Divorce overhaul to end blame game


Divorce laws in England and Wales are to be overhauled, with the current system where a spouse has to allege adultery or unreasonable behaviour for divorce proceedings to start immediately to be replaced with a system that will only require a party to say the marriage has broken down irretrievably. Justice Secretary David Gauke said the changes would help end the “blame game”, adding: “While we will always uphold the institution of marriage, it cannot be right that our outdated law creates or increases conflict between divorcing couples.” The new rules, which come after a 12-week public consultation, will include a minimum timeframe of six months from petition stage to decree absolute, with the applicant asked at this point to affirm their decision to seek a divorce before it is granted. Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society, said introducing no-fault divorce “will help to cut some of the conflict from what can be a highly str essful experience.” Zahra Pabani of Shakespeare Martineau commented: “This firm commitment by the Government to help end the mud-slinging process that divorce so often becomes is long overdue,” while Hall Brown Family Law’s Sam Hall also welcomed the reform, saying the current system requiring fault “is the equivalent of throwing a hand grenade into already difficult situation.” Jo Edwards, head of family law at Forsters, points to the increasing use of mediation, noting that divorce “used to be perceived as an adversarial process.”

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Did you purchase your property before 1990?

If so, it is possible that it is unregistered

It wasn’t until the 1990’s that all areas of the Country were subject to compulsory registration and therefore if a property has not changed hands, been mortgaged, etc. since then it is likely to remain unregistered.

There have recently been reports in the News and on Television about fraud occurring in respect of unregistered property and we have received requests from several clients wishing the register their property with HM Land Registry as a result of the Television programme, in particular.

In an effort to encourage people to apply for first registration of their property, the Land Registry have reduced their fees for voluntary first registration applications.

We can check to see if your property is registered by using the Land Registry website. It only takes a couple of minutes!

If you would like to have your property registered at HM Land Registry, we will need your original Title Deeds, confirming your ownership of the property, and evidence of your identity.

Our fees for this service are £250 plus VAT and disbursements. The disbursements payable include a Land Registry fee which is dependent on the value of the property.

Please contact one of our Conveyances if you would like us to apply for registration of your property or if you have any questions in respect of the above.


Police chiefs to request emergency funding to target knife crime

Following a crisis meeting with Home Secretary Sajid Javid, police chiefs are drawing up plans to target at least £10m of additional spending at specific areas in the UK to combat rising knife crime. Approval for the extra funding is to be sought from Chancellor Philip Hammond. Mr Javid has also proposed giving police more flexibility on introducing emergency stop and search. Mr Javid said: “We have to listen to the police when they talk about resources.” He added a call for serious violence “to be treated by all parts of government, all parts of the public sector, like a disease”. Downing Street is believed to be preparing a new regime, mirroring the Prevent anti-extremism programme, to require councils, schools and agencies to report children believed to be at risk of being pulled into knife and gang crime.

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