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Do I really need a divorce solicitor?

Since May 2018 members of the public have been able to submit their own divorce petitions online. Since April 2022 the new 'no-fault' divorce law has meant a radical new approach to divorce and for the first time there is no need to assign blame. In fact, divorcing couples can now even submit a joint divorce petition online. So, if it is possible for people to handle their own divorces and even…

Is it a loan, is it a gift?

It is not uncommon for arguments to arise as to whether money paid by parents, or some other benefactor, to couples during their marriage is to be paid back, and thus regarded as a liability when assets are divided on divorce. In the case of P v Q (Financial Remedies) [2022] decided earlier this year, HHJ Hess clarified the principles to be applied in cases concerning loans to/from family members. …

Aviva publish pension research

In early May, pension provider Aviva published findings that concluded that thousands are at risk of pension poverty after they divorce. The research states that one in seven didn't realise that their pension could be impacted upon by getting divorced, and that 34% of divorcing couples made no claim on their former spouses pension. That is all the more alarming when one realises that one in twelve divorcees do not have…

Guidance on Fact-Finding Hearings issued to the Judiciary

Following on from recent reported court decisions which have sought to clarify how the courts should approach cases when there are allegations of domestic abuse in private law Children Act Proceedings, and how to determine whether a fact-finding hearing is necessary, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published guidance to the judiciary.  The guidance is aimed at judges and magistrates, and sets out the practical…

Divorce Portal Closure

In readiness for the commencement of the new divorce law and procedure which comes into effect on 6th April, the HMCTS portal, where online divorce petitions are issued, is closing at 4pm on 31st March, and re-opens at 10am on 6th April. HMCTS say that they will try to issue petitions received prior to the cut off, but cannot guarantee doing so. Post 6th April, all petitions will be issued…

New Divorce Law to come into force 6th April 2022

In response to a Parliamentary Question, the Government have announced that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 is to come into force on 6th April 2022. The Act provides for the biggest reform of divorce law for fifty years, and is aimed at reducing conflict between couples legally ending their marriage or civil partnership. It significantly changes the basis upon which divorces are obtained, and does away with the need to…

Who are you dealing with?

The SRA has launched a new digital badge for Solicitors. The new badge, which can only be displayed by regulated firms, will show online visitors to our website that we are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It will provide any visitor to our site with a link to information about the protections this provides to them as a consumer of legal services. In a legal market place where increasing…

10 Practical Tips for Those Considering Divorce

With the introduction of new divorce law on 6th April 2022 (Divorce Dissolution and Separation Act 2020), which simplifies the basis upon which marriage can be brought to an end, it is now easier to end the marriage. If you are considering divorce, what do you need to consider in order bring about that separation in a respectful and civilised way. Below are some of our tips; Consider whether the marriage really…

Christmas contact arrangements

The festive period can be difficult for separated parents, and unless the contact arrangements for the children have been previously arranged, either through agreement or by Court Order, then you will need to try and make arrangements between yourselves. This is not always easy, so here are a few tips that may help. The subject of Christmas contact needs to be approached as early as possible. If you are unable…

Victoria qualifies in collaborative practice

As part of Oerton Simm' ongoing commitment to helping couples find better and more family focused ways of separating, Partner, Victoria, has recently completed her collaborative training through Resolution. Collaborative practice is one of the options available to divorcing or separating couples as a means of helping them to resolve the legal, practical, financial and parenting issues which arise when the relationship has broken down. Unlike the more traditional approach…