The average cost of getting over a divorce is now more than £14,500 per couple, a report from Aviva has found, up from £12,432 in 2014. The sum takes into account factors such as legal fees, setting up a new home or redecorating a previously shared one and childcare costs – as well as costs associated with starting afresh, such as getting back into the dating scene, splashing out on a new wardrobe or jewellery and taking up a new hobby or skill.

The Times, Page: 4 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 7 The Independent, Page: 21 Daily Mirror, Page: 24 Yorkshire Post, Page: 15 The Scotsman, Page: 2

Posted 11/01/2018



Couples who choose not to take their divorce through the courts are being penalised by Britain’s stamp duty regime, which adds a 3% levy on top of standard rates for buyers who already owned a property or part of a property. In November, those with specific court orders related to the existing marital home could apply for an exemption on the higher rate, but this leaves couples opting for non-court divorces at a disadvantage, experts say. Caroline Le Jeune, a tax specialist at Blick Rothenberg, said: “These rules seem unnecessarily penal and may trigger additional costs for a separating couple at a point when finances are stretched.”

The Daily Telegraph, Money, Page: 3

Posted 06/01/2018



Almost one in four couples who consider pre-nuptial agreements never actually go through with the wedding;  according to Hall Brown Family Law, the agreements in some cases were highlighting differences that would have affected the chances of a couple staying together in the long run, says the firm’s Sam Hall, and thereby serving “a valuable, practical purpose quite apart from that for which they were originally intended”.

The Daily Telegraph

Posted 27/12/2017


Tim Loughton MP’s private member’s bill outlining changes that would see heterosexual couples allowed to enter civil partnerships is expected to receive Government support when it gets its second reading in February. It would see straight couples who cohabit granted the same legal rights as those who are married. Sir Paul Coleridge, founder of the Marriage Foundation campaign group, endorsed Loughton’s plans. “What matters is that people make a decisive, truthful commitment to each other before they enter into a relationship which leads to children,” he said.

The Sunday Times, Page: 1

Posted 10/12/2017


The Ministry of Justice has announced that legal aid restrictions will be eased for victims of domestic violence to provide greater support to those taking abusive former partners to court. The five-year time limit on abuse evidence will be scrapped and the range of documents accepted as evidence will be widened. Justice Minister Dominic Raab said: “These changes make sure that vulnerable women and children get legal support, so their voice is properly heard in court.”

The Times, Page: 4 The Independent The Herald, Page: 7 Yorkshire Post, Page: 4 The Sun, Page: 2

Posted 05/12/2017



The government has proposed a change to UK fertility law to allow single parents who have had a child through a surrogate to become full legal parents. The move was welcomed by law groups who said it will end the “legal limbo” faced by children born this way. Separately, the British Fertility Society has called for the law to be changed to avoid thousands of women having their eggs needlessly destroyed. Fertility doctors say the 10-year limit on storing eggs for women wishing to preserve their fertility does not take into account new technology.

The Independent; The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2

Posted 02/12/2017


The Times publishes a letter from Baroness Deech arguing that the UK should consider adopting Scottish divorce law. She says firm and fair rules about division of money and property, and separation for one year with consent, or two without, as grounds for divorce have proved their worth.

The Times, Page: 34

Posted 01/12/2017



A woman has won a legal battle for better rights for unmarried people who lose their long-term partners after taking the government to the Court of Appeal for breaching her human rights. Jakki Smith discovered that she was not entitled to claim £11,800 in bereavement damages when her partner of 16 years, John Bulloch, died aged 66 in October 2011 after an infection was missed. Her legal team argued the current legislation was in breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and asserted the award should be available to anyone who had been in a relationship for at least two years. Ms Smith’s lawyer, Zac Golombeck, noted that the Law Commission has previously recommended co-habiting couples should be eligible for bereavement damages.

The Times, Page: 12 The Daily Telegraph, Page: 8 The Guardian, Page: 11 The Sun, Page: 30 Evening Standard, Page: 12

Posted 29/11/2017


Two-thirds of cohabiting couples wrongly believe “common-law marriage” laws exist when dividing up finances, according to family law group Resolution, which warned that the number of unmarried couples living together has more than doubled from 1.5m in 1996 to 3.3m in 2017. Resolution chairman Nigel Shepherd said current laws were “behind the times”.

BBC News

Posted 28/11/2017



Margot James, the business minister, has warned that employers are discriminating against fathers at work by refusing requests for flexible hours, forcing mothers to do more childcare. She told MPs at the Women and Equalities Committee that rigid attitudes are bad for fathers as they get less time with their families, while women also lose out in their own careers as a result. Ms James said: “One of the reasons employers are less generous to fathers is that they are not so sure of their legal obligations to fathers as they are to mothers. They think they can stand in the way more of what fathers need to do at home, and that is wrong.”

The Daily Telegraph, Business, Page: 4


Posted 27/11/2017