaching a divorce financial settlement or a property settlement if you were in a cohabiting relationship A new Will because of your separation from your spouse or partner For expert family advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Robin Charrot
May 21, 2024   ·   5 minute read
Legal Rights of Separating Unmarried Parents

Legal Rights of Separating Unmarried Parents

If you are coming out of an unmarried relationship and you have dependent children it is important to understand your legal rights and potential claims against your ex-partner. Do not assume that you or your former partner has no rights because you did not get married and you did not enter a civil partnership. The law distinguishes between former cohabiting couples with dependent children and those without children or those who have adult children. In this blog, our family law solicitors focus on the rights and claims of ex-cohabitees with dependent children. For expert advice call our team of family lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. Your potential claims as a separated unmarried parent As a separated unmarried parent, you can claim: Child support Top up child support if the Child Maintenance Service has made a maximum assessment School fees if private education is affordable and thought to be in your child’s best interests Extra costs of looking after a child with a disability Lump sum payments if money is needed for specific items for your child Help with housing whilst your child is dependent on you Your rights as a former cohabitee are far more limited than if you were married or in a civil partnership. For example, you cannot claim spousal maintenance for yourself or claim a share of your partner’s pension or business. As an unmarried partner, you cannot claim a share of the equity in the family home unless you are a joint legal owner or, if the property is owned in your former partner’s sole name, you may be able to claim a beneficial interest in it because of the contributions made by you to the property or under property or trust principles. A separated parent with dependent children has more potential claims than an unmarried partner with no children or children who are now adults. However, even if you have children, you cannot make claims for child support unless you are the child’s main carer. If care is shared equally child support is not payable even if one parent earns substantially less than the other parent. Housing claims when you are an unmarried parent An unmarried parent can choose to bring a property claim (arguing that they are entitled to a share in the equity in the family home even though the property is legally owned by their ex-partner). This type of claim is made under the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996. Alternatively, or in addition, an unmarried parent can bring what is referred to as a Schedule 1 claim for housing for their child. If you succeed in proving that you have a beneficial interest in a property the share of the equity you are awarded by the court is yours to keep if the family home is sold. The court can order the sale of the property to help realise your money if your ex-cohabitee cannot or will not agree to the sale of the property or if they cannot raise the money to pay you your share of the equity by taking out a mortgage on the property. If you bring a Schedule 1 claim you are asking the court to order that housing be provided for your child. The equity in any property provided as accommodation belongs to your ex-partner. You and your child only have a right to live in the property until a specified date. That is normally when your youngest child reaches 18 or moves out of the property. A Schedule 1 claim therefore does not provide you with a long-term housing solution but, depending on the age of your child, could provide you and your child with mortgage or rent-free accommodation for several years. [related_posts] Schedule 1 applications An unmarried parent can claim Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989 asking the court to make financial provision for their child or children. The court will assess the needs of the child. This is a different approach to a divorce financial settlement where a divorce judge considers a range of factors, including the reasonable needs of the husband and wife. Generally, any financial child support made under Schedule 1 will last only until a child is 18. If the court makes an order for the provision of a home this is called a settlement of property or transfer of property. The property could be the former family home or a different property, to be purchased by your ex-partner, but ordered to be used to accommodate your child and you until your child reaches a specified age. The court could also make a lump sum order under Schedule 1 to furnish the property to meet the needs of your child. Navigating unmarried partner claims It can be hard to work out if your best route is to make a property claim or a claim under Schedule 1 or both. Our experienced family law solicitors can help you work out the route that is best in your circumstances. For expert advice call our team of family lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Robin Charrot
  ·   5 minute read
Wills for Unmarried Partners

