Divorce and Family Law in the UK (myths & truth)

When it comes to divorce and separation it seems that everyone is ‘well informed’ about what their rights are in this area and the rights of all other parties involved.

There are always friends, family members, a neighbor or colleague that comes with helpful advice, whether it be about how much money you are entitled to when you get divorced, which parent gets custody of the children or how much money absent parents are supposed to pay for child maintenance.

The truth is that family law is very complicated and this matter requires legal advice from an expert and professional lawyer. You won’t be able to get satisfactory results without a trained and professional lawyer at your side.

Not all cases of divorce are the same, therefore it is important that a family law expert should be called in to evaluate the specific circumstance of your current situation, give practical legal advice and come up with the best approach for your case.

Common Law

The phrase common law is what many people refer to when they are talking about unmarried couples. This misconception is that if two people are living together for a certain period of time, they are common law husband and wife and therefore have claims on each other’s possessions. I can guarantee you this is not the case.

Only when you are legally married to your partner or you enter a civil partnership with the same sex, then the union has legal implications automatically.

There is one exception to this rule. If you and your partner are living together you can draw up an agreement stating what each of you have in your possession and then arrange how things will be divided between the two of you if you should go your separate ways. This is extremely important and there are many couples that find that it is best to deal with these issues up front in their relationship. This agreement can include aspects like who are the owner of which items, financial claims and parental responsibilities if there are children involved.

Who gets custody?

In legal terms custody or access to children does no longer exist. The court is no longer allowed to grant custody to one or the other parent. So if any one recommends that a parent (mainly the father) will not get custody of the children should he get a divorce does not have their facts straight.

The court only has the power to determine certain decisions that will affect the children, for instance, with which parent will the children live, how often the absent parent gets to spend time with the children and so forth.

The court only gets to make these decisions if couples cannot come to an agreement between themselves. To determine where the children should stay the court grants a residence order. In very rare cases the court will make an order in the favor of all parties involved and allow the children to spend equal time with both parents.

The court also has what we call a contact order. This determines visits, phone calls, weekends and holiday visitation for the absent parent. This can be arranged by a family attorney, but couples should be encouraged to agree on these issues on their own between themselves as these orders may be incredibly hard to enforce.

Maintenance myth

Since the Child Support Agency (CSA) was introduced in the early 1990s, it has become a legal fact that the courts have no power to deal with maintenance for children. The court is only entitled to make maintenance orders in very rare cases for children. This include special cases where both parents apply to the court for an order by consent, in cases where the child are disabled and it involves care cost and cases where children receives full time education and it involves cost like school fees.

So if you are in a situation where you are being threatened about going to court for maintenance, you can rest assure this is only cheap talk. You can then recommend that the treating party seek the advice of professional, experienced family law solicitors.

It is the duty of the CSA to deal with the payments in order to help support the children. The CSA will assess your case based on the information given by the parent and will follow up in the case of a default.

Attorneys may also advice you in such circumstances and gives advice on whether you should apply for maintenance to the court, or leave the situation to the CSA. You should seek this expert advice in the early stages of divorce, so that you will be able to make the right choices for your children.

Fathers’ Rights

There is one other common myth which states that a father has rights to their children. It’s true that married and unmarried fathers of all children that were born after the 1 December 2003, have rights to their children provided that their details are on the children’s birth certificates.

But other fathers, including step-parents are not automatically entitled to rights. Any of our clients, whether a step-parent or unmarried father has the right to apply for parental responsibility. This will allow these fathers to make certain legal decisions on their own, without having to get any consent of the other parent/partner, for example in cases of a medical emergency.

These myths listed in this article are just a few of the most common myths that we hear about, of course there are many more out there that holds no resemblance when it comes to the current family law.

Some of these myths may have been true at one time, but a long time ago. Other myths were never true to begin with. The reality is that some of these facts that are highlighted within this article may not even be true next year. The law keeps on changing. This is why it is very important to seek advice from a family law specialist. This is the only way to ensure that you are getting the best advice for your specific case.

