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What Happens in Divorce and Separation Counselling?

Liz Headley
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Counselling is always a very personal experience as counsellors and psychotherapists invite their clients to bring their own unique narratives about the events they want to speak about to the therapy room. Counselling can offer a confidential space for...

What happens if my husband refuses to sign divorce papers?

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A common concern for people who wish to apply for a divorce is that their spouse might block or hold up the process. The good news is that there is little your spouse can do in most cases to stop or significantly delay your divorce thanks to new divorce...

My husband wants a divorce - what are my rights?

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While things are gradually becoming more equal, the reality is that women in heterosexual marriages are often at greater risk of financial hardship if their marriages end in divorce. Understanding your rights can give you a better chance of securing a fair...

Can you hide assets before divorce?

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In a divorce, the division of assets is often one of the most fraught issues the separating couples must deal with. Securing a fair split of your combined assets can be critical to your future financial security, so it is important that all assets are...

What happens to pensions on divorce?

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In a divorce, pensions are often the biggest asset a separating couple has to consider after the family home. A fair approach to pensions on divorce is, therefore, essential to make sure that an equitable division of assets can be agreed upon that meets both...

What happens to children in a divorce?

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Getting divorced with kids can be particularly tough, with arrangements for your children and their emotional wellbeing to consider. Exactly what happens to children in divorce will depend on the circumstances, so it is a good idea to familiarise yourself...

What is a consent order?

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A Consent Order is a vital legal document for divorcing couples. It sets out the terms of your financial settlement and, once the Order has been issued by a court, those terms become legally binding. A Consent Order is, therefore, how you turn a voluntarily...

How long does a divorce take in the UK?

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How long a divorce takes is one of the first questions people often have when considering ending their marriage. The legal process to end your marriage will take a minimum of six months in England and Wales, but dealing with other aspects of your divorce,...

What should I do if my husband is having an affair?

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If you are married, an affair can be particularly devastating. Sadly, infidelity in relationships is all too common with one in five British adults admitting to having had an affair. If you believe your husband has had an affair or they have admitted as...

Families In Crisis

Liz Headley
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Be you pro or anti Royalty, it certainly seems that our Royals have gone through their own difficult times of late. Life’s challenges can affect anyone, regardless of status or wealth and most of us will have to deal with one crisis or another...

Can Becoming Parents Cause Relationship Breakdown?

Liz Headley
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Paloma Faith has recently been quoted as saying, referring to the ending of her relationship with her partner, “Our relationship ended because we have those children.” Of course, this comment made a good headline for whichever media chose to use...

What should I do if my child has been taken to England without my consent?

Poppy Harber
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The 1980 Hague Convention is an agreement between various countries which aims to ensure the return of an abducted child to the country where they are habitually resident, so that issues about where they live in the future, and with whom they spend time...

Medication and 'Grey' Divorce or Consequences of Divorce in Later Life (Danish Study)

Liz Headley
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The Guardian newspaper has recently published the findings of a BMJ study conducted by Danish experts regarding use of antidepressants during and following relationship breakdown or the loss of a partner or spouse through bereavement. Those who took part in...

Pension Sharing on Divorce......Is financial planning important?

Dawn Millar
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Pension sharing orders have been available as part of divorce proceedings since 2001 however according to a Nuffield Foundation report published in November 2023, they are included in only 11% of divorces despite frequently being the largest asset a couple...

How Can I Financially Protect Myself During A Divorce?

Katie Phillips
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Going through a divorce comes with significant financial implications, and we are often asked how clients can protect themselves during the process. Alongside the divorce, the joint financial claims that the parties have need to be addressed, and this often...

A Shout Out for Single Parents

Liz Headley
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Well, Sunday 10 th March gave all of us lucky mothers out there the opportunity to be spoilt by our children in some way. It might have been flowers, chocolates or wine. An afternoon tea or dinner at a nice restaurant or a Spa Day might have been on offer....

How to prepare for a divorce?

Katie Phillips
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It maybe you are reading this, having just had a conversation with your spouse about separation. Maybe you are reading this blog in anticipation of starting a divorce yourself, but not knowing what the first steps are. We are often asked how people can...

