Article Category: Family Law – Insight & Opinion

The No Fault Divorce Bill: Let’s Shelve The Blame!

Back in October MP Richard Bacon introduced to Parliament, under the Ten Minute Rule, the no fault divorce bill. If passed this bill makes provision for the dissolution of a marriage or civil partnership where each party separately makes a declaration that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. The bill is expected to have its… Read more »

Common Law Marriage Rights: The Common Misconception

In my experience many couples believe that if they live together for some time they are in a common law marriage with the same rights as if they were legally married. This is false as common law marriage has not existed since 1753. In reality cohabitants living together outside marriage are treated in law as… Read more »

Divorce: honesty is the best policy

In a landmark decision this week the Supreme Court has allowed the appeals of two wives, Alison Sharland and Varsha Gohil. The position of both women was that their husbands had been dishonest by failing to disclose their true worth and it is now highly likely both the husbands will end up paying far more… Read more »

Implacable hostility to child contact

In a recent case Lord Justice MacFarlane has set out the approach to be taken by courts in cases when parents, usually mothers, are totally opposed to child contact taking place. The description given to such parents is ‘implacably hostile’. The approach taken by the courts is as follows: Where it is in the best… Read more »

Spousal maintenance is for life…or maybe not?

On divorce, a spouse can be ordered to pay spousal maintenance if their partner is dependent on their income. But how secure is your maintenance order and can it be changed? Courts can make maintenance orders limited in time for example, maintenance for five years to enable you to re-train and secure full time employment…. Read more »

Separating parents: putting your children’s needs first

It was recently announced that Manchester-based actor and comedian John Thomson is separating from his wife after 10 years of marriage. The ex-couple who have two children have declared their intentions to remain friends and co-parent their daughters. Publicly declaring such intentions is a good start to any future care arrangements for your children. However, in… Read more »

Cohabitation Rights Bill: will it pass?

The Cohabitation Rights Bills is currently being debated in the House of Lords. On a recent survey carried out by YouGov of more than 2000 adults 51% of women think they share all the same rights as married couples when cohabiting compared with 42% of men. Cohabitation between couples is increasing, according to the Office… Read more »

Hands off my Steinway!

This week in the high court Justice Holman, a judge in the family division, heard a battle between American lawyer Richard Fields, 59 and his fifth wife Ekaterina Parfenova, the former 42 year old beauty queen. They have been married 10 years and are arguing over his multi-million pound assets, in particular his Steinway baby… Read more »

Are cohabitees in a weak position?

More couples are living together than ever before. It is estimated that there are nearly three million cohabiting households in Britain. Unfortunately, the law for cohabitees is outdated and on some occasions unfair. The law desperately needs changing and the Co-habitation Rights Bill introduced by Lord Marks, has recently had its second reading in the… Read more »

Mediation: can it really be free?

The Ministry Of Justice has recently announced that some mediation sessions will be funded by the government, but all that is on offer is that separating couples will be offered one free session if one of them is already in receipt of legal aid for help with mediation. In reality though, few cases are resolved… Read more »