Blog - News

Mediation – Here we go again

The Today programme Monday 21 October 2013 and yet another discussion based on the premise that if you have a dispute about children and you don’t go to mediation you have to go to court. It’s the old chestnut: mediation good (civilised, responsible, cheap, keeps you out of the clutches of the greedy lawyers); going
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Divorce Statistics

Divorce Statistics in England and Wales – 2011.  This is most the recent bulletin from the Office for National Statistics – it’s not hot off the press – it was published in December 2012 – but it makes for interesting browsing.

Court Fees

New court fees are being introduced on 1 July.  We never get much notice. At present you pay £340 to start divorce proceedings and £45 when you apply for decree absolute at the end of the process – a total of £385. The new fee is £410, all of which is payable at the outset.
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Legal costs orders

Since 1 April 2013 the court has been able to order a spouse to make a payment towards the other spouse’s legal costs when they are litigating the financial arrangements of their divorce.  This was possible before, as part of a temporary maintenance order, but now a ‘legal costs order’ is a type of order
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The Government wants to amend the definition of marriage so that it no longer means the union of a man and a woman.  That may or may not be a good idea, but I can’t help thinking that a more urgent priority would have been to extend some sort of financial protection to cohabitants when
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Second marriages more likely to survive?

According to a report by the Marriage Foundation, second marriages are less likely than first marriages to end in divorce. See what you think of the evidence.

Getting Legal Aid

Last Monday, after posting about the new definition of domestic violence and how broad it is, I bumped into an experience family law solicitor who told me that in practice it is becoming very difficult to get Legal Aid regardless of the broadness of the new definition. I’d be interested to hear from anyone else
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Legal Aid changes

As from 1 April 2013, Legal Aid is no longer available for divorce cases or ‘private’ cases involving children (residence, contact, etc.). If you can prove that you are the victim of domestic violence (and that looks quite easy under the new rules), it is still possible to get Legal Aid – not just for
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Giving evidence in court

On Friday I sat behind counsel at the final hearing of a financial application within divorce proceedings.  Very few such cases end in a contested court hearing – almost all cases settle by consent – see this post from January this year – and it was several years since I had attended such a hearing. I was
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‘litigant in person’ reprieved

From 1 April 2013, when Legal Aid for family cases is effectively withdrawn, there are likely to be more and more people representing themselves at court hearings.  Traditionally such people are known as ‘litigants in person’.  Recently we were encouraged to start calling them ‘self-represented persons’.  Now we are told that the expression ‘litigant in
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