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No Fault Divorce Law Change

Amy Langlois
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In this article, Amy Langlois, Solicitor from our Family Law Team, will aim to answer the most common questions about prenuptial agreements.

I want to see my child - what are my parental rights?

Simon Immins
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When a child is born, the mother and the father automatically have parental responsibility (if they are married or named on the birth certificate). However, parental responsibility does not give an automatic right to contact. Contact between a child and the...

What happens to your pets when you divorce?

Andrew Stynes
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We are a nation of dog and cat lovers (it is estimated that 12 million UK households (46% of homes) have pets). In most homes, pets are often viewed as another member of the family, forming a vital part of the family unit. So when a couple divorces or...

Do you have to PROVE unreasonable behaviour in a divorce?

Simon Immins
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A divorce case in the Supreme Court, Owens V Owens (explained below) has attracted media attention during July and raised the question of whether fault is a necessity in a divorce? Must divorce show that one party is at fault Currently in the UK, a...

83 years of Frettens experience coming to Ringwood

Michelle Hayter
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The Partners at Frettens Solicitors were delighted last week to announce the opening of a second office in Ringwood in July 2018. Who will be based at Ringwood?             The Ringwood team has...

Hello Ringwood!! Frettens opens second office

Matthew Fretten
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The Partners of Frettens Solicitors are excited to announce that they will be opening a brand new office in the heart of Ringwood in July 2018, making Ringwood a second home for the ever-growing Frettens family. A full service law firm for Ringwood ...

ToLATA - A guide for unmarried couples who are separating

Michelle Hayter
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What happens when a couple who are not married but own a property together decide that they need to separate ? Most people are surprised to find out that the legislation that governs this situation is completely unrelated to the Family Law legislation,...

Does 'maintenance for life' really mean just that?

Simon Immins
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The law relating to matrimonial finances is based around the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (subject to some much needed amendments) but does it now reflect today’s society and the financial needs of the divorcing parties? Changing times The assumptions...

Welcome to the Family - Simon Immins joins the team

Michelle Hayter
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Frettens Solicitors is delighted to welcome the latest Solicitor to join their ranks, as Simon Immins becomes a member of the firm's Family Team . Simon  joined Frettens in April, having been a Partner at Turners Solicitors in...

The grounds for divorce

Andrew Stynes
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In England and Wales, you must have been married for at least a year before you can apply for a divorce . Only one ground for divorce It is a popular misconception that there are five grounds for divorce. There is actually only one ground for...

Is January really 'Divorce Month'?

Amy Langlois
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Is it true that the number of divorce applications spike in January? Or is this an urban myth? Amy Langlois , Family Solicitor, comments "Sadly, it is true to say that we see an increase in enquiries into our Family Team after Christmas about...

Cohabitation Nation - Resolution Campaign

Andrew Stynes
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This week is Cohabitation Awareness week. This is promoted by Resolution, and organisation which our Family Team are a part of. What is Resolution? Resolution ’s 6,500 members are family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive...

Pre-nuptial agreements - are they worth the paper they are written on?

Andrew Stynes
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A pre-nuptial agreement (or ‘pre-nup’ as they are often called) can be made between a couple before they marry, and it deals with how their assets and resources would be treated if they were to divorce or dissolve a civil partnership ....

Separation agreements. An alternative to divorce?

Andrew Stynes
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If you are thinking about getting divorced , or dissolving your civil partnership , but haven’t yet filed the papers, you can get a separation agreement drawn up. This sets out who will pay the rent or mortgage and bills, until you decide whether to...

Taking a child abroad if you are separated/divorced

Amy Langlois
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If parents are no longer living together due to separation or divorce , there are legal issues to consider if one parent wishes to take a child on holiday abroad – or even to relocate to another area. It is always preferable to obtain written...

Divorce - Telling the kids

Andrew Stynes
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When a couple decides to split, there is never an easy way or time to tell the children. It can sometimes be just as much of a blow when the children are grown up themselves. But are there any tactics that would make breaking the news to them less painful,...

Do I need to attend court to get divorced?

Amy Langlois
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A short video article featuring Amy Langlois , Family Solicitor , explaining whether you need to attend court when getting divorced.   For a free initial meeting please call 01202 499255 and Amy or a member of the Family Team will be...

