Specialist Divorce and Family Solicitors. Call us now on 01202 805211

Specialist Divorce and Family Solicitors. Call us now on 01202 805211
David Williams and Sarah Jordan of Jordan Williams Law Ltd.

Specialist Divorce and Family Solicitors.

Call us now on 01202 805211

David Williams and Sarah Jordan of Jordan Williams Law Ltd.

Specialist Divorce and Family Solicitors.

Call us now on 01202 805211

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog

JW Law News

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 40

NEW DIVORCE LAWS TO BE ENACTED – NO FAULT DIVORCE

The Government today announced (09/04/19) after years of avoiding a decision to make new provisions to enact “no fault divorce”.

The current adversarial system means that husbands and wives had to allege adultery or unreasonable behaviour to start divorce proceedings immediately otherwise they had to wait for a minimum period of two years and prove either desertion or obtain the consent of their spouse. In the worst-case scenario, in the absence of consent, they had to wait for 5 years.

The government has come under increasing pressure in the last 12 months from Resolution, the national association of family lawyers, of Family Lawyers for a change in the law following an unsuccessful attempt by a wife in the Supreme Court to insist on a divorce when her husband had forgiven her. The government spokesman David Gauke said, “the changes will help end the blame game” and the government will always uphold the institution of marriage, but it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples”.

The new law will provide for a timeframe of 6 months from the date a divorce petition is issued until the date of the decree absolute, with the applicant asked at that stage to confirm their wish to be divorced.

The move was welcomed by family lawyers across England and Wales who can now concentrate on resolving the more important issues such as long-term housing for children and financial support for children and both parties after their marriage is dissolved.

For a free consultation on all aspects of family law including divorce issues, children and financial matters please do not hesitate to contact Sarah Jordan or David Williams for a free consultation on 01202 805211 or office@jwlaw.co.uk

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 39

No-fault divorce could lead to permanent rise in the divorce rate.

Tthe Government predicts that the impact of proposed no new-fault divorce laws could increase the volume of divorce proceedings permanently, as couples seek to end their marriages. The document published alongside Justices’ Secretary David Gauke’s announcement of the reform recently, said the move may bring a permanent increase in levels of divorce.

For free advice on pension entitlements and all aspects of divorce, separation and family law issues, please contact David or Sarah at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 38

Pension Entitlements on Divorce

Many couples are unaware that they may be able to claim against their spouse’s pension when they divorce. This is particularly so when people decide to represent themselves and do not consult an experienced family lawyer or mediator. Thousands of women are being left worse off in retirement than they should be because they are not made aware of their legal entitlement to their husband’s private pension as part of their divorce settlement. For couples in their fifties and sixties getting a divorce, often the pension can be worth as much as or more than the equity in the marital home so it is vitally important that pensions are taken into account as part of the overall settlement.

For free advice on pension entitlements and all aspects of divorce, separation and family law issues, please contact Sarah or David at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 38

Pension entitlements on divorce

Fault based divorce laws in England and Wales are set to be overhauled under new government proposals. This will allow couples to divorce more quickly and with less acrimony. The government wants to abolish the current system of fault-based divorce such as having to reMany couples are unaware that they may be able to claim against their spouse’s pension when they divorce. This is particularly so when people decide to represent themselves and do not consult an experienced family lawyer or mediator. Thousands of women are being left worse off in retirement than they should be because they are not made aware of their legal entitlement to their husband’s private pension as part of their divorce settlement. For couples in their fifties and sixties getting a divorce, often the pension can be worth as much as or more than the equity in the marital home so it is vitally important that pensions are taken into account as part of the overall settlement.ly on adultery, behaviour or desertion, and has announced a consultation with a view to passing new legislation.

For free advice on pension entitlements and all aspects of divorce, separation and family law issues, please contact Sarah or David at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 37

Overhaul of Divorce Laws

Fault based divorce laws in England and Wales are set to be overhauled under new government proposals. This will allow couples to divorce more quickly and with less acrimony. The government wants to abolish the current system of fault-based divorce such as having to rely on adultery, behaviour or desertion, and has announced a consultation with a view to passing new legislation.

Under a simplified system, spouses will lose the ability to block a divorce as there will be no need for their husband or wife to prove adultery, behaviour or desertion in a contested divorce. The MOJ is expected to propose a minimum time frame of 6 months for a divorce to become finalised but will keep irretrievable breakdown as the sole legal reason for divorce.

It has been suggested the government may also wish to include further policies to modernise family law including making civil partnerships available to all couples, regardless of gender, and giving statutory backing to pre-nuptial contracts.

