Tag : divorce-law
Tag : divorce-law
Christmas is over, the New Year celebrations are now a memory and perhaps January comes as a relief to some couples who have had to maintain the appearance of a happy relationship to please family and friends.
Unfortunately, the stress of all this can often reach the point where it becomes intolerable to face another month as a couple.
Christmas often brings things to a head for obvious reasons. The festive season while enjoyable can be a stressful time when there are lots of things to organise and in-laws need to be catered for. If a relationship is good, these stresses can of course be brushed aside, but they will only add to the pressure on unhappy couples.
January 8th is the date which has been dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ by family law solicitors because this is the date when the biggest spike in divorces occurs.
The sad thing for those affected is that there is little sign that January will lose its notoriety any time soon with relationship charity Relate reporting a 24% increase in calls to their helpline in January 2017. The ONS also reported a 5% increase in divorce rates in 2016 compared to the previous year with the average marriage lasting 12 years and 42% ending in divorce.
Unpaid child maintenance backlog in the UK is at £3.8bn. At present, if a parent owes maintenance, payment can only be taken from a bank account held in their sole name. The government has stated that a ‘small minority’ are avoiding payments by opening a joint account with their new partner.
From early 2018, the Child Maintenance Service will have the power to recover child maintenance arrears from a bank account that is held in the joint names of a parent who is required to pay child maintenance and another person.
The Department for Work and Pensions has said that safeguards will be put in place when deducting funds from a joint account. One of these safeguards is that money will only be taken from a joint account when the paying parents does not have their own bank account or if there is not enough money in their own account. Bank statements will also be analysed to establish which funds belong to the paying parent and both named account holders will have a right to make their case before any money is taken.
The Minister for Family Support, Housing and Child Maintenance has stated ‘Our priority is for children to get the support they need. Only a small minority of parents try to cheat their way out of paying towards their children and this new power will tackle those who do’.
Securing child maintenance payments from a former partner can be difficult. Please contact a member of our team today on 0161 927 3118 to discuss your situation.
Recent research conducted as part of the Scottish Widows’ annual Women and Retirement Report has found that 24% of divorced women are not currently contributing to a pension, while 71% of couples do not discuss pension arrangements during divorce proceedings.
One of the main reasons why pension experts consider that this is happening is there is a general lack of knowledge around the legal considerations of access to pensions during a divorce. The study showed that 48% of women admit they have no idea what happens to pensions upon divorce and only 22% said that they would even consider discussing pensions during separation.
Pension savings between separating couples can often be a sizeable asset in the matrimonial ‘pot’ and therefore it is vital that parties going through separation do not ignore pension funds during financial negotiation. Professional advice should be obtained from the outset in order to reduce the number of women with pensions disproportionately affected by divorce.
Catherine Stewart, retirement expert at Scottish Widows, has commented that women are generally less well-prepared for retirement due to factors such as the gender pay gap, maternity leave and career breaks. She has further recommended that women ‘invest some time and money in getting advice’ and stated that ‘by spending a little bit on advice to understand what’s best for them, it could actually be a good investment of their money’.
The options available to couples in respect pension funds upon divorce are as follows:
Dealing with pensions upon divorce can be complex. Please contact a member of our team today on 0161 927 3118 to discuss your situation.
A divorce can only be obtained if one of five specific reasons are proven. One of the reasons is adultery yet how adultery is actually defined in law can lead to a great deal of confusion, myth and misinformation which can only add to the frustration and emotional turmoil.
According to studies married men are statistically far more likely to stray than women with the former having a 50% of chance of engaging in an extra marital compared to 26% of women.
Yet what might represent a bond broken and an irretrievable breakdown of trust for the person on the receiving end of their partner’s pursuit of relations outside of marriage may not be seen as one of the same in law.
Contrary to popular belief, adultery doesn’t include all forms of sexual activity. In fact it only refers to full sexual intercourse between a man and a woman where one or both of those involved are married to other people. If the extra marital affair involves a same sex relationship then it doesn’t count.
There are also cases where lesser forms of sexual gratification are deemed insufficient to be counted as adultery. Another misconception is that sexual intercourse with another person outside of marriage doesn’t count as adultery following separation when technically it does.
If you require further advice on divorce law, please get in touch.
One of the most common questions asked about divorce is “how long will it take?”.
Deciding to go through with a divorce and end a relationship is not an easy decision for most people. Often getting divorced can not only have an impact on the couple themselves but also on family and friends. The longer that relationship has been in place the more difficult it becomes to untangle all the links and move on to a new phase in life.
Filing for divorce will in most cases mean all avenues will have been explored to save a relationship so naturally given what is at stake, one or both people in the relationship will be keen to get the process out of the way as soon as possible so that they can continue with their lives.
Unfortunately, even if a couple is in agreement on everything, there is still a fairly lengthy period of time before a divorce is finalised. The good news is, however, timeframes have fallen a little in recent years following the introduction of regional divorce centres aimed at speeding things up.
The average time taken for divorce in 2014 was 33 weeks, however this has now been reduced to between 22 and 24 weeks where both parties agree. You can expect the process to take a little longer of course, if both parties are not in agreement.
Mr. Asif Aziz, a billionaire London property developer, has claimed that he was never married to Mrs. Aziz, his ‘wife’ of 14 years, who is claiming a share of £1.1 billion in financial remedy proceedings in the High Court.
The Decree Nisi of divorce was pronounced in 2016 however Mr Aziz wishes for this decision to be reversed on the grounds that they were never actually married.
