Categories
Children

Launch of The Care Inquiry in the UK

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) has announced that it is taking part in The Care Inquiry, which it describes as a timely and important opportunity to consider how the care system is working for children in care (and for those on the edge of care). It is a chance to think together about recent trends, current challenges and opportunities and future strategy.

The Inquiry has a vital focus on the achievement of stability and a positive sense of identity and belonging for children in care and for those raised by family members as an alternative to care. It has the potential to make a significant contribution to our collective understanding of these issues, to build on recent, welcome reforms and to inform future policy development.

BAAF believes that every child has a right to loving and secure family relationships and that secure attachments to carers are essential to children’s mental health and psychological development. It believes that every effort should be made to enable children to live in their own birth families and kinship network, providing that this is consistent with the child’s welfare.

BAAF believes that where it is not in the best interests of children to live within their family of origin, an alternative family should be found which can provide continuous care, stability and life-long commitment. And it believes that children have a right to have their needs understood, assessed and reviewed so that where it is necessary for them to live away from home, their placements can be planned and their needs met.

Further reading:- http://www.baaf.org.uk/media/releases/launch-care-inquiry

Categories
Children Divorce Law

Children should come first in divorce

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe that putting children’s interests first or avoiding conflict are the most important factors when going through divorce, according to a new survey from Resolution, the national family law association.

Four out of five (78%) say that putting children’s interests first would be their most or second most important consideration in a divorce, while 53% would prioritise making the divorce as conflict-free as possible.

Despite this, over four-fifths of people (81%) believe that children end up being the main casualties of divorce, and 40% believe that divorces can never be without conflict – a figure that rises to nearly half (47%) of those who are currently divorced themselves. Nearly half (45%) think that most divorces involve a visit to court, despite the increasing availability of non-court alternatives,

In stark contrast to some of the high-profile divorce cases in recent years, financial factors are not seen as particularly important, with only 1% saying that being financially better off than their partner would be the most important consideration should they divorce.

Categories
Divorce Law

Modern men make better husbands

New research from The Marriage Foundation has shown that the divorce rate for wife-granted divorces has more than halved since 1993. According to the report, this is because reduced pressure from family and society to get married makes men who decide to tie the knot more dedicated to their relationship.

The report, written by Harry Benson, Communications director at the Marriage Foundation, is the first ever analysis of divorce rates both by gender – whether the divorce is granted to the husband or to the wife – and years of marriage.

It reveals that amongst couples in their first decade of marriage, husband granted divorce rates increased by 1% between 1993 and 2010, while wife-granted divorce rates have fallen by 27%. When this analysis is applied to just the first three years of marriage the drop in divorces granted to women is a startling 51%.

“This dramatic fall in divorce rates is good news and should give people confidence in the strengths and benefits of this wonderful institution,” said Sir Paul Coleridge, the high court judge who launched the Marriage Foundation this year. “It is the instability of cohabitation that is our greatest concern.”

For further reading see http://www.marriagefoundation.org.uk/Web/News/News.aspx?news=123&RedirectUrl=~/Web/News/Default.aspx

Categories
Family Law

Latest care demand statistics – guest post from UK family lawyers

The latest figures released by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) have revealed that care application demand continues to remain at a very high level.

There were a total of 4,489 applications made to Cafcass during the period April to August 2012, which is an increase of 8.5% over the same period last year.

Every month of this financial year has seen the highest number of applications ever received for that month, with the exception of June. May 2012 saw the highest number of care applications (982) ever made to Cafcass in a single month.

Categories
Divorce Law

Can You Afford A Divorce? (Guest family law blog post)

When we begin to think of divorce, two main aspects immediately come to mind, those being the emotional trauma and the financial distress which often follows. The irony here is worth mentioning: financial difficulties are one of the main reasons a couple seeks a divorce although the results of a divorce may have a much more profound effect on both parties which can far exceed any monetary problems they may have previously had. Let us take a look at a handful of the main expenses associated with divorce proceedings.
The initial cost depends largely on whether or not the divorce is contested. If both people cannot decide how to split various assets, fees can often run into the tens of thousands. Essentially, the more messy the proceedings are, the more money spent. While the so-called “do-it yourself” divorces may make sense for two people in agreement, it is best to hire a litigator should difficulties arise.

What Is An Asset?

An asset is defined as any personal property which has financial value to repay a debt. In the case of divorce, the “debt” can be though of as which party is owed what. Assets include bank accounts, properties, vehicles, stocks and bonds and everything in between. Unless a prenuptial agreement was signed beforehand, these assets will be appraised and divided accordingly. Depending on the situation, this division can come as a great loss to one party while another may vastly increase their financial position.

Children

Should any children be involved, child support must be paid. These payments are determined on a graduated scale in regards to income. Once again, in a “no fault” divorce where both parties amicably split, any payments are conditional and not required as in the case of a contested divorce.

Debt

As assets are carefully examined during divorce proceedings, the division of a couple’s debt also takes place. This can be one of the most difficult parts of the whole process, as determining which debt is owed by which party can cause a great deal of tension. It is an unfortunate fact that during a messy divorce, people are prone to rack up a large debt simply to spite the other half. Should this debt issue not be resolved in a timely fashion the whole divorce will take considerably longer and therefore more costs will build up.

While the divorce proceedings, child support and debt and asset division may cost a great deal, let’s not forget what are called “start up” fees. These costs are the results of having to start over. They may include the down payment on a new residence, moving costs, child care costs, larger utility bills and others.