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Dealing with legal matters

For the majority of people, dealing with legal matters, is an activity which they prefer to avoid. With so much at stake, the experience can become extremely stressful.

However, at some time in our lives, most of us will need to have contact with a solicitor. Whether it is for a simple matter such as selling or buying property, or perhaps making a will, or for a more involved matter such as a divorce or a matter regarding dismissal from employment that needs to be appealed, a solicitor is often needed. No matter what your legal problem or situation may be, it is essential you seek out legal advice from a qualified expert, preferably one working in your region of the country. If you live in the North East area and are having a legal problem, your first step to gaining a resolution that is satisfactory is to find the appropriate solicitor in the North East to help you with your problem.

Let us first take a look at family law. Within the scope of this, with this detailed field of law, you will find law that covers child custody, marriage, separation, divorce, paternity disputes, and child support. Due to the family bonds that are involved with this kind of litigation, it can be extremely painful and there is often a great deal of belligerence. The advice that can be provided by an unbiased professional is essential when dealing with these situations. When family matters are involved, it is extremely easy to lose your temper and not think straight.

Legal aid is usually available for these types of legal issues. When aid is not available, it may be possible to pursue other options and you will want to locate a solicitor who is accredited through SRA in family law. Homelessness, housing issues, and domestic violence also fall in this category of family law. Because these issues are of a very serious nature, they need to be quickly and expertly resolved.

Trusts and wills are a particular section of family law that often leads to contention. By having the legal advice from an expert, you will not only be assured that the legal issues are dealt with properly, but also that all parties involved remain on good terms and are satisfied. When large sums of money are involved often heated arguments will occur. By finding the correct family solicitor to deal with these disputes in the North East, you will be able to achieve a solution that is amicable and maintain good relationships, as opposed to a dispute that may run for years or even cause a lifelong feud.

Dying intestate can be a difficult situation for your family, which is why any responsible adult should take the time for the essential task of making a will. There are many who prefer to create their own wills, however, wills that have been prepared improperly are not enforceable. For your own inner peace, and the comfort of your heirs, it is extremely important that you have a will that has been properly drafted. A solicitor will also be able to give you advice regarding questions you may have about inheritance tax.

Reasons to use local North East Solicitors

  • Visiting a local North East solicitors for any concerns or questions is convenient because they are locally available. Whether you pass through their office location every day or not, they will be easier to contact in person than through other methods of communication.
  • The convenience of meeting your local solicitor easily can be beneficial. You can meet them in between breaks or on your way to work instead of taking a day off to meet them.
  • An in-person interaction with your solicitor is very important, choosing a large firm of solicitors like those on TV commercials are rarely available in person. Meeting the solicitor who is representing you can provide an extra level of comfort and trust.
  • Choosing a local solicitors in the North East can give you an advantage in terms of your chances of success. Local solicitors know the area, the people, judges, other solicitors and parties involved.
  • Whether you’ve been assaulted, or slipped on a road, or even been involved in a road traffic accident. A local solicitor brings the knowledge of the area, such as buildings, roads and others. This can improve your chances of being successful with your case.
  • Understanding and knowing the reputation of your chosen solicitor provides important information regarding what types of cases they take and their success rate. All of which can be found on public sources like the local newspaper or their website.
  • Whether you need advice or representation, a local North East solicitors can provide valuable insight on your concerns. If you’re buying a house or perhaps need local licensing, a local solicitor with knowledge of the area can provide information that a non-local solicitor could not provide.
  • Clients value good service, as a result, solicitors ensure that any information or reassurance the client’s need will be given. There is no better way to provide good service than in-person.
  • There are usually many different solicitors to choose from, finding a solicitor whose speciality is related to your case is crucial. You don’t want a solicitor who specializes in family law to help you with the buying/selling of your home.

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