Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Keeping it Under Wraps

A report in the Times newspaper earlier this week predicted the possible rise in private Arbitration to deal with financial settlements  in divorce cases involving wealthy couples. This is a process whereby couples opt to employ a private Arbitrator to hear their case and agree to be bound by the Arbitrator’s decision rather than go to court

The process, which has been described as ‘effectively privatising divorce’, is becoming more attractive to wealthy couples who want to avoid the possible scrutiny of their financial affairs by the media in court. As the court cracks down on husbands who are unwilling to give financial disclosure, such as the recently imprisoned Scot Young, it is predicted that arbitration may also become more attractive to those who are reluctant to reveal their substantial assets in detail.

Regardless of whether some may have questionable motives for choosing Arbitration, it has much to recommend it as do other forms of resolving financial disputes outside the court   such as mediation. If, as seems likely, the courts become increasingly congested as a result of the cuts in legal aid and the rise in the numbers representing themselves, both Arbitration and mediation may well also become more appealing to couples of more modest means.

We are a team of specialist family law solicitors in Manchester []. Our team includes Liz Cowell who is a qualified Arbitrator. For more divorce advice [] please read our family law blog [] or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Common Law Wife Gets Nothing After 30 Year Relationship

The plight of Pamela Curran has been widely reported in the press today. She and her former partner, Brian Collins, were childhood sweethearts and lived together for more than thirty years. The never married.  During their relationship a house and a business were bought in Mr Collins' sole name. When the relationship ended in 2010, Ms Curran tried to make a claim against what had been her home and her livelihood, but her claim was refused. She was left with nothing.

Ms Curran has now been granted leave to appeal this decision. Lord Justice Toulson said that Ms Curran was a victim of the unfair and old fashioned property laws that are biased against women of her age and position. Her situation also highlights the significant difference between those who are married and those who are not in terms of the financial claims they can make if their relationship ends. If she had been married she would probably have received  half the assets, even if they were in her husband's sole name, by way of a financial settlement when they divorced.

The Law Commission Report in 2007 recommended that property law be reformed as it is unfair to those in Ms Curran's position. However, in 2011 the Government said that it had no plans to change the law. Given that more people are choosing to cohabit and less people are choosing to marry there is a strong argument that the law should be brought up to date to reflect our changing society and to protect cohabitees.

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

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Japan to get tough on Child Abduction?

It may soon become easier for a parent whose child is abducted to Japan to secure their return.

Currently, if a child is taken to Japan by one parent, without the agreement of the other parent, the Japanese courts will not automatically order the child's return to the country which is their home. The Japanese parliament (the Diet), it is reported, will be considering a law which would dramatically change the country's position on child abduction.

A bill is to go before the Diet under which Japan would ratify The Hague Convention. This would mean that the Japanese courts must (subject to certain exceptions) order the return of a child, abducted to Japan , to the country of their habitual residence. The court of that country can then determine arrangements for that child, including where they should live.

Japan is currently the only G7 country not to have signed up to the Hague Convention on child abduction. This has made it very difficult for parents left behind to even have contact with their child if they have been taken to Japan.

As the world becomes smaller the numbers of international relationships is growing. As a result child abduction is becoming an increasing problem. We have experienced a significant increase in the number of cases which we are handling in this area.

It is important to take expert family law advice very quickly if you believe your child may be abducted from the UK or has been abducted to the UK. Similarly if you planning to travel or move with your child here or away from the UK you should take urgent advice as their are potential criminal sanctions.

The Pannone family department have a specialist team of child abduction lawyers who can provided advice on all these areas. Contact details can be found by clicking here.

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

Vicki McLynn, Partner

Monday, 7 January 2013

‘How to Divorce’

Google trends over the past 10 years show that increasingly individuals who are thinking of divorce or separation want to find out more about the process before taking action. The trend has continued to accelerate despite the divorce rate starting to drop. Individuals want to know more about the steps to divorce and achieving divorce settlements/financial settlements on divorce and greater certainty over the cost.

Pannone can offer a range of fixed priced divorce services tailored to your circumstances and budget and give you price certainty. Click to start our divorce calculator to find the right service for your needs or click “Build your own” divorce if you know what service you need.

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

Contact: Beverley Darwent, Partner

Thursday, 3 January 2013

42% of Marriages End in Divorce

The Office for National Statistics has released annual statistics on divorces that took place in England and Wales in 2011.
Based on marriage, divorce and mortality statistics for 2010, it is estimated that the percentage of marriages ending in divorce is now 42%, compared with 45% in 2005. It is reported that the number of divorces in England and Wales in 2011 was 117,558, a decrease of 1.7% since 2010.

Despite rises in previous years, the report shows that there is a general decline in the number of people getting divorced. However, it has also been reported that the number of men and women who choose to cohabit has risen in all age groups. The fall in divorce rates could therefore linked to the decline in marriage.

My colleague, Vicki McLynn discusses these statistics in a recent article in The Guardian newspaper.

If you are considering divorce or separation from your partner, it is important to seek some objective, expert support from specialist family solicitors who can help you and your family.

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.