K J Smith Solicitors

Our Blog

Brexit - What might it mean for Family Law?

Published: 30 June 2016

On Friday 24th June 2016, the nation awoke to the – for many, rather surprising – news that the UK had voted to leave the European Union. The result of the EU referendum has caused a great deal of uncertainty and confusion as to how the UK will cope with its decision to leave the EU.

Family courts need to encourage more evidence given by Children, says President of the Family Division

Published: 24 June 2016

Chief Judge and President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir James Munby, has called on the family courts to do more to encourage children giving evidence in court and has claimed that while there has been a 'sea-change' in attitudes to children giving evidence, more still needs to be done.

The ex-wife of gay rugby player calls for same-sex affairs to be recognised in divorce law

Published: 16 June 2016

The ex-wife of rugby league star Keegan Hirst has called for divorce laws to be amended to recognise affairs between same-sex partners.  The ex-wife, mother-of-three Sara Wilson, was informed that she could not file for divorce on the grounds of 'suspected adultery' as the law states that adultery can only take place between men and women.

Divorced husband granted permission to challenge former mother-in-law's Will

Published: 9 June 2016

A divorced husband who questioned the validity of his former mother-in-law's Will has been granted permission to challenge the Will by the Court of Appeal.

20 per cent of UK Couples close to separating, say Relate

Published: 3 June 2016

A new study by nationwide counselling charity Relate has highlighted that one in five couples in the UK are considering separation. Relate questioned married or cohabiting couples for their 'Understanding Society' survey, and the findings suggest that as many as 2.87 million people are in unhappy or 'distressed' relationships.

New Guidance issued on evidence obtained illegally in the family courts

Published: 25 May 2016

The Bar Council Ethics Committee have issued new guidance on illegally-obtained evidence in the family and civil courts to provide ethical assistance to counsel in cases where evidence has or may have been obtained illegally.

Number of marriages in England and Wales falls for the first time since 2009

Published: 16 May 2016

New figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal that the number of marriages that took place in England and Wales in 2013 fell for the first time since 2009. In 2013 there were 240,854 marriages, which is 8.6% less than the previous year (2012).

Courts in England and Wales still among the most generous with divorce settlements

Published: 9 May 2016

A recent report has revealed that England and Wales are still among the most generous countries when it comes to divorce settlements, despite the government's efforts to make ex-spouses more financially independent by providing for themselves.

New chair of Resolution Issues Rallying Cry for No Fault Divorce

Published: 29 April 2016

In his first speech in his new role as chair of national family law organisation Resolution, Nigel Shepherd has called for family lawyers to continue to lobby for ‘no fault’ divorces in England and Wales.

New Guide Launched to Help Litigants in Person with the Divorce Process

Published: 22 April 2016

A new guide has been released by the Family Justice Council to help Litigants in Person (that is, individuals without legal representation) to navigate their way through the divorce process.

Spousal maintenance - what is it and do I have to pay it?

Published: 20 April 2016

Not to be confused with child maintenance, spousal maintenance is an income claim that can be made in addition to capital and pension claims upon divorce. It is paid by a wife or a husband to their former spouse, usually monthly, to enable them to meet their day-to-day needs, and is particularly likely to arise if one party has a lower income (or no income at all).

The Importance of Obtaining a Financial Order on Divorce

Published: 11 April 2016

It is commonly believed that when a couple divorce their financial ties are severed. This is not the case. Whilst the final decree of divorce, known as Decree Absolute, legally dissolves the marriage, it has no effect over the finances.

Worried About Care Costs Draining Your Family's Inheritance?

Published: 7 April 2016

As various changes to the Inheritance Tax rules continue to come into effect, we seem to be becoming less concerned about Inheritance Tax eating into the inheritance we leave to our children and more concerned about care costs.

The Ministry of Justice Increases Divorce Fees by 34%

Published: 31 March 2016

On 21st March 2016, the Ministry of Justice increased divorce fees from £410 to £550. With the announcement being made at short notice and with a distinct lack of publicity, the fee increases have caught many family lawyers – and their clients – off guard.

Upper Tribunal Judge Offers Guidance on intimidation in child support cases

Published: 23 March 2016

An Upper Tribunal judge has addressed the concerns of parents who have worries about attending child support hearings for fear of intimidation from their former partners.

Do you need permission to take your children out of the country after Separation?

Published: 16 March 2016

Many separated parents are unaware that they may need permission from the other parent to take their child(ren) out of the jurisdiction of England and Wales on holiday. Legally, where parents are separated and one parent wants to take the child(ren) out of the country temporarily, on holiday for example, the parent removing the child(ren) may need to obtain permission from every person with Parental Responsibility - which means those with the legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child and the child's property.

Rights of Cohabiting Couples and the “Common Law” Marriage Myth

Published: 14 March 2016

One of the most common misconceptions in family law is the idea that cohabiting couples have the same rights as married couples.  In a survey undertaken in 2013 by OneplusOne, a surprising share of respondents (approximately 40%) believed that simply living together without being married gave couples the same rights as married couples.

Top Family Judges in Disagreement over Divorce Privacy

Published: 9 March 2016

High Court Family Judge Mr Justice Moor has warned that a disagreement between senior members of the judiciary over privacy in high value divorce cases "needs to be dealt with" and that clarification from the Court of Appeal over what private information the public has access to is long overdue.

Could a 'no fault divorce' system benefit the UK?

Published: 4 March 2016

There has been much debate over the years as to whether the UK should adopt a 'no fault divorce' system. Although other countries have successfully adopted this system, the postponement of the second reading of the No Fault Divorce Bill to 11th March 2016 suggests it is still some way off. But would a 'no fault divorce' option actually benefit the UK?

ONS report reveals almost 2m people were victims of domestic abuse last year

Published: 1 March 2016

A recent report from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed that almost 2 million people have been victims of abuse from partners or family members over the past year.

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