What Should I Do?

One of the best things to do should a divorce be looming on the horizon is to consult with a lawyer initially for an evaluation of what the overall costs may be. Monitor any credit cards and bank accounts to make certain that debt is not used as a weapon. Finally, both parties need to realise that the more they can find common ground, the less financial burden each will experience in both the short and long term.

This article was written in collaboration with Blanchards Law, specialists in family law.

Categories
Claims

Making Head Injury Claims To Receive The Compensation You Deserve

Head injuries are terrible injuries that can affect your life in more ways than you think. Anyone that has been involved in an accident should get a medical check-up to see if there are any injuries unaccounted for and to receive the proper medical help. When you have been involved in an accident that was not your fault, you should make sure that you file head injury claims and request the compensation that you deserve.

The impact of head injuries can have terrible effects on your life this is why you will need all the medical help that you can get. Clearly, making head injury claims is the best thing that you can do at this point because with the compensation that you receive you will be able to pay for all your medical treatments and bills. Some of the most common side effects that you can experience can include headaches, seizures, vomiting, blurry vision or slurred speech and even loss of memory.

The best option that you have at this moment is to seek the advice of a legal professional that can help you make the best head accident claims. Clearly, in your situation you will need to have someone that can offer you guidance in the legal process and can help you organize your case. You should be looking for a lawyer that is specialized in head injury claims because this way he/she will know exactly what steps need to be taken and how you can receive the best compensation. Also you can depend on them to offer genuine advice and guidance in any personal circumstances that might arise.

You should be aware of the fact that making head injury claims can be an extensive process this is why you should be well-advised in any situation. Regardless of the type of accident that you have been involved in, it is clear that you will need to have legal representation to file the claims for you, take care of all the legal aspects and make sure that the negotiations get you a nice compensation.

Some of the things that will be covered by this head injury claims compensation will include the medical treatment, rehabilitation costs and potential loss of salary. When you have suffered a head injury you won’t be able to go to work anymore, until you get better at least. This means that your budget will be severely affected, especially since you won’t be able to work anymore. The head injury claims compensation will go far beyond a quick financial assistance. You will manage to receive compensation that will help you cope for the rest of your life with the changes that you are going through.

When you have suffered a severe head injury that has left you with some serious side effects then you should make sure that you get in touch with a head injury claims solicitor as soon as you can. Head injury law can be more complex and complicated than you first imagine this is why it is best to have on your side someone that can guide you through the entire process.

Categories
Claims

Claiming Compensation For An Accident

Our lives are full of all the things we need to do and all the things that we need to accomplish on a daily basis. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t forget about the important things in life such as our health, our family’s security, relationships, jobs, money and many more. There are moments when we feel in control of everything and moments when we cannot control anything. When you are involved in an accident that was not your fault then clearly you should make sure that you file accident claims and ask for the compensation that you deserve.

If you are not responsible for the accident caused and you get hurt then clearly you will want someone to pay for the pain and the suffering that they inflicted on you. Accidents happen all the time, but when the other party is responsible for the accident because they failed to respect their duty of care then you have all the right to ask for compensation and to file accident claims. Accidents will usually leave someone injured so if this is your case and have been left injured then accident claims represent the only option that you have.

Of course, the financial support is not going to heal your wounds or make it all better but it will help with your medical treatment and bills. The financial blow that will follow under an accident can be cushioned with the help of this compensation. You may be forced to take some time off work which will translate in loss of wages so your family budget will definitely be affected. Therefore, make sure that you contact the right solicitor and file accident claims.

With the right solicitor by your side you will be able to understand the legal process that you will have to go through and you won’t have to worry about any paperwork or legal documents that need to be submitted in court. The accident claims solicitor will be there to advise you every step of the way and to offer you the guidance that you need in such cases. This is why it is important to find someone that has the right experience in this part of the law, someone that knows all the details of the law and knows exactly what needs to be done in any situation given. Choosing a solicitor has to be done wisely, especially since you are looking to win the case in order to receive the rightful compensation.

Such an accident can put a strain on your budget but also on your health and on your family. It is clear that it is going to affect all of you and the only option you have is to deal with the situation at first hand. Hiring the right solicitor is going to be really helpful but you should prepare yourself for remembering the accident in front of the judge. Also, the evidence that you will need to present will also affect you as you will have to relive the entire moment of the accident.

Categories
Family Law

Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality Bill)

The following is a guest family blawg post regarding the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill.

There is a common misconception amongst people, within the South Asian community, that Islamic marriages conducted in this country, are valid under English law. This is not correct. The marriage will only be valid if there is a person within the establishment where the Islamic ceremony takes place, who is authorised to conduct a civil ceremony at the same time and the establishment is registered with the local Registry Office as being an authorised body that can issue the recognised marriage certificate required under English law. A valid marriage certificate can be easily identified as it is in a prescribed format, on green coloured paper.

If the above requirements are not fulfilled, then unfortunately the Islamic ceremony will not be recognised as being a valid marriage under English law. In those circumstances, the parties to the “marriage” will not have the right to make a claim against the other under matrimonial law, and will have to rely on the limited and less generous provisions, afforded to cohabitees, based on principles of trusts, which generally require evidence of financial contributions to the assets that are being claimed, or provisions under Schedule 1 of the Children Act, if the claim concerns financial provision for children.