How do pension sharing orders work?

Amy Langlois
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In divorce (for a married couple) or dissolution (for a civil partnership), the pension can often be the second biggest asset – usually the family home is the biggest. You can split pensions several ways, so it’s worth understanding the options...

Are there any legal implications to getting engaged?

Andrew Stynes
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When a couple get engaged it is a time for celebration, congratulations and often a great party. However, what are the legal implications of getting engaged, if any? It used to be the case that a man’s promise to marry was considered in many countries...

How Long Does it Take to Get Divorced?

Andrew Stynes
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Often one of the first questions that clients ask our Family Team is how long does a divorce take? Andrew Stynes , Head of our Family Team , explains that if it is a straight forward divorce and proceedings are not delayed by finalising financial issues...

Civil Partnership Ruling - Only for Same-Sex Couples

Amy Langlois
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A case has been in the news this week where a heterosexual couple have lost their case made to the Court of Appeal to have a civil partnership. Since the legislation of same-sex marriage came into force in March 2014, same-sex couples have had the choice of...

Should I change my name?

Andrew Stynes
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Separated women (who took their husband's surname upon marriage) often believe they have to wait until their divorce is finalised before they can revert to their maiden name. This is not correct. Any adult has the right to change their surname at any...

What is a Special Guardianship Order?

Amy Langlois
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Being appointed as a child’s ‘Special Guardian’ gives parental responsibility for the Special Guardian for the child until the child reaches the age of 18 and exclusive responsibility for the day to day care, long term care and upbringing...

Good Divorce Week

Andrew Stynes
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This week is Good Divorce Week. This is a week about seeking the best solutions to what can be the most difficult period that clients can go through. Resolution is a National Organisation of Family Lawyers keen to promote resolution of family separation...

What is a "clean break" divorce settlement?

Amy Langlois
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Legendary darts player Phil Taylor has recently been in the press due to his divorce which has been referred to in the press as a clean break divorce. What does this mean, and is it an unusual type of settlement? Amy Langlois in our Family Team offers...

Travelling abroad with children with a different surname

Andrew Stynes
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Although the main holiday season is over, half term and Christmas are looming. For families that have remarried and their children’s surname is now different to theirs this can be a problem at airports. It may be that step-parents are travelling with...

Selling the matrimonial home after separation or divorce

Amy Langlois
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Are you separating or divorcing but your spouse or civil partner won’t agree to sell the matrimonial home? When it comes to separating or divorcing your spouse or civil partner, for the majority of couples, the largest asset will be the matrimonial...

Thinking about separating or divorcing but the matrimonial home is in your partner's sole name?

Amy Langlois
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Thinking about separating or divorcing from your spouse or civil partner but the matrimonial home is in their sole name? As family lawyers, we are often asked by clients “I am not registered on the title deeds of the matrimonial home and my spouse or...

Domestic abuse - the Family Court can protect you

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Theresa May, the Home Secretary, recently said that the police are still not taking domestic abuse seriously enough as a crime. In 2015 a new criminal offence of ‘coercive control’ was put on the statute books. Domestic abuse is not limited to...

Clean Break Consent Orders

Amy Langlois
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I trust my spouse…we are in the process of divorcing but do I really need a clean break consent order? Family Solicitors often get asked if there is a real need for divorcing parties to enter into a clean break consent order if they are all...

More legal protection for cohabitants in 2016?

Andrew Stynes
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Despite years of campaigning by organisations and individuals, there are few laws to protect the rights of cohabitees and bring them into line with married couples and civil partners. Under current law there is no legal protection for people who live...

The importance of keeping your Will updated

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Dentist, Norman Martin, failed to divorce his estranged wife despite having lived with his new partner, Joy Williams, in Dorchester of 18 years. On his death there was no provision for Joy, as Martin had failed to update his will to reflect his relationship...

Divorce ruling Sharland and Gohul

Andrew Stynes
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Courts are to reconsider settlements made in divorce proceedings. In the above two cases both wives were able to satisfy the court that they had been misled by their ex-husbands in that both husbands had hidden their true worth from the court.  Andrew...

Social media - be careful what you post

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More and more people are reliant upon social media and we are all at fault in exposing ourselves through social networks. Sure, you can adjust your security settings, but how safe are you even with the highest security settings? In recent years, there has...

