Can couples hide assets from each other during divorce?

Can couples hide assets from each other during divorce?

Couples are not allowed to hide their assets from each other during divorce and have a duty to disclose all relevant financial information to each other during the course of proceedings. Recent case law in this area has altered things but not to the extent that full disclosure is not required. The Hildebrand rules The ‘Hildebrand rules’ refers to a case between Mr and Mrs Hildebrand who, upon divorce and subsequent ancillary relief proceedings, Mrs…

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Can I take my child to live abroad without my ex’s permission?

Can I take my child to live abroad without my ex’s permission?

If a parent wishes to take a child permanently abroad, the permission of the other parent or the court must be sought. If you are considering relocating with your child to another country, you should consult a specialist solicitor for advice before doing so. If you require further help on a matter of family law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you. Applying for leave…

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Divorce and dissolution FAQs

Divorce and dissolution FAQs

What are the grounds for divorce? There is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales: irretrievable breakdown of marriage. To prove irretrievable breakdown of marriage, one party must demonstrate one or more of the following ‘facts’: the other spouse has committed adultery; the behaviour of the other spouse has been unreasonable; a spouse has deserted the other for a period of two years; the spouses have been separated with consent for two years;…

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Do I need a separation agreement?

Do I need a separation agreement?

As an alternative to divorce or, perhaps more accurately, a precursor to divorce, your solicitor may suggest you draw up a separation agreement. It may be that you are not ready to divorce, but want to separate and need to make arrangements for your children and financial affairs. In that situation, a separation agreement may be an appropriate way forward. Such an agreement does not have the finality of a consent order — which can…

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Do I need a solicitor when I get married?

Do I need a solicitor when I get married?

Beyond the basic question of whether you and your partner are ready to get hitched, there are several legal issues to consider, and the advice of a solicitor could be invaluable. Without further ado, here are a few reasons why you may need a solicitor before getting hitched: To draft a prenuptial agreement A prenuptial agreement may be useful where one or both partners bring considerable assets to the marriage / civil partnership. In effect,…

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Five things you can do to help your divorce case

Five things you can do to help your divorce case

The process of divorce can naturally provide a lot of stress, heartache and expense. Whilst the individuals involved have clearly decided they can no longer be married, staying amicable during the divorce process can save both parties a huge amount of money and reduce the emotional strain of having to fight things out at court. Here are five quick tips to help improve the process: Get legal advice at an early stage: if both parties…

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Four ways I can help protect my children online?

Four ways I can help protect my children online?

Cyber-bullying and harassment; inadvertent exposure to hardcore pornography or violence; interaction with paedophiles on social networking sites: the internet may seem like a scary place to many parents. Rather than shy away from the brave new world of technology, however, there are a number of things you can do to protect your children online. In this article, we outline a few simple steps you can take to ensure your kids remain safe on the net….

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Getting hitched FAQs

Getting hitched FAQs

Who can marry in the UK? In the UK, men and women may marry if they are over 16 and not married or in a civil partnership with someone else. Individuals aged 16 or 17 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, however, can only marry if they obtain their parents’ consent. Interesting fact: until as recently as 1929, girls as young as 12 and boys as young as 14 could legally marry in Scotland. Moreover,…

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How are my benefits affected by cohabitation?

How are my benefits affected by cohabitation?

If you are living together as a couple, you can claim any ‘non-contributory’ benefits whether or not you are married or are civil partners. These include benefits that are now part of the tax credit system, such as child benefit and working tax credit. However, you will only be able to claim ‘contributory’ benefits, such as the state pension and widow’s or widower’s benefit, if you are married or civil partners. For more about benefits,…

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How are my taxes affected by cohabiting?

How are my taxes affected by cohabiting?

There are no tax concessions for unmarried couples. Inheritance tax is the main area that can cause difficulty and hardship. There is now almost no difference between married and unmarried couples where income tax is concerned. The married couple’s allowance ended in 2000, except where one or both people are over 65. If your estate is worth more than a certain amount when you die (called the ‘threshold’), then the estate is liable to inheritance…

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How can I apply to end a care order?

How can I apply to end a care order?

You can ask the court to discharge (end) a care order, but it is not likely to agree unless there has been a real change in circumstances since the order was made. You may be able to get public funding (legal aid) to pay your solicitor’s costs for helping you with this but you will not automatically get it. You will have to make a good case and you may also be asked to pay…

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How can I get a copy of my original birth or adoption record?

How can I get a copy of my original birth or adoption record?

Find your original birth or adoption record If you were adopted, at 18 you can apply for a certificate of your original birth registration form. Your birth relatives also have the right to apply for permission to contact you. Here’s some information about how to research your biological family. Finding your original birth details If you were adopted through a court in England or Wales and are aged 18 years or over, you can apply…

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How can I protect my assets during a divorce?

How can I protect my assets during a divorce?

One of the most complex and important tasks during a divorce is the financial settlement. Therefore, it is important to contact a solicitor to provide you with comprehensive advice on all aspects of financial matters arising out of a divorce. You may also wish to consider approaching a solicitor to discuss the possibility of reaching a collaborative prenuptial agreement with your partner prior to marriage/civil partnership in order to minimise litigation in the event of…

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How can mediation help to solve problems when a relationship ends?

How can mediation help to solve problems when a relationship ends?

Family mediation is a way of solving disagreements without involving the courts if your relationship has gone wrong. Find out how mediation works, how it can help you and where to find mediation services. How mediation can help you In many cases, mediation is a better way of sorting out family disputes than going to court. The court will expect you to have attended a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting if you’re divorcing or ending…

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How do I change my birth record following a gender change?

How do I change my birth record following a gender change?

If you have been issued a Gender Recognition Certificate, you may wish to get a new birth certificate showing your new gender and personal details. You can do this if your birth was registered in the UK. Applying for a Gender Recognition Certificate To apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate, visit the Gender Recognition Panel website, which contains details of how and when you can apply, and application forms. What happens next? Once you have…

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How do I change my child’s details on their birth record?

How do I change my child’s details on their birth record?

Changing a childs details on a birth record Although each birth registration is an historic record of the facts at the time of the birth, it may be possible to change the details or add to the information originally recorded under some circumstances. Correcting an error If errors are discovered in the birth registration, you can change or add details. You should contact the register office where the birth was registered to do this. Applications…

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How do I change my name if I am widowed?

How do I change my name if I am widowed?

