How to pay for a divorce lawyer if funds are low

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Legal representation can make all the difference during divorce – especially if the split has been an acrimonious one. A good solicitor can ensure you receive all the assets you deserve and need for your new life even if your soon-to-be-former spouse attempts to hide their assets or evade their responsibilities. But what if you don’t have much money to hand? How do you pay for a divorce solicitor? Sadly, legal aid for most aspects of divorce was abolished back in 2013. But don’t despair, there are other possibilities you may not have considered if it’s become clear you won’t…

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Family courts told not to “press the pause button”

By | Children, Law news, the family courts | No Comments

Family court judges should proceed with caution when postponing final decisions in a case, the Court of Appeal has declared. The case of S-L (Children: Adjournment) concerned a local authority’s appeal against a ruling made earlier this year. The recorder in that case had adjourned the council’s application for care and placement orders for two young children. The parents of the three year-old girl and her seven month old baby brother were suspected of neglect and had poor parenting skills. ‘Care and placement’ orders are twin rulings made by family courts to take children into care and then place them…

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Doctors ‘can perform caesarean on pregnant woman against her will’

By | Children, News, the family courts | No Comments

Doctors treating a mentally ill woman can conduct a caesarean section against her will, the Court of Protection has ruled. The unnamed woman, in the final stages of pregnancy, has insisted she does not want a C-section. But her medical team told Mr Justice Hayden that she has bipolar affective disorder, as well as a history of both depression and psychosis and they believe there is a real risk that she could relapse while in labour and make irrational decisions if serious complications occur. The Court of Protection is a division of the High Court which makes decisions on behalf…

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What are civil partnerships?

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Until just a few years ago, civil partnerships had a very clear role. They provided a way for committed same sex couples to formalise their relationships in a legal union very similar to marriage. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was created in recognition of the increasing social acceptance of same sex relationships, while recognising that many traditional and religious people still remained opposed to the idea of full marriage for such couples. But public opinion continued to shift and same sex marriage finally arrived less than a decade later. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received royal assent in…

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How to get divorced: a checklist

By | divorce, Divorce myths | No Comments

Divorce is a difficult and inevitably emotional topic. Ending your marriage means major changes and a great deal of disruption, no matter how welcome the end of a painful relationship may be. Settling your finances, explaining the situation to your children or just deciding who gets to keep what…it can all seem very daunting. Sometimes it can be helpful to have a simple checklist to work with – a bullet point guide to the key stages. We hope the following proves useful. Have you been married for at least 12 months? If not, you will need to wait that long…

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What is child abduction?

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The term child abduction conjures up frightening images of sinister strangers pouncing on innocent children as they play in the park. Of course, such crimes do occur and they grab headlines and break hearts when they do. But abduction by strangers is rare. The majority of the child abduction that does take place is considerably more mundane and much closer to home: most children who are abducted are taken by their own parents. This type of abduction occurs most commonly following an acrimonious divorce or separation, between couples at loggerheads over arrangements for the children. Sometimes the parent with whom…

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No fault divorce bill ‘needs clarity’

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Draft legislation set to introduce set to introduce no fault divorce in England and Wales needs more work, the Law Society has claimed. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill had its second reading in the House of Commons earlier this month. It then went to the parliamentary Public Bill Committee for detailed examination and consideration. The Law Society, a professional body representing solicitors in England and Wales, wrote to the Committee. If it becomes law the bill would amend the stalwart Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, removing the current need to cite one of five specific reasons when applying for divorce….

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Supreme Court President calls for donations to legal support charity

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The President of the Supreme Court called for donations to a legal charity during a recent appearance on BBC Radio 4. Delivering the station’s weekly Appeal programme, Lady Hale gave her endorsement to the Personal Support Unit, which provides assistance to people facing complex family and civil court proceedings without legal representation. As President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale is the most senior judge in the country. She told listeners: “I know how intimidating the civil and family courts can be for people without legal knowledge or help. Everyone deserves access to justice whether or not they can afford…

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Domestic abuse “lasts 25 per cent longer” in rural areas

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A newly published report paints “a shocking picture” of domestic abuse in rural Britain. According to Captive & Controlled from the National Rural Crime Network, abuse and violence in rural areas continues on average for 25 per cent longer than that in towns and cities thanks to the relative isolation of its victims, who struggle to access support services and shelter spaces. They are half as likely as their urban counterparts to report their abuse at all. Domestic violence in rural areas is more likely to fly under the radar, leaving victims “isolated, unsupported and unprotected” the reports declares, “failed…

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President of the Family Division offers “profound thanks”

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The President of the Family Division has written of his “profound thanks and appreciation” for legal professionals and support staff working in the “heavily burdened” family justice system. In a short letter distributed across the court system, Sir Andrew McFarlane stressed that his message was intended for everyone involved: “I hope that this short message will be read by every judge, magistrate, HMCTS staff member, civil servant, CAFCASS officer, social worker and lawyer involved in the Family Justice system and Court of Protection in England and Wales.” Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is the official name used for…

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