K J Smith Solicitors

Our Blog

Scottish Widows Suggests Divorced Women Miss Out on £5bn of Pension Payments Each Year

Published: 10 November 2017

Following new research conducted by Scottish Widows, it has been found that 70% of couples never consider pensions throughout their divorce, meaning that women are missing out on approximately £5 billion per year. The research has highlighted some key statistics regarding this issue, which should almost certainly influence a change to divorce proceedings in the future.

Dissolutions and Annulments of Marriage: Marital Status, Age and Sex of Divorcees

Published: 6 November 2017

Figures for the dissolution and annulment of marriages have recently been released by the Office for National Statistics. These statistics are particularly useful for understanding the profile of divorcees in today's society and are collated from sources of information recorded by Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, during cases of divorce, including previous marital status, sex and age of the individuals getting divorced.

Legal Aid Cuts Have ‘Shaming’ Impact Suggests Senior Judge

Published: 20 October 2017

Senior family court judge Mr Justice Bodey has stated that the impact of legal aid cuts have been detrimental, and that cases which involve individuals representing themselves are ‘shaming’ to preside over. After speaking at his retirement ceremony, it also became clear that he has had to cross-examine witnesses on behalf of litigants in person during his career.

Billionaire property developer claims that he was never married to his ‘wife’ to protect his fortune

Published: 14 October 2017

In a hearing at the High Court, a property developer based in London has made the claim that his ‘wife’ of 14 years is not entitled to his money because they were never actually married in the eyes of the law.

Family Court holds Mortgage Liability Indemnity Power

Published: 6 October 2017

After giving a judgement that was approved by the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, Mr Justice Mostyn has confirmed that the Family Court is able to dictate action in relation to mortgage payments. This includes instructing an individual to make the payments, as well as being able to seek compensation for any payments not made.

New Labour-Backed Report Calls for Additional £400 million per year for legal aid

Published: 28 September 2017

A recently released report, backed by the Labour party, suggests that an extra £400m should be spent per year to provide UK residents with access to better legal aid. The report also outlines details that would see a generous legal aid system providing the UK with a right to justice through legal enforcement.The report, which consists of a review led by former Justice Minister Lord Bach, suggests alternative provisions for equality and condemns policies that have led to unfair cuts to legal aid.

HM Judiciary set to reconsider proposals for regulating McKenzie friends

Published: 21 September 2017

HM Judiciary is set to make a reassessment of proposals for regulating the McKenzie Friend sector, following a recent consultation around the banning of fee recovery. The consultation received a large amount of responses, leading the board to create a working group that will aim to review the original proposals set out for regulating McKenzie Friends.

Charities publish briefing paper calling for amendments to European Union Withdrawal Bill

Published: 12 September 2017

In accordance with the second reading of the EU Withdrawal Bill on 7th September 2017, a group of leading children’s charities have called for changes to the Bill that would see the rights of children protected in a more significant way.

Family Lawyers predict a rise in Prenuptial Agreements following uncertainty in divorce ruling

Published: 4 September 2017

Following a ruling in the Court of Appeal, family lawyers across the UK are predicting an increase in the number of couples looking to secure a prenuptial agreement. This comes as a woman sought to receive an equal share of her and her ex-husband’s assets, but failed to do so, seeing her appeal dismissed.

Government wants continued judicial relationship following Brexit

Published: 28 August 2017

The UK Government recently conceded that it will be essential to maintain a continued formal judicial relationship with the EU following Brexit. They have stated, within a paper on civil judicial cooperation, that the UK will seek an agreement that allows for ‘close and comprehensive cross-border civil judicial cooperation on a reciprocal basis’.

Unreasonable behaviour in divorce is a ‘linguistic trap’, hears the Supreme Court

Published: 14 August 2017

The Supreme Court has granted a women the right to appeal the decision to not allow her to divorce her husband, based on his behaviour not being considered 'unreasonable'. This has lead to Philip Marshall QC describing unreasonable behaviour in divorce as a 'linguistic trap'.

Husband suggests that divorce court should take wife’s family wealth into consideration

Published: 1 August 2017

The Court of Appeal has heard a plea from a husband who has argued that the wealth of his wife's father should be taken into consideration whendeciding upon the outcome of their divorce settlement. The couple, married for 14 years with three children, split in 2013.

Resolution calls for more financial advisors to work in family law

Published: 14 July 2017

In a report published in conjunction with the Personal Finance Society, family law organisation Resolution have indicated a significant need for more specialist financial advisers to enter into the area of family law. The report showed that there are only 42 financial advice specialists within the UK family law sector, which is just one specialist per 5,000 people that acquire a divorce each year.

The Law Society plans legal aid provision for the rescue of civil justice

Published: 5 July 2017

The Law Society are calling for big changes to civil legal aid provision to help vulnerable people being denied justice, four years after severe cuts left the legal aid landscape in ruins.

Difficulties with ending a marriage - the case for a reform of divorce laws

Published: 26 June 2017

Current divorce law is now more than 40 years old following its introduction in 1973 and it is feared that whilst society has progressed, legislation hasn’t kept up with today's modern families. Almost 75% of divorces are now filed on a ‘fault-based ground’, with a large proportion of those being for unreasonable behaviour of one of the parties, leading for calls to reform current outdated divorce laws.

Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill Announced in Queen's Speech

Published: 23 June 2017

Draft legislation for a new Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill was announced during the Queen's Speech on 21 July 2017, with a view to transform the Government's approach to tackling domestic violence in England and Wales.

Court of Appeal ruling abandons equal sharing principle for short marriages

Published: 19 June 2017

A recent ruling in the Court of Appeal has raised questions over the long-standing equal sharing principle, following a successful appeal which saw an ex-wife lower her husband's payout to just £2 million from assets totalling £5.45 million.

International Family Law Arbitration Scheme Announced

Published: 12 June 2017

During the AFCC Annual Conference in Boston, USA, leading international family lawyers David Hodson and Professor Patrick Parkinson announced that there is to be a new scheme to help international families.

Tories promise new domestic violence laws to protect children

Published: 5 June 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May has recently said that she believes her party hasmade considerable progress ‘towards tackling domestic violence’, however she would like to take further steps against the issue.

Top judge believes divorce and money battles should be separate issues

Published: 24 May 2017

The most senior family judge in England and Wales, Sir James Munby, has suggested that the issues that couples have regarding the splitting of their money should be a completely separate process to their divorce proceedings. He also called for new online divorce proceedings, whilst referring to the government’s 'lamentable history of procrastination' where the reforming of laws surrounding divorce is concerned.

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