A widowed woman can revert to her maiden name upon her husband’s death without any formality. The husband’s death certificate and her marriage certificate are the only documentary evidence of her change of circumstances that she will need to produce. Disclaimer: If you cannot find what you are looking for on Findlaw.co.uk please let us know by contacting us at: findlaw.portalmanager@thomsonreuters.com. Furthermore, please be aware that while we attempt to ensure all our information is…

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How do I change my name if I enter into a civil partnership?

How do I change my name if I enter into a civil partnership?

If you enter into a civil partnership you have four options: you and your partner can continue using your own names; one of you can change your name to the other’s; you can form a double-barrelled name; or you can choose a new surname that you both use. If you or your partner want to change your name, you should tell the registrar at the office where your civil partnership will be registered well before…

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How do I change or add parents’ details to a birth record?

How do I change or add parents’ details to a birth record?

Changing or adding a parents details to a birth record Your childs birth needs to be re-registered if you wish to add the natural fathers details or if the parents have married each other since the birth. Adding the natural fathers details If the parents are unmarried and would like the natural fathers details added to the birth record, they need to re-register the birth so that a new birth record can be created to…

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How do I end a civil partnership?

How do I end a civil partnership?

You may be able to make your own arrangements when you end a relationship. Or you may need help to formally end it and split things between you. Find out when you may be able to manage things yourselves and when you may find help from solicitors and mediators useful. How to get help and legal advice if you are splitting up The best support and advice you can get when youre ending your relationship…

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How do I make a living-together agreement?

How do I make a living-together agreement?

What is the legal significance of a living-together agreement for unmarried couples? In England and Wales, when married couples divorce or civil partnerships dissolve, both parties can assert their legal right to maintenance and their share of assets including property and inherited property. According to research by Co-op, approximately one-in-four people who live together think they have the same legal protection afforded to them as married couples. However, English law does not recognise the status…

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How do I obtain my family records?

How do I obtain my family records?

If you are trying to piece together your family history then birth, marriage and death certificates can be crucial. The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) oversees the registration of births, marriage, civil partnerships, deaths, adoptions and stillbirths and holds a wide range of records that may help you to trace your family tree, starting from 1837. Alternatively, you may just need to obtain an official replacement certificate, which you can also order…

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How do I order a birth, marriage or death certificate?

How do I order a birth, marriage or death certificate?

Order birth, marriage and death certificates You can order certificates for births, marriages and deaths registered in England and Wales since 1837 through the General Register Office (GRO), or the local register office where the event took place. GRO can also supply certificates for some births, deaths and marriages registered overseas. What certificates are available? All certificates are exact copies of the full record made at the time of the birth, marriage or death. The…

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How do I order a civil partnership certificate?

How do I order a civil partnership certificate?

You can order a civil partnership certificate from the General Register Office or the local register office where the partnership was registered. What personal details are on a civil partnership certificate? There are two types of certificate following a civil partnership. One version includes the partners addresses at the time of registration and the other does not. Both types of certificate include: date and place of civil partnership name, date of birth and status of…

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How do I prepare for the final hearing in a care order case?

How do I prepare for the final hearing in a care order case?

Your solicitor will receive copies of all the statements and reports filed during the case and also a copy of the council’s care plan, which sets out its plans for how your child should be cared for in the long term. It is important to read all these papers and talk to your solicitor about them. You should ask your solicitor to explain anything that is not clear. If English is not your first language,…

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How do I prove I have a new name when legally changing my name?

How do I prove I have a new name when legally changing my name?

Once you have decided on a name, you can start using it and telling people about it straight away. Some people and organisations, such as your employer, GP and dentist, will probably accept the change without you needing to provide any evidence of it. Other organisations may ask you for documentary evidence. What they need will vary. Some organisations will accept your passport or driving licence as proof of your change of name, so it…

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How do I register an overseas marriage or civil partnership?

How do I register an overseas marriage or civil partnership?

You cannot register an overseas ceremony at a register office. However, you can apply to have your documents sent from the relevant country and deposited with the General Register Office (GRO). You can then get copies of your marriage or civil partnership record more easily. What you need to do You can create a record of your overseas marriage or civil partnership at any time after the ceremony. You need to get the original documents,…

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How do I register and name my baby?

How do I register and name my baby?

Your baby must be registered in the district where the birth took place within 42 days of the birth in England and Wales. This can often be done at the hospital before the mother goes home, or at your local register office. Legal requirements You must register the birth of your baby within 42 days of the birth in England and Wales. If you can’t go to the district where your baby was born you…

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How do I register my baby if he or she was born abroad?

How do I register my baby if he or she was born abroad?

In most countries babies born as British citizens or babies born to serving members of the British Armed Forces can be registered by the appropriate British authorities. However, you need to request this facility as there is no automatic notification of the birth to UK authorities. Babies born as British citizens abroad You can go to either the British High Commission or the British Consul in most countries to register a birth. Birth certificates are…

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How do same-sex couples become joint parents?

How do same-sex couples become joint parents?

What guidance does the law give to lesbian couples in a civil partnership who want to become joint parents? Before civil partners are recognised as joint parents, the law requires them to satisfy a number of conditions. First, the couple must be in a civil partnership at the time the child is conceived. Registration as civil partners during (or after) birth will not be sufficient. Second, conception must occur through donor insemination or specialist fertility…

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How do we agree on child maintenance after a divorce?

How do we agree on child maintenance after a divorce?

For child maintenance, the parties can agree a deal privately, subject to approval by the court, or one parent can ask the Child Maintenance Service to make a decision. In the latter case, the service will gather information from both parents and then apply a strict formula to work out how much maintenance should be paid. Often this formula is used by parents negotiating a private arrangement. For spousal maintenance, things are less clear cut….

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How does the court make its decision when dealing with care proceedings?

How does the court make its decision when dealing with care proceedings?

The court can make a care or supervision order only if it believes that the ‘threshold criteria’ have been reached. The ‘threshold criteria’ mean that: your child has been seriously harmed or is at risk of being seriously harmed in the future; and this harm is because you have not given your child the care reasonably expected of a parent, or because your child is out of your control. Harm can include a child ‘seeing…

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How is living together different from being married?

How is living together different from being married?

The debate over cohabitation or marriage is one that many couples are considering, and it seems that this discussion is the reality for more and more people, as statistics from 2012 suggest that the number of cohabiting couples has almost doubled in the past 15 years, to 2.9m in 2012 from 1.5m in 1996. Cohabitation has become the default for many young couples, who live together because either they are not yet ready to marry,…

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How much does a divorce cost?

