Blog: Non-payment of child maintenance: What happens if a parent does not pay?

Under a child maintenance arrangement, child support is usually paid by the parent who does not have day-to-day care of the child or does not usually live with the child. In cases of non-payment of child maintenance, the receiving parent could launch a civil legal claim. However, this option is expensive and still leaves the issue of ensuring the paying parent complies with the judgment. Instead, where possible, you, as the receiving parent, can approach the Child Maintenance Service (CMS), which has wide-ranging powers of enforcement. What measures can the…

Blog: Dealing with inheritance disputes

Dealing with inheritance disputes may have arisen in response to soaring property prices, second marriages, and blended families, with relatives more likely to feel they are missing out, but the courts are pushing back on frivolous claims and obstructive family members.  Such disputes once seemed the preserve of celebrities and the wealthy, such as the former lover of singer George Michael who was reported to be planning a claim against the singer’s estate recently, but research carried out by Direct Line found that a quarter of people would be prepared…

Blog: Why cohabiting couples must consider estate planning

Millions of couples across the UK are choosing to forego marriage and live as cohabitees. Why must cohabiting couples consider estate planning? Without proper estate planning, they could be putting their finances at risk. Unlike their married counterparts, unmarried couples have no automatic right to inherit from each other. However, with proper estate planning, you can ensure your cohabiting partner is properly provided for should you pass away. This article looks at some of the important estate planning matters all cohabiting couples should consider. Write a will The most straightforward…

Blog: Caring responsibilities during furlough and your rights

The rules concerning furlough, schools, and workplace restrictions continue to change frequently, and it can be difficult for both employers and employees to keep up. However, if you are affected by furlough or there has been a change in your caring responsibilities, it is essential that you understand your rights under UK employment law. Government guidance on the furlough scheme, issued in November, confirmed that furlough is available to employees who must stay home because they have caring responsibilities as a result of coronavirus. In this article, we look at…

Cohabiting property ownership disputes

What happens when a failed relationship gives rise to cohabiting property ownership disputes? Separation is never easy, but if you and your former partner own property together, the situation can be even more complicated. If you have been living with a partner, but you are not married, the legal term is ‘cohabitation’. When cohabitees separate, they are not afforded the same protections in law as married couples who are getting divorced. This can be difficult, as, for many cohabiting couples, there is little difference in practical terms. In this article,…

Avoiding a turkey of a Christmas when the family gets together

With the pandemic putting relationships under pressure and divorce rates recording their biggest percentage rise since 1972, family professionals and support groups are encouraging couples to focus on the wellbeing of the family over the festive season. Traditionally, more people petition for divorce in January than at any other time of the year, which is attributed to the pressure of the family Christmas get-together.  This season it’s expected that many more relationships, already under stress as a result of the life challenges brought about by coronavirus, will struggle to survive.…

Christmas, coronavirus and separation: what are the rules around taking children away from home?

For many parents, the issue of spending time with children at Christmas can be tense. Both parents want to spend Christmas day with their loved ones and their children, but this becomes complicated when they do not live in the same town or city or if they have to travel to visit relatives. In addition, coronavirus restrictions may mean that travel and visiting relatives is not advised or even permitted. In this article, we look at some of the key issues and questions surrounding, Christmas and coronavirus for separated parents.…

Virus transmission spike is matched by divorce advice spike

There are concerns that the latest spike in coronavirus transmissions may see more relationships taking a hit, after a surge in divorce enquiries following the nationwide lockdown. Back to school traditionally sees a peak in petitions for divorce, but this autumn has seen a bigger number of distressed couples seeking support, according to divorce professionals. Data from the Citizens Advice charity showed a 25% rise in searches for advice on divorce during the first weekend in September, compared with the same weekend last year.  This trend has continued, replacing issues…

COVID-19 and the law: Can I take my child on holiday during term-time?

It has been a long and difficult year for most of us, with many considering finally taking a family holiday. With children having returned to school and travel plans frequently changing as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, taking children on holiday during term-time may be a consideration for many parents. The rules concerning term-time holidays changed in 2013, and headteachers may no longer grant holidays of up to 10 days in ‘special circumstances’. Headteachers may now only grant permission for term-time absence in exceptional circumstances. But surely, we are…

Remote family court hearings – how do they work?

The introduction of social distancing in response to the coronavirus outbreak has caused disruption to many vital services – including in the justice system. Many services that would typically have taken place face-to-face have been adapted to meet the challenges of our current climate. One such service is family court hearings, which may now take place remotely. In this post, we look at how remote family court hearings currently operate. Will my family court hearing be held remotely or in-person? For now, it is the default position that family court…

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