Thursday, 21 February 2013

Birmingham – Divorce hot spot

Birmingham, famously the subject of disparaging comments by Jane Austen’s character in ‘Pride and Prejudice’, now has a further claim to fame.

Recently published Ministry of Justice figures show Birmingham as top of the list of courts where the most petitions for divorce were applied for in the twelve months up to September 2012.

The Ministry of Justice’s intention in publishing the figures on their website is to highlight the government’s plans to change the law so that any couple seeking a court order regarding contact with a child or finances must first attend a mediation assessment meeting. This would explain how mediation works and explore whether is it suitable for them.

The Family Justice Minister is also quoted, emphasising the government’s intention to promote mediation as quicker and cheaper than the court process.

All good family lawyers will encourage clients to try to resolve their disputes by agreement by means of mediation, negotiation ,or the collaborative process. Unfortunately, it ‘takes two to tango’ as they say and this approach will not therefore not work for everyone.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more divorce advice  please read our family law blog  or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Marital bond unravels

It has been reported this week that Bond girl Gemma Atherton's marriage has sadly broken down. It is understood that her marriage lasted just three years.

Short marriages are not uncommon. Here at Pannone we often meet unhappy spouses who realise that their relationship is not what they hoped it would be when they walked down the aisle a year or two before.
The division of assets and sharing of income following a short marriage can involve considerations that would not ordinarily come into play after a long marriage. After a long marriage, the starting point of the court is an equal division of the assets and the contributions that each spouse made throughout the marriage, for example, as homemaker or breadwinner are largely ignored. However, following short marriages respective contributions are likely to receive more scrutiny from a judge when determining what a fair division of the assets would be.

The court’s approach to the division of assets on divorce is discretionary and there is no fixed formula setting out what each party should receive. It is important therefore to seek divorce advice from a specialist Family Law solicitor as the earliest opportunity, regardless of the value of your assets.

For more divorce advice follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Domestic abuse - you are not alone

Domestic abuse is something that unfortunately continues to rear its ugly head in our society.

Research carried out by the Office for National Statistics calculates that two million people suffered domestic abuse at the hands of either partners or relatives in 2012. This equates to approximately 1.2 million women and 800,000 men being the victims of physical, emotional and sexual attacks, usually within the supposed safety of their own home. Whilst these statistics have not risen significantly from previous years, the scale of the recently published figures is alarming nonetheless.

Organisations such as Refuge, commenting on the recent figures, recognise that such abuse can include psychological, sexual or emotional abuse. It also includes threats to carry out such abuse.

Should an immediate issue arise causing a threat to health, safety or well-being, it is important to remember that the police are there to assist, often with a specialist domestic incidents unit, who can offer practical advice and support. However, police intervention may not offer an appropriate, longer term solution and assistance from the court may be required. Here at Pannone we understand the sensitivity of dealing with such issues and as leaders in the field we are well placed to provide expert legal advice.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester. For more advice about domestic abuse please read our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.