How much does a divorce cost?

In 2006, Norwich Union (now called Aviva) published a study on the Cost of Divorce. The study said the average divorce costs a couple around £39,000 — this figure includes things like the cost of setting up a new home, buying personal items (e.g., a second car), and lost personal savings. As for legal fees, the study estimated that on average each divorcee spends around £1,800.  Divorce cost  Average divorce  cost per person  (£)  Legal fees…

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How should we sort out our possessions we own when splitting up?

How should we sort out our possessions we own when splitting up?

You should try to sort these things out between you – mediation can help. The legal position is broadly as follows: If you paid for something, you own it, unless you gave it to the other person as a gift. If you bought something together and split the cost equally, then you own it jointly and equally. If you bought something out of joint funds so it is not clear who paid for what, you…

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If I split from my partner after cohabiting what happens with our home?

If I split from my partner after cohabiting what happens with our home?

Sorting out your rights in the family home is more difficult than for a married couple. The court has more limited powers to change property interests to achieve a fair result. You have to rely on what you have agreed together and the contributions you have both made to the home. It can often be hard to prove what you have both said and done in the past. The broad principles that will influence the…

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Is it illegal to smack my children?

Is it illegal to smack my children?

Is it illegal to smack my children?

For centuries people in this country have smacked their children as a means of discipline. It has generally been thought, at least in the UK, that so long as the force applied when smacking a child is not excessive, it is a perfectly acceptable parenting technique. However, this view has become more and more outdated, particularly in light of European Union legislation and the Human Rights Act. The legal stance The argument against smacking is…

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Is stem-cell research illegal?

Is stem-cell research illegal?

The UK has shown considerable lead and strength in stem-cell research. Whilst it is not illegal in the UK, it is well regulated and stem-cell research on human embryos is only allowed for some purposes. What is stem cell research? Stem cells are the ‘building blocks’ for every type of cell in the body, capable of developing into almost all other types of cell and tissue. They occur in the very early (five day) embryo…

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Property and debt division FAQs

Property and debt division FAQs

I live in a 3 bedroom house with our 2 children. My husband says we should sell the house and move into something cheaper so he can buy somewhere for himself. Can he force me to sell our home? The court certainly has the power to order the sale of the property. However, it will weigh up many different factors before making such a decision. One factor cutting against a sale would be if your…

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Spousal maintenance FAQs

Spousal maintenance FAQs

My spouse has left me and is refusing to pay me anything to help with paying towards the mortgage and the bills. When can I apply for spousal maintenance and how long will it be before I receive it? After you or your spouse file a divorce petition, you can apply for what is known as ancillary relief and maintenance pending suit (using HM Court Service Form A ). Hopefully filing the application will encourage…

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What adoption documents could I need during the adoption process?

What adoption documents could I need during the adoption process?

You will need the following documents when applying for an adoption order: The court will need: your completed Form A58 (Application for an Adoption Order), and three copies; a certified copy of the full birth certificate for the child or, if the child has previously been adopted, a certified copy of the entry in the Adopted Children Register. You may also have to provide any of the following, depending on your circumstances: if the child…

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What are my parental rights and responsibilities?

What are my parental rights and responsibilities?

What is parental responsibility? ‘Parental responsibility’ includes rights that many people take for granted simply by virtue of being a parent – mainly, the right to make decisions about a child’s upbringing. The law defines parental responsibility as “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property”. What are examples of parental responsibility? Parental responsibility has an impact on…

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What are my rights regarding marriage, cohabitation and civil partnerships?

What are my rights regarding marriage, cohabitation and civil partnerships?

Couples that are married, living together or in a civil partnership have certain rights. Find out what you need to know on the practical and legal issues surrounding getting married, living together and civil partnerships (for same-sex couples). Marriage If you are planning a wedding, you’ll need to provide some documents and personal information beforehand. You need to let your council know in advance of your plans. You must also be aware of laws concerning…

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What are the differences between marriage and cohabitation?

What are the differences between marriage and cohabitation?

This table sets out an overview of some of the main legal differences between living together as a married couple (or in a civil partnership) and living together as cohabitants who are not married or in a civil partnership. It is important to recognise that, particularly in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, cohabiting partners have far fewer rights and obligations than couples who are married or in a civil partnership. In Scotland, cohabitants have some…

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What arrangements should I make if I cohabit and I have children?

What arrangements should I make if I cohabit and I have children?

The court expects you and your partner to be able to agree where the children will live (‘residence’) and how you will arrange to see them (‘contact’). If you can do this between you, there is no need for a court order. You should continue to make major decisions about the children together (the law requires this where both parents have parental responsibility), but you can each act on your own if you need to…

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What arrangements should I make should I die during a divorce?

What arrangements should I make should I die during a divorce?

During a divorce, your property, assets and family circumstances may all be affected. Provisions you have made in an existing will may no longer be consistent with your wishes. If you are going through a divorce, it is important for you to plan for the future by reviewing your will. Why should I change my will? Divorce can sometimes take a long time to go through. To ensure that your assets pass as you want…

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What can I do if I’m not happy with my divorce settlement?

What can I do if I’m not happy with my divorce settlement?

What can I do if I’m not happy with my divorce settlement?

It is becoming increasingly common for divorcees to approach their solicitors to review settlement arrangements that have already been agreed and formalised into a consent order. If you require further help on a matter of family law you can use our solicitor directory to the right of this article to look for legal advice near you.    In what circumstances can a consent order be set aside? In order for a consent order to be rescinded…

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What can the court do about money and property when going through a divorce?

What can the court do about money and property when going through a divorce?

The court has wide and flexible powers to make orders in divorce proceedings. It is only possible to give general information in this leaflet because each family is different. You should certainly take legal advice about your situation. The court can make orders for: maintenance (regular payments) for your partner; maintenance for your children but only in some circumstances – see ‘Supporting your children’); a lump sum for your partner (and for the children, if…

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What do I need to consider when cohabiting?

What do I need to consider when cohabiting?

If you sort out your legal position properly when you start living together, it saves a great deal of difficulty and legal costs if you do eventually split up. It helps to be clear with each other about what you are agreeing to at the start, and what you both think is fair. It can be difficult to talk about this because it may feel as though you don’t trust each other. But if you…

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What do I need to know about “sexting”?

