A toolkit for family breakdown in the lockdown

The coronavirus crisis is redefining lifestyles and the boundaries of our interactions; a situation that can challenge even the strongest bonds.  For couples who are struggling in their relationship, or trying to manage co-parenting, anxiety levels are likely to be heightened if it seems there is nowhere to turn, while personal movements are restricted and even the family courts are working remotely.  "For myself, and my colleagues across the country, being a family lawyer means being there for all the challenges, not just the day in court, and at this…

Civil partnership or cohabit – which is better?

Not everyone wants to get married in a church or registry office. For many cohabiting couples, a civil partnership is far more attractive – it moves away from the idea of women being the ‘property’ of their husbands and is infinitely more acceptable to those who do not follow any particular faith. Civil partnerships have been available for same-sex couples since 2004, yet they are still not available for heterosexual couples who cohabit. In June the legality of denying heterosexual couples the right to have a civil partnership was challenged…

Access Disputes – how to settle your differences without going to court

Whether you are married, in a civil partnership or just living together, splitting up can be an emotional time. If there are children involved, the feelings of hurt and anger can be magnified. However, this is the time when your children need you to be at your most level-headed. With Legal Aid now only offered in a handful of cases, more couples are trying to resolve their differences without going to court. While it may not be possible in every case, settling issues such as access to children without appearing…

Top FAQs from clients when making a will

Making a will is often overlooked and its importance underestimated. Regardless of the size of your estate you leave behind, a will can operate to dispose of it in accordance with your wishes. Below are a few of the most frequently asked questions from clients, answered by us, to hopefully shed some light on this often unspoken subject. I'm married with children - what happens to my estate if I don't make a will? If you have assets of less than £250,000, and die intestate (without making a will), then…

Cohabitation – protecting your interests

In a recent report by the Office of National Statistics, the number of cohabiting couples was shown to have increased significantly in the 10 years to 2013 and the number of couples opting to live together without getting married or entering into a civil partnership is only likely to increase over time. A common misconception is that there exists the legal principle of “common law” husband and wife which affords cohabiting couples similar rights to those of married couples. Unfortunately the reality is that no such legal principle exists and…

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