Tag: Domestic Violence

How Divorce Can Impact on Your Business

As any entrepreneur knows, it can take years of hard work to build business just as it takes work to keep a marriage on track. Unfortunately, there are plenty of examples of business owners seeing their marriage and business derailed during and after a divorce if they fail to plan in advance and take legal advice.  

42% of marriages are said to end in divorce and a good proportion of those cases are likely to involve business owners. Working long hours and being away from home for long periods can all lead to problems with marriage but its what might happen in a potential divorce which should be of equal concern.  

A business like anything else owned by either partner in a divorce may be considered a valuable part of a divorce settlement if either partner is the sole owner. There may even be occasions where an ex husband or wife could walk away with half the business.  

To prevent this happening, it is worth taking legal advice at the earliest opportunity. A business even if a former partner put no work into it can’t always be treated as a separate legal entity.  A solicitor can advise you on the steps to take to protect your business and its assets during the divorce.

What Is a Stay At Home Parent Entitled to In A Divorce?

Divorce is a major step for any couple to undertake and there are circumstances where a parent might be left at a significant financial disadvantage. This is particularly tru if for example you happen to be a stay at home mum with no regular income.   

Fortunately, this is the 21st century and there is no reason to remain in an unhappy marriage due to the fear of being left destitute. You will find that courts have plenty of power to ensure that where necessary your needs will be met through ongoing maintenance not just for the children but also for you personally depending on your circumstances.  

Child maintenance and spousal maintenance are the main sources of help but you can even apply for interim spousal maintenance prior to a final order if you are likely to suffer significant hardship.  Beyond that and following divorce, you could as a stay at home parent be entitled to spousal maintenance until your children have completed their secondary education and there are cases where orders can be indefinite.  

Unfortunately, you will need to make a clear case for spousal and child maintenance and awards can vary depending on your former spouse’s ability to pay, It is important therefore to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity to achieve the best outcome.

What Happens To Joint Mortgages During And After Divorce

It is very common for married couples to take on a joint mortgage on their home but if a marriage ends in divorce it isn’t easy to make a clean break when the lender still expects payments to be kept up as before.  

Attempting to negotiate a way out of a joint mortgage will of course depend on individual circumstances. Also, if there are children involved, things can get even more complicated particularly if the couple relied on each other’s incomes to be able to afford a mortgage in the first place.  

Then there are cases where the partner who has custody of the children cannot afford repayments on their own when they either work part time or they care for the children full time.  In these cases the hope is that a former spouse will continue to make the mortgage payments even if they no longer live in the property.  

This however is asking a lot when that person will wish to move on with life after the marriage has ended.  

If you are the person left in a property unable to make the mortgage payments if your former partner refuses to pay their half, then you can contact your local Citizens Advice about potential benefits you may be able to receive.   

If you do have sufficient funds to cover the mortgage then you may be able to have the mortgage transferred to you as part of a clean break divorce by consent.  

67-year-old millionaire ordered by the Court to leave his home due to accusations of physical and emotional abuse towards Wife

The Family Division at the High Court heard that the Wife in this case, who is in her late 70s, was frightened of her husband, a 67-year-old millionaire from Essex, and took legal action against him. Judge Catriona Murfitt concluded that the Wife was likely to suffer ‘significant harm’ if the Husband stayed in the property any longer and therefore he was ordered to vacate the property.

The Husband went on to appeal this decision, stating that the ruling was ‘unfair’. Mr Justice Baker dismissed this appeal and told the Husband that he had ‘no prospect’ of overturning Judge Murfitt’s initial ruling. Mr Justice Baker went on to say that the Wife claimed ‘that for the duration of the marriage, she had been the emotional punch bag for his insecurities and frustrations’.

Mr Justice Baker said that Judge Murfitt held that the Wife was likely to suffer significant harm if an order was not made and that harm was greater than any harm which the Husband was likely to suffer from having to leave the property and he upheld this decision.

Occupation orders

If you are experiencing abuse following your separation or your former partner is acting in a vengeful manner and causing you to fear for your safety in the family home, as outlined in the case above, the Court can issue an occupation order against your former spouse.

An occupation order is an order setting out who has the right to stay, return, or be excluded from a family home. An occupation order doesn’t change the financial ownership of a home, it is usually a short-term measure and the length of time an occupation order lasts will depend on your circumstances. In many cases an order will last for between 6-12 months and some can be renewed. An occupation order can only be made for a property where you both live, did live, or intended to live in as the ‘family home’.