What do I need to know about “sexting”?

Over a third of 11 to 18-year-olds have received a sext message by phone or email, according to charity Beatbullying. Their research indicates sexting is escalating at an alarming rate in tune with rapid developments in digital technology. What is sexting? Sexting occurs when children take indecent digital photos or videos of themselves and send them to others via electronic devices. Common ‘sexts’ include images of children exposing themselves, masturbating, and/or performing other sexual acts, as well…

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What do I need to know about adopting a child from another country?

What do I need to know about adopting a child from another country?

Although there are many children in the UK who are looking for an adoptive family, there are also many children overseas who need homes. You can give them the opportunity to belong to a permanent family, but there are rules and regulations you need to be aware of. The regulations for intercountry adoption Intercountry adoption is allowed in circumstances where: the child cannot be cared for in a safe environment in their own country the…

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What do I need to know about adopting a stepchild?

What do I need to know about adopting a stepchild?

If you live in England or Wales and are planning to adopt your spouse’s or partner’s child, you need to inform your local council. You must do this at least three months before starting your adoption application with the court. If your application is successful, you will get parental responsibility (PR) for the child. Getting parental responsibility without adopting A step-parent can get parental responsibility for their spouse’s or partner’s child if either: both birth…

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What do I need to know about annulment?

What do I need to know about annulment?

In a minority of cases, annulment may be available as an alternative to divorce. An advantage of the process is that it can be applied for in the first year of marriage, whereas a divorce cannot. Annulment may also be a useful alternative for couples who have a religious or moral objection to divorce. Before you can obtain an annulment, however, you must prove that your marriage is either void or voidable . Void Marriage…

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What do I need to know about care orders?

What do I need to know about care orders?

A care order is a court order that places a child under the care of a local authority. The local authority then shares parental responsibility for the child with the parents, and will make most of the important decisions about the child’s upringing, such as where they live and how they are educated. Why care orders are made A court can only make a care order if it is sure that: the child is suffering,…

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What do I need to know about child employment?

What do I need to know about child employment?

Until children reach the Mandatory School Leaving Age (MSLA), they can only work a certain number of hours per week and only do certain jobs. Find out what the law says about child employment. Compulsory school age Children are of compulsory school age up to the last Friday in June in the academic year of their 16th birthday. After this they have reached the MSLA and they can apply for their National Insurance Number and…

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What do I need to know about child maintenance and the Child Support Agency?

What do I need to know about child maintenance and the Child Support Agency?

The Child Support Agency is no longer the Government’s child maintenance service. It was replaced by the Child Maintenance Service on 25 November 2013. The role of the new service is to make sure that parents who live apart from their children contribute towards their children’s upkeep by paying child maintenance. The Child Maintenance Service use a standard process to work out how much child maintenance should be paid in each case, and to manage…

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What do I need to know about child maintenance?

What do I need to know about child maintenance?

What is child maintenance? Parents are legally responsible for meeting the financial cost of raising their children, even if they have separated. This is called ‘child maintenance’, which is also known as ‘child support’. Who is child maintenance for? Child maintenance is intended for children who fall into one of two categories: a) under-16s b) under-20s and in full-time education (but not higher than A-Level or its equivalent). Can child maintenance consist of anything other…

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What do I need to know about child maintenance?

What do I need to know about child maintenance?

Child maintenance means financial support that helps pay for a child’s everyday living costs. The parent who does not have the main day-to-day care of the child (the “non-resident parent”) pays the parent who does (the “resident parent”). Child maintenance should not be confused with spousal maintenance, which is discussed in a separate article. How much do I have to pay and who to? The simple answer is it depends. The law stipulates that a…

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What do I need to know about child welfare during court proceedings?

What do I need to know about child welfare during court proceedings?

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) looks after the welfare of children involved in family court proceedings. Cafcass officers are independent, qualified in social work and experienced in working with children and families. The roles carried out by Cafcass officers are listed below. Children’s Guardian Children’s Guardians represent the rights and interests of a child during cases where social services have become involved (public law proceedings) or in contested adoptions. In…

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What do I need to know about children’s human rights?

What do I need to know about children’s human rights?

The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) applies to all children and young people aged 17 and under. The Convention is separated into 54 ‘articles': most give children social, economic, cultural or civil and political rights; while others set out how governments must publicise or implement the Convention. What is the UNCRC? All children and young people up to the age of 18 years have all the rights in the Convention….

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What do I need to know about cohabiting and living together?

What do I need to know about cohabiting and living together?

This section highlights the law in various areas where your situation differs from that of a married couple. It also tells you what you can do to protect each other and your children, if this is possible. An unmarried mother has ‘parental responsibility’ automatically for her children. Parental responsibility is the legal term that means all the rights and duties of parenthood. The child’s father can only share parental responsibility if: he later marries the…

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What do I need to know about directions hearings in adoption cases?

What do I need to know about directions hearings in adoption cases?

A first directions hearing is an appointment at which the court will consider your application and make decisions (known as ‘directions’) about such matters as: the timetable for filing any reports from an adoption agency, local authority or CAFCASS/Welsh family proceedings officer, and any other evidence; whether there are any mistakes or omissions in your application or supporting documents that need to be corrected; if the child was not placed with you by an adoption…

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What do I need to know about divorce?

What do I need to know about divorce?

Divorce is the legal term given to the formal ending of a marriage. Although it is possible to end a relationship by both informal and formal separation, the latter involving a separation agreement, divorce is the formal and final legal route. Divorce is only available as an option to couples who have been married for at least one year. The marriage must be recognised and registered according to UK law. Divorces can be ‘uncontested’, which…

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What do I need to know about DNA tests and child support?

What do I need to know about DNA tests and child support?

If a parent wants to apply to the Child Support Agency, they must give the name of the other parent. But sometimes it happens that the other person denies being a parent. If this does happen, both people will be asked by the CSA to provide evidence to prove or deny their parentage. If they are unable to do so, the CSA is able to make both people take a DNA test. DNA testing If…

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What do I need to know about family courts?

What do I need to know about family courts?

Family courts are special courts that deal with matters relating to family law. On this page you can find out about the kind of issues family courts deal with, and how the court proceedings work. Contact and residence When parents are separating, divorcing or applying to end a civil partnership, a decision needs to be made on arrangements for the children. If the parents cant agree on arrangements for their children (like where the children…

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What do I need to know about forced marriages and the law?

What do I need to know about forced marriages and the law?

