K J Smith Solicitors

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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.

Woman receives £4.25 million payout after 23 months of marriage

Published: 18 May 2017

After a marriage that lasted 23 months, a woman has been awarded a £4.25 million payout by a family court judge. The pair, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, married in Las Vegas in October 2011 before separating in September 2013.

US banker’s claim to be a genius rejected by judges in divorce case

Published: 24 April 2017

The appeal court has decided to back the initial ruling that a banker’s contribution to his marriage was not exceptional, and therefore Randy Work has been ordered to pay his ex-wife, Mandy Gray, half of their fortune. The Americans met in 1992 before marrying in 1995, having two children during their marriage, both of which are now teenagers.

Survey reveals a third of cohabitants thought they had equal rights to married couples

Published: 14 April 2017

After a recent survey by YouGov, it has been revealed that cohabiting couples fear ‘unfair’ settlements should their relationship breakdown, and want changes to the law that would see them granted the same rights as married couples.

High Court sees ‘phenomenal’ divorce battle over £500,000 holiday home

Published: 4 April 2017

An estranged couple embroiled in a dispute over a £500,000 holiday home have spent a combined £800,000 on their battle in the High Court in London, which Mr Justice Holman has described as ‘phenomenal’.

Denying same-sex couples pension equality ‘is sexual discrimination’

Published: 20 March 2017

In a test case within the Supreme Court, it has been heard that denying equal pension rights to a husband of a same-sex marriage is sexual discrimination when compared to the rights of a heterosexual wife.

Laura Ashley boss faces battle with ex-wife over £100m for ‘equal contribution’ to marriage

Published: 14 March 2017

The ex-wife of a Laura Ashley boss has argued that she made an equal contribution to her marriage with her former husband, stating that she helped to generate the wealth of her husband by playing the role of a ‘traditional’ wife. The 70-year-old ex-wife is fighting over millions with ex-husband Khoo Kay Peng, 78, in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

Heterosexual couple lose battle for civil partnership

Published: 1 March 2017

A heterosexual couple campaigning for a same-sex civil partnership have narrowly lost their fight in the Court of Appeal. This comes after they challenged a ruling that stated they were not able to form a civil partnership, based on the legal requirement of a civil partnership requiring that the couple are two people of the same sex. The judges involved in the case did suggest that there was a potential breach of their human rights and, in the verdict, it was suggested that the government needsmore time to decide the future of civil partnerships.

Government rejects latest calls to introduce no-fault divorce system

Published: 23 February 2017

The Government have confirmed to the House of Lords that they have no plans to reform current divorce law to introduce a 'no-fault divorce' system in England and Wales, despite widespread calls from family lawyers and other organisations to do so.

Pension fight won by cohabiting partner in Supreme Court

Published: 16 February 2017

A unanimous decision in the Supreme Court has allowed Denise Brewster an appeal, announcing that the requirement of her and her late cohabiting partner, William McMullan, to make a nomination to the pension scheme should not apply. This decision will mean that Ms Brewster will now receive a survivor’s pension.

Association of Lawyers for Children express concerns over LASPO Act

Published: 10 February 2017

The Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC) have expressed their concerns over an initiative to stop victims of physical and sexual abuse being cross-examined by their alleged assailants in the Family Court in a letter to Secretary of State for Justice, Liz Truss, and the Minister for Courts and Legal Aid, Sir Oliver Heald QC.

Divorce Court sees Millionaire couple battle over £11m fortune

Published: 3 February 2017

The wife of a millionaire has claimed that her husband tricked her into signing a prenuptial agreement in order to protect his £11m fortune. The wife claimed that she had been told by her husband that it was ‘just a piece of paper’, implying that she had been misled and duped into signing it.

Court rule changes regarding child contact for violent fathers

Published: 30 January 2017

Senior UK judges are taking steps to ensure that fathers with a history of domestic violence will not be automatically entitled to have contact with their child. In cases where the father has been proven to have a history of domestic violence, the safety of the child and mother would be considered and the father would not be granted access to their child. The aim is to endthe general presumption that a father must be given contact with their child, even if their history poses a risk to both mother and child.

Ministry of Justice report on the implementation of Law Commission proposals

Published: 19 January 2017

A report has been published by the Ministry of Justice that highlights the implementation of proposals made by the Law Commission.

Justice Secretary calls for an end to victims being cross-examined by their abusers

Published: 13 January 2017

The Justice Secretary Liz Truss has called for the family courts to follow the criminal courts inbanning the cross-examination of victims by ex-partners who have previously been violent to them.

Family court to hold court hearings in public for the first time

Published: 7 January 2017

In a radical trial that is being pursued by England and Wales’ leading family judge, court hearings are set to be held in the public eye for the first time. In a bid to continue to provide more transparency, the president of the family division of the high court, Sir James Munby, has stated that certain types of hearings would be held publicly. Although correct measures are expected to remain in place to protect identities, a separate plan is being considered to grant the media access to documents that may have been kept secret in previous hearings.

Research shows parents are working together to manage child support through Child Maintenance Service

Published: 29 December 2016

The Department for Work and Pensions has released new research that shows many separated parents that use the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) are able to manage child support payments between themselves. The new system allows parents to come to an arrangement regarding the payments and the results of the research show that with most cases that include Direct Pay, the arrangement is still in place a year later.

Claim by Trustee in Bankruptcy against deceased’s ex-wife dismissed in court

Published: 20 December 2016

A recent judgement has been published involving the dismissal of a claim by the trustee in bankruptcy under Sections 23 and 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, where the bankrupt was deceased.

Latest ONS figures show continued decline in divorce rates

Published: 12 December 2016

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics on 5 December 2016 show that the number of divorces throughout England and Wales in 2014 was 111,169 – which is 3.1% less than in 2013.

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