News

Blog articles by Graham Simm

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…

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…

How do I protect my financial position if I cohabit without getting married?

A coalition of legal organisations and family charities, including the bar Council, the law society, resolution, and relate, have urged the government to provide legal protection to millions of cohabiting couples as evidence continues to emerge of the increase in the number of civil partnerships and deathbed marriages being entered into.Couples choosing not to marry, or enter into a civil partnership (currently available only to same sex couples-although the…

Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce

In its 2014 report the Law Commission identified concerning evidence of significant regional differences in the levels of needs-based support likely to be awarded in different courts, and a lack of transparency in this area of law.The report recommended that the Family Justice Council should provide guidance for the Courts with a view to achieving greater clarity and consistency of approach across the jurisdiction in such cases. In April 2016 the…

Online Divorce Applications Rolled Out Nationally

At the beginning of May 2018 the ability to issue a divorce petition "online" was rolled out nationally, so now, all members of the public are able to issue their divorce petition online. For a time, this was not available to legal professionals, but it is now the expectation, mainly due, perhaps, to procedural changes brought about by the Covid-19 Lockdown. Similarly, Financial Remedy Applications can also now be…

Queen approves appointment of new President of the Family Division

HM The Queen has approved the appointment of The Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlene as the President of the Family Division, who is to take over the role from 28th July 2018 when the current President, Sir James Munby, retires. The President of the Family Division is the head of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice, and head of Family Justice. The Family Division was created in 1971, it…