peter@southwestfamilylaw.co.uk
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All change on Spousal Maintenance?

There used to be a greater expectation between married couples that one party, usually the husband, would pay maintenance to the other party, usually the wife, upon divorce. Husbands would often nervously see their solicitor expecting to hear the worst about a future life spent supporting an ex-spouse whom they would rarely if ever even...
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Tracing an estranged spouse

It becomes important to know where an estranged spouse is when parties have not maintained any form of contact and one party wishes to divorce some time – often years – after separation. Whilst a divorce can be obtained on the basis of two years separation if the other party consents, or five years separation...
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Financial disclosure – being open and honest

Often, divorcing couples will need to reach agreement concerning finances. The foundation for any such agreement is that both parties are full and frank in disclosing all their financial circumstances to the other. This is especially important in cases where a couple may have been separated for several years and may not be so familiar...
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Divorce court fee on the up

It doesn’t seem very long ago that the divorce court fee increased from £340 to £410. The legal profession let out a communal gasp of exasperation when recently told by the Ministry of Justice that the court fee was to rise again to £550. Other court fees have also increased but it seems the fee to start...
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The importance of a clean break order when divorcing

A case which made headline news last year concerned an ex-wife who came out of the woodwork to make a financial claim against the husband she had divorced twenty years previously. Kathleen Wyatt did not lodge a claim until nearly twenty years after their divorce and was seeking £1.9m from Dale Vince whose green energy...
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Welcome

South West Family Law’s new website is live and we very much welcome your comments. We’ve refreshed the site, making it simpler to find information about all aspects of family law, including divorce, financial settlements, child contact and residence issues, prenuptial and separation agreements and issues involving civil partnerships. Hopefully the site will be a useful first...
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Legal aid withdrawn for divorce and family law work

In April 2013 the government implemented the most wide ranging changes to the legal aid system in decades. Part of this was to withdraw the availability of legal aid for all forms of divorce and family law work aside from a few exceptions. The most important of which is that legal aid is still available...
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Cohabitee’s Rights: Fairness on it’s way?

The courts in England and Wales have always treated the division of assets upon the breakdown of relationships involving married and non-married couples very differently. When dealing with married couples the court has huge discretion in achieving fairness; however unmarried couples have been subject to a very complex process which can depend upon strict legal...
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Prenuptial Agreements: Just for the wealthy?

Until quite recently Prenuptial Agreements were considered by the courts to be of limited value and even contrary to the sanctity of marriage! However, as a result of the court having recognised a sea change in public opinion within the landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino (which was widely reported in the media), such agreements...
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Men or Women: Who gets the best deal from the courts?

In recent years the family law courts have dramatically changed their attitude towards what each spouse is entitled to upon divorce. Previously the spouse of a wealthy, high earner would normally expect to have their reasonable needs (housing and income) taken care of, leaving the wealthy party (usually the husband) with the vast majority of...
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