family law

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.

Family Law Solicitors and the Resolution Annual Awareness Week

Family Law Solicitors and the Resolution Annual Awareness Week

At Evolve Family Law our family law specialists are members of Resolution, an organization of family justice professionals in the UK.   This week is Resolution’s Awareness Week.  For expert advice on family law call our team of specialist lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.   Resolution Awareness Week  In recent years, the Resolution dialogue surrounding divorce has shifted from a conventional narrative of separation to a more nuanced exploration of relationships and their legal underpinnings.   Once known as Good Divorce Week, an initiative spearheaded by Resolution, the annual event traditionally aimed to promote amicable separations. However, this year the Resolution Awareness Week marks a significant pivot, redirecting attention toward cohabitation and its intersection with UK family law.  A focus on all relationships   Resolution has long been at the forefront of advocating for constructive approaches to divorce. However, recognizing the evolving landscape of relationships in the UK, the focus has expanded beyond divorce to encompass the dynamics of cohabitation.  The renaming of the awareness raising event from Good Divorce Week to a more encompassing theme signifies a broader perspective that goes beyond divorce itself. This shift acknowledges that relationships come in various forms and that understanding the legal implications of cohabitation or the nuances of LGBTQI+ relationships is just as crucial as navigating the complexities of divorce.  Cohabiting relationships   Cohabitation, while increasingly prevalent, lacks the legal structure and statutory protections that marriage or civil partnership offers. This change in focus by Resolution during what was once Good Divorce Week represents a pivotal moment in acknowledging the need for clarity and legal recognition for individuals in cohabiting and non-traditional relationships.  The Resolution awareness campaign aims to dispel misconceptions surrounding cohabitation and educate individuals about their legal rights and responsibilities.   Central to this initiative is the spotlight on the absence of automatic legal protection for cohabiting couples in the event of separation. Resolution wants to highlight the importance of seeking legal advice and making sure cohabiting couples enter into cohabitation agreements.  [related_posts] The call for cohabitation reform  Resolution's initiative aligns with ongoing discussions within legal circles advocating for reforms that bridge the gap between marriage and cohabitation in terms of legal rights. The goal is to ensure that individuals in cohabiting relationships have access to legal protections and equitable resolutions, akin to those in marital unions. That is becoming increasingly important with the rise in cohabitation. In 2021 there were reportedly 3.6 million cohabiting couples.   By extending its focus beyond divorce, Resolution's initiative reflects a holistic approach to relationships and family law. It serves as a platform to address the evolving nature of partnerships and strives to create a more informed, fair, and supportive legal landscape for all individuals, irrespective of their relationship status.  Evolving family law  In essence, the evolution of Good Divorce Week into a broader exploration of cohabitation within UK family law signifies a progressive step toward acknowledging the diverse forms of relationships. Through education, advocacy, and potential legal reforms, this initiative aims to ensure that individuals in cohabiting relationships are empowered and protected within the legal framework, fostering a culture of understanding and fairness in modern relationships.  How Evolve Family Law can help you   At Evolve Family Law our specialist family lawyers can assist you with all your family law needs if you are in a cohabiting relationship, including:  Cohabitation agreements  Declarations of trust  Children law and parental responsibility advice  Cohabiting relationships and claims on separation    Financial and property claims   Children financial claims for child support, school fees or assistance with housing dependent children    Wills for cohabiting couples  Lasting Powers of Attorney   Estate claims and inheritance disputes advice if you are a cohabitee who was not included in your partner’s Will or need to make a claim because you are not classed as a relative of your loved one under intestacy rules    It is best to talk to one of our solicitors about your cohabitation rights before you find yourself really needing an expert lawyer. For example, understanding property ownership and your rights under a cohabitation agreement could avoid expensive court proceedings if you split up from your cohabitee. For example, understanding that if your partner does not make a Will, you will not inherit anything under intestacy rules may encourage both you and your cohabitee to sign Wills and do some estate planning to protect your family.   We can help you resolve property-related or children focussed cohabitation disputes through:  Solicitor negotiations  Roundtable meetings  Collaborative law  Arbitration  The Evolve Family Law One Lawyer service  For expert advice on family law complete our online enquiry form.  
Ellie Stokes
Nov 30, 2023   ·   4 minute read
What Does Habitual Residence Mean?

What Does Habitual Residence Mean?

In this blog, children and child abduction solicitor, Louise Halford, looks at what habitual residence means and why it is important in children law proceedings, and in applications for child arrangement orders and disputes over parental child abduction. For expert child abduction and children law advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form. Why is your child’s habitual residence important? For international families the legal concept of habitual residence in children law is important. If your child is classed as habitually resident in England, then the court in England and Wales will have the jurisdiction to decide where your child should live, who they should have contact with and whether they can live overseas. A child’s habitual residence can be complicated because a child can be habitually resident in the UK even though the child is not a British citizen and nor are their parents. If your family is in the UK on a work visa or family visa or dependant visa, your child may be habitually resident in England. If you are planning to leave the UK with your child it is best to speak to a children law solicitor to see if your child may be habitually resident in the UK and to understand the steps you need to take to legally take your child out of the UK. If your child is habitually resident, and you don’t follow the correct steps and procedures before leaving the UK with your child, then you could be committing a child abduction offence. The English court could order that your child is returned to England so the English court can decide on where your child should live. What does habitual residence mean? Put simply, habitual residence means where you normally live. A child can be habitually resident in a country even though the child’s parents don’t live in that country. Habitual residence does not have anything to do with your nationality as you don’t need to be a British citizen or have indefinite leave to remain to be habitually resident in the UK. It is a question of fact. When assessing if a child is habitually resident in England, a child abduction solicitor or children court will look at how integrated the child is. For example, does the child go to school in the UK? Is the child enrolled at sports or other leisure groups in the UK? [related_posts] What happens if my child is habitually resident in England? If your child is habitually resident in England then the English court has jurisdiction to decide where your child should live if there is a dispute with the other parent. Under English law you can't take a child to live overseas without the agreement of the other parent and the consent of anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child. If you can't get written permission you can apply to court for a relocation order. If you leave the UK without a relocation order or written consent then you could be accused of parental child abduction and your child could be made the subject of a return order. The law may seem bizarre to some parents, especially when you are intending to return to a home country or a country where you have strong family or other ties. However, children law solicitors recommend that you get legal advice on the meaning of habitual residence and how the legal concept may affect you and your family and the children law order solutions available to you so you can go ahead with your plans to leave the UK with your child. For expert child abduction and children law advice call our team of specialist divorce lawyers or complete our online enquiry form.
Louise Halford
Feb 10, 2016   ·   4 minute read