What are women entitled to in a divorce?

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While it is no longer always the case that men earn more than women, it is still often true that married heterosexual women have lower incomes and less in other assets, such as pensions, than their husbands. This can, understandably, cause women in such...

How do I prepare to divorce my husband?

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Making the decision to divorce is one of the hardest things many of us will ever have to deal with. The divorce process itself can be relatively straightforward or much more complicated, depending on your circumstances, but either way, being properly...

Valentine's Day 2024

Liz Headley
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Valentine’s Day has crept around once again, and whilst the day can be special for people in a relationship, it can also be difficult for those who are not. Especially those who have lost a loved one or have gone through a relationship breakdown. For...

The Onward Journey

Liz Headley
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We are now into February and most of us will be ready to wave goodbye to one of the gloomiest months of the year with a sense of relief. Maybe some of us have managed to stick with well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions, or maybe, like me, you have...

New Year Challenges

Liz Headley
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With Christmas and New Year celebrations now a distant memory, reality has probably kicked in and most of us have to face how expensive the festive season has been for us and how we have to continue to manage the cost-of-living crisis. I am sure that for...

Who gets the house in divorce?

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The task of getting a divorce can often be trying and emotional for all parties involved, especially when it comes to deciding what happens to the family home once the divorce has been finalised. The family home often has a lot of emotional and financial...

What am I entitled to in a divorce?

Katie Phillips
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We are often asked by clients in an initial meeting what they will receive by way of settlement, and crucially what they are “entitled to”, within a divorce. Without a crystal ball, as Solicitors we do not know what assets are available for...

Christmas As A Separated Family - Part 3

Liz Headley
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Whilst for many Christmas gives the opportunity to spend time with family, spoil loved ones and allows the time to catch up with old friends and family members we haven’t seen for some time, it also brings challenges. Sure, most of us, including me,...

Christmas As A Separated Family - Part 2 Letters to Santa

Liz Headley
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Ivy aged 6 Dear Santa, I hope that you don’t mind me writing to you, it’s just so you know that I am not in my usual house this Christmas. Something terrible has happened – my Mummy and Daddy told me that they don’t love each...

Christmas As A Separated Family - Part 1

Liz Headley
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For most families, Christmas can bring a mix of emotions; excitement, anxiety, joy, trepidation and an entire range of different feelings that can affect both mood and behaviour. For separated families managing the Yuletide expectations can be an even bigger...

What am I financially entitled to in a divorce?

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Going through a divorce often proves to be an emotionally exhausting experience, especially when finances are concerned. One of the first questions that any individual considering a divorce will often ask is “If I get a divorce what am I financially...

How are assets split in divorce?

Dominic Wisdom
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Going through a divorce is nearly always a stressful experience, and there are many factors that need to be taken into consideration as a part of the process. One of the most important is how your assets will be split between you and your ex-spouse once the...

Am I entitled to my husband's pension if I divorce him?

Dawn Millar
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Divorce can be a complicated and emotionally charged time, especially in terms of dividing assets. Over time, it is likely that your assets have become entangled with your spouse’s, and at this stage, you may both have opposite ideas about what...

The Pension Advisory Group (PAG) and it's guide to the treatment of pensions in divorce settlements

Jasdeep Nagra
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The Pension Advisory Group (PAG) is an interdisciplinary group of judges, solicitors, barristers, legal academics, independent financial advisors, and actuaries. The group was set up in June 2017. The main objective was to provide a guide to practitioners,...

What happens to the family home after divorce?

Josh Russell
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The family home is often the most valuable asset that a couple owns, so it’s not surprising that it can be a significant point of contention during a divorce financial settlement, especially in regard to questions such as “Who stays in the family...

Nikah Marriages and Divorce

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At Brethertons we have a team of lawyers who are experienced in a variety of languages and cultures. Our own Layan Sarhan, Legal Assistant in our Children & Domestic Abuse team, has written this blog discussing Nikah Marriages in the UK. ...

How are Pensions Split in Divorce?

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Making arrangements for your finances during divorce can often prove to be a complex process. In many cases, the way your pensions are divided will be especially important, as they are likely to be among your most valuable assets and will provide future...

