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Divorce & Separation: Don’t Forget About Your Pension!

August 22, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Pensions are often a tricky subject when it comes to divorce, but should never be overlooked - a pension can be the second most valued asset after property – particularly for couples over the age of 60, who may have built up a substantial retirement income. It’s important to declare any pensions and retirement savings when putting together a list of combined assets (and failure to do so could be considered non-disclosure), as a recent report by Scottish Widows has revealed that many women over 60 are failing to take into account their partner’s pension when it comes to negotiating a settlement. Almost half of those ...

Don’t Get Caught Out By These Common Lasting Powers of Attorney Mistakes

August 15, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

The topic of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) has been in the news a lot, lately. A recent survey revealed that 71% of people don’t have plans in place for end-of-life arrangements, while two thirds haven’t even made a will! LPAs and wills are both essential future-proofing documents to ensure that your wishes are followed and your family are protected should the worst happen, but too often these simple legal processes are put off and off until it’s too late. However, it’s vital that any end-of-life preparations are made via an experienced and professional solicitor, as mistakes are easy to make and could end up causing unnecessary upset, cost, and disruption later down the road. There are two different types ...

Divorce & Separation: Dividing Up Possessions

August 08, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Personal possessions (or ‘chattels’) are sometimes a tricky subject when it comes to dividing up assets in divorce or separation – after all, how do you put a figure on something that has sentimental value? Chattels includes everything inside your home, along with vehicles and even pets! Essentially, anything other than property and financial assets.  During divorce, a couple’s main concern is usually where they’re going to live, what they’re going to do with any shared property, how to manage and divide their finances, and the future care of any children. Personal possessions are often fairly low on the list, but ironically sometimes it’s the little squabbles over individual items that ends up extending ...

Changes to Property Capital Gains Tax Put Pressure on Divorcing Couples

August 01, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

A new ruling may affect separating couples by increasing the amount of capital gains tax (CGT) paid by those who choose to move out of the family home before the property is sold. Capital gains tax is applicable when you sell an asset that has increased in value since its purchase. Property is one of the most commonly taxed asset, and also often makes up the most valuable shared asset for divorcing couples. Current rules state that to avoid paying capital gains tax you must sell a property within 18 months of moving out. However, as of April 2020, this timeframe will be reduced to just nine months. After this ...

Divorce and the importance of individual legal advice

July 22, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

We’ve talked before about the danger of DIY divorces, acting as a litigant in person, and the myth of ‘quickie’ divorces – and while we understand the need to keep the costs of separation down, or the desire to get things over as quickly as possible, we cannot emphasise how important it is to have independent legal advice before making any kind of divorce agreement. When it comes to DIY divorce, or attempting to negotiate a settlement as a litigant in person (LiP), there is a very real risk of missing important details, making expensive mistakes, and ending up back in court to sort things out months or years down the ...

What’s included in the ‘pot’ when it comes to assets and divorce?

July 15, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

The distribution of assets is rarely straightforward. It would be wonderful if you could split everything down the middle, 50/50 but it rarely works out that way. Relationships, and their associated finances, are complicated, which is why it’s important that each member makes a full and frank disclosure of both individual and jointly owned assets, property, and finances when they enter into the separation process. This is a necessary first step, no matter what approach you take – court divorce, mediation or collaborative methods – and it never pays to try to hide or offload assets (in fact, it is classed as fraud and ...

A collaborative approach to divorce

July 08, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

With a bill for ‘no fault’ divorce in the House of Commons, attitudes towards divorce are changing for the better – minimising animosity and improving outcomes for families should always be the aim of separation – but until blame is removed entirely from the equation, collaborative methods of dispute resolution currently offer the best way forward. When you think of divorce, your first impression may be of a tense courtroom battle, and many couples are entirely unaware that it is possible to finalise separation agreements entirely out-of-court using alternative methods such as mediation, collaborative family law, or arbitration. Each of these options offer a ...

Lasting Powers of Attorney: FAQs

July 02, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and why do I need one? Lasting Powers of Attorney are legal safeguards that set out guidelines to be followed if you find yourself unable to make decisions in the future. There are two types of LPA: one that deals with health and welfare issues, and one that handles finances and property. Sometimes thought of as a ‘living will’, an LPA protects your interests and ensures that your affairs are managed by people you trust as opposed to having the decisions made for you by the authorities if it becomes too late and you are no longer able to make your own decisions.

Why We Need An Option For ‘No-Fault’ Divorce

June 24, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Earlier this year the Government announced plans for a change in legislation to introduce an option for ‘no-fault’ divorce. This would mean a huge – and very welcome – change to the existing family law system which currently requires couples to either live apart for a significant amount of time or make allegations against one or other in order to separate, in many cases increasing the duration, stress and potential animosity of the process. According to the Ministry of Justice, the focus for reform is to reduce conflict and ‘place greater emphasis on future relationships – particularly those involving children – and to enable reconciliation where possible.’ ...

Managing Lasting Powers of Attorney

June 17, 2019  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that sets out a person’s wishes in the event that they are unable to make decision on their own behalf in the future, due to illness, disability, old age, or lack of mental capacity. Being appointed to manage someone else’s affairs may involve a range of responsibilities and requirements, and will depend largely on the type of powers of attorney they have in place. There are two main types of Lasting Powers of Attorney: Health and Welfare A health and welfare LPA deals with decisions about the donor’s well-being ...

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