Tag : divorce-laws
Tag : divorce-laws
One 83-year-old man recently found out the hard way that breaching a divorce settlement can result in a jail sentence rather than a financial penalty which has often been applied to such cases in the past.
The man from Bristol was a multimillionaire who had reached a divorce settlement totalling more the 3 million with his ex-wife. The sum was awarded following a disputed divorce case which had continued for more than seven years and involved several court appearances in that time to reach settlements on a number of issues.
The length of the case may well have been an aggravating factor which led to a prison sentence being imposed when it was found that the individual had breached the divorce settlement. Even so, the case should serve as a further warning that judges are prepared to impose more severe sentences following similar outcomes in other divorce cases involving breaches of settlements.
Sentences imposed recently have totalled six months in prison which can far outweigh any financial gain from attempting to delay and avoid paying settlements.
If you are concerned about financial settlements in divorce and your rights to fair treatment in a divorce case, contact us today.
A common misconception about divorce is that everything is split exactly down the middle from money to assets. In some cases this may be true but often due to the basic needs of the parties involved, final settlements may not be so clear cut.
The most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to divorce is that need takes precedence when it comes to dividing up assets as well as pensions savings and so on. Many people are disappointed to learn that their pensions must also be included and considered in the divorce settlement.
So for example, if you want to seek payment of a lump sum from your partner’s pension, then this will be assessed based more on your needs at the time including your state of health, housing needs and financial position.
Housing and financial stability can both be impacted by divorce and the needs of the dependent partner will always be considered first. So if one or other former partner can prove they will be greatly disadvantaged in these areas then settlements are often challenged.
If you need advice on your specific circumstances or if you require general information about our divorce services, please contact us today.
You may have seen a recent TV series covering wealthy divorcees and how some struggled to claim the kind of settlements they thought they deserved. Whether their claims were justified or not, the series highlighted how their former husbands had put lots of forward planning in place to make life difficult for their ex wives in there attempts at compensation for their contribution to the marriage.
One of the better known ways to protect your wealth in case of a future divorce is to sign a prenuptial agreement which places legally binding restrictions on what one partner is able to claim from the other in the event of a parting of ways.
The reality is most couples in the first throes of a romantic relationship are unlikely to consider such an agreement unless they happen to be particularly wealthy or they are some kind of celebrity where such agreements are commonplace.
So the main ways to protect your assets and cash is to put in place some degree of separation. For example you may want to separate your joint accounts from individual accounts and if you own property, then who owns it should also be clearly defined.
The example in the TV show saw husbands spiriting away their cash in offshore accounts and various other ways to hide what was alleged to be their true net worth. Most of us mere mortals are not going to have access to these types of devious schemes but keeping accurate records can also help particularly when it comes to assets left in wills and trusts.
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.