In many cases where there is only an Islamic ceremony, and no valid marriage under English law, the parties are often encouraged within their communities to mediate amongst their communities, through the use of community elders or members of their own family. They are in many instances encouraged to make use of Sharia law arbitration tribunals operating according to religious traditions. However, this may not be the best option for them as the rights afforded to women under Sharia Law may not be as generous as their rights under English law. There has been some concern that some arbitration tribunals, including those operating Sharia law principles are applying principles which go beyond their legal limit.

A bill has been proposed by Baroness Cox, the Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill, which highlights the misuse of equality within the arbitration and mediation services. The main proposal of the bill is to highlight and address the current discrimination which is in force in relation to women who are using arbitration or mediation specifically those within the Asian community. The bill therefore has two main aims:

–          to prevent women from receiving unjust treatment;

–          to prevent any alternative system being established in England and Wales with a potential prison sentence for those claiming to do so.

The bill is not aimed at a specific religious group but at women in general. It is intended to protect women who are and can be discriminated within the legal system.

The main proposal of the bill is that arbitration through a tribunal system that is not recognised under English law, should not deal with family or criminal matters. A concern is that issues such as legally recognised divorce or custody of children are being discussed and often decided at tribunals rather than through the courts.

The bill also makes it clear that any discrimination specifically sex discrimination laws apply directly to arbitration tribunal procedures. The proposed bill is much narrower as it relates directly to three specific areas:

–          treating the testimony of a man as worth more than a woman;

–          preferring a male heir in inheritance rights ;

–          preferring a man over a woman in property rights.

This aspect is specifically designed to address the issue of Sharia law. Traditionally, within Sharia law, the property passes to the sons, not to the daughters, and the daughters’ inheritance is normally half of that of the sons.

Furthermore, the bill seeks to create a new criminal offence. The proposal is that an offence will occur where anyone “falsely purports to be exercising a judicial function or to be able to make legally binding rulings which ought to be decided by criminal or family courts”. The aim of this is to prevent religious or community bodies from operating in lieu of public authorities.

The bill also expands the public sector equality duty. Public bodies will therefore be required to inform women that they will as a result of the marriage not being recognised in English law have far fewer rights. As a result of the lack of legal recognition, there is a risk that it could lead to polygamous marriages being performed.

An amendment is proposed to the Family Law Act 1996, by inserting a clause that a negotiated agreement may be set aside if one of the parties to the agreement did not genuinely consent to it. A “negotiated agreement” means an agreement which has been reached as the result of any form of negotiation, other than mediation. The aim of this is to provide protection for vulnerable parties.

Another area which is addressed by the bill is domestic abuse, which occurs within society quite frequently and is a concern amongst all communities. In most cases, the person suffering from the abuse is very vulnerable and rarely has the courage to stand up the abuse being suffered. Often, it remains unreported and if it is reported to the police, there is pressure by family members to withdraw the allegations. One of the proposals of the bill is aimed at amending the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. The emphasis of the amendment is to prevent intimidation of those victims of domestic abuse who are assisting in the investigation of that offence or if they are a witness or potential witness in the proceedings for that offence.

The implementation of the bill will bring England in line with various other countries in the world such as Canada and Australia that have outlawed religious arbitration in the legal jurisdiction. Overall, it is aimed at promoting equality between men and women within the arbitration process but also to ensure that there is one legal system in place for issues regarding family and criminal matters.

This guest post comes from Claim Today Solicitors

Categories
Domestic Violence

What is Elderly Abuse? How Can I Help?

(US Law) Elderly Abuse is known as the different acts that involve harm to older people. Other terms are associated with elder abuse such as old adult maltreatment, old adult abuse and senior citizen abuse among others. There are plenty of organizations that deal with elderly abuse, but the general rule of thumb is that any excessive force, either physically or psychologically, is considered abusive. This can even be if your intention is to help the elderly person, which creates some grey area problems for health workers.

Several cases of elderly abuse are included in the kinds of family or domestic violence. Elderly abuse does not involve any criminal acts to the elderly, such as victimization in robbery, theft, or ambush. They are classified as criminal offences, not elderly abuse. Elderly abuse is now a social dilemma because of its high incidence. What is more saddening is that many cases are not reported or unknown.

Elderly abuse is a complicated case and people often have misapprehensions regarding this kind of abuse. Contrary to what people think, elderly abuse does not just occur in nursing homes. Although it may happen, the usual kind of elderly abuse does not take place there. It could happen anywhere, even at places we are in. Truth is, several cases of elder abuse occur at home, where the close relationships of the elderly are. The typical kind of abuse in the home is neglect of the elderly. Physical and emotional abuse occurs as a result of the weakness and dependency of the old adult to the family members. As old adults age, it is understood that they become frail and feeble, and they cannot do things without assistance. Lack of patience and understanding in the part of the caregiver can lead to abuse.

The usual victims of elderly abuse are ailing, feeble, mentally challenged, disabled and miserable old adults. Then again, even those who do not have these characteristics are still risk; but those stated prior are the most susceptible to elderly abuse.

The physical harm of elderly can be in forms of pushing, jostling, slapping and in severe forms tying in ropes and beating. Any person who uses force against an elder that results to trauma and pain, is an abuser. The deprivation of primary needs and home imprisonment of old adults are also forms of elder abuse.

Editor’s note – for top Denver divorce attorneys click here.