Wills for Unmarried Partners

If you are in an unmarried relationship or cohabiting with a partner you do need to sort some paperwork out. Whilst you and your partner may both be content to not have a marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate there are some practical things that you should do to protect your partner and family. In this article, our Will solicitors look at why it is vital to get a Will sorted out for yourself if you are entering a new cohabiting relationship or if you and your unmarried partner have settled down together without the convention of marriage or civil partnership. For expert Will advice call us or complete our online form. Why you need a Will if you are in an unmarried relationship If you are young and unmarried, why do you need a Will? If you are middle-aged, in good health, and buoyed up by your new relationship, why do you need a Will? The answer - if you are living with a partner or are in a personal relationship then your loved one has no inheritance rights or voice if you pass away. The position is different if they were your wife, husband or civil partner. Whilst a spouse or civil partner is legally your next of kin, an unmarried partner has no legal standing if you do not make a Will. That is the case if you have been living together with your partner for 3 months or 30 years. If you are unmarried and you do not have a Will, your next of kin may be your children, parents, or a sibling. Your relatives may not get on with your partner. The difficult relationship dynamics and money issues could result in your partner and your family arguing in court about who should inherit your property and assets. Unless your family who will inherit your estate under intestacy rules can reach an agreement with your cohabiting partner, a judge may have to decide if the intestacy rules (that give nothing to your unmarried partner) should be changed to leave them with reasonable financial provision in light of their circumstances. [related_posts] Why you need your partner to make a Will Looking at the situation from the other angle, it is just as important that your partner makes a Will to protect you. For example, if you have been living with them for ten years in their home. If they pass away before you and they have not made a Will then you will not be entitled to stay in the house. You also will not be entitled to a share in the equity in the property if it is sold unless you can either: Prove that you have a beneficial interest in the property because you invested money in it and are entitled to an equitable interest under property or trust law or Claim a share of the estate of your partner by challenging the estate distribution under the intestacy rules Either option involves the potential for family disputes and court proceedings. Sometimes unmarried partners do not want to leave their house or estate to their partner. That may be understandable if they have children from a previous relationship, if you and they have not been together long or if you are comfortably off and do not need a share of their estate. However, a Will could give you a right to live in the property for life if your partner has children or the Will could give you the right to stay at the property for at least 12 months after your partner’s death so you have a bit of space and time to grieve. What should go in your Will and in the Will of your unmarried partner depends on a whole range of issues, including the size of the two estates and your financial positions as well as your respective personal preferences. Alternatively, you or your partner may want to make financial provision for one another by taking out life insurance but you will then need to consider if the life insurance will pass under your Will or a nomination form. Many couples can feel overwhelmed by Will choices but that is no reason not to make a Will. Our Will solicitors can help you wade through the choices and the decisions you need to make when writing a Will to ensure that you are left with a Will that reflects your wishes and family circumstances. For expert Will and private client advice call us or complete our online form.
Chris Strogen
  ·   4 minute read
Second Marriage Divorce