For a free initial consultation regarding divorce and financial settlements, please contact David or Sarah at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 36

The Supreme Court dismisses an appeal against refusal to grant a divorce.

On July 25th the Supreme Court gave its judgment in the case of Owens v Owens. Mrs Owens had applied for a divorce on the basis of her husband’s behaviour. Mr Owens defended the divorce, and the trial judge refused Mrs Owens’ application. Mrs Owens, then appealed to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the trial judge’s judgment, and she then appealed to the Supreme Court.

Although the Supreme Court said that the case generated “uneasy feelings”, it dismissed the appeal, commenting that it was not for the Court to change the law, but to interpret it.

The trial judge had referred to Mrs Owens’ petition as “lacking beef”. Lord Wilson, in the leading judgment, commented that should have been a compliment, not a criticism. Should we then be drafting harsher allegations in divorce petitions? On reading the judgment of Lord Wilson the answer would appear to be no. Lord Wilson referred to the damage caused by the requirement for one spouse to make allegations of behaviour against the other, and how that can be inflammatory when attempting to resolve issues in respect of children and in financial negotiations. It would seem then that we should avoid thinking that petitions should be drafted with stronger allegations, and continue to provide a summary of allegations.

The Court was also highly critical of the expression “unreasonable behaviour” considering that to be misleading when in fact what has to be shown is that a person has behaved in such a way that the other cannot reasonably be expected to live with that person.

Since the ruling that Mrs Owens must remain married until 2020, there has been a great deal of comment on the current law. It has been reported that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is looking at divorce reform. Baroness Butler-Sloss has introduced a private member’s bill and the MoJ is reported to have said that ministers will work on family law reform, including Butler-Sloss’s Divorce Law Review Bill.

For a free initial consultation regarding divorce and financial settlements, please contact David or Sarah at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 35

The Changing Face of Divorce in UK

Divorce has always been a highly discretionary area of law and in a recent case the presumption of lifetime maintenance for one partner - usually the wife, has changed. Courts are now much keener on terminating dependency by achieving a clean break in respect of all financial claims. However, this is always easier where there is a large pot of matrimonial assets. Most couples still won’t have sufficient capital between them to achieve a clean break. This is particularly true for women in their 50’s who face problems when re-entering the workforce after a divorce. The use of crypto currencies such as Bitcoin can also complicate the calculation of divorce financial settlements and can lead to uncertainty.

For a free initial consultation regarding divorce and financial settlements, please contact David or Sarah at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 34

No Fault Divorce

Baroness Hale of Richmond, President of the Supreme Court, has called for the introduction of no-fault divorces.


Appearing at a conference of family law specialists in Bristol, she said that the current rules assigning fault to one party to a marriage can trigger unnecessary conflict and encourage people to accept unfair blame. She also suggested that simplified online petitions should be used to further streamline the process. She added that giving unmarried couples some legal rights would also strengthen family responsibilities, and civil partnerships for heterosexuals should be welcomed as they would demonstrate that couples wanted to enter into a legal commitment.

If you are suffering from marital or relationship difficulties, please contact Sarah or David at Jordan Williams Law for an initial free consultation on office@jwlaw.co.uk or by telephoning 01202 805211.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 33

Court errors could leave divorces null and void.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has warned that scores of newly-divorced couples may still be married because of mistakes ranging from submitting petitions too soon after marriage or officials approving divorces before the parties had spent enough time apart.

A spokesman for Resolution, the national body of family lawyers, commented, “with the closure of many Courts and fewer resources for the family justice system, it is inevitable that there will be an impact in one form or another. The fact that the President has had to issue this guidance suggests that there are basic mistakes being made which simply shouldn’t happen”.

If you are worried whether your divorce is valid or are contacted by the Court suggesting that it is not, please contact David or Sarah at Jordan Williams Law on office@jwlaw.co.uk or by telephoning 01202 805211 to discuss. We offer an initial free consultation.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 32

Resolution Campaigns For No Fault Divorce

Resolution has been campaigning for no fault divorce. At the moment a no fault divorce can only be obtained after 2 years separation. If a relationship has broken down and the couple decide amicably they want to divorce the only way to do so before they have been separated for 2 years is to base the divorce on behaviour or adultery. Having to record details of adultery or reasons why one person’s behaviour is to blame for the divorce can make a bad situation worse.

Resolution is seeking a change to the law which will enable couples to divorce after a shorter time without having to prove one has been at fault. Resolution has written to all political parties asking for this to be put on the agenda for the next government. The leaked Labour draft manifesto promises no-fault divorce. If that makes its way into all parties’ manifestos then perhaps it will actually happen.

