Getting Divorced During The Covid Crisis

September 21, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

As divorce rates rise as a result of lockdown and the financial pressures of the Covid-19 crisis, many couples are looking to separate only to find their plans put on hold before they even begin. Delays to the Family Court are likely to stretch on into 2021, meaning that judicial decisions may be a long time coming, and increasing numbers of couples are considering out-of-court alternatives or private hearings to resolve their differences. In many cases, given the current situation, it well may be more sensible to hold back on pursuing a financial settlement or taking your case to court for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make progress. Taking a cooperative approach is the best ...

House Prices Hit Record High Post-Lockdown

September 14, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

Property prices in Britain are hitting an all-time high post-lockdown, raising the average to £320,265. A combination of increased demand following months of inaction and the rise in the stamp duty threshold seem to have contributed to price hikes, and average asking prices are 2.4% higher than they were in March 2020. Estate agents reported a 75% increase in viewing inquiries in compared to the same period in 2019, and almost half of all new listings that were put up for sale in the month following the opening of the market in May have already been marked as ‘sale agreed’. Overall, the number of monthly sales agreed in England is up by 15% - in the week following ...

Do I Need a ‘Covid Clause In My Property Contract?

September 01, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

We’ve tried our best to keep you up to date with all the latest guidelines when it comes to buying and selling property during the coronavirus outbreak, and the latest addition to the party is something called a ‘Covid clause’. Since the property market re-opened in May, not only do we have to negotiate the usual potential pitfalls, such as gazumping, broken buyer chains, and deals falling through at the last minute, but what happens if somebody within the transaction falls ill with coronavirus or there’s a local lockdown when you’re about to move? Enter the Covid clause. New provisions to house moving contracts are increasingly coming into play to help protect buyers and sellers in the event that ...

Family Court Announces Overhaul to Protect Victims of Domestic Abuse

August 14, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

At the beginning of lockdown, several domestic abuse charities reported a stark and concerning rise in enquiries for help. The National Domestic Abuse helpline received a 700% increase in calls during a single day, while visits to the website were 150% higher in March compared to February. Campaigners and support services expressed concern that the pressure of lockdown restrictions could exacerbate situations of domestic abuse and the Home Office launched the #YouAreNotAlone campaign along with £2m in funding to support helplines and online services. At the beginning of July, the Government also announced an overhaul of how the Family Courts handle domestic abuse cases in an attempt to provide greater protection for victims. An panel of experts, made ...

Lockdown Has Changed the Priorities of Home Buyers & Renters

August 10, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

According to research by Rightmove, the experience of lockdown has made some big differences to what buyers and renters look for in a property. House hunters are now looking for more space, a garden, and home offices. We’ve all had to acclimatise to months stuck in close proximity to our family and/or housemates, it’s no surprise that people are finding themselves in need of a little more space. In January, studio flats were the most sought after type of property on Rightmove, but since lockdown, two bed properties have taken the top spot, with a priority for more indoor and outdoor space. The kitchen used to be the heart of the home when it came down to key marketing images, ...

Divorce rates predicted to rise due to lockdown and financial uncertainty

August 07, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

After three months of lockdown, ever-changing guidelines, and an uncertain future ahead, the effects of stress and pressure on relationships are beginning to show as family law professionals report an increase in divorce enquiries. Parents in particular are feeling the strain, attempting to juggle home schooling, work, and childcare while dealing with potential financial insecurity and all the other worries associated with the Covid situation. Any one of these stressors could feel like the last straw to a couple whose relationship may already be going through difficult times. And as the intensity of the quarantine period eases off, many people are now considering making the decision to split. We have seen a definite increase in separation enquiries, combined ...

No Stamp Duty on Property up to £500,000 until March 2021

August 03, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

The Government has scrapped stamp duty on property purchases of up to £500,000 until the end of March 2021 in a bid to boost the property market and help support home buyers and buy-to-let investors save on tax. These changes could save buyers thousands of pounds, so if you’ve been considering making a move this year, now’s the time to get the ball rolling! Here’s everything you need to know to take advantage of the new stamp duty threshold: Previously, stamp duty charges would apply to purchases over £125,000 (or £300,000 for first-time buyers) but the threshold has been bumped up to £500,000 for all purchases in England and Northern Ireland until 31st March 2021. (Scotland and Wales have ...

Do You Need A Post-Lockdown Cohabitation Agreement?

July 13, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

When lockdown was first imposed at the end of March, many people were forced into making a sudden decision about their living arrangements. Couples or friends who previously lived apart moved in together, families combined or expanded, and some people simply ended up cohabiting by default. No matter what the situation, it's fair to say that this whole new experience of close-quarters cohabitation has put all of us under strain. In a press conference on how couple should navigate social distancing, deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries replied: “If the two halves of a couple are currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in those households. The alternative might be that, for quite a significant period going ...

Family Court Backlog Could Cause Delays Until 2021

July 06, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

As Family Court delays stretch into 2021 (or beyond), private hearings may turn out to be a much quicker and cost effective alternative to resolving separation disputes and children's issues. At the beginning of June the President of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane published ‘The Road Ahead’, a guidance document to provide ‘a broad framework’ for the Family Court over the next six months and beyond, which suggests that delays in dealing with family law cases may extend well into 2021. ‘The Road Ahead’ looks at how the Family Court has handled social distancing, remote hearings, timescales for full operation, and dealing with the backlog of applications and cases that have been adjourned or delayed since the beginning ...

How to save money (and time) on conveyancing

June 10, 2020  |   Posted by :   |   Blog

There’s really only one piece of advice in this blog, which is this: use an independent, professional, fully-qualified conveyancer. Simple enough – or so you’d think – but unfortunately all too often people end up with an impersonal, incomplete, and costly ‘package’ service. On the surface, it may seem easier and more efficient to keep everything in one place, but there are a number of reasons why it’s worth seeking out your own local independent service instead: You get a fixed price. While other services may seem appear cheaper on first glance, you’ll inevitably find there are additional charges for every form you fill in, every signature, and every minor change to paperwork… At ...

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