Separated Parent - Can I take my child on Holiday?

Andrew Stynes
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As Family Lawyers this is a question we are often asked by clients, it is, not as simple as a yes or no. A simple answer would, unhelpfully, be “it depends”. The first question would be, what is the destination of your planned holiday? In the...

Converting Civil Partnerships to Marriage

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The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act came into force in December 2014 allowing couples in a civil partnership to get married. The most high profile of these marriages being Elton John and his partner David Furnish. How do you go about it? There are two...

Do I need a Pre-Nuptial Agreement?

Andrew Stynes
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It seems to be the season for celebrity weddings and it is more than likely that many have made pre-nuptial agreements. Despite all the high hopes, best wishes and optimism on the wedding day, we are all aware that some marriages will, in time, breakdown. ...

Collaboration and Mediation in Divorce

Andrew Stynes
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Going through a divorce is an emotional and upsetting time often fraught with confusion about legal terms and courts. It can be a costly process for both parties. Not many people are familiar with collaborative divorce but this process and also divorce...

Surrogacy - the legal position

Andrew Stynes
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Surrogacy is where a child is carried through pregnancy by a woman, not necessarily the genetic mother, who has entered into an arrangement that sets out who is intended to be the legal parent of the child once it is born. A surrogate mother...

Do Grandparents have rights of access?

Andrew Stynes
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The breakdown of a marriage or long term relationship is extremely upsetting for all involved. For grandparents it can be devastating if they are denied contact with their grandchildren. Unfortunately grandparents do not have an automatic right to contact...

Want a Divorce but dont want to go to Court?

Andrew Stynes
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“We want a divorce but don’t want to go to Court.” This is something that we, as family lawyers hear with increasing frequency. A Divorce can only be granted by a Court. However, frequently this is not a contentious issue and is often...

Pre-Nups are they worth the paper they are written on?

Andrew Stynes
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Currently, Pre-Nuptial Agreements are not strictly binding in English law. In other countries such as USA and most of Europe Pre-Nups are common enforceable contracts. There have been a number of cases which have improved the position of a Pre-Nup so they...

The New Combined Family Court

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As part of the family justice system reforms, a new combined Family Court has been created and comes into force in England and Wales today, 22nd April 2014. Simon Hughes, the Justice Minister, said it was a “hugely important change” to what had...

Child Maintenance Options

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At the end of July 2013, new rules were introduced for calculating child maintenance and all new applications in respect of child maintenance made after this date, are dealt with by Child Maintenance Options. Heidi Cardoza , Head of the  Family...

Legal Separation and Divorce

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Unlike divorce, a legal separation does not put an end to the marriage, it enables you to live separately but remain married. During the time that you are living apart, you have a court order that outlines the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. You...

Supreme Court decision on company assets and divorce case.

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The Supreme Court unanimously allowed an appeal in June this year by Mrs Prest, in the case  Prest v Petrodel , allowing her to obtain a share in assets held by her husband in numerous companies in his name. In this heavily contested...

How would Divorce affect my Business Assets?

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It is not uncommon for husbands and wives or civil partners to work together in a family business and a question often asked is “What happens to the business when the relationship breaks down?” There is no longer an assumption that a family...

Separating your finances after a relationship breakdown

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During divorce or separation finances can take a long time to sort out and things cannot be resolved overnight, but ignoring joint finances during this difficult time and hoping things will ‘sort out’ is not the way to go. Research has revealed...

The rights of a separated father

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It’s important to know what your rights and responsibilities are regarding your children after a marital split. One of the most important things to ascertain is if you have parental responsibility for your children. In the case of unmarried couples you...

Are divorces up in January?

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January 3rd has been dubbed National Divorce Day in the UK as supposedly law firms see a spike in the number of enquiries who are considering a divorce. The myth goes that, for those with cracks in their relationship, spending time with the family over the...

Mediation can help in the Divorce process

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Mediation is an excellent alternative to lengthy and expensive court proceedings when you are unable to settle disputes between yourselves. It is not an attempt to reconcile couples seeking a divorce but a means to talk to your partner in the presence of an ...