Second Marriage Divorce

If your second marriage is in trouble you may already know a bit about divorce and financial settlements because of your experience from the first time around. This time you may find that some things are different. Firstly, divorce law has changed. Secondly, your first husband or wife may have been very reasonable and this enabled you to reach a financial agreement. The situation may not be as straightforward with your second marriage divorce. In this blog, our divorce solicitors look at what you need to be aware of when ending a second marriage. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. No-fault divorce proceedings Divorce law in England has changed with the introduction of no-fault divorce and new divorce terminology. Family law solicitors no longer talk about divorce petitions or decree nisi or decree absolute. The new terminology is divorce application, conditional order of divorce and final order of divorce. Whilst you still need to have been married for at least 12 months before you can start divorce proceedings the remaining rules on divorce applications have been changed. You no longer have to say that your husband or wife committed adultery or behaved unreasonably to start divorce proceedings or wait 2 years from the date of your separation to start your divorce petition. Now, all you need to say in your divorce application is that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. You do not need to go into the reasons why. Applying for a joint no-fault divorce Another major change to the divorce process is that you can now apply for a divorce jointly with your husband or wife. You or they still have the option to bring an individual or sole application if one of you prefers to do so. Our divorce solicitors will normally recommend that you start the divorce proceedings either jointly or in your name if you want to get the divorce sorted out in your timeframe. You may be concerned that your estranged husband or wife may delay starting divorce proceedings if they are the ones given the task of starting the divorce application. Getting quick divorce advice is important if you are concerned about your estranged spouse selling the family business, cashing in investments or hiding assets. If you or your spouse are from overseas then you may need urgent advice on court jurisdiction and where it is best to start the divorce proceedings. Whether you decide that a joint or single divorce application is the best option for you the actual divorce process is similar. A divorce application must be filed at a family court and a fee paid. At Evolve Family Law we offer fixed fee divorce services for most divorce applications. The no-fault divorce process The no-fault divorce process involves: Divorce application - either a joint application or an individual application by one of you A wait – court rules say the applicant for the divorce must wait 20 weeks before they can confirm they want a divorce and go ahead with the no-fault divorce process Conditional order - the court makes a conditional order. This is the same as the old decree nisi of divorce Another wait - after waiting another 6 weeks, the applicant can apply for their final order of divorce (this is the new name for the decree absolute of divorce)No-fault divorces take about 6 months to complete from applying for the divorce to getting your final order but the no-fault divorce advantages are that you do not need to go to court to get your divorce order and you do not need to blame your spouse (or vice versa) to get your divorce. [related_posts] Second marriages and financial settlements In second marriages there is a good chance that you signed a prenuptial agreement before your second marriage. Your divorce lawyer will want to know if you signed one and the terms of the agreement. They will also want to know if anything has changed since you signed the prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement. For example, the birth or adoption of children, the failure of a business or either you or your spouse suffering ill health or a disability. These are the sort of things that might lead to a family court saying that the terms of a prenuptial agreement should not be followed or not followed in their entirety. If you signed a prenuptial agreement, it should be possible to secure an agreed financial court order unless there are major changes in circumstances or you or your ex are saying that the terms of the agreement were unfair or there was no financial disclosure. If you did not sign a prenuptial agreement, it may still be relatively straightforward to negotiate a financial settlement by agreement if you are both keen to finalise your divorce and secure a clean break financial court order. Complexities can arise in situations where: You are paying spousal maintenance to your first spouse and your second spouse also wants spousal maintenance – you think there is a limit to how much you can afford to pay out in spousal maintenance Your ex-spouse wants a share of your pension but the pension pot was accumulated before your second marriage and your pension was your financial settlement from your first marriage as your first spouse got to keep your family home Your second spouse wants you to financially support your step children but you are still financially supporting your children from your first marriage Your ex-spouse wants to keep the family home as they bought it before the marriage. If they keep the family home and do not down size, they will not be able to pay you a lump sum as they do not have significant savings and they only have a limited mortgage capacity because of their age. You do not want to be left homeless as your mortgage options are also limited because of your age or because you are committed to supporting your children from your first marriage through their teenage years and through university There may be other reasons why it is hard to negotiate a financial settlement when coming out of a second marriage. Our expert divorce solicitors will be able to help you by talking to you about the circumstances of your second marriage, your assets and commitments, and then looking at the alternate financial settlement options. Filing for divorce using the Evolve Family Law One Lawyer Divorce Service If your separation from your second spouse is relatively amicable our One Lawyer Amicable Divorce Service may be able to help you both file for divorce and obtain an agreed financial consent order. This service is provided by specially trained family lawyers who comply with the guidance from Resolution (an organisation for family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve divorce and family issues in a non-confrontational manner). The service is not the right option for every couple coming out of a second marriage but it can be ideal if you both ‘know the score’ and are both keen to reach a fair financial settlement with the minimum of fuss and no added costs being built up by your each receiving separate and different advice, For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Robin Charrot
May 08, 2024   ·   7 minute read
Jewish Divorce Solicitors