Here are common examples on the types of elder abuse:

• Physical Abuse: This includes beating, slapping, shoving, thumping, kicking, tying up/restraining, false confinement, and any use of physical force that leads to injury.

• Emotional Abuse: This includes provoking fear, shouting, degrading, embarrassing, rejecting, accusing, disrespecting, mocking, condemning and ignoring an elderly.

• Financial Abuse or Exploitation: This is the unlawful use of the elder’s money, properties and possessions achieved through trickery, force or pilfering. The non-provision of financial support and expulsion from the home which belongs to the elderly are also included.

• Sexual Abuse: This includes coercing an elderly to participate in any sexual act and discussion against his or her will, even in cases where the elderly can not willfully give permission due to dementia.

• Neglect: This is the kind of abuse where the elderly is deprived of their primary or basic physical needs like food, clothes, medications and medical assistance. It could be on purpose, or due to lack of awareness.

There are also other kinds of abuse like abuse of human rights or elderly rights, abandonment or desertion of elderly and institutional abuse which is the physical and emotional abuse to elders in health institutions/nursing homes.

There are ways on preventing and reducing the incidence of elder abuse. First, you can reach out to seniors, this way seclusion will be reduced. You can reach out through visits or getting involved in activities that provide elder support. You can also invite them small family activities and gatherings. Let them get involved by asking them to teach knitting or cooking skills to you and the family. You can also volunteer in nursing homes to have hands on care to older adults. Promote senior involvement by inviting them in programs for the elderly.

If there is suspicion of occurrence of abuse or if you actually witnessed an abuse, call the emergency number of your community. Any form if abuse should never be tolerated. Contact immediately the support for the elderly institution or department to prevent further abuse.

Pete Wise is a Content Marketer. If you or a loved one has been involved in elder abuse and neglect, you should also seek an elder abuse attorney to represent you. An elder abuse lawyer can help walk you through what legal options are available and which course of action should be taken.

Categories
Family Law

Top 5 most viewed family law blogs on FamilyBlawg: May-June 2012

Below are the top 5 most viewed law blog posts published on FamilyBlawg over May and June this year (out of a total of over 15 blawg posts published during that period). These have been ranked by the number of pageviews according to Google Analytics, which is often a useful indicator of quality of the blog posts. We try to share every article equally through our social networks and encourage the authors to do the same with their networks.

If you have any comments to make on these family law blog articles it would be great to hear from you. And similarly if you would like to sign up as a contributor for free please read our guidelines then click here to get started.

  1. The Place of Children in Family Law by Clough & Willis Solicitors
  2. Family Law Update Puts Emphasis on Children’s Best Interests by Jim Loxley
  3. International Marriages by Evolved Legal
  4. How to File for Divorce Yourself by Divorce Statistics
  5. The Cost of Divorce in the UK by Ian Nuttall
Categories
Adoption

Adopting a Child

For some people, children are not an option. You may really want them, but for one reason or another you cannot have children of your own. Do not ever think that because you can conceive a child of your own, you are out of luck and will never have a family. There are many things you can do to ensure that you do have a child. It may not be your own, but have you ever considered adopting? There are many other people just like yourself out there that for medical reasons cannot have a baby of their own. There are also many children out there in other countries that are looking for people just like you to take them in and love them as your own. Want to know more about adoption? Here’s the inside scoop.

Helping a Child

When you adopt a child, you are in many ways being a savior for a child. Many children are born in third world countries and do not have families that can take care of them. You have surely seen the ads on TV for the children who have nothing to eat and nowhere to live. They can be heartbreaking. In China, there is still a one child per family rule, so many Chinese children are sent to orphanages waiting for someone just like you to give them a place to belong. There are also many young American girls who find themselves pregnant and are unable to give a child the life he or she deserves. These girls have the best intentions for their babies and want the best for them, so they decide to carry them to term and then put them up for adoption. If you are considering adopting a child, the first thing that you will want to do is to get in touch with an adoption agency.

Places You Can Go

Get your name on a list or even post an ad in your local newspaper. Chances are that you will have to participate in a home study to see if you can actually care for a child. If you choose to adopt a child without an agency, that is fine as well. Keep in mind that when you adopt, there may be fees for you to do so, but many times, adoptive parents want to help the mother of their soon to be child out. You may want to retain an attorney who can advise you on the best steps to take.

Please do not ever think that because you cannot conceive a child of your own you are out of luck when it comes to having a family. There are many people out there, who for one reason or another, cannot take care of their child but still want the best for them, so they allow them to be adopted. If you are looking to adopt a baby, know that you are doing a wonderful thing and you are giving a child in need the life he or she deserves.

Lacey D. is a writer for AspiringNurse.com. Adopting a child can be a great step for you. Make sure you have your newly adopted child to a pediatric nurse practitioner.

Categories
Pre-nuptial Agreements

Top 10 Biggest Celebrity Prenuptials

Below is a guest divorce law blog post regarding some of the biggest celebrity prenuptials.

Going through a break-up is never an easy or pleasant experience. How much worse, then, for those with a mighty fortune and property that will be divided and the pressures of fame to deal with? Although it may not seem a very romantic way to start married life, more and more celebrities are opting for a pre-nuptial agreement to try and make any future break-up easier to administer while preserving as much of their personal wealth as possible.

