Mediation what is it and how does it work?

Mediation is a form of resolving disputes between parties in an informal manner. Family mediation is a voluntary, confidential form of alternative dispute resolution and involves the help of a qualified and impartial mediator who will assist the parties in negotiating a solution. Family mediation can be used to discuss all types of disputes, including separation, children or finances. There …

Updating your nuptial agreement

When parties enter into a pre or post nuptial agreement, it is important to review and update the terms, particularly if there are significant changes in circumstances or specified time periods have passed. If a nuptial agreement is not updated and kept updated, it is likely that the court will not uphold the terms in any subsequent financial remedy proceedings. …

divorce petition

Divorce petition after the first year of marriage

The divorce petition, or petition for the dissolution of a civil partnership, cannot be filed at court before a year has elapsed since the date of the marriage or civil partnership ceremony. This rule cannot be waived by the courts and is enshrined in two pieces of legislation: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The …

Child maintenance and deceit over paternity

The Ministry of Justice in Germany has recently proposed a change to their laws, which would require mothers to reveal their sexual history, in certain cases involving disputed paternity. The change in regulations would apply to “fathers” that had supported the child financially, later seeking redress through the courts for the child maintenance they had paid. It is hoped that …

money

Form E – what is it and why you need it

The Form E is a financial statement used in financial remedy proceedings in divorce. This statement sets out each spouse’s financial circumstances and must be supported by documentary evidence, such as bank statements, wage slips, financial accounts, property valuations etc. It is a comprehensive and detailed document which assists the court and the parties’ lawyers in understanding the financial position of …

child maintenance

Child maintenance – who pays and how much?

Non-resident parents i.e. parents who do not have the child(ren) a majority of the time will need to consider whether they are liable to pay child maintenance to the primary carer. Traditionally, the formula used in calculating how much a non-resident parent should pay has been notoriously complex and difficult to understand. Initially, an old scheme was devised by the Child …

Should I sign a separation agreement?

If spouses separate, they can enter into a separation agreement which provides for maintenance, care of the children and any division of property, as an alternative to divorce proceedings. These agreements are widely known as separation agreements, maintenance agreements or post-nuptial agreements and can be made either before or after the parties separate. Whilst these different forms of agreement do offer …

Desertion and divorce – what to consider

For a court to grant a divorce, a petitioner must demonstrate that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, using one of five factors. Our earlier blogs cover two of these facts: unreasonable behaviour and adultery, but in this blog, we discuss how a party may apply for divorce based on desertion. Although not a frequently cited fact in divorce proceedings, desertion …

Costs – should your ex pay your legal costs?

Costs in terms of divorce cases are treated differently to finance cases. In divorce, costs usually follow the event i.e. the person responsible for the breakdown of the marriage should bear the costs. In finance cases, as with children cases, these are subject to the general “no order as to costs” rule which means that the court will generally not …

Appeal – how to appeal a family order

There are many situations where one or both parties will not be happy with a final order and will want to find out whether they can appeal it. That is, for a higher court to make an order which reverses the original one. The only people who can appeal an order are the parties in those proceedings. The route to …