Resolution is the family law organisation which promotes a non-confrontational approach to family law matters and campaigns for improvements in family justice.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 31

Changes to Probate Fees

The government has announced that a proposed increase in probate fees will not now go ahead. The proposal appeared in the spring budget but the government will now run out of time before parliament is dissolved prior to the election set for June 8th.

The probate fee is currently a flat fee of £215 (or £155 if done by a solicitor) and it was intended to increase the fee and place it on a scale between £300 and £20,000 based on the value of the estate.

Jordan Williams Law Ltd. News Blog Post Number 30

February 2017 News Roundup

Divorcee loses compensation appeal.

Aformer headmistress who left her job on marrying a millionaire has failed in her claim for a larger pay out to make up for her lost earnings when they divorced. The Court of Appeal said that no one had forced the wife to abandon her own career.

Zero hour workers could miss out on free childcare

Parents on zero hours contracts have been warned they could miss out on the new policy of 30-hours free childcare, after it emerged that fewer than half the families who received the existing 15 free hours will qualify. The benefits for working parents means only those who earn the equivalent of 16 hours working at either the national living wage per week for those aged 25 or over, or the national minimum wage for those aged 24 or under.

Courts must protect children from abuse.

Lady Justice Cobb has called for a review of the presumption that both parents should have contact with their child and there is growing demand for the presumption to be scrapped, if there is evidence of domestic violence.

Divorces skewed by “over-chivalrous” judges.

A leading female peer has claimed Judges are sticking to antiquated notions of chivalry in awarding women maintenance payments which extend years in to the future. Baroness Deech has tabled a bill calling for a 3-year cap to be placed on most maintenance payments, arguing that many divorcees go on to earn good salaries. The bill is set to go to the committee stage after passing its’ second reading in the House of Lords. Baroness Deech said that there was an “assumption throughout the legal system that once a women is married she is somehow disabled and incapable of ever managing on her own.” The move will be welcomed by many husbands if the bill passes into law.

Shared property ownership? Beware!!

People entering into joint ownership of property ventures need to consider the complications that such arrangements can present, and take appropriate measures to make sure any problems can be navigated and dealt with as smoothly as possible. Parties need to consider defining who has paid what and the percentage ownership of the property each party has rather than assuming joint or equal ownership. This applies to most cohabiting couples.

Court rage of divorcee told she may lose her home.

A divorcee had to be dragged screaming from court after being told that she might lose her home to her ex-husband, almost 10 years after they separated. The woman began swearing and wagging her finger at 3 Judges in the Court of Appeal when she learnt that she may have to sell the property and split the proceeds.

Unmarried couples are advised to get their house in order.

A recent Supreme Court ruling means that unmarried couples should seek advice about payments from their former partner’s pension. There are over 3.3million cohabiting unmarried couples in the UK but the vast majority have taken no steps to check if their relationships are covered by each other’s pensions. Most have not taken any steps to give their relationships any legal status, such as registering joint ownership of property, checking whether they are registered with their partner’s pension funds or updating their wills to include their partner. For legal advice contact David Williams or Sarah Jordan.

Divorce Backlash keeps couples together.

Divorce lawyers have suggested that declining divorce rates over the past 20 years represent a backlash against divorce from younger couples whose own parents have separated. Official figures showed divorce rates in England and Wales have dropped by more than 33% in 20 years.

Taxi drivers face fines for refusing wheelchairs.

Taxi drivers who refuse wheelchair users or try to charge them extra for carrying their wheelchair, will be fined up to £1,000 under new laws. The penalties come into force from 6 April 2017 and will oblige taxis and private hire cars to take wheelchair users in their wheelchair if their vehicles are able to, as well as providing them with appropriate assistance.

Husband must support ex-wife who lost bulk of divorce settlement.

A wife who lost the bulk of her divorce settlement after making poor financial decisions has been awarded larger monthly payments from her ex-husband. The ex-wife received a £230,000 lump sum in 2002 plus £1,100 monthly personal maintenance payments, but lost it all after investing unwisely in up-market properties. Judges at the Court of Appeal have now ordered that her monthly payments be increased to £1,441. They told her ex-husband that he must support her for life, because she is “unable to meet her basic needs”. A somewhat surprising outcome as the wife is only aged 51 and presumably capable of securing employment of her own. The ex-wife points out that she did not apply for an increase in maintenance but it was her ex-husband who applied to the court to stop paying before having the amount increased.

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