Making a Will whilst going through Divorce or Dissolution

Laura Stuart
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Unfortunately it can take a significant amount of time from deciding to separate to receiving your decree absolute/final order. During this time you are still considered to be married – this can be beneficial in terms of things like pension rights if...

Do I have to share my pension in my Divorce?

Jasdeep Nagra
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When going through a divorce, your pension might be one of the most valuable assets you need to consider when dealing with your, and your spouse’s, finances. The first step to take is to obtain up-to-date CETVs (Cash Equivalent Transfer Value) for all...

International Women's Day 2023

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International Women's Day (IWD) is an annual global event which celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Significant activity is recognised...

I have received a C67, what should I do?

Monique Wagner
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A C67 is an application form used to initiate proceedings for the return of a child to a certain Country under the Hague Convention 1980. The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) is a government organisation that helps the Applicant parent...

The Benefits of Therapy

Liz Headley
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Counselling, and emotional support, can take many forms and be beneficial in a variety of contexts. Some people might believe that you only need to engage in therapy if there is something “wrong” with you, but this isn’t the case. Some...

Who are Cafcass and what is a safeguarding letter?

Jemma Bryans
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Who are Cafcass? Cafcass stands for Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. They were first formed on 1 st April 2001 as part of the Government’s commitment to supporting families and children. Cafcass is an independent...

What is a Child Arrangements Order?

Caitlin Lovell
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A Child Arrangements Order is an order that determines with whom a child is to live, and/or spend time with. Child Arrangements Orders are regulated by Section 8 of the Children Act 1989. The child’s mother, father or anyone with parental...

Good Divorce Week 2022

Melanie Haslam
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The Good Divorce week has focused on issues such a ‘no fault’ divorces in the past, the new ‘no-fault’ divorce legislation came into force on 6th April 2022.  This means that couples can now obtain a divorce, either solely or...

What Happens If Separated Parents Can't Agree Which School Their Child Should Go To?

Katie Vernon
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The rules surrounding the exercise of parental responsibility of children at school can often seem complex and confusing. As a parent your child’s education is one of the most important decisions you can make, but due to the importance of this...

Special Measures in Family Court Proceedings

Poppy Harber
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Family Court proceedings can be daunting, whether you are the Applicant or Respondent, especially if you are a victim of Domestic Abuse. If you are a party to Family Court proceedings, and you are a victim of domestic abuse perpetrated by the other party,...

Is Mediation Worth it?

Monique Wagner
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The court process for many is lengthy, stressful, and highly emotional. Many individuals believe that court room is the only solution. However, mediation can be a suitable alternative where parties want to avoid the emotional roller coaster of court. ...

Depp Vs Heard - What is DARVO?

Liz Headley
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The Depp versus Heard case has attracted much interest from both the media and the general public. I know my daughters have both been following it all very closely and have been quite shocked at some of the narrative around the couple’s behaviour. I...

Couple Declared Legal Parents Of Surrogate Son Born In 1998

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X v Z (Parental Order Adult) [2022] EWFC 26 A recent Family Court ruling granting a UK couple a Parental Order concerning their adult child born by surrogate in the United States in 1998 has highlighted the fact that UK surrogacy law remains desperately...

Mental Health Awareness Week 2022

Liz Headley
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It's Mental Health Awareness Week 2022 and we have been invited to consider the experience of loneliness and how we can all potentially be affected by it and the potential detrimental effect feeling isolated can have on our mental health. The Covid...

In The Spotlight - Dawn Millar

Dawn Millar
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We are delighted to be highlighting our expert lawyers in a new feature 'In The Spotlight' where you can get to know our individuals and the important work they carry out each day. This week we are excited to be highlighting Dawn Millar -...

What To Do If Your Child Has Been Abducted To India

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The recent case of SS v MCP [2021] EWHC 2898 (Fam) illustrates the complexity of returning a child who has, according to one parent, been abducted by the other parent to reside in India. Furthermore, it provides an excellent discussion of parens patriae...

No Fault Divorce

Melanie Haslam
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The new divorce legislation which is coming into force from 6 th April 2022 means that couples will be able to obtain a divorce without one party having to apportion blame on the other. At present, one party can ‘blame’ the other, citing...

