Month: May 2013

Divorcees need better understanding of Pension Issues

A recent study has found that 19% of women stop paying into pension funds after they divorce and 25% reduce their levels of savings. It also found that only one in six divorced women had rights to a pension through their ex-husband.

Further findings by the Phoenix Group were;

  • 66% of female divorcees over 40 rely on the state pension in retirement;
  • 38% of women have no idea what settlement they received following their divorce;
  • 20% of women have no idea about their pension provision since their divorce.

For advice on your rights on pension settlement in divorce proceedings call our specialist team now on 0845 548 1007.

Changes to Legal Aid

Recent changes to Legal Aid mean that less people will qualify for financial assistance through their divorce. However, this may not be a bad thing. Mediation services are fast becoming a standard when it comes to divorce proceedings, with more and more law firms offering mediation services to their clients.
In fact, only cases dealing with domestic violence or child-protection now go straight to court. Most other cases are passed through mediation services firstly.
This can be a lot quicker and a lot cheaper, with cases lasting on average just 110 days compared to 450 for non-mediated divorces. Ministry of Justice figures also suggest that the average cost of mediation is £535, compared to £7,000 for litigated cases.
Where mediation services can be seen as a scary prospect for many divorcing couples, in realist it is a fairly straightforward process. Initially there is an assessment to identify the key factors, mostly children or finances, then four or five 90 minute sessions spread over a few weeks. A ‘memorandum of understanding’ is then produced which can form the basis of a legal settlement.
To learn more about mediation in divorce please contact us on 0845 548 1007.

The Church of England – Civil Partnerships

The Church of England has given the first signs of a ‘blessing’ towards civil partnerships. Whilst the official stance is still unchanged, priests have been urged to be ‘flexible’ and devise ‘pastoral accommodation’ to gay couples.

A senior bishop said that same sex couples needed to be given recognition and ‘compassionate attention’ from the Church.

Some churches such as Southwark Cathedral and St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, are two churches that have openly shown support for civil partnerships by offering some ‘blessings’.

Churches have been encouraged to look at each case individually.

“In pastoral responses a degree of flexibility may be called for in finding ways to express the Church’s teaching practically,” it said.
“In affirming its belief in marriage as the form the creator has given us for intimate and permanent relationship of a man and a woman, the Church does not treat questions of what is possible in hard circumstances or exceptional conditions as simply closed. They require pastoral wisdom.”