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Family Lawyer

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  • How Does Mediation Work in Divorce?
    Answer: Mediation is a process where a neutral third party helps spouses negotiate and resolve disputes. It's often faster and less expensive than a court trial and allows couples more control over the outcomes. Many spouses reach agreements at mediation. However it is vital to know that a mediation agreement isn’t legally binding until it is approved by the Court.
  • What Is a Financial Remedy in Divorce?
    Answer: A financial remedy refers to the court's power to redistribute financial assets between divorcing spouses. This includes property, pensions, investments, and ongoing maintenance payments.
  • How Is Property/Assets Divided in a Divorce?
    Answer: Property division during divorce typically follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning assets are divided fairly but not necessarily equally. Factors considered include the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial contribution, and future needs. Importantly, the court will first consider the welfare of any children of the marriage.
  • How Is Spousal Support Determined?
    Answer: Spousal support, depends on factors like the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial situation, and the standard of living during the marriage. It aims to ensure that neither spouse faces financial hardship post-divorce. However, it is important to keep in mind that even if there is a need for support, it will all depend upon the payers ability to pay. You may be able to get interim-spousal maintenance depending upon your financial situation and the payers ability to pay.
  • Protecting Business Interests During Divorce?
    Answer: Protecting a business in a divorce involves assessing the business's value, determining each spouse's contribution, and possibly offsetting the business's value with other marital assets. Legal and financial expertise is crucial in these situations.
  • What Are the Grounds for Divorce?
    Answer: The grounds for divorce before April 2022 used to be unreasonable behaviour, 2-years separation with consent, 5-years separation, adultery and desertion. Since April 2022, the only ground for divorce is ‘irretrievable breakdown’. This is done by simply ticking a box within the divorce application. No narrative or statement needs to be made. It's important to consult with a solicitor to understand the specific grounds applicable.
  • How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
    Answer: The duration of divorce proceedings varies. The shortest timeframe is usually around 6-months. However, if there are financial matters to resolve the divorce itself is often delayed until agreement is reached about finances. This is because applying for the final order of divorce too early may have financial consequences for both parties.
  • What Are the Legal Fees for Divorce?
    Answer: Legal fees can vary widely based on the complexity of the case, the solicitor's rates, and the length of proceedings. Some solicitors may offer a flat fee for uncomplicated cases or hourly rates for more involved situations. We charge fixed fees in all divorce matters. My fees for a divorce are £1,000 + VAT. There is a Court fee of £593 which is payable to His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS)
  • Rights in Non-Marital Long-Term Relationships?
    Answer: For couples not legally married but separating, rights can be less clear-cut than in a divorce. It often depends on cohabitation agreements, joint assets, or children involved. Legal advice is essential in these cases.
  • Does a divorce end all financial ties?
    Answer: No. A divorce does not end all financial ties between spouses. You will remain financially ‘connected’ until a Court order dismisses all claims. This is done by submitting a financial clean break order to the Court whether in proceedings or agreed between you both at mediation etc.
  • Can I take my child abroad without permission of the other parent?
    Answer: You may take a child abroad without the permission of the other parent only if you have a lives with order in your favour, subject to any restrictions within an order itself. You may take the child for 28-days. If you do not return, this could be classed as child abduction and/or a criminal offence. If you do not have a lives with order then you must obtain the permission from all those with parental responsibility for the child. This is usually the other parent but could include social services if there’s a care order in place.
  • What Role Does the Child’s Opinion Play in Court Decisions?
    Answer: The child’s opinion is taken into account, particularly as they get older. The court will consider the child's maturity and understanding while making decisions in their best interests.
  • How Can I Modify a Child Arrangements Order?
    Answer: To modify a Child Arrangements Order, you must apply to the court showing that there has been a significant change in circumstances since the order was made. The child's welfare will be the court’s paramount consideration.
  • What Are Specific Issue Orders and Prohibited Steps Orders?
    Answer: A Specific Issue Order deals with a particular question about a child’s upbringing, like which school they should attend. A Prohibited Steps Order prevents a parent from taking certain actions, like moving abroad with the child, without the court's permission.
  • How Does Shared Parenting Work After Separation?
    Answer: Shared parenting after separation involves both parents taking an active role in their child's life. The exact arrangement varies, but the focus is on ensuring the child maintains a meaningful relationship with both parents, balanced with their schooling and social activities.
  • How Are Child Arrangements Orders Enforced?
    Answer: If a parent doesn't comply with a Child Arrangements Order, the other parent can apply to the court for enforcement. The court has various powers, including altering the order or, in extreme cases, fining or imprisoning the non-compliant parent.
  • What Does the Private Children Matters Cover?
    Answer: Private Children matters primarily deals with issues surrounding the upbringing of a child when parents are separated. This includes decisions about where the child will live, how much time they spend with each parent, and specific issues like schooling and medical care.
  • What Is a ‘No Order Principle’ in Children Act Cases?
    Answer: The ‘no order principle’ is a fundamental concept in Children Act cases. It dictates that a court should not make an order relating to a child unless it considers doing so would be better for the child than making no order at all. It encourages parents to reach agreements without court intervention where possible.
  • Can I Apply for a Child Arrangements Order?
    Answer: Certain people, such as parents, guardians, those who have parental responsibility by virtue of section 4A of the Children Act or any person who is named, in a child arrangements order that is in force with respect to a child, as person with whom the child is to live. Others may require permission from the court. It's important to consult a solicitor to understand your specific circumstances.
  • How Is Child Custody Determined in the UK?
    Answer: Child custody is a fairly old term nowadays. It is now known as 'child arrangements' (lives with / spends time with), is determined based on the child's best interests. The court considers several factors, including the child's ascertainable wishes and feelings, emotional, physical, and educational needs, the impact of change, how capable each parent is of meeting a child’s needs and any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.

Call Us Or Email Us Today

Call us on 07719 606386 or send us an email to colinh@mlplaw.co.uk.

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