What is an Occupation Order?

Poppy Harber
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An Occupation Order is an Order that a Court can make, under Section 33 of the Family Law Act 1996, to determine who can remain living in a property, or defining who can enter certain parts of the home, if parties are unable to agree. This is often applied...

What is a clean break and why is it important?

Katie Phillips
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Many clients, when divorcing, assume that when the Decree Absolute is granted, that it brings an end to not only the marriage but also to any financial claims that each spouse has against the other. This is not the case. Only a clean break can end the...

Family mediation scheme to help thousands more parents

Monique Wagner
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Mediation is the process whereby an independent trained mediator help parties reach a solution when there is a dispute regarding children or finances. Mediation helps parties come up with their own solution and avoid the court system. Solicitors can also be...

Brethertons Solicitors Support Refuge Charity in the Shoebox Appeal this Christmas

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Recently, Brethertons’ award-winning Family team supported those in need this Christmas, by running a shoebox appeal across their offices to donate items to Refuge – a charity that supports women and children suffering from domestic violence. ...

The President of the Family Division's memorandum on drafting court orders - What does this mean?

Jemma Bryans
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Introduction Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division issued a memorandum setting out the correct approach that should be taken when draft orders in the Family Court. This is available on the Judiciary.uk website. Standard Orders ...

Good Divorce Week 2021

Katie Phillips
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You may have read in the news this week that it is ‘Good Divorce Week’. This is a campaign spearheaded by Resolution, an organisation committed to reducing the conflict within Family Law. Many of the Family Department are members of Resolution....

What is a stranded spouse?

Monique Wagner
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Stranded spouses is the term used when a family travels abroad on holiday and one spouse is intentionally left behind either with or without the child(ren). One spouse deliberately removes the other spouse's and/or the child(ren)’s passport and...

What if my ex does not bring my child back from a holiday abroad?

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As Covid-19 travel restrictions have started to ease, many people and families have once again started to consider the possibility of international holidays rather than staycations. Aside from the current Covid-19 worries and practicalities still...

COVID-19 Vaccine for children aged 12 - 15 - What if you do not agree with your partner/ex-partner or child?

Jemma Bryans
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The topic of vaccinating young children has been in wide discussion for parents, the Government, and chief medical officers. Recently the Government has accepted the recommendation from the UK’s medical officers that children between the ages of 12 to...

Can I apply for a Non-Molestation Order?

Poppy Harber
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If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, you can apply for a ‘Non-Molestation Order’. This is an injunction in the form of a Court Order that protects you or your child from being harmed or threatened by the person who has abused you. ...

Am I Eligible For Legal Aid?

Monique Wagner
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Legal Aid is a government funded scheme that helps individuals who are on low income access legal advice/representation. Once granted, a legal aid certificate will cover legal costs including Solicitor fees, counsel’s fees and disbursements such as...

The New Domestic Abuse Act 2021

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If you or your children are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.  You can also call the 24-Hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. After years of promises, especially by former Prime Minister Theresa...

What the case of H-N And Others (Children) means for Domestic Abuse in Finding of Fact Hearings

Jemma Bryans
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The long-awaited Judgment of H-N And Others (Children) was handed down on 30 th March 2021. There were four cases (joined on appeal) before the Court of Appeal. The appeals were particularly looking at the process in which the Courts consider domestic...

Narcissistic Ex-Partners

Liz Headley
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For many who have managed to escape from an abusive relationship there is initially a huge sense of relief, finally life can become more ‘normal’ again and they can begin to rebuild their self -confidence and self-worth. Whilst this is true, the...

What is a Divorce Doula?

Priti Vadgama
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Everyone seems to have heard of a doula who offers support before, during and after childbirth. “What is this new concept of a divorce doula?”, is what I asked myself when I first heard this term. Apparently a divorce doula is a...

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 - Family Breakdowns

Liz Headley
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Monday 10th May 2021 marked the start of Mental Health Awareness Week, looking after our mental health should always be a priority, but this year, having experienced a pandemic which, for most of us, has invited significant changes and increased stresses, it...