Why Celebrities Make a Pre-Nuptial Agreement

Although it can seem a depressing thing to do, having a ‘pre-nup’ can be about more than simple greed and wanting to hang on to cash. For some, a pre-nuptial agreement can actually relieve tension that might otherwise exist in a relationship to do with money and property. When the marriage is not the first and children are involved, these agreements can protect the interests of the existing families and make life easier for divorce lawyers if things ever come to that.

Agreements can be extremely flexible. When celebrities find themselves having to go through the divorce process, their lawyers will go through any pre-nuptial agreements with a fine-tooth comb. Sometimes these can have unusual clauses that have been carefully tailored to their clients.

Stay With Me

When Nicole Kidman married Keith Urban, their agreement involved her paying him $640,000 per year while they remained married, but removed his rights to receive anything if he ever used illegal drugs again.

Paying for fidelity or marital longevity seems to have become a mainstay of agreements by trying to actively discourage divorce by making it more financially beneficial to remain married. Take music stars Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s arrangement, which sees her set to receive $10,000,000 in the first two years of marriage and $1,000,000 for a further 15 years.

If Katie Holmes were to remain married to Tom Cruise for more than 11 years, she will be entitled to half his fortune. But the $3,000,000 she receives for every year she remains married to him until then is not a bad income to be going on with.

The Big Pay-Off

Pre-nuptial agreements are better known for defining what someone will receive when they leave. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned and Michael Douglas would do well to remember it. If he is ever unfaithful to Catherine Zeta-Jones, she would receive a ‘bonus’ payment of $5,000,000 on top of the $2,800,000 for every year of married life.

Charlie Sheen and Denise Richards had a similar idea, agreeing that if either strayed they would pay the other $4,000,000. Russell Crowe would have to stump up an eye-watering minimum $15,000,000 if his marriage to Danielle Spencer ends in divorce. Khole Kardashian is very specific in her requirements, which include a $5,000 per month shopping allowance, courtside season tickets to Lakers games for all her family and a $25,000 monthly amount for support from Lamar Odom in the event of divorce.

So Long, Farewell

Some celebrities use their agreements to avoid large pay-outs. Britney Spears ended up paying her ex-husband Kevin Federline less than £1,000,000 thanks to hers and Kim Kardashian’s assets, including her earnings during marriage, are also protected. Director Steven Spielberg’s agreement was considered invalid as it was written on a napkin and rather than paying nothing, he ended up shelling out £50,000,000 to Amy Irving.

Our guest blogger today is Robert, a blogger and freelance writer with an extensive amount of knowledge on family law. Robert is currently writing for Switalskis Family Law.

Categories
Divorce Law

The Cost of Divorce in the UK

Below is a guest divorce law blog post regarding the cost of divorce in the UK, written by Ian Nuttall, a financial writer who covers a number of personal finance topics on his blog. He recently launched a free debt consolidation calculator that you might be interested in. For more information, or to connect with Ian, you can add him to your G+ Circles.

The Cost of Divorce in the UK

The number of divorces in the UK has risen by almost 5% in the last two years with 120,000+ divorces every year. Combining expensive lawyers fees and court fees, the cost of a divorce can be very expensive – even if the divorce is mutual and uncontested.

There are usually two types of divorce, and each will dictate which process you take and how much it will cost.

A mutual and uncontested divorce

If you and your partner have both agreed that the marriage has ended and can be amicable with splitting of assets, parenting duties and all that comes with a separation, then the costs of a divorce in the UK can be significantly lower.

If you use a lawyer to facilitate the divorce, it could cost you £1,000+ in lawyers fees plus £347 for court fees, a document swearing fee and a decree absolute.

An alternative to this in the UK would be to choose an online divorce company. Many of these companies now charge you only a very small fee of £20-100 for their service. You may still have to pay the court fees but it is 90% cheaper than using a solicitor.

One of the main negatives to these “quickie” divorces is that you have to declare a set reason for the divorce. This means one party may have to admit fault in the relationship, even if there was no fault or blame.

A contested divorce

Contested divorces are where one party pushes for the divorce against the others wishes. These can be very tricky and often it is difficult to divide assets or parenting duties without negotiations and a mediator.

The lawyer fees for this type of divorce can range from £3,000-£20,000+ depending on the complexity of the disputes. Essentially, lawyers charge £150-200 an hour so it depends entirely on how long it takes to resolve the issues of the divorce.

With a contested divorce, it may be beneficial to use a intermediary or family friend to try and resolve as many decisions as possible before the lawyers are used.

You could also contact a lawyer who offers a free initial consultation to get an idea for how long it might take and what the potential costs would be.

Additional costs of a divorce

There are other costs beyond the actual divorce process itself that need to be considered as well and these can often be even more expensive than the actual divorce. Here are few areas you’d need to consider:

  • Maintenance payments
  • Setting up a new home
  • Child care costs
  • Buying a second car

There might even be more expenses depending on your personal situation. Whatever stage of the divorce process you are in, the cost could be anywhere from £20-£20,000+ and ultimately, the process you take is down to your relationship with your partner and how amicable you can both be.

Categories
Divorce Law

How to File for divorce yourself

Below is a guest family law blog post from a US blogger.

You tried every thing to save your marriage but nothing can be done now. The only way is to get a divorce and move out of the nuptial bond. But getting a divorce is not an easy thing to do. Divorce involves loads of legalities and if you are filling a contested divorce then litigations. In order to get divorce  yourself, you need to do basic research on divorce. You need to educate yourself on the legalities involved in the process of divorce, the laws and the desired paper work for divorce. There are many free resources where you can get all these information like Internet, law books, bar council journals. If you are ready to pay some money then you can consult a divorce attorney that will explain you all the do and don’t of divorce. Other than this you can join any divorce support group. Here, you will find people who have gone through the pain of divorce and are willing to help others who either are going through divorce or have recently gone through it.

