On 6th April 2015, the rules in relation to taking pension benefits will be relaxed and funds may be withdrawn from pensions. If you have any concerns that your former partner can or will take this course of action in order to limit your potential financial claim, please advise us immediately.
On 12th March 2015 the Supreme Court considered the case of Vince v Wyatt and refused to strike out an application by a former wife for a financial order from her former husband 27 years after separation and 18 years after divorce.
If you do not have a financial clean break order, please contact us for advice.
On the 22nd April 2014 changes have been made to the Court system and to children disputes with the implementation of the Children and Families Act 2014. There will now be a single Family Court where any applications under the Children Act 1989 will be made to the Single Family Court Central Administration and the Court will decide where the case is to be heard and which level of judiciary should deal with the matter.
New terminology has been introduced and you can now make an application for a Child Arrangement Order to confirm with whom the child/children should live or spend time.
The Court will take into account the principle that both parents should continue to be involved in their child/children’s lives as long as it is safe to do so. In terms of Shared Care, this is more about equal status and not so much about equal time.
Since 1st April 2013, the availability for Legal Aid has been reduced in family proceedings. Legal Aid may not be available unless there is an element of “domestic violence or abuse” or child protection matters which can be substantiated with evidence within the last two years.
Domestic violence and abuse includes any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (whether psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between individuals who are associated with each other, including acts of neglect, maltreatment, exploitation or acts of omission.
The types of evidence which are accepted include a criminal conviction, police caution, police bail, ongoing criminal proceedings, protective injunction, an undertaking, letter from Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conference, finding of fact by a Court, letter from Social Services, letter from a GP, nurse, midwife, practitioner, psychologist or health visitor, letter from a domestic violence refuge or refusal of entry to refuge, referral to a domestic violence specialist support service by a doctor, nurse, midwife, practitioner psychologist, or health visitor, a Domestic Violence Protection Notice or Domestic Violence Protection Order granted, a Bind over .