Living with Abuse

Liz Headley
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British broadcaster, journalist and weather presenter, Ruth Dodsworth has recently featured in the media after her ex husband was jailed for 3 years for coercive and controlling behaviour. I watched an interview with her earlier on daytime tv where she...

Supreme Court Rules A Child Applying For Asylum Cannot Be Refouled

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We recently discussed the Court of Appeal decision in Re G (A Child) (Child Abduction )   in which   Kim Lehal, a partner in our family law department, represented the charity reunite .   The Court of Appeal ruled that a child who is...

Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of G v G [2021] UKSC 9

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On 19 March 2021 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the case of G v G [2021] UKSC 9.  Reunite intervened in the appeal and was represented by Kim Lehal of Brethertons solicitors instructing Richard Harrison QC and Jennifer Perrins of...

Family Solicitor Joanne Soar Acts For Subjected To Life-Changing Injuries Baby

Joanne Soar
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There are times when members of our team are involved in cases which remain with them for life.  For Joanne Soar , who specialises in public law for children, that case is X County Council v AB & CD [2015] EWFC 98.  Described by the...

Human Rights Damages No Longer Clawed Back By LAA In Care Proceedings

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In yet another example of how #we don’t just know the law…we make it, family law partner, Matthew Montanaro led the way for the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) to issue new guidance that ensured those who brought successful human rights claims...

Relationship Breakdown During the Pandemic

Liz Headley
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This week on the BBC 1 programme Morning Live the recent increase in people contacting law firms about separation and divorce was discussed. A lawyer was interviewed online and asked what she felt individuals should be looking for in a lawyer when they were...

Children's Mental Health Week

Liz Headley
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Monday 1st February was the first day of Children’s Mental Health Week and it would seem that in these extraordinary times we should all be more vigilant about children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.  Recent figures suggest that...

How to deal with January blues

Liz Headley
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Well, this week kicked off with what is known as ‘Blue Monday’. January is notorious for being a difficult month with people recovering from the excesses of Christmas, trying to keep to their new year resolutions, attempting to stabilise their...

Family Mediation Week - helping separated families know which way to turn

Simon Craddock
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Family Mediation Week – helping separated families know which way to turn More than any other time of the year, January is a month when families decide to separate. For most, this will be their first experience of separation, and they will start...

Hague Convention Return Orders and Asylum Applications

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Re G (A Child) (Child Abduction) Kim Lehal, a partner in our family law department, recently represented the charity Reunite in the ground-breaking case of Re G (A Child) (Child Abduction) .  Founded in 1987, the Reunite International Child...

Call "ANI" - Assistance for those Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Liz Headley
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Sadly, domestic abuse continues to affect many individual’s lives in a manner of different ways. In these troubled times as we search for a way to reduce and contain the sometimes awful consequences of Coronavirus, we have yet to find a cure for...

Self-care in the new year and beyond

Liz Headley
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I was listening to a GP who was being interviewed on a television programme talking about burn out and what he was saying appeared to make a lot of sense and for me was food for thought. Lockdown and the consequences of it has proved challenging for most of...

Coronavirus & Domestic Abuse

Liz Headley
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I know it’s a very different start to the year and I am sure we will all remember it as such. This time last year no-one could have predicted that 2021 would begin in this way, but let’s all try and remember that positives can sometimes come out...

A Different Christmas

Liz Headley
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Most families will be wondering how Christmas will be for them this year as we head towards, what is usually for most of us, a time of festivity with family and friends. Of course, the changes that COVID-19 has already brought to Yuletide 2020 are much in...

Life Under a Microscope..Making Difficult Decisions

Liz Headley
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The pandemic has invited us all to put our lives under the microscope and think about our choices. Things that we would normally take for granted have no longer been available to us and many of us have had to make some major adjustments to our lifestyle,...

Family Justice Professionals Mark 'Good Divorce Week 2020' with Free Advice Sessions

Dominic Wisdom
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Family law professionals in Bicester, Banbury and Rugby are showing their support for Good Divorce Week 2020 (30 th November -4 th December) by offering free advice sessions to families later this month. Good Divorce Week is an annual campaign that aims...