Given below are few steps that you can take in order to file the divorce  yourself:

  • Educate yourself about divorce:  Knowledge can work wonders for you given you use it in the most productive manner. Before filling for divorce make sure that you  get your hands on any and all kind of information related to divorce. This will help you broaden your knowledge about divorce and  will also clear any doubts if you have about divorce
  • Go online: Internet is the most powerful source of information available today.  Here you can information about the process of divorce. In order to file the divorce paper, you need complete the papers first. Divorce papers are not easy to complete and require  minute  details about you and your spouse and family. If you are facing difficulty completing the paper then you can search over Internet about the information on how to complete it.  If you are  still not able to do so then you can search for online attorneys. They will complete the paper work for you and will get it delivered on your doorstep at a  nominal price.
  • In order to file the divorce papers you will need various financial documents like bank and credit card statements, investment and mortgage papers, vesicle’s pink slip and all movable and non-movable  marital assets.  Start collecting these documents once you start making your move toward divorce.
  • Consult an attorney:  Before filling the divorce paper make sure to consult an attorney on this matter. Explain all the points to him and the circumstances in which you are taking divorce.  That person will provide you all the required details about divorce and the laws involved. Consulting a divorce attorney will clear up all your doubts and it will give new directions and areas to work on and get a desired outcome of the case. It may cost you some money but the information that you will get will be very useful in your case
  • Join a divorce support group: you can learn a lot from the books but the theoretical knowledge is useless unless you mix some practical experience with it. Joining a  divorce support will help in meeting new people who have gone through divorce and are willing to help others who are either going through it or about to go through. Here you will find practical information on divorce  and  post divorce life. How to settle down in life post divorce and how to manage things , you can learn all from here.

Author Bio:

I am Lisa Levis, I am working as content writer since 2010. I am working for www.divorcestatistcs.org.  Here I am managing it’s article and blog section which tell about statistics of divorce in America.

Categories
Divorce Law

Guest article: Protecting your future – considerations for prenuptial agreements

Below is a guest article regarding divorce and protecting your future.

Protecting Your Future

There are not many things that will deflate the elation of wedding planning than asking your future spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement. There is so much taboo associated with this legal protection that often times it is dismissed in order to protect the feelings of the one you intend to spend the rest of your life with. Unfortunately, statistics show that it is in your best interest to trek down this road.

Divorce is not a Preplanned Event

In just about every marriage, there was not one bride or groom that said, “I think I’ll be ending this marriage in a divorce in the future”. When getting married, it is the intention of both parties to remain married until death do them part. Although this is the intention, it is not always how it works. Sadly, the current divorce rate is approximately 50% for a first marriage and steadily increases for every marriage thereafter. You wouldn’t hand your hard earned money over to someone with a 50% chance that you will get it all back, would you?

Stopping the Clock

All that a prenuptial agreement will do is stop the clock and give you a new starting point with your new life partner. What it is saying is that, in the event of a divorce, what was obtained prior to a legal union remains with the original owner and that everything obtained after is joint property. This will give you the opportunity to build your marriage on a fair playing ground where you work together to build your financial wealth.

How to Ask Without Sounding Untrusting

There are so many reasons why a prenuptial agreement should be signed prior to marriage, that it is difficult to give specifics. Because of this, regardless of your situation, you must go with sincerity and honesty. Although your significant other may get upset at first, if you are truly sincere and honest in your request and the love is strong, most likely they will come around.

Listen to Others

When making a decision like this, you are probably not thinking with rationality, but instead with your heart. You do not want to hurt your future spouse’s feelings, so you would rather protect them by not asking at all. In this case, you should seek counsel of those you trust. Ask your parents, lawyer, accountant, friends, siblings, and even your significant other’s family and friends. Doing this may just provide you with all the answers you need for making this decision.

Do not leave to chance what you can protect. Although following through with this protection can be difficult, it could prove to be well worth it in the future. We know not what the future holds, however we can do everything in our power to make the outcome benefit all involved.

Stephen Minton is a freelance blogger for prenuptialagreements.org, a site that can help uncomplicate getting a Name change after marriage for men.

Categories
Civil partnerships Divorce Law Domestic Violence Family Law Separation Law

20 of the best: family law blogs and news from the past week – March/April 2012

Below are 20 of the best family law blogs and news posts from around the web in the past week. If you have published or found a useful family law-related post that hasn’t been spotted, please do add a link to the comments section below.

Wanted: family justice narratives – Lucy Reed in the Guardian

Editor of the Pink Tape family law blog, Lucy Reed invites readers to share their experiences of working in the family justice system.

‘No good arguments against no fault divorce’, top judge says – Telegraph

Renewed calls for “no fault divorce” from Britain’s leading family law judge, Sir Nicholas Wall.

Launch of Family Law arbitration scheme marked by IFLA event – Family Law Week

On Monday 26 March 2012 the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) marked the launch of the new Family Law Arbitration Scheme.

