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News: 2010 vs 2016 – How families and households are changing in the UK?

familes and household thumb

A recent survey by the Office for National Statistics has highlighted ways in which UK ‘family types’ are changing, in particular that the number of unmarried, cohabiting couples is continuing to rise. The survey encompassed 18.9 million families, and a number of the statistics are detailed in this handy infographic from Goodwins Family Law Solicitors.   All Families The total number of families has increased to 18.9 million from 18.1 million in 2010, an increase of over 800,000. ‘Family’, in this instance, is defined by Webster’s Law Dictionary as “a group of individuals who share ties of blood, marriage or adoption;…

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News: Divorce Rates at Their Lowest Due to Rise in Cohabitation Before Marriage

iStock XSmall

Studies have suggested that younger couples who get married are more likely to stay together, due to the increase in couples living together before marriage. In years gone by, it was sometimes referred to as ‘living in sin’, but in modern times, sharing a home before getting married has helped to strengthen unions and help couples last past the infamous ‘seven year itch’.   The Office for National Statistics released figures that show 130,473 couples divorced across the UK in 2013, which is a 3% decline from the previous year. Overall, the divorce rate fell to 9.8 per 1,000 married men…

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News: The Data of Divorce – Latest Divorce Statistics for England & Wales 2015

infographic preview

Divorce statistics change year on year, with fluctuations occurring in varying degrees of severity. We’ve created this infographic to help give you a clearer understanding of the trends in divorce, as well as comparing them to the previous 10 years’ statistics. The most recent statistics, released in December 2015, account for divorces in 2013 only. View full sized infographic   What is a divorce rate? The divorce rate is the way of measuring the amount of divorces in a country. It is the amount of divorces per 1,000 of the population. What is the divorce rate in England? The divorce rate in…

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News: Theresa May Announces Sharia Law Review – July 2016


The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced that there will be a review of Sharia Law and the ways in which it is applied in England and Wales. The review is planned as part of the counter-extremism strategy, and it will be overseen by a panel appointed by the Home Office. The Home Office has said there is evidence that some Sharia councils are working “in a discriminatory and unacceptable way, attempting to legitimise forced marriage and/or issuing divorces that are unfair to women”. The panel that is overseeing the review will be chaired by Professor Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic…

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Budget 2015: How do the new Inheritance Tax Laws Affect You?

Budget 2015: How do the new Inheritance Tax Laws Affect You?

In July 2015, Chancellor George Osborne brought about an emergency Budget that concerned the Inheritance Tax threshold that was previously in place for UK citizens. This article will look into what changes have been made and how they might affect you. Changes to the Budget The current threshold is £325,000 per person and has been frozen at this amount since 2009. For married couples and couples in a civil partnership, this £325,000 threshold is doubled, so they can pass on assets to children or other relatives for a value of up to £650,000 without incurring any inheritancetax. In this Emergency Budget, George…

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News: Calls for ‘No Blame’ Changes in Divorce and Separation Cases

Goodwins Family Law

Divorces that are mutually agreed upon should not require a court visit from the involved couple, according to Sir James Munby, the UK’s most senior family judge. Sir Munby also called for unmarried couples to have the same rights as married couples when it comes to separating. Currently, if a relationship between two cohabitants ends, there is no service from the court that redistributes the matrimonial assets between the two individuals as there is when a married couple files for divorce. “This is an injustice that has been recognised as long as I have been in the law. Reform is desperately…

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News: Changes to the Children’s and Families Act – April 2014

ChangestotheChildren’sandFamiliesAct April

In 2011, the Family Justice Review analysed the family justice system and made several recommendations to areas that needed reform. Single Family Court One such area that was subject to reform was The Family Court. The Family Court has jurisdiction over all family proceedings, as set out in section 31a of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Until the reforms, family legal proceedings were heard by both magistrates’ courts and also county courts, under separate jurisdictions. The changes have now removed the separate jurisdiction, creating a single family court that allocates cases to judges with appropriate levels of seniority. The…

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Guide to Leave to Remove Applications

international divorce guide child

A Leave to Remove application is where a parent or main carer of a child or children asks for the court’s permission to leave the area of this jurisdiction i.e. England and Wales with the children to live abroad on a permanent basis. In the event that the parents are unable to agree whether the relocation of the children should take place, a Leave to Remove decision will be made by the court. This guide to Leave to Remove applications will cover proceedings from both perspectives. First, let’s look at the basic principles included with a Leave to Remove application –…

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Financial claims after a long period of separation

Goodwins Family Law

A recent Supreme Court decision has emphasised that unlike practically every other area of law, that there is no statute of limitations principle applying to financial claims after a divorce.  In other words, unless a Court has formally dismissed a spouse’s financial claims then their ability to make a later financial claim against their former spouse remain outstanding indefinitely.   This case of Wyatt has been well publicised in the newspapers, where a former ‘new age’ couple living an alternative lifestyle and with no income or assets separated and divorced but did not take steps to dismiss their financial claims.  Many…

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Challenges to Legal Aid in Domestic Abuse Cases

Domestic abuse

In September of this year, the High Court made a decision to allow a challenge to the rules on legal aid for domestic abuse victims. The original government ruling, passed in April 2013, required domestic violence victims to provide a prescribed form of evidence if they were to receive legal aid. The changes were made by the government in alignment with the cuts to England and Wales’ annual legal aid bill, which aimed to reduce the bill by £350m from £2bn a year. The campaign group Rights of Women feel that the cuts prevent domestic abuse victims from getting the proper…

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