Jewish Divorce Solicitors

When you need divorce or family law advice it is important to go to divorce solicitors who understand your concerns and needs. With offices in Whitefield, Manchester and Cheshire our expert divorce solicitors can guide you through your civil and religious divorce and advise on all your family law queries. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. Divorce proceedings Whether you are a member of an Orthodox, Reform or Liberal synagogue, your Get may be more important to you than your civil divorce.  Our Jewish divorce solicitors recommend that you apply for both so the applications run alongside. With the introduction of no-fault civil divorce proceedings, it is harder for a husband or wife to object to a civil divorce. The other improvement in the law is that you do not need to blame your spouse for the breakdown in your relationship. To get a no-fault divorce all you need to do is file a divorce application saying that your marriage has irretrievably broken down. Your husband or wife does not need to agree with that statement for you to secure your divorce. In situations where a couple agrees that their marriage is at an end the law now allows the couple to jointly file for divorce. Not every couple can work together to obtain their divorce so our divorce solicitors can either help you as a sole divorce applicant or with a joint divorce application. No-fault divorce proceedings take around 6 months to complete. That is because the law imposes delays so you cannot progress the divorce proceedings until specific periods have elapsed during various stages of the divorce process. The divorce process involves applying for a conditional order of divorce (this used to be called the decree nisi). The civil divorce is not finalised until you get your final order of divorce (this used to be called the decree absolute). At Evolve Family Law we offer fixed fee divorce services for most divorce applications. Children law advice for Jewish divorcing couples In tough times for the community, it can be hard to find a compromise agreement over the best parenting arrangements for your children. That’s the case whether you are going through a recent separation and divorce proceedings or divorced many years ago. All parents can struggle at some point in their parenting journey about what is best for their children and as Jewish divorce solicitors we are experienced in advising on specific children law issues after a separation or divorce, such as: Whether children should be brought up in the faith and the extent of the child’s religious observance If children should be brought up Orthodox or Reform Whether the child should be brought up following strict kosher dietary compliance if one parent is not kosher Whether a child should attend a secular school Contact arrangements, Shabbat and festival days Holidays overseas and whether a holiday order is necessary because a parent objects to a child being taken on holiday to Israel or to see extended family in the Middle East Relocation orders if one parent thinks it would be best to move out of England and the other parent will not agree to the child being taken to live overseas These issues, and others, can crop up whether you are both practising or if one parent follows a different faith or has no faith. Tensions can arise making it hard to work out a compromise and agree on a parenting plan. Our family law solicitors can help you try to reach an agreement and record it in a parenting plan. If an agreement is impossible, we can help you apply for or respond to applications for: Child arrangement orders Holiday orders Relocation orders Prohibited steps orders or specific issue orders Child support or school fee orders [related_posts] Financial settlements One important element of divorce is sorting out a financial settlement and ensuring that your agreement is binding on both of you. Our family lawyers can help you with: Separation agreements Converting your negotiated financial settlement into an agreed binding financial court order Representation in a financial application for a financial court order We have substantial experience in financial settlements involving: Family money – parents or in-laws gifted or loaned money to buy the family home or to invest in the family business Family businesses where either one or both spouses and extended family work together in a family business or where a husband or wife may be an employee in the family business or an employee of a relative Family trusts where money has been advanced under trust arrangements Overseas assets ranging from holiday homes, second homes and investments The signing of a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement and the husband or the wife do not think that they should be bound by the terms of their agreement now that they are separating and getting divorced Financial settlements after an overseas divorce Situations where you suspect your spouse has not disclosed assets, transferred assets to family or friends, or undervalued their assets so you do not get a fair divorce financial settlement Our family lawyers will work with your financial advisors and accountants to ensure we understand your financial circumstances and ensure that we help you achieve a financial settlement that meets your needs. For expert advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Robin Charrot
  ·   5 minute read
Do Both Sides Need a Solicitor in Divorce?

Do Both Sides Need a Solicitor in Divorce?

