August 27, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
There are almost 7 million cohabitants in England and Wales, but many unmarried couples are unaware that their partnership is not eligible for basic legal protection – particularly when it comes to separation, children’s issues, and will disputes. Under current legislation, cohabiting couples are not, unfortunately, afforded the same protections as married couples, and must be careful to take steps to assert their legal rights.
The best way to do this is with a cohabitation agreement – a formal document much like a prenuptial agreement – which sets out the potential division of assets, share of property, and intentions for co-parenting in the event of separation. Other legal protections, such as a will, ...
August 20, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
According to a recent study by TD Bank, Millennials are more likely to discuss money and finances on a regular basis than Boomers and Gen X couples. The researchers discovered that Millennials are more open about financial conversations than previous generations – a habit that is not only making them happier but also encouraging stronger relationships.
The report revealed that 75% of Millennial couples (18-34-year-olds) discussed their finances at least once a week, in comparison to 66% of Gen Xers (35-44) and 44% of Baby Boomers (55+). On a monthly basis, the numbers were slightly closer, with 97% of Millennials and 93% of Gen Xers talking about money at least ...
August 03, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
We wrote recently about the dangers of psychological abuse such as coercive control and gaslighting. The complicated nature of this kind of emotional abuse means that it can be difficult to recognise and even harder to escape. So we’ve put together a list of the most common examples of coercive control below – if you or someone you know might be suffering from any of these issues, please get in touch for further advice, or contact one of the organisations at the end of this post.
Remember that none of these behaviours are acceptable, and all of them are prosecutable in the case of emotional abuse under current legislation, carrying a ...
July 03, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
Juggling work, childcare, holidays and dividing up parenting time between your ex can be a minefield for separated couples with children during the summer. But with a little preparation and practical co-parenting you can avoid conflict and ensure you enjoy the summer holidays with your kids with the minimum of stress.
Here are some top tips on coping with the summer hols from our expert family law solicitors at Frances Lindsay & Co:
Take each day as it comes and remember:
Organise and prioritise
Keep your kids in the loop
Communicate with your ex
Focus on quality time with your children
We hope you have a great summer, but ...
May 27, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
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 ...
May 20, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
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 ...
May 10, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
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 ...
May 03, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
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 ...
April 25, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
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 ...
April 11, 2018 | Posted by : J Morris
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 ...