Divorce Q&A

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Heidi Cardoza , a Solicitor in our Family Team , answers some of the initial questions that people ask when they are considering a divorce or separation. Q: How long do I have to be married before I can divorce? A: You need to be married for at...

The adoption process and the law

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Adoption is a legal procedure whereby all parental rights and responsibilities for the child/children are permanently transferred from the birth parents or local authority, to the adoptive parents, by the Court. It is illegal in the UK to adopt a child...

Non-matrimonial Property & Divorce

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The Law Commission, following a consultation in 2012 on marital property agreements , is seeking further input from the legal profession in relation to financial needs and non-matrimonial property following relationship breakdown. The Law Commission is...

Parenting after parting

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Make no mistake – parenting after a separation is difficult. It is just one of the many challenges facing couples after a divorce orany type of split, particularly an acrimonious one. However, there are some things that you can do to make it easier. ...

Guru to the stars in court over 'common law divorce'

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This article in the Telegraph looks at a case which is currently in the High Court, concerning a couple that are separating after living together for more than 15 years. They have a 16 year old son together and the property that they lived in was owned...

Ministerial approval for gay marriage

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The Government have defended plans to allow gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales to get married, thereby changing the status of civil ceremonies. This is despite mounting opposition from the Church of England and some members of the Conservative...

Taking Your Child Abroad If Separated Or Divorced - Video

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A short video article showing Heidi Cardoza , Family Solicitor talking about the law behind taking your child abroad if divorced or separated. Click here to view the full article or get in touch if you need more information on this topic. For a free...

Taking a child abroad if you are separated/divorced

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If parents are no longer residing together due to separation or divorce , there are legal issues to be considered if one parent wishes to take a child on holiday abroad – or even to relocate to another part of the UK.  It is always preferable to...

Legal Terms - Divorce

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Any legal process can be intimidating, often largely due to confusing legal jargon. Julie-Ann Harris, Family Solicitor, outlines the meaning of some of the terms used in the divorce process. Acknowledgement of Service A form sent by the Court...

Post-Cohabitation Agreement FAQ's

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Family Solicitor, Heidi Cardoza , answers some frequently asked questions about post-cohabitation agreements.  What is it? It is a legally binding document between an unmarried couple. Why should we have one? To regulate your affairs in...

Divorced fathers to get legal right to see their children

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The final report of the Family Justice Review, published last November, removed the recommendation for divorced fathers to have a legal right of access to their children. This was after the chair of the review, David Norgrove, made a study of...

Government proposals to cut legal aid

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The Law Society has warned that thousands of vulnerable families will be left without access to legal advice following the proposed cuts in legal aid. Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said that England ‘has one the most expensive legal aid systems...

Government to consult on legalising gay marriage

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After the announcement by the government that they will launch a consultation next spring to legalise gay marriage in England and Wales, gay rights campaigners have urged ministers to act immediately, saying that the existing laws are...

Julie-Ann Harris on Pension Sharing Values

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Head of our Family Team, Julie-Ann Harris, has been asked to write a blog article on ‘The Ancillary Actuary’ , a specialist blog for discussion on the financial issues of divorce and dissolution, from pension valuation...

Using force to protect your home against intruders

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It is a terrifying prospect to confront an intruder in your home and there has been confusion about what is permitted under the law when people are acting in self-defence to protect themselves and their family from harm. Although not written in statute, the...

Frettens Family Team Recognition and Expansion

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Frettens Solicitors are delighted to announce the latest recruit to their Family Team: Heidi Cardoza is a Solicitor specialising in divorce and family law. Heidi has significant experience in all aspects of family law built during her career at local law...

Review backs grandparents rights to see grandchildren after divorce

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A recent government review on family justice led by David Norgrove, has recommended that grandparents should be included in agreements on their grandchildrens’ future. At the present time grandparents have no legal right of access to their...

Plans for reform of cohabitees property rights put on hold

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Proposals put forward by the Law Commission for a change in the law on rights for separating cohabitees, have been postponed by the government. The Law Commission was asked by Government in 2005 to examine the current law that applies to cohabitants when...

Cohabitees and the Inheritance Act

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More and more couples choose to live together without getting married or registering a civil partnership. If you’ve lived with your partner for several years, bought a house together, maybe had a family, you may think that if the relationship breaks...

