Tag : lund-bennett
Tag : lund-bennett
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.
Inevitably there will be lots of families dealing with all the issues surrounding divorce as we enter the second month of the year. January is peak season for divorce in the UK when couples have decided enough is enough following the uneasy truce that Christmas often brings.
Divorce doesn’t just involve the couple themselves, however, there is also the potentially large impact it will have on other family members and children in particular. This is why it is vital that agreements are made on what happens after divorce.
As we all hear about daily with the UK’s ‘divorce’ from the EU uncoupling and untangling years of cooperation and shared assets involves a lot of compromise and negotiations. For families, maintenance and support are often the first things that spring to mind, but there are also the smaller issues that can be no less important. Who gets the pets for example or where will children go to school?
All of this of course can often be sorted out with some negotiation which is covered under the umbrella term of mediation. Mediation is not there to judge or be judgemental, it simply provides an opportunity for all concerned to maintain some control over what will happen. Once a case gets to court it will be down to the judge to decide and this can sometimes lead to a lot of unsatisfactory outcomes and an expensive legal bill at the end of it all.
A recent article in the local paper revealed some bizarre reasons used by couples to divorce and how people are becoming more and more creative when using the claim of unreasonable behaviour.
It is well documented that living as a couple isn’t easy and involves a fair degree of compromise to make a marriage work. Unfortunately, sometimes there is something about a partner, husband or wife that becomes unbearable and this can often be something that seems trivial.
People have used anything from disagreements over politics to spending too much time on the Internet as grounds for unreasonable behaviour. The suspicion is that the latter is likely to be used more and more as people spend more and more of their time staring at mobile phones and not interacting.
In the past unreasonable behaviour would often be used when a partner drank too much alcohol on a regular basis or was unable or unwilling to contribute to the family finances. Now the possibilities have really started to open up and reflect the changes in the way we now live our lives.
Although you could perhaps tie most of the claims for unreasonable behaviour down to just a few basic human needs. Sex when a partner consistently withholds it or sleep when a partner snores loudly and prevents the other person from nodding off.
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.
You might think that people going missing is a rare occurrence most people don’t need to worry about but it is actually quite common. According to official statistics, a person goes missing in the UK every 2 minutes.
Not everyone who goes missing will disappear permanently and most people will be found within a short time particularly with the ability to reach more people on social media with appeals and so on.
For some families, however, a person will go missing and never be found and this is the sad outcome in 3% of missing person cases. This causes a great deal of distress for those families and for husbands and wives who may be left to pick up the pieces as well as continue to look after their families.
Financial affairs will need to be settled in addition to life insurance and so on. Prior to the introduction of new laws introduced in 2014, the process could have been described as difficult at best when marital status and the rights to receive a pay outs on insurance were brought into question.
The Presumption of Death Act 2013 came into force in the UK in 2014 to help families cope better when a family member was missing or presumed dead. The act applies when a person is thought to have died or there has been nothing to suggest that the person has been alive for 7 years.
The recent engagement of Prince Harry and the actress Meghan Markle has attracted much attention in the media. The wedding is set for the Spring when the eyes of the world will once again be on the UK.
Alongside all the romance that goes with this occasion some will be wondering id the couple have a pre-nup in place. This is something the general public will never know even if they do get to enjoy seeing the spectacular ceremony when the day arrives.
Pre-nups are of course common amongst the rich and famous and any couple that doesn’t have one in place before their wedding can run the risk of having to share all their assets and wealth during a divorce and in some cases even more than that.
While it would be unthinkable that ordinary people would go to the length of a pre-nup, today the reality is different. People tend to marry later in life these days and many will have accumulated property and other assets before meeting their partner.
It might kill the romance to be pulling out forms to sign prior to a wedding but it is the only way to protect wealth if the relationship ends in divorce in the future.
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.
Under UK law, the woman who gives birth to a child is automatically considered the child’s legal parent until the intended parents have obtained a parental order. A parental order gives the new parents parental and legal responsibility for the child and removes the surrogate’s parental and legal rights.
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (HFEA) governs surrogacy and specifies that applicants can only obtain a parental order if they are a couple living together as partners in an enduring family relationship or spouses.
Whilst it is possible for single parents to enter into surrogacy agreements, under the HFEA, once the child is born they will not be able to obtain a parental order providing them with parental and legal rights for the child.
Since the case of Re Z(A Child)  last year, there has been widespread support for this situation to change. In the case of Re Z (A Child), despite the fact a single father had been able to obtain a judgment extinguishing the surrogate mother’s rights in the USA, he was unable to apply for a parental order in the UK. In giving judgment, Sir James Munby made a declaration that the HFEA was incompatible with Article 14 (no discrimination) and Article 8 (the right to respect for private and family life) of the European Convention on Human Rights.
A remedial order has been put before UK Parliament which, if passed, will give single people the same rights as couples to become the legal parents of their surrogate-born children.
The remedial order is currently being considered by Parliament within the 60 day consideration period and is expected to be passed within 4 to 6 months. Once passed, it will apply to future applications for parental orders however there will be a one-off six-month period in which families can apply retrospectively if they were unable to do so before.
If you have any questions in respect of surrogacy arrangements please do not hesitate to contact a member of our specialist Family Law team today on 0161 927 3118.