When you are separating and trying to divorce amicably it is tempting to think that it is the divorce lawyers who will be the problem in reaching an amicable separation. You may assume that divorce solicitors will pit both of you against one another, racking up the solicitor costs, and leaving both of you worse off. There is a way to share one divorce solicitor. At Evolve Family Law we provide a One Lawyer Divorce Service. However, the service is not the best or right option for every divorcing couple. In this article, our family lawyers explain how both sides can share one divorce solicitor and whether our One Lawyer Divorce Service may be a suitable option for you. For family law help call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. The One Lawyer Divorce Service The One Lawyer Divorce Service means both sides to a family dispute share the same family lawyer. You could be a couple wanting to negotiate a separation agreement, an unmarried family trying to sort out the sale of a property and who gets the equity from the sale, or a divorcing couple wanting to get divorced and sort out their financial settlement. Why share a divorce solicitor? Sharing a divorce solicitor is not right for every divorcing couple but it can have potentially massive benefits. These include: You pay for one divorce solicitor and not 2 You are all committed to working together. That may be to achieve your no-fault divorce, negotiate a financial settlement and secure a financial court order from the court or sign off on an agreed parenting plan You share the same information from the shared divorce solicitor as the divorce lawyer will give you both the same information and advice. There can be no saying ‘’well my lawyer says I will get X’’ by your estranged partner when you are adamant that your divorce solicitor says ‘’you will get Y’’ if you go to court for the judge to decide on the financial settlement. A shared divorce solicitor will tell both of you that the court could order X or Y and that there is always a litigation risk if you go to court rather than reach a compromise and ask the court to make an agreed financial court order You avoid delay because documents are not sent back and forth between you and 2 separate divorce solicitors Should YOU share a divorce solicitor? At Evolve Family Law we recognise that our One Lawyer Divorce Service the Service is not right for everyone who is going through a separation or a divorce. As well as you asking yourself if you should share a divorce solicitor with your husband or wife our family lawyers will also explore whether the Service is the best option for you. Sometimes it is obvious that you can make a success out of sharing a divorce solicitor and sometimes it isn’t as clear cut. Whether you should share a divorce solicitor or not is not dependent on the value of your property and assets or the complexity of dividing them to reach a fair divorce financial settlement. Instead, it is more about whether: You can work together with your ex-partner to resolve matters amicably You are both ready to reach an agreement. For example, one of you may feel too raw about the separation to be able to think clearly enough to have direct and open discussions You can be open and honest with your ex-partner and they will be equally open with you to help in achieving a fair resolution [related_posts] The One Lawyer Divorce Service at Evolve Family Law If you want to find out more about our One Lawyer Divorce Service and how we might be able to help you then the next step is for a divorce solicitor to meet with you and your ex-partner in separate meetings. We need to see you separately to check that the process is right for both of you. That is in both of your best interests as you do not want to start a process unless there is a realistic prospect of it being suitable for both of you in reaching an agreement or in securing your no-fault divorce. You may ask how we can assess if our One Lawyer Divorce Service is the best fit for you. We do this by providing the Service through trained expert family law solicitors who comply with the principles, standards, and guidance from the national organisation for family justice professionals who work with families and individuals to resolve issues in a non-confrontational manner (Resolution). When you should not share a divorce solicitor Sharing a divorce solicitor may not be right for you or your ex-partner, especially if: During the relationship your ex-partner was controlling and tried to take over decision-making or accused you of trying to exercise coercive control You suspect your ex has been hiding assets from you or you know that your ex-partner thinks that you have been siphoning money from a family business or savings Your ex was violent towards you or your child or accused you of domestic abuse You are concerned about your child’s safety. For example, you may be worried that your ex-partner plans to take your child overseas without first getting your agreement or a relocation order Your ex-partner has very entrenched views and will not be open to discussion about compromise Although it may not be appropriate for you to share a divorce solicitor it does not mean that you will have to ask the court to make a child arrangement order to sort out child custody and contact arrangements for your child or to make a divorce financial settlement. Our divorce solicitors can explore alternative options with you, such as family arbitration or solicitor negotiations, to help you work out the best way forward. For family law help call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Robin Charrot
Mar 15, 2024   ·   5 minute read