Other blogs on the family law arbitration scheme:-

Family Law Arbitration in the UK – womeninlaw.com

Russell-Cooke welcomes the new Family Law Arbitration Scheme (26/03/12) – News – Russell-Cooke

Knights in shining armour? Family law arbitration rides to the rescue | jonesmyers blog

Lawrence v Gallagher [2012] EWCA Civ 394 – Family Law Week

The Court of Appeal has ruled in Lawrence v Gallagher that the division of assets in a civil partnership ‘divorce’ should be treated in a similar way to those in a heterosexual divorce.

More blogs on Lawrence v Gallagher:

Lawrence v Gallagher: Judicial creations should not be elevated to the status of s.25 criteria – Family Lore

Divorce principles to apply to civil partnership breakup – FLB

Court of Appeal cuts civil partnership ‘divorce’ settlement- Gregorian Emerson

Fifty years in family law: Staffordshire University Conference – Marilyn Stowe Blog

Marilyn visited the Staffordshire University Law School’s Annual Family Law Conference this weekend and produces a comprehensive account of the event.

New Rules for Families? – Cotswold Family Law

Discussion and comment on The Family Justice Review (“FJR”).

New family laws are divorced from reality – Tehelka

Flavia Agnes takes a look at India’s family laws in this opinion piece, noting that moves to make divorces easier may look good on paper but may end up giving a raw deal to women who are not financially independent.

Surge in demand for domestic abuse advice during Old Firm match – CBC Blog

Shelter Scotland has reported a sharp rise in the number of visits to its website from women looking for help and advice on domestic abuse following its recent Facebook advertising campaign.

Conflict and violence in families – Austin Lafferty

National charity, 4Children, has recently published the results of its research into conflict and violence in families.

You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Marshall Chambers

A lesson for litigants: answers provided by the Court may not be the answers desired by the litigant; or any of the litigants!

Rise in international child flee cases – Pannone Family Law Blog

There has been a significant rise in child abduction cases in England and Wales, as per a Report out this week by Lord Justice Thorpe, chief of the Office of the Head of International Family Justice.

Family Lore: Grubb v Grubb: “To be involved in ancillary relief litigation is a dire prospect for any husband or wife”

The report of Grubb v Grubb [2012] EWCA Civ 398, published on Bailii this week may be brief but it is not without interest. Family Lore comments.

Jennifer Brandt: Your First Meeting With A Divorce Lawyer

‘Getting a divorce is never a fun experience, but picking the right lawyer will help you cope with the process while getting a fair and equitable result’ says Jennifer Brandt. Her tips are blogged at the Huffington Post.

Mega-rich divorcees in court squabble over loose change | News.com.au

One from Australia: Having split the family’s $151,037,015 wealth with his ex-wife, a businessman realised he had overpaid and went to the Family Court to get his money back.

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Categories
Divorce Law Family Law

10 of the best: family law blogs and news from last week

Below are ten of last week’s best family law blogs and news posts from around the web:-

The Attorney General has said that the current ban on gay and unmarried couples should remain in place until the Stormont Assembly decides otherwise.

Family Law Week presents Steve Crompton & David Kitson of RSM Tenon who review the Chancellor’s 2012 Budget announcements.

Refusal to allow a woman to adopt her same-sex partner’s child was not discriminatory according to The European Court of Human Rights’ ruling in the case of Gas and Dubois v. France.

Think-tank the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has accused the Government of missing a chance in its latest budget to tackle the problem of family breakdown.

Some of Wales’ most vulnerable children and young people are unaware of their statutory right to an independent professional ‘voice’.

Jordan Publishing has announced the return of the Family Law Awards, which will be held on 10 October 2012.

A recent study by FindLaw.com has revealed that March sees a spike in the number of divorce queries (although January is generally thought of as “Divorce Month” by divorce lawyers).

Mills & Reeve to launch an online know-how and training package for family lawyers.

Guest family law blog summarising the Court of Appeal decision of Imerman v Tchenguiz [2010] 2 FLR 814.

Some doctors breaking the law by “pre-signing” abortion consent forms, the Government has said.

If you have published or found a useful family law-related post that hasn’t been spotted, please do add a link to the comments section below.

Categories
Divorce Law Family Law Separation Law

How to Divorce: The Divorce Process Explained

Below is a guest blawg post on how to divorce, explaining the divorce process. Please note that the terms are relevant to the laws of England and Wales. If you’d like to submit a guest family law blog post, please get in touch through the contact form.

Deciding to pursue a divorce can be a daunting challenge, fraught with a range of perils. There are a lot of things to consider, such how the divorce process works, what you’re entitled to and who gets the rights to any children you may have.

In order to get a divorce, you will have to undertake a range of steps in order to come to an agreement with your partner. These include your reasons for divorce, which of you will take care of the children and how you’ll split up your money, property and possessions.

One of the first ports when considering a divorce is hiring legal help. You may consider hiring divorce solicitors in Kent, or wherever you are based, who will act on your behalf in divorce proceedings.

The good news is that if you and your spouse agree on these points then the divorce process can be completed in as quickly as 4 months. If not, then divorce proceedings can drag on for much longer.

There are four formal stages to divorce in the UK:

  1. Establishing the grounds for divorce
  2. Filing a divorce petition
  3. Applying for ‘decree nisi’
  4. Getting a decree absolute

You can only divorce under UK law if your marriage has ‘irretrievably’ broken down and you have been married for a least a year. You will be required to prove this to the court by relaying the ‘facts’ of why your marriage has ended. These facts can include reasons such as adultery, unreasonable behaviour and desertion.