Forced marriages are marriages where one or both parties to the union have not willingly agreed to participate in the marriage. Although seemingly an old concept, forced marriage is still very much a reality for more than 1000 women and hundreds of men in the UK each year. Statistics for 2012 suggest that there were nearly 1500 enquiries to the Government’s Forced Marriage Unit, of which over 80% were from women: 13% involved girls below…

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What do I need to know about getting a divorce?

What do I need to know about getting a divorce?

Getting a divorce starts with a form called a ‘petition for divorce’, otherwise known as Form D8. You will need to fill in three copies; one for you, one for the court and one for your husband or wife. Starting the divorce process Once you have filled in a petition, which you can get from a solicitor, some stationers, or the HM Courts Service website, take it to a divorce county court or to the…

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What do I need to know about getting married or forming a civil partnership?

What do I need to know about getting married or forming a civil partnership?

If you want a religious marriage ceremony, you can get married in England and Wales in an Anglican church or any other religious building registered for marriage. For civil marriages or civil partnerships, you can attend a register office or an approved venue. Religious marriages If you wish to be married in the Church of England or Church in Wales, speak to the vicar of the church in which you wish to marry. There is…

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What do I need to know about grounds for divorce?

What do I need to know about grounds for divorce?

The UK has three legal systems – England/Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland – and each jurisdiction is governed by different laws. The grounds for divorce in England/Wales and Northern Ireland are virtually identical, however, so for the purposes of this overview, we’ve lumped them together. 1. Grounds for divorce in England, Wales and Northern Ireland To end a marriage in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, you must demonstrate that it has broken down irretrievably. You…

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What do I need to know about home schooling?

What do I need to know about home schooling?

Can I home school my child or children? UK law does allow you to home school your child or children. Furthermore, you do not have to follow the National Curriculum if you home school your child or children. However, there are certain procedures you must abide by to home school your child legally. What are the advantages of home schooling? There are a number of advantages to home schooling your child or children. They are:…

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What do I need to know about judicial separation?

What do I need to know about judicial separation?

Judicial separation is sometimes, albeit rarely, relied on as an alternative to divorce. In the main, only those who have a religious or moral objection to divorce seek one. Unlike divorce, you can seek a judicial separation at any time after marriage. You do not have to wait one year. This may be another reason why people pursue it over divorce. Likewise, you might seek a judicial separation if you’re unable to prove your marriage…

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What do I need to know about lesbian and gay couples rights when adopting?

What do I need to know about lesbian and gay couples rights when adopting?

Which laws control the adoption rights of lesbian and gay couples? The Adoption and Children Act 2002 provides that an application to adopt a child in England and Wales can be made either by a single person or a couple. Prior to the Act, there was a requirement that a couple was married. The Act removed this condition, thereby enabling same-sex couples (who cannot get “married”, but can enter into a civil partnership) to apply…

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What do I need to know about marriage, civil partnership and immigration?

What do I need to know about marriage, civil partnership and immigration?

You need to ‘give notice’ and supply some personal information and documents to be married or form a civil partnership. There are also laws concerning immigration and your residency status. Giving notice of marriage or civil partnership It is a legal requirement to give notice in advance of marriage or civil partnership. Your notice is publicly displayed for fifteen days, after which the authority for your marriage or civil partnership can be granted. Each notice…

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What do I need to know about negotiating money and property during a divorce?

What do I need to know about negotiating money and property during a divorce?

Many people going through divorce say deciding how to allocate financial assets, such as property, pensions, and savings, and issues related to child and spousal maintenance is the most stressful part of splitting up. Except for child maintenance, there is no set formula to work out the division of money and property. The objective is simply to stretch joint assets to cover both parties’ needs in a way that is reasonable and fair. Parties can…

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What do I need to know about ordering an adoption certificate?

What do I need to know about ordering an adoption certificate?

You can order adoption certificates registered in England and Wales, and events registered overseas through the General Register Office. What is an adoption certificate? An adoption certificate is a replacement birth certificate inthe adopted person’s new name. It can be used for all legal purposes in place of the original birth certificate.The adoption certificate will also contain legal information relating to the adoption. A full adoption certificate shows date of birth, place and country of…

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What do I need to know about parental responsibilities in same-sex relationships?

What do I need to know about parental responsibilities in same-sex relationships?

What is ‘parental responsibility’? ‘Parental responsibility’ is defined in section 3(1) of the Children Act 1989 as: “all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property.” In practice, parental responsibility includes the right to determine a child’s name, education, religious upbringing, medical treatment and living arrangements. Which laws deal with parental responsibility? The Children Act 1989, The Human Fertilisation…

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What do I need to know about prenuptial agreements?

What do I need to know about prenuptial agreements?

A prenuptial agreement is an agreement that a couple might sign before getting married or entering into a civil partnership. Its main purpose is to set out the basis on which the couple will divide assets if and when the marriage or civil partnership ends. Usually the primary concern is with assets that one or both of the partners owns prior to the marriage. Wealthy people will sometimes use a prenuptial agreement to protect their…

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What do I need to know about section 8 orders?

What do I need to know about section 8 orders?

When a relationship breaks down, parents or certain individuals involved will need to reach an agreement regarding the arrangements for the children. When disagreements arise, which is common between parents, applications can be made to court under section 8 of the Children Act 1989 for residence or contact orders in respect of a child. Residence orders A residence order determines who the child will live with. If someone is granted a residence order, they will…

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What do I need to know about separation?

What do I need to know about separation?

Bringing a marriage to an end is difficult for everyone in the family, and the formalities and legal aspects of separation can often add another layer of confusion to an already complicated and emotional situation. Although ending a marriage legally is termed divorce, there are several options and steps before divorce that married couples should be aware of and consider. Often one of the first steps in any separation is an informal separation, which can…

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What do I need to know about spousal maintenance?

What do I need to know about spousal maintenance?

The amount of spousal maintenance you’re entitled to (if any) depends on your individual circumstances. The court has wide discretion to decide what’s fair, which means it’s difficult to say exactly how much you will get. After complete financial disclosure, however, an experienced family law solicitor can usually provide a good estimate. You and your ex can of course agree spousal maintenance independently. But, if that’s not possible, you can ask the court to make…

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What do I need to know about the divorce procedure?

What do I need to know about the divorce procedure?

