Article Category: Family Law – Insight & Opinion

Changing a child’s surname: what’s the process?

Changing a child’s surname is more common than you might think, particularly when parents are newly married, separated or were not married at the time of the birth. The process of changing a child’s surname varies depending on who’s involved and the arrangements which are in place. The process if a child arrangements order is… Read more »

Digital divorce: a sign of the times?

The Facts about digital divorce: On 4 January 2019, the Ministry of Justice confirmed that litigants-in-person (people who are not legally represented) had submitted more than 23,000* digital divorce petitions to the HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) since its online portal had opened on 1 May 2018. It would appear that the recent festive… Read more »

Splitting up? How will your business continue after divorce?

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal 42% of all marriages now end in divorce. With 5.7 million small and medium sized enterprises in the UK in 2017, these figures suggest divorce could impact a significant number of businesses and individuals. On setting up a small business, often for tax purposes, it… Read more »

Who Gets The Dog: How Is The Custody Of Pets Decided In A Divorce?

As unlikely as it may sound for a nation of animal lovers, in English law, animals are defined as personal chattels. This puts them in the same legal category as linens, furniture, books, and jewellery during the divorce process. When you start considering the custody of pets, there is not just the emotional impact of… Read more »

Summer Holidays As A Separated Parent

The school summer holidays are fast approaching and many parents will be booking their summer holiday to enjoy whilst their children are off school. For a separated parent, the thought of their ex-partner taking their children abroad can be extremely difficult and they may feel incredibly anxious, especially if it is the first holiday as… Read more »

Lesbian Parenting: What To Consider Before Conception

Under English law a child can have a maximum of two legal parents and the law dictates who these are irrespective of any agreement you may have, so it’s important for couples to consider and be aware of all the circumstances and law behind lesbian parenting. Who will have parental responsibility? The birth mother is… Read more »

Bar On Filing For Divorce Within One Year Of The Marriage

Divorce proceedings cannot be commenced within the first year of the marriage, however challenging the circumstances. The courts understand the first year of marriage can be a difficult one, and the bar on divorce operates to dissuade parties possibly giving up too soon. However, some marriages do irretrievably breakdown within this period. What can you… Read more »

How Can You Challenge A Divorce Petition?

It is always deeply unpleasant to be on the receiving end of a divorce petition. Few respondents (the person who has received the divorce petition) accept the tenor of particulars detailing incidents of alleged unreasonable behaviour. Most perceive them to be overemphasized embellishments exaggerated by a spouse who spuriously seeks to claim emotional distress over… Read more »

The importance of children’s wishes and feelings during family law proceedings

In family law proceedings involving children, the importance of children’s wishes and feelings including their welfare is the courts paramount consideration. When considering what approach to take, the judge will turn to the welfare checklist set out in the Children Act 1989, section 1 (3). What criteria must the court consider? Key areas of consideration… Read more »