Landmark divorce case for disabled amputee

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Kevin Mansfield was a student when he lost his leg and suffered serious spinal injuries in a road traffic accident in 1992. He was awarded £500,000 compensation for his injuries, which may see him confined to a wheelchair in later life. He met and...

Are divorce courts unpredictable on pre-acquired assets?

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There has been some guidance this year from Judges sitting in the Family Courts on the distribution of pre marriage assets between divorcing couples. The Court must consider what assets each party brought to the marriage – property, wealth or business...

Is mediation an effective option in resolving disputes?

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There are many advantages of using mediation rather than going to court. It is an increasingly used method of resolving disputes between two or more parties and can be used in many areas of law. It is an effective tool in commercial and workplace disputes...

Family Justice Review

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The Panel for the Family Justice Review, appointed by the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education and the Welsh Assembly Government has asked for a ‘Call for Evidence’. This is to enable anyone with an interest in the family justice...

Family Mediator at Frettens Solicitors

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Julie-Ann Harris, Head of the Family Team at Frettens Solicitors in Christchurch, has successfully completed the Resolution Mediation training course and is now qualified to mediate on all issues surrounding divorce and separation, including finances and...

Financial planning when a relationship ends

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When a marriage or civil partnership ends, along with any other assets, it is crucial to consider any pensions that may be in place. The value of these could make a great difference to your financial settlement. If you are not married or in a civil...

What happens to property and children when an unmarried couple separate?

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The number of co-habiting couples has increased in the last decade to fifty per cent. When cohabiting couples separate they are faced with the same painful decisions that a married couple face, and often mistakenly believe that having lived together for a...

Arrangements for the children when you are getting divorced

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It is a very emotional time for children when a marriage ends. There are several ways you can help make divorce or separation less painful for your children. It is important to talk to your children and although they do not need to know all the details of...

Why should unmarried couples make a cohabitation agreement?

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Making a cohabitation agreement can help unmarried couples to specify guidelines for their relationship, especially in terms of property rights and financial security in the event of a break up. All personal situations are different and it follows that no...

The Divorce Process

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To obtain a divorce in England you must have been married for one year, and your marriage recognised as valid in UK law. A divorce petition is a legal document to be filed with the court by the person seeking a divorce, known as the ‘petitioner’....

Did you know that Frettens offer a Fixed Fee Divorce?

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Frettens Solicitors pride themselves on offering high quality low cost legal services. An example of this is our Fixed Fee Divorce package. The Fixed Fee Divorce package includes all the necessary steps from instructing us as your...

Pre-nuptial agreements - Radmacher and Granatino

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A Supreme Court ruling this week has prompted national press speculation on the future of pre-nuptial agreements.    Dawn Chisholm, a Family Lawyer from Frettens Solicitors, explains the implications. “In English law, it has always been...

Legal obligations for civil partnerships

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A civil partnership is a legal relationship exclusively for same sex couples and is intended to give the same legal rights as those of a heterosexual married couple. It is a legal requirement for both people to give notice in person in advance of a civil...

Beer and Spice

Lee Young
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Beer and Spice and all things nice 16th September 2010 Aimed at estate agents, financial advisers and accountants in the New Forest, we have organised an Indian buffet at Bombay Nights in New Milton on 16th September. We will introduce our key...

Pre-Nuptial Agreements to become law?

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The Law Commission is drawing up a consultation paper outlining new plans for pre-nuptial agreements to become legally binding. The report will contain options for pre and post-marriage contracts that will be recognised by divorce courts. Currently,...

A Woman's Right to Change her Name

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If a separated woman wishes to change her surname it is not necessary to wait for the decree absolute. She has the right to change her name at any time and this is quickly and simply done by Deed Poll. This will not affect any divorce proceedings that have...

Divorce for Directors - What are the Implications?

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Divorce is never a simple process. Financial negotiations can be time-consuming and difficult, particularly if business interests form part of a couple’s wealth. Certain problems are particularly relevant to company directors,...

Unmarried Couples - "Just Good Friends" in the Eyes of the Law?

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Do unmarried couples have legal rights? Many unmarried couples who have jointly contributed to the finances and responsibilities of running a home and bringing up children, expect that if the relationship ends, they will have similar rights to married...