The UK has three legal systems – England and Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland – and each jurisdiction is governed by different laws. The divorce procedures in England/Wales and Northern Ireland are virtually identical, however, so for the purposes of this overview, we’ve lumped them together. Divorce procedure in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland The divorce procedure in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland has three main stages: service of the divorce petition; decree nisi; and…

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What do I need to know about the process of adopting a looked-after child?

What do I need to know about the process of adopting a looked-after child?

A looked-after child is one who is in public care. This means they are looked after by a local authority (LA). To adopt a looked-after child you will need to submit an application to an adoption agency, which will assess your suitability. Then the court will decide whether to make an adoption order in your favour. Initial application for adoption The first thing you must do is contact your local adoption agency. They will: send…

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What do I need to know about tracing and contacting birth relatives and adopted adults?

What do I need to know about tracing and contacting birth relatives and adopted adults?

An adopted adult in search of their birth family members can use a professional intermediary, which allows the adopted adult to control the pace of proceedings. There are different methods of applying for information about an adopted adult, depending on whether the adoption occurred before or after 30 December 2005. What are ‘intermediary’ services? A number of bodies provide ‘intermediary’ services: local authorities registered voluntary adoption agencies adoption support agencies. The birth relative and adopted…

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What do I need to know about using the Adoption Contact Register?

What do I need to know about using the Adoption Contact Register?

The Adoption Contact Register puts adopted people and their birth relatives in touch with each other, if that is what they both wish. What and who is on the register You can only find the whereabouts of an adopted person or birth relative if they have chosen to be entered on the Contact Register. Applicants can also record a wish for specific or no contact with a named individual. Contacting a birth relative if you…

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What do I need to think about after a relationship ends and children are involved?

What do I need to think about after a relationship ends and children are involved?

Your relationship with your partner has broken down and you must make big decisions about the future of your children and financial affairs. Even though you may be happy that your relationship has come to an end, your children may feel differently. Here are a few tips to help you take care of your children through the relationship breakdown and process of separation. 1. Avoid discussing serious issues or arguing in front of your children…

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What do I need to think about if I want to get married abroad?

What do I need to think about if I want to get married abroad?

Ideas to think about before you get married in another country. 1. Getting the correct documentation Every country has its own requirements as to the documentation you need to present in order to get married. For example, some countries (such as the Republic of Ireland) will require you to present a Certificate of No Impediment issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO recommends that you consult the relevant country’s embassy in the…

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What does the council do after a care order is made?

What does the council do after a care order is made?

Once a care order is made, the council must always ensure that your child is kept safe and is well cared for. They should support you so that, unless the risks to your child are too high, they can return to your care, or to the care of other members of your family. If that is not possible, the council is likely to arrange for other people to care for your child on a long-term…

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What happens after an interim order is made in a care order case?

What happens after an interim order is made in a care order case?

Interim Care Orders are an order of a court that permits a temporary arrangement for care of a child to be imposed for up to eight weeks in the first instance. The award of an Interim Care Order is usually during proceedings for a Care Order, when the court requires a delay in proceedings. Applications for Care Orders are made under section 31 (1) (a) of the Children Act 1989, and are usually made because…

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What happens after I apply to the court to adopt a child?

What happens after I apply to the court to adopt a child?

What will happen when I have left the application with the court? You will be sent a form telling you that your application has been issued and a receipt for your fee (if you have paid one). Every case is different and the court’s decision about the next steps will depend on the details of your application, but it is likely that some or all of the following will happen: the court may ask for…

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What happens at the final hearing of care proceedings?

What happens at the final hearing of care proceedings?

Your solicitor or barrister may have an informal meeting on the day of the hearing with the solicitors or barristers working for the council and the guardian. Your solicitor or barrister will talk to you about what the council and the guardian are going to say about what is best for your child. It is important that you understand what they are suggesting and the full consequences before you agree to anything. It is your…

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What happens at the First Appointment of a care order case?

What happens at the First Appointment of a care order case?

The court will not make a final decision on the council’s application at the First Appointment. But it is still very important that you attend this hearing because the court will make temporary arrangements for your child and explain what you need to do before the final hearing. At this first hearing the court: makes orders (‘interim orders’) about where your child will live and who they will see from now until the final hearing…

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What happens if I am in a cohabitation arrangement and I split from my partner?

What happens if I am in a cohabitation arrangement and I split from my partner?

It is probably a good idea to get some specialist advice from a solicitor if you are thinking about splitting up. He or she will tell you where you stand and help you work out your options. You may decide, after a first interview, that you can sort things out yourself, but at least you will do this knowing about your legal position. You should try to find a solicitor who has experience of dealing…

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What happens if I am in a cohabitation arrangement and me or my partner dies?

What happens if I am in a cohabitation arrangement and me or my partner dies?

Unmarried partners do not inherit from each other automatically the way married couples do. Instead, if you die without making a will (‘intestate’), your property will go to any children you have. If you don’t have children, it will go to your parents or other members of your blood-related family. This means that if you are living together and you want your partner to benefit when you die, it is vital to make a will….

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What happens if my adoptive child’s parents do not consent to the adoption?

What happens if my adoptive child’s parents do not consent to the adoption?

If the child’s birth parents or guardian have not consented to the adoption and you are asking the court to dispense with their consent, the court will need to be satisfied that: the parent or guardian cannot be found, or is incapable of giving consent, or the welfare of the child requires that their consent be dispensed with. You must set out on your application form which of these conditions applies. You will also need…

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What happens if the council thinks my child is in immediate danger?

What happens if the council thinks my child is in immediate danger?

If the council thinks your child is in immediate danger and needs to be made safe straight away, it can take certain steps to protect your child. It can: ask the person it believes is a danger to your child to leave the home or keep away from your child; discuss with you having your child looked after by the council in a way you agree to (known as ‘voluntary accommodation’); ask the police to…

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What happens to pensions if a couple in a cohabitation arrangement split?

What happens to pensions if a couple in a cohabitation arrangement split?

Pension schemes vary widely in their terms and in the benefits they provide. So it is not possible to give detailed advice in this leaflet. The following points are some of the things you should consider when looking at your pension scheme or choosing one. If you die during your working life, most schemes will pay a ‘death-in-service’ lump-sum payment and a regular income to your dependants. If you reach retirement age, you can generally…

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What happens when a young person leaves care?

What happens when a young person leaves care?

If youre moving from your final care placement, you will know that its a big step. Your statutory review meeting lets you talk about your future and where you want to live. You can also talk about the support you will need from your local authority. Preparing to leave local authority care Most young people in care leave their final placement around the time that they legally become an adult at 18. Making that leap…

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What happens when the council starts care proceedings?