Summer Holidays

Liz Headley
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To most of us, the word ‘holiday’ conjures up thoughts of time off, leave, or a break, suggesting a bit of respite from the humdrum of everyday life and some of those parental duties that dominate the daily grind. This year however, for some,...

Making Relationship Decisions During Lockdown

Liz Headley
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Whilst there are benefits to spending more couple and family time together, this prolonged period of isolating ourselves from family, friends and the outside world has potentially put a strain on the happiest of relationships. I have recently read about or...

Children Living With Adult Conflict

Liz Headley
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As mooted in a previous blog, lots of children and young people have returned to school with mixed feelings; glad to see some of their friends but a little resistant to a more structured day with some pressure on them to demonstrate learning. For some...

Divorce and Separation following COVID 19

Josh Russell
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Divorce is difficult for anyone in any circumstances but the strain COVID-19 has placed on married and unmarried couples is significant and with so much uncertainty surrounding employment, house prices and pension values at present, a common question we are...

I Am Getting Divorced - Why Do I Need To Make A Will?

Sally Clark
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The short answer is that everyone should have an up to date Will to ensure that their wishes are put into effect after their death. However, it is particularly important to check whether you need to make, or amend a Will when you are going through any...

Supermarkets who are supporting domestic abuse victims

Liz Headley
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Spending a bit more time at home has allowed me the indulgence of watching the odd bit of daytime television, some of it being quite interesting and helpful. I have just watched part of a programme that has informed me that supermarkets have turned their...

Rising anxiety in children and how to help

Liz Headley
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In the last few weeks I have received an influx of referrals requesting I offer work to children and young people who are experiencing raised anxiety levels. This probably isn’t surprising as the Covid-19 crisis has potentially invited all of us to...

What do I do if my child is taken by my ex-partner in lockdown?

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We are in a very different time at the moment. A time of uncertainty, a time of worry and a time where everything we do is for protection. We are staying at home to protect ourselves and our loved ones and most of all our children. So if this is disrupted,...

Grandparent's Gloom - being a Grandparent during COVID-19

Liz Headley
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As a grandparent myself, I enjoy reading contributions to Gransnet daily. Today I was drawn to a piece written by one grandmother regarding her low mood and how she was struggling to manage isolation under Covid-19 restrictions. I am sure you will be...

Safe Space for Those Experiencing Domestic Abuse

Liz Headley
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For those who are living with an abusive partner, lockdown has provided greater opportunity for their abuser to exert even more control. As I said in a previous blog, we can’t blame lockdown as being the cause of any sort of abuse but it has provided...

Domestic Abuse Helpline

Liz Headley
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I have just been watching BBC News on BBC 1 where part of the programme was dedicated to Domestic Abuse and how calls to the National Helpline run by Refuge have increased in this period of lockdown. I think it’s a good thing for society in general to...

Isolation Stories: Family Breakdowns during COVID-19

Liz Headley
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I enjoyed all four of the Isolation Stories in the series shown recently on ITV1, a couple particularly resonating with the work that I do. I have already offered my thoughts on one of the stories and would just like to consider the final episode. It told...

Can I still see my children during lockdown?

Jemma Bryans
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COVID-19 has had a big impact on the country and we are here to provide guidance to support families and children as the situation around COVID-19 develops. The government published guidelines on staying at home and keeping a social distance away from other...

How are Brethertons providing legal services in lockdown?

Sally Clark
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The straightforward answer to that question is in the same way we have always done, being focused on our client’s needs, providing accurate and high quality legal advice and dealing promptly and efficiently with your legal requirements. The way we are...

Remember The Vulnerable

Liz Headley
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I have just seen that both Childline and Barnados are urging people to remember the children in our society who are living in families where there may be parental domestic violence and abuse of some description. Children living in families such as these...

Priti says #you are not alone

Priti Vadgama
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The Home Secretary, Priti Patel on the 11 th of April 2020 said the number of domestic violence calls have increased by 25% since the introduction of the lockdown. The calls received by Refuge , Women’s Aid and other organisations state that the...

Relationships Under Pressure

Liz Headley
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I don’t think any of us are in any doubt that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of us, it has certainly made me reflect on the things that I have taken for granted, from the freedom to go out whenever and wherever I want, to seeing those who I love...