Our Family Law specialists are here to help and can provide the proper advice and guidance you need. You can talk to us in complete confidence about the legal steps you can take to bring your abuser to justice, to feel safe in the former matrimonial home and to legally end your relationship. Please contact us for an initial consultation today on 0161 927 3118.

Two Thirds of Domestic Abuse Victims Unaware Of Eligibility For Legal Aid

The well-publicised reports of domestic abuse concerning Amber Heard and Johnny Depp has once again brought the issues surrounding domestic abuse in marriage to the fore.

While the allegations remain unproven in the case of Heard and Depp, cases often go unreported when there is a genuine need for some form of legal support to prevent abuse continuing and, in some cases, endangering the lives of those affected.

While it is often easier for celebrities to simply call their lawyer, for people who lack the financial means, seeking legal advice can seem daunting and too costly for those concerned.

Yet there are many cases where those on low incomes can get hold of legal aid to help them with their situation. This means they will miss out on vital legal advice as well as information on where they can go for help.

The legal needs survey of 8,912 people in England and Wales by Ipsos MORI found that 20% of respondents didn’t believe they would get access to legal aid and 47% didn’t know they could be entitled to it. 86% percent of those surveyed were not aware that there are mediation services which can help them.

This shows that a lot of work still needs to be done to educate those affected by domestic abuse.

Domestic violence victims in England and Wales are still being ‘let down’ by the police

Domestic violence and abuse is defined by the government as controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender or sexuality.

Theresa May, home secretary, has said that there have been improvements in how the police deal with victims of domestic violence and abuse since a review in 2013 however ‘examples of the same shameful attitude’ persist. The home secretary spoke at the Police Federation’s annual conference and said ‘Victims of abuse are still being let down and reports are not being taken seriously enough’.

The findings of the review in 2013, by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), into the way police handled domestic abuse found victims were not treated with respect and one example was a victim who overhead a responding officer say: “it’s a DV, we’ll be a few minutes and we’ll go on to the next job”.

The Home Secretary said that more victims are coming forward and crimes are being properly recorded which is resulting in more convictions however she commented that ‘we continue to see examples of the same shameful attitude that HMIC uncovered in 2013’. The Home Secretary has therefore now asked the HMIC to investigate this issue.

If you are experiencing abuse following your separation or fear that your former partner is acting in a vengeful manner, you can talk to us in complete confidence about the legal steps you can take to bring your abuser to justice and to legally end your relationship. Our Family Law specialists will handle your case with sensitivity and provide the proper advice and guidance you need. Please contact us for a free 20 minute consultation on 0161 927 3118.

New guidance to raise awareness of Domestic Violence

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended that doctors and nurses should receive special training to recognise the signs of domestic violence. In its new report, NICE says its recommendations should act as a ‘wake-up call’ to the levels of domestic violence both women and men are experiencing.

It’s thought that around 1.2 million women and 784,000 men in England and Wales are victims of domestic violence every year, and that one in three women and almost one in five men will experience domestic violence at some point. However, it’s also thought that many cases go unreported, with victims too afraid of their attacker to go to the police or social services.

Research suggests that domestic violence costs the UK around £15.7billion each year, including healthcare, criminal justice costs, social services and refuge costs as well as working days lost due to domestic violence injuries.

NICE has recommended that doctors and nurses need to be trained to spot the signs, ask about abuse and encourage patients to seek specialist help.

The guidance says: “Health and social care service managers and professionals should ensure front-line staff in all services are trained to recognise the indicators of domestic violence and abuse and can ask relevant questions to help people disclose their past or current experiences of such violence or abuse.

“The inquiry should be made in private on a one-to-one basis in an environment where the person feels safe, and in a kind, sensitive manner.”

Dr Adrian Boyle, accident and emergency physician at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, said: “In emergency departments, we see a lot of patients who are experiencing domestic violence, including those who don’t feel able to tell us what is happening to them.

“At the moment there is no requirement for staff to be trained, but what this new guidance recommends is that all staff should be trained to respond well to patients who chose to confide what is happening to them.”

If you are experiencing domestic violence within your marriage or partnership, you can talk to us in complete confidence about the legal steps you can take to bring your abuser to justice and to legally end your relationship. As Family Law specialists we will handle your case with sensitivity and provide the proper advice and guidance you need. Please contact us in confidence for a free 20 minute consultation on 0845 548 1007.