What happens when the council starts care proceedings?

Care proceedings are started in the Family Proceedings Court. The court will want to be sure that the council has worked with you and your family to help you deal with its concerns about the child. The court will want to see various documents, including a record of discussions with the family, such as notes from any meetings you have had with the council or any plan your family has made resulting from a Family…

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What if I want to change my child’s name?

What if I want to change my child’s name?

This article explains whether it is legal to change a child’s name and how to go about it. In what circumstances can a parent change their child’s name? No special circumstances need to exist in order for a parent to change their child’s name. Provided the intention of the name change is not to deceive or defraud another person or entity, a child’s name can be changed at any time. Is there a legal procedure…

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What information do I need to order a birth, death or marriage certificate?

What information do I need to order a birth, death or marriage certificate?

There are certain details you may need to order a birth, marriage, adoption, stillbirth, or death certificate. Find out the information you need to provide and how it will help you get the right certificate index reference. Information you should provide Births full name date of birth place of birth parents names, including mothers maiden name – this is a requirement for any births registered within the last 50 years Marriages full names of bride…

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What is adoption and who can apply?

What is adoption and who can apply?

Adoption is where a child legally becomes a member of a new family and has one or two new parents. If you are at least 21 years old and can provide a permanent, stable and caring home, your application to adopt will be welcomed. There is no upper age limit. Adoption orders Only a court can make an adoption order. The effect of the adoption order is that the birth parents no longer have any…

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What is collaborative law?

What is collaborative law?

The idea behind the process of collaborative law is to avoid running any dispute through the court system, and to try to reach an agreement between the parties through meetings with each other and their lawyers. Pros and cons One advantage of collaborative law is that every minute detail in regard to specific arrangements for children can be agreed, rather than be subject to a court order. It is also, in theory, a lot cheaper….

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What is meant by Next of Kin?

What is meant by Next of Kin?

The term ‘next of kin’ is often a source of confusion among many people who come across it, even those who use it. In certain circumstances, when you are admitted to hospital, start a new job or complete a life insurance form, you may be asked to give the name of your next of kin. What is the legal definition of ‘next of kin’? Next of kin has no definition in law. It is generally…

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What is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)?

What is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)?

CAFCASS is a non-departmental public body for England and Wales which works to safeguard and promote the welfare of children involved in family court proceedings and advise the courts on what it considers to be in the children’s best interests. Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) Contact point Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) Address 6th Floor Sanctuary Buildings Great Smith Street London SW1P 3BT Phone number 0844 353…

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What is The Family Justice Council?

What is The Family Justice Council?

The National Family Justice Council (FJC) is an independent body that was created in 2004 in order to improve the experience for users of the family justice system, namely the families and children involved. It is funded by the Ministry of Justice. Who are the members of the Council? The national FJC has 30 members. It is an inter-disciplinary body, with its members consisting of a mix of people who work, use, or have an…

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What is the law on abortion?

What is the law on abortion?

Abortion is legal in the UK and has been since The Abortion Act in 1967. This Act allowed the legal use of an abortion in the UK so long as this procedure was done before a certain stage in the mother’s pregnancy. At the time, the Act was hugely controversial and there where many protests, particularly from religious sects and right-wing politicians. There are, of course, still ‘pro-life’ campaigners who protest against the use of…

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What legal rights and responsibilities do I have as a cohabiter?

What legal rights and responsibilities do I have as a cohabiter?

If you are a cohabiter you do have some legal protection due to recent changes in the law; however, it is nowhere near the kind of protection associated with married couples or civil partnerships. It is therefore extremely important that if you are a cohabiter you are aware of exactly where you stand legally. This may come as a surprise to many people, and indeed it is a common misconception that people enter into some…

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What legal rights and responsibilities do I have concerning sperm, egg and embryo donation?

What legal rights and responsibilities do I have concerning sperm, egg and embryo donation?

What is sperm, egg and embryo donation? ‘Donation’ involves making a gift of sperm, eggs or embryos for use in fertility treatment or for research purposes. What medical, legal and ethical standards are applied at licensed fertility clinics? In the UK, donation takes place at fertility clinics licensed by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA). Donations through an HFEA-licensed clinic must strictly adhere to the following standards in relation to a donor-conceived child: •  …

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What mental health considerations for children should be considered during divorce?

What mental health considerations for children should be considered during divorce?

The statistics surrounding divorce can prove surprising to a casual observer, particularly with regard to couples that have children. In fact, over half of the couples divorcing in 2007 had at least one child aged under sixteen, meaning that over 110,000 children had parents who had officially separated. Furthermore, 20% of these were aged under five at the time of their parents’ divorce. Additionally, these figures fail to account for ‘unofficial’ records, such as those…

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What orders can the court make at the First Appointment?

What orders can the court make at the First Appointment?

The council will make proposals to the court about where your child should live and who they should see in the time until the final hearing of the case (known as an ‘interim care plan’). The court considers this and can then make an ‘interim order’ that says what should happen to your child for the time being. The court can make several types of interim order at the First Appointment: Interim care order (ICO)…

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What parental rights do I have concerning my child’s education?

What parental rights do I have concerning my child’s education?

Your child’s school years form an important part in their development and preparation for later life. It’s useful to know your rights in terms of your child’s education and what you can expect from their school. You should also know the correct procedures to take should you have a complaint. The education system and National Curriculum All state-maintained schools must use the National Curriculum, which sets out what most children should be taught. A school…

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What possible ways are there of keeping my child safe from abuse?

What possible ways are there of keeping my child safe from abuse?

Simply talking to your child may be your first step in keeping them safe from child abuse. You are more likely to discover any threat to your child’s safety if you have an open and trusting relationship with them. If you suspect a child is being abused, find out who to contact. Report suspected child abuse If you suspect that a child is being abused, report it to the police or local social services. If…

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What rights do birth parents and guardians have in the adoption process?

What rights do birth parents and guardians have in the adoption process?

Stopping the adoption process If your child is in the process of being adopted and you don’t want this to happen, you should get legal advice immediately. The adoption agency can also provide you with the services of an independent support worker to advise you on your rights and responsibilities. Trying to stop the adoption process You may be able to get publicly funded legal advice and representation in court. A solicitor will be able…

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What rights do grandparents have over their grandchildren?

