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Family Law


The Law Commission proposes changes to financial remedies available to separating spouses

In an article we published in April 2023 we discussed the points of law that required reform in relation to the way financial orders are considered and granted when a marriage or civil partnership irretrievably breaks down.  We considered the Law Commission’s report of 2014, Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements. The Commissions’ latest review, Financial…

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Am I entitled to a share of my ex’s bonus?/Is my ex entitled to a share of my bonus?

Financial matters can often be complex and contentious within divorce or dissolution proceedings. Among the assets subject to division, bonuses earned by a spouse during the marriage can present unique challenges. In England and Wales, the treatment of bonus payments in divorce settlements is governed by specific legal principles aimed at achieving fairness and equity….

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Transparency in the Family Courts: pilot scheme extended

In October 2022 we discussed the move towards transparency in the Family Courts.  In this article, we consider recent developments and specifically the Family Court Reporting Pilot. Background Traditionally, hearings held in the Family Courts were conducted behind closed doors. In January 2023 the Pilot was launched in Leeds, Cardiff and Carlisle in order to…

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How much should I pay in child maintenance/how much child maintenance should I receive?

Whether or not you are married, if you have children, you will need to consider not only contact arrangements (which we talk about here), but also financial ones to ensure their needs are met. The first port of call would be the Child Maintenance Service (the ‘CMS’), which has primary jurisdiction to make a child…

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Common law marriage and everything there is(n’t) to know about it

The myth around the concept of common law marriage persists, despite it being just a myth.  Allied to this is a lack of understanding about the limited legal protection this ‘non-status’ provides. With the number of cohabiting couples drastically increasing over the years, we have seen a spike in enquiries from unmarried couples. The Office…

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Gift or loan? How to deal with money received from the Bank of Mum and Dad when divorcing

It is common over the course of a marriage for a party to receive money from other members of their family; most often their parents.  Such transfers may be intended to financially assist a specific cause, for example, a deposit for a purchase of a property or home renovations. It may be that such transactions…

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Is compulsory mediation in family law proceedings a good idea?

The government is running a consultation on the proposed use of compulsory mediation in family law disputes.  The aim of the consultation is to inform proposals which will support separating couples to resolve financial and child disputes without resorting to court.  One of the key proposals put forward provides for families in appropriate circumstances to…

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Did you receive inadequate pension advice on your divorce settlement?

The importance of ensuring that you obtain comprehensive advice in relation to your financial settlement in divorce was highlighted in Lewis -v- Cunningtons Solicitors [2023] EWHC 822 (KB). In Lewis, the Court awarded Joanne Lewis £400,000 after finding that she had entered into an unfair settlement agreement with her former husband, Mr Mayne, because Cunningtons…

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Financial remedy orders following divorce: The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 turns 50, but is it still fit for purpose?

This year, the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (the ‘Act’) reaches its fiftieth anniversary. Unfortunately, not everyone in the family law community will see this as a cause for celebration. There are increasing concerns that the law the Act contains is now out of step with those depending on it, and    calls for reform continue to…

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Minimum legal age for marriage has increased to 18

On 27 February 2023, the Marriage and Civil Partnership (Minimum Age) Act 2022 came into effect. The Act introduces a number of reforms to the law surrounding marriage. The most significant of these is an increase in the legal age for marriage or civil partnership from 16 to 18. Previously, 16- and 17-year-olds were permitted…

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Legal Disclaimer

Articles are intended as an introduction to the topic and do not constitute legal advice.