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Magazine - Family Law

Why our legal system is the medicine that’s killing the patient.

Family lawyer and mediator Mary Banham-Hall has launched a Petition on Change.org asking for the existing court rule that legal costs must be proportionate to the value of the dispute to be made to work. Her ultimate aim is to shorten the litigation process – which sometimes goes on for years – and to stop ballooning legal costs.

DIY Divorce and Separation – The Expert Guide to Representing Yourself

This book is a timely arrival on the bookshelves, since the withdrawal of legal aid for the vast majority of family law cases more and more people now in a position where they have little option but to represent themselves in family proceedings; the need for good, factual and accessible help has never been more essential.

What is arbitration?

Arbitration is an alternative to the normal court process, whereby an arbitrator (in place of a family court judge) can make a final binding decision on a disputed financial matter. The two parties in the case will submit or present their evidence and arguments in much the same way as happens in a normal court case.

Common Law Marriage is as Much a Myth as The Loch Ness Monster

Common law marriage is as much a myth as the Loch Ness Monster or the Tooth Fairy.  It simply does not exist, and those couples who are in cohabitating relationships need to be aware that they have no "rights" to each other’s assets and properties should they end their relationship.

Selling the former marital home – Part Two

In part one we looked at how to go about selecting the right estate agent and whether you should instruct one or more companies to sell your property. We also touched briefly on the differences between online firms and traditional estate agents, as well as whether you should mention divorce as the reason for selling.  Let’s now move on to a few more points to consider when selling your former marital home.

Where There’s A Will .........

You have to make a way! A Will is easy to overlook, it’s something that you keep meaning to get round to doing, you put it off until a later date or make it your New Year’s Resolution (it then remains in the pile of things to do the following year). But a Will is one of the most important things you can do; it allows you to make plans for what would happen to your loved ones in the event of your death.

Selling the former marital home – Part One

Buying or selling a property is rarely a stress-free process. However, when the house or flat being sold forms part of a divorce settlement, that stress can multiply. So, if you’re in the position of having to sell the home you once shared with your husband or wife, I hope the following information helps to make what you’re about to do a little easier.

Padden v. Bevan Ashford solicitors – the end of the free half hour?

This is a sad tale of a lady who discovered that her husband was a fraudster, it turned out to the tune of £2m or so, when his solicitor turned up at the family home demanding that she sign over all her share of the family assets to prevent the children from seeing their father carted off to prison.

International Marriages - can I get divorced in England/Wales?

With many people relocating to different countries around the world and couples choosing to marry abroad now, this can sometimes cause confusion as to where people can legally start divorce proceedings if their marriage breaks down. 

Story of a McKenzie Friend

Long ago I was asked to help a friend who unfortunately found himself in court trying to agree finances following the breakdown of the marriage after 20 years.

Cohabitation  – What you need to know.

Cohabitating couples are not protected in law as a married couple are, and the law that governs cohabiting couples is vastly different to the law relating to married couples or those who have entered into a civil partnership. It is imperative that you enter into cohabitation with your eyes wide open to this fact and take action to protect both parties.

Self Representation / Litigant in Person

Many people have never set foot inside a court building and wouldn’t dream of doing so without a lawyer to guide them through the process. It’s a common misconception that you have to have a lawyer in order to go to court, but that has never been true. Everyone is entitled to use the legal system whether or not they have a lawyer, although there are good reasons why most people would prefer not to. For most people who keep their noses clean and don’t end up in the criminal courts, the only time they are likely to have to go to court is on a family matter.