What rights do grandparents have over their grandchildren?

What rights do grandparents have over their grandchildren?

As a grandparent, you do not have an automatic right to have contact with your grandchildren. However, the courts do acknowledge the important role that grandparents play in the lives of their grandchildren. Unless there is evidence of abuse or violence, it would be highly unusual for a court to deny you access to your grandchildren.   Can grandparents apply for legal access to their grandchildren? Only individuals who have parental responsibility, such as parents,…

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What should be on my civil partnership checklist?

What should be on my civil partnership checklist?

Here is a checklist of things you need to consider before you register a civil partnership: Name changes A couple entering into a civil partnership has the same name change alternatives available to them as a married couple. They can either keep their separate surnames or one can take the other’s surname. If one partner adopts the other’s surname, then the civil partnership certificate will generally be adequate for purposes of changing most records. A…

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What should happen before the council decides to apply for a care order?

What should happen before the council decides to apply for a care order?

Unless the council thinks your child is in immediate danger, it should normally take other steps before it decides to apply for a care order. Under the new legal system known as the Public Law Outline, the council should do all it can to support you in caring for your child without the need to go to court. If you can’t cope, the council should try to find out whether anyone in your child’s wider…

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What should I consider before I get married?

What should I consider before I get married?

1. Capacity to enter into marriage or civil partnership A marriage or civil partnership is a legal contact, and to be valid the parties to the contract must have legal capacity to enter into it. Some of the features of ordinary contract law apply. For instance, a marriage might be invalid if one of the parties has entered into it under duress. The main concerns, though, as to capacity are that (i) neither party is…

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What should I consider with regard to my children when getting a divorce?

What should I consider with regard to my children when getting a divorce?

Ending a relationship is never easy, and if you have married then there is the legal aspect of getting a divorce to consider as well. Divorce is often complex, and one of the most controversial and difficult decisions is to determine what happens to your children if you divorce. Divorce occurs when a marriage reaches a point where it has irretrievably broken down. As a result, in the eyes of the law the marriage no…

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What should I think about if I’m considering marriage?

What should I think about if I’m considering marriage?

Here is a checklist of some of the major legal (and quasi-legal) items you need to consider if you are planning on getting married: Capacity to enter into marriage Each party to the marriage must have legal capacity to enter into the marriage. In particular, you need to be certain that: (i) neither party is in an existing marriage or civil partnership; (ii) each party is 18 or older (or 16 or older with parental…

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What sort of name can I choose if I want to change my name?

What sort of name can I choose if I want to change my name?

If you want to choose a completely new name (that is, something other than that of your husband or wife), there are a few things you should avoid. You should not choose a name that: has punctuation marks (except for hyphens or apostrophes) or numbers; or is offensive or blasphemous. You should not choose a name that might deceive or defraud, for example one beginning with Sir, Lady or Princess. In the same way, you…

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What training and financial support is there for foster carers?

What training and financial support is there for foster carers?

A variety of practical and financial support will be made available to you if you become a foster carer. This includes an allowance to cover costs, tax relief and help getting a State Pension. Support and training All foster carers are reviewed every year by fostering service providersand receive any training needed to ensure they are suitable to continue fostering. They are also given a supervising social worker who visits on a regular basis to…

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What types of care order can a court make?

What types of care order can a court make?

When it comes to determining the individual(s) who will care for a child, the family court can make two different types of order – temporary (or ‘interim’) orders and final orders. Final orders come in a number of different forms: Supervision order If a ‘supervision order’ is granted by the court, this means that an individual has been given parental responsibility and responsibility for the child’s care. The local authority – in the form of…

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What types of fostering are there?

What types of fostering are there?

There are different types of foster care depending on the needs of both the child and their family. These include short-term care for just a few days or weeks, to long-term placements, as well as care for disabled children or children with behavioural problems. Categories of foster care Emergency When children need somewhere safe to stay for a few nights Short-term When carers look after children for a few weeks or months, while plans are…

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When am I allowed to change my name?

When am I allowed to change my name?

You can change your name at any time, as long as you are 18 or older, and as long as you are not doing it to commit fraud. There is no legal process you must follow. All you need do is start using your new name and tell people that you now want to be known by this name. However, you may be asked for evidence of your name change, for example if you want…

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Where are the County Court Adoption Centres?

Where are the County Court Adoption Centres?

If you are unable to get to the Adoption Centre where your hearing is due to take place, you can write to the judge asking for the hearing to be moved to another county court. In certain circumstances, the judge may allow the appointment to take place away from the Adoption Centre. If so, the court will send a notice to everyone involved in the case telling them the new time, date and location for…

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Who can make decisions about my child’s care?

Who can make decisions about my child’s care?

The right to decide how a child is raised and cared for rests with people who have ‘parental responsibility’ for him or her. Parental responsibility is the legal term used to describe all the rights and duties that parents (and sometimes other people) have towards their children. For example, it gives you the right to agree to medical treatment for your child, or to your child being taken outside England and Wales. When a child…

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Who gets the engagement ring if a relationship fails?

Who gets the engagement ring if a relationship fails?

You met at university a few years ago. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight, and you’ve had your fair share of ups and downs along the way, but one day you decide: “what the hell, time to propose!” You promptly head down to the high-street jewellers and buy the biggest rock on the shelf. Questions like “who keeps the engagement ring?” or “what are the legal consequences of broken engagements?” don’t even register in…

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Who will represent my child during care proceedings?

Who will represent my child during care proceedings?

The court appoints an independent person, called a guardian, to give information and an opinion about what is best for your child. This person is from CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service). The guardian does not work for the council – they work for the court and represent your child in the case. The guardian’s job is to make sure that everyone works in the child’s best interests. They will find out…

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Whom should I tell about my name change?

Whom should I tell about my name change?

Changing name is common for many of us as we go through life. Some choose to change their name after marriage or a civil ceremony, and others choose to revert back to their maiden name after a divorce. In some cases, people wish to change their name for other reasons, and in such circumstances the Deed Poll Office can draw up an agreement in order to change your name for official purposes such as passports…

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Why would the council get involved in my child’s care?

Why would the council get involved in my child’s care?

The Children’s Services Department in your local council is responsible for making sure that children are safe and are well cared for by their parents or the people looking after them. Sometimes the council receives information that makes them worried about a child’s welfare. If it believes that your child may be harmed, it will investigate and decide whether action is necessary to protect your child (this work is known as ‘child protection’). The council…

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