Mrs Aziz claims that a Muslim ceremony of marriage took place in Malawi in 2002 however Mr Aziz has said that this ceremony never took place and has also alleged that the marriage was based on a fake certificate which was obtained so a child they adopted could get a passport.
Even if Mr. Aziz is successful in proving that the marriage was not recognised in Malawi and therefore invalid in this country, it would dangerous for him to assume that this will mean that Mrs. Aziz will not be entitled to any financial relief.
Mr. and Mrs. Aziz’s relationship lasted 14 years and they have 4 children together. As long as Mrs. Aziz has sufficient evidence to show that they both intended to be married and lived their life as man and wife, then her financial claims against him will remain open.
If Mrs. Aziz obtains a Decree of Nullity (i.e. the marriage is annulled) then she is still entitled to ask the Court to make financial orders in the same way as if there had been a divorce.
Mr. Aziz is not the first person to try and get out of sharing his wealth on the grounds of a marriage being invalid. The most famous of all was in 1999 when Mick Jagger tried to claim that he had never been married to Jerry Hall. In the end Jagger and Hall agreed to have their marriage annulled on the basis that the marriage ceremony was not valid according to Indonesian law thus not recognised in England. Recently there has been speculation that Elle Macpherson and her husband Jeffrey Soffer’s nuptials in Fiji were legally invalid.
If you are unsure as to your legal marital status or have any questions about foreign marriages and their recognition in England, please contact a member of our team today on 0161 927 3118.
The effects of divorce on children are still the subject of a whole range of studies. Some find that the effects are present even in adulthood when children grow up into adults statistically more likely to end up divorced themselves.
This conclusion is an easy one to make. Parents are a primary influence on the behaviour of their children and they will help set the examples to follow in adulthood. If parents end up divorced or separated, then the assumption is that when their children grow into adults, they will be more likely to consider divorce themselves.
This link has indeed been well established over the years, however a recent study by the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Lund University in Sweden has found that that this link doesn’t exist for one particular group of children.
The study found that divorce rates among adopted individuals is more closely aligned with their biological parents than it is with the parents who brought them up.
This presents compelling evidence that the likelihood of divorce is linked to genetics rather than environmental impacts and the normalisation of divorce.
So the unfortunate conclusion to be drawn from the study is, that if you are considering marriage, then the chances of that marriage failing will be higher if the biological parents of your spouse kept their marriage together.
The gripping BBC drama Dr. Foster returned on our screens earlier this month for a second series.
The new season focuses on life after divorce and the hostility and anger that can continue for many years. Dr. Gemma Foster and her former husband Simon Foster separated 2 years ago however the second series sees Simon Foster return to live nearby so that he can spend more time with their 15-year-old son Tom.
Separation has a huge impact on the children of the family as evidenced in the second series as Tom is constantly caught in the middle of his parents’ acrimony. This has had a negative impact on Tom and resulted in him being excluded from school for punching his friend and sexually assaulting a girl at a party after getting drunk.
Although it is a tough time for all involved, whatever the cause of the separation, it is vital that children do not feel like they have to choose between their parents. It is also incredibly important that parents put on a ‘united front’ and agree a joint approach in how they should deal with schooling matters and prioritise their child’s emotional wellbeing.
Sadly, parents often use their children against one another during separation and this has a long-term impact on children in both their personal development and their relationship with their parents.
If you find yourself in a similar situation to Dr. Foster or Simon Foster, please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialist family law team today on 0161 927 3118.
According to recent statistics released by law firms, there has been a significant rise in divorce rates among couples where one or both partners work shifts.
Marital issues are not the only problem linked to shift working. Studies have shown that working shifts can lead to health issues such as obesity and depression but the findings on divorce rates are new and significant considering the growing number of shift workers in the UK.
1 in 8 UK workers now work nights and the total of workers has risen by 250,000 in the past five years alone to reach more than 3 million. A US study found that among men who were married with children, the divorce rate was six times higher than those who worked days.
A study carried out in 2000 by US researchers found that among men working night shifts who had children, separation or divorce was six times more likely in the first five years of marriage than if they were working days.
One law firm claims that the proportion of divorces amongst shift workers has risen by 35% in the past three years indicating the scale of the problem.
Working shifts often disrupts family life when people spend their days catching up on sleep rather than spending time with family. Then there are issues with zero hours contracts which mean the work itself is irregular.
Extra marital relationships can also form between those who are working night shifts regularly and spending a lot of time together.
The ‘triple talaq’ is an Islamic practice which allows men to instantly divorce their wives by pronouncing the word ‘talaq’ (the Arabic word for a type of divorce) three times. After decades of campaigning by women’s groups and victims, India’s Supreme Court has declared the practice unconstitutional.
In May 2017, the Indian Supreme Court formally opened hearings into a number of applications challenging the constitutionality of the practice of ‘triple talaq’ in Islam. As the practice was protected in law, increasing numbers of women receiving a ‘triple talaq’ from their husbands were being left without financial or emotional support.
The judgment was handed down on 22nd August 2017 with a 3-2 majority of the Indian Supreme Court bench finding the practice to be ‘un-Islamic, arbitrary and unconstitutional’. This ruling should therefore mean that the ‘triple talaq’ will no longer be considered a permissible practice in India. Other Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Bangladesh have also banned the practice.
Campaigners have hailed this decision as a huge victory for Muslim women in India. Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an activist group that was party to the legal battle has already prepared a draft law to send to the government in order to ensure that the decision is reflected in legislation as soon as possible.