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The Importance of Conveyancing

June 18, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

At the end of last year we talked about plans to combat the practice of ‘gazumping’ in the property industry, but this ethical grey area is not the only reason sales fall through. In many cases, it’s a lack of preparation and organisation that causes the process to break down. Often issues that could have been avoided with the help of an experienced solicitor and a savvy approach to conveyancing. Around 200,000 property transactions collapse each year, incurring fees for buyers who have lost out on a home they intended to purchase. They say any chain is only as strong as its weakest link – in terms of property ...

Children & Divorce: Dealing With Changes

June 11, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

When you’re going through separation and have children to consider, it’s important to address the many changes your family will go through. Some of these changes will be big and potentially scary to children, such as moving house, the possibility of not seeing both parents as much as usual, and coping with the uncertainty of what happens next. Other changes will be small but no less significant in a child’s eyes, such as whether they’ll still get to go to their usual after school clubs, or which toys to bring when going between each parent’s place. During the course of separation and divorce, it’s important to keep communicating with your ...

Budgeting for your pension

June 04, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

The latest report on consumer savings and debt from True Potential Investor suggests that between 29% and 45% of people in the UK are not contributing regularly to a pension. The report, which studied date from 2016-2017, provided statistics on UK pensions which also revealed that a third (33%) of people worry daily about their finances. On average, pension contributions vary between £203 and £566, and women are more likely than men not to set aside monthly additions to a pension. But in the third quarter of 2017, almost half (49%) of people surveyed for the report failed to add to their pension pot, suggesting that many are struggling to prioritise ...

Who gets the family pet when it comes to divorce?

May 27, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

A common question that often gets overlooked in the process of divorce negotiations is: “Who gets to keep the dog?” (Or any other pet, of course!) Under UK family law, pets are considered to be included in a couple’s property and possessions, which means the ‘custody’ of any animals is not treated the same way as the process used for children. But, as anyone who has a beloved family pet knows, this kind of decision has the potential to be extremely emotional and the source of much negotiation between you and your ex. Losing contact with a pet can be devastating, particularly when you may already be feeling vulnerable while working through ...

What happens when cohabiting couples separate?

May 20, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

There are over three million unmarried couples in the UK and ‘cohabitation’ is the current largest growing family type, but people in ‘common law’ marriages remain unprotected by the rights married couples are automatically entitled to when it comes to separation. There is no such thing as a ‘common law’ marriage – unmarried couples who live together are cohabitants – and there are very few recourses in place to protect them should they decide to part ways unless they have set up the proper legal documentation during their relationship, such as a cohabitation agreement. When a married couple decides to get divorced, their assets and liabilities will be considered by the court and divided ...

Don’t play the ‘blame game’ – a call for no fault divorce in the UK

May 10, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

A recent report by the Nuffield foundation reinforces the argument that UK family law is in need of a ‘no-fault’ option for divorce, and that the current imperative to assign blame only leads to animosity during court battles between separating couples. The study, led by Professor Liz Trinder at Exeter University, looked at 500 divorce cases and discovered that many “defended cases are triggered by the law itself” which requires couples to provide grounds for divorce that assign blame to one or other party. Three of the five grounds for divorce include allegations of fault, either due to adultery, behaviour, or desertion. Disputes of this kind inevitably become centred around ...

Protect Your Relationship With A Pre-nup

May 03, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Pre-nuptial agreements are often seen as a cynical and unromantic approach to getting married, but since it’s considered sensible to insure and protect every other aspect of our lives – from writing a will to insuring a car – why should a relationship be any different? And it’s not just the super-wealthy or celebrities who need a pre-nup – over half of UK marriages end in divorce – and while pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically technically binding in divorce proceedings, they can be extremely helpful in minimising antagonism and protracted financial negotiations in the event of separation. There are clear steps laid out by the Court and the Law Commisssion when it comes ...

Divorce & Separation: Dividing Assets

April 25, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Dividing up assets during divorce can be a sticking point for even the most amicable of couples. It can be difficult to come to an agreement over financial settlements, particularly if there are complicated issues such as multiple properties, businesses, or personal investments, but a few basic ground rules apply to the division of assets: As a general rule, the value of all assets will be placed into a joint ‘pot’ which will then be divided between the couple according to the needs of each party. Assets may include property, vehicles, savings, the contents of bank accounts and investments as well as personal items. Spouses are required to declare ...

How to add value to your home before selling

April 18, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Research conducted by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the HomeOwners Alliance (HOA) suggests that homeowners have the potential to boost the value of their property by almost £50,000 by making a few choice structural and aesthetic improvements before they sell. By making comparatively small investments to improve various areas of your home – notably the garden, bathroom, kitchen, and living areas – you could add between £9,000 and £48,000 to the asking price! So, if you’re thinking of selling up this year, it might be worth seeing if any of the following improvements are feasible for your budget and layout, and maximise the value of your home… Add up ...

Coercive Control

April 11, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Coercive control is increasingly being recognised as a very damaging form of relationship abuse with lasting psychological effects which can continue long after a divorce is finalised. In 2015 the Serious Crimes Act acknowledged coercive behavior in intimate and familial relationships, meaning it could be taken into account during divorce proceedings, but there is still a way to go until this type of abuse is properly factored into financial settlements and children’s cases. The issue of coercive control has been revisited recently in the case of Sally Challen, who was found guilty of killing her husband in 2010 and has since been granted permission to appeal her 22-year sentence. Challen’s legal team intends to submit new evidence that demonstrates she was ...

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The Law Society Family Law Accredited

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Resolution: first for family law

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Resolution collaborative family lawyer

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Law Society Lexcel practice management standard