Family and Childcare Law

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Couples going through a divorce have an obligation to one another and the Court to be honest and forthcoming about their financial affairs. However, the issue of confidentiality has traditionally been something of a grey area. It has been common practice for professional advisers to turn a blind eye to how their clients had come by photocopied documents or computer records relating to their ex-beloved’s most private financial affairs. Whilst not condoning the practice, the Court would very often allow the...

Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, has raised concerns about separating parents who involve children in their own personal disputes. He is quoted as saying: “parents, in my experience, often find it difficult to understand that children both love and have loyalty to both parents. There is nothing worse, for most children, than for their parents to denigrate each other…each parent represents 50% of the child’s gene pool.” He went on to say: “If a child is made to feel by one...

In spite of the 2003 reforms, the Child Support Agency (CSA) continues to fail to meet its objectives, with nearly 4 billion pounds of unpaid child maintenance estimated to be outstanding. In July 2008 the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) was established to take on the work of the CSA and removed the obligation for new claimants who are on benefits to use the CSA. In October 2008, the obligation for existing CSA clients claiming benefits to continue to use...

Solicitor Paul Jordan summarises the law governing how a Civil Partnership which has come off the tracks can be brought to an end. Paul is always happy to answer legal queries and provide initial guidance without charge, so if you are looking for top quality legal advice on civil partnership dissolution in the south west (including Devon, Somerset and Cornwall) then contact Paul by phone or email. Ending a Civil Partnership Civil Partnerships came into operation in the United Kingdom in December...

Family Law Partner, Paul Jordan, assesses the growing importance of Pre-Nuptial Agreements In a recent survey of specialist family solicitors, almost 70% predicted a rise in people seeking advice on a ‘pre-nup’ before tying the knot. They were once regarded with scorn as an American fad, but with celebrity divorces grabbing the headlines, the rise and rise of the pre-nuptial agreement is hardly surprising. Stuart Sangster, the latest ex-husband of serial divorcee Sue Sangster, had one - though not all celebs are as...

There are now three types of Court Order available in the Civil Courts that can help protect victims of domestic violence: a Non-Molestation Order, an Occupation Order and a Restraining Order. Non-Molestation Order This Order is available to help protect victims of domestic violence from abuse suffered by one of the following: Spouse Former spouse Cohabitant (to include same sex couples) Former cohabitant Family member (if live in the same household) The term Molestation has a broad legal definition. Molestation can range from...

What does ‘Intestacy’ mean? Intestacy is the legal term used when a person dies without having made a will. The Rules of Intestacy designate who is entitled to the estate. My late husband did not make a will. He has children with his ex-girlfriend and we have children of our own. He had some investments and a collection of antiques. Who will inherit his estate? As his wife you will be entitled to your husband’s personal effects, including the antiques. Under the Intestacy...

Slee Blackwell Solicitors has expanded its Family Law team with the appointment of specialist children law solicitor, Romano Sidoli, at its Barnstaple office. Romano, who has practised in Bristol for many years, is delighted with his Slee Blackwell Solicitors has expanded its Family Law team with the appointment of specialist children law solicitor, Romano Sidoli, at its Barnstaple office. Romano, who has practised in Bristol for many years, is delighted with his move to North Devon. “I am looking forward to working...