To start divorce proceedings you will need to fill out three copies of a D8 form, also known as a ‘divorce petition’. You will also have to pay a fee of £340, but you could be entitled to a discount if you have a low income or are on benefits. Once the forms are completed, you will need to send them to the court.

A notice of divorce will then eventually be served to your husband/wife. Your partner can then choose to either accept or argue against the divorce. If your spouse chooses to fight against the divorce then proceedings can be delayed significantly. If no agreement can be made then this is where divorce solicitors will step in to negotiate with your partner to try to reach an agreement.

Once you both agree on the divorce you can then apply for a ‘decree nisi’ – a document from the court which says that it can’t see any reason why you can’t divorce. A judge will consider whether there is enough evidence to allow the divorce to proceed and review all your paperwork, such as any arrangements you’re proposing for your children.

If the judge gives permission for the divorce to continue then you are able to apply for a ‘decree absolute’ 6 weeks after you have been issued with your decree nisi. Once you have the decree absolute, you are officially divorced.

Categories
Child Custody Civil partnerships Cohabitation Law Divorce Law Family Law Pre-nuptial Agreements Separation Law

The Divorce Process: Family Law Information

The Divorce Process

Divorce is the legal process through which two people end their marriage and the legal status that it provides. It is usually an extremely emotional time for the parties involved and also for their children, if they have any. The best way to make your divorce process as smooth as possible is to find a solicitor who you can trust and work comfortably with.

It is important that both parties understand their legal position on divorce and know exactly to what they are entitled. A divorce solicitor can make sure finances and property are properly distributed and arrangements are made for children, leaving no room for disagreements.

Petitioning for divorce

In order to begin the process of divorce one party to the marriage must present a petition for divorce on the grounds that the marriage has broken down irretrievably. It is important to note that the parties must have been married for at least a year before they are able to make such a petition.

Whether the marriage is broken down irretrievably is not simply a matter of opinion, and there is legislation stating that at least one of five factors must be present before any court will make a ruling that the marriage has in fact broken down irretrievably. These five grounds for divorce are as follows: unreasonable behaviour, adultery, living apart for two years and both parties consent to the divorce, living apart for five years, and desertion.

Acknowledgment of service

A copy of the petition must be sent to the other party along with a statement of arrangements for the children (if applicable) and an acknowledgment of service. The respondent must inform the petitioner in the acknowledgment of service whether they will be contesting the divorce. The acknowledgment of service is therefore an extremely important document as it shows the court that the other party is aware of the petition. If the other party refuses to return the acknowledgment of service you may have to arrange for a process server or bailiff to serve the document and make an affidavit stating that they have done so.

Decree nisi

If the court is satisfied that there are valid grounds for divorce it may well grant what is known as a decree nisi. A decree nisi will generally be granted when a divorce is not being contested and there are valid grounds for divorce. The party who made the petition must then apply to have the decree made absolute which they cannot do until at least six weeks and one day from the date of the decree nisi.

Decree absolute

The decree absolute is what actually ends the marriage, as opposed to the decree nisi which merely declares there are satisfactory grounds. Once the decree absolute has been pronounced the marriage has officially ended and usually the parties will begin ancillary relief proceedings: the name given for deciding how the matrimonial assets should be split.

Ancillary relief proceedings

The ancillary relief proceedings are often fiercely contested as a judge will rule on who should have what from the matrimonial assets. The ancillary relief process can be quite long and usually involves three trips to court.

  • A first appointment in which a judge outlines his position and ensures appropriate disclosure has taken place.
  • A financial dispute resolution hearing in which a judge (a different judge from who will be in attendance at the final hearing) will give an indication of what he would order in the hope the parties then settle on similar terms and avoid a final hearing.
  • A final hearing in which an order will be made.

With the potential for several court visits, it is in both parties’ interests to try to facilitate an early settlement to avoid significant legal costs.

Categories
Family Law

There’s no place like home…but where is home for your children?

With the opening of borders across Europe and the recent growth of the internet and cheap travel, it is becoming increasingly common for children to have parents who are of different nationality to one another.  However, should the parents separate, what happens if one parent wants to return to their home country with the child?

This is a question I am frequently asked as a family lawyer and it is understandably a highly emotive issue between parents.  Should a parent leave the country with their child without the other parent’s consent they could face criminal charges for child abduction.  Therefore consent is essential and if it is not forthcoming from the other parent you will need to apply to the court for a judge to decide.

When the court considers whether such a move with the child should be allowed, the child’s welfare is paramount and the court will apply what is known as the welfare checklist.  The checklist includes factors such as the physical, emotional and educational needs of the child, the wishes and feelings of the child, the capability of the parent to meet the child’s needs and the likely effect on the child.  The proposed arrangements need to be considered carefully and the greater part the parent who would be left behind plays in the child’s life, the greater impact/damage upon the child if the move is allowed.

If you wish to make the move with your child, preparation and research is imperative.  Also focus on how your child’s relationship with their other parent can be maintained if the move is allowed.  The court needs to be sure that the proposed move is genuine, realistic and above all in the child’s best interests.

It is a very difficult issue with many factors to consider. Whether you are the parent wishing to make the move or the parent opposing the move, early legal advice is essential.

This was a guest post by Patricia Robinson Senior Associate at divorce solicitors Pannone LLP. For more information visit their website at http://www.pannone.com/