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St. Paul's Office:

OTS Solicitors

15 Old Bailey

London

EC4A 7EB

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Q.
I have separated from my husband. We have not started divorce proceedings yet. I am worried about starting divorce proceedings as my husband says that when we get divorced I will have to move out of the family home. Is that correct?
A.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

You do not mention if the family home is owned by your husband or is owned by you or in your joint names. If your husband owns the family home, it is important that you register a matrimonial homes right notice to protect your interests. The notice will expire with the decree absolute of divorce but can be extended if you have not reached a financial settlement or you can delay applying to finalise the divorce proceedings.

 

If you cannot reach agreement on whether you should continue to live in the family home then if one of you starts divorce proceedings then either one of you can start financial court proceedings and ask a judge to decide how your assets, including the family home, are split. When deciding on whether it is feasible for you to stay in the family home the court would look at a range of factors, including your housing needs and the options of the house being sold or transferred to you.

 

We would need more information about the family home and your other assets before being able to advise you on the likely financial settlement options , for example information on the equity in the family home as well as details of other investments.

 

You do need family law advice on starting divorce proceedings, the likely prospects of your staying at the family home and your financial settlement options. We would therefore ask you to call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.

 

Please note the answer provided above is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. In order for OTS Solicitors to provide legal advice you would need to instruct OTS Solicitors family law team. If you would like to proceed with legal advice and consult with our family law solicitors please call us on 0203 959 9123.

Q.
I am separated from my ex-wife but we have three children together. Last year I took all three children away on holiday to see my parents who live in Pakistan. I want to do the same thing this year but my ex-wife says she has made plans for the summer holiday and I cannot take them. I do not think that is fair on my parents. There are no court orders to stop me so can I take the children to Pakistan to see my parents?
A.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Although there are no children court orders in place to stop you from taking the children abroad (a prohibited steps order) the law says that if you take the children to Pakistan without the agreement of your former wife or a UK court order giving you permission to take the children abroad on holiday you are “abducting” the children .

 

You should therefore not take the children out of the UK without first getting the agreement of your former wife in writing to any planned trip or a court order giving you permission to take the children out of the UK for the purposes of a holiday.

 

It may be the case that your former wife is objecting to the trip for the children to see your parents if the children spent the whole summer in Pakistan last year? If that is the case you could agree that the children spend longer with her during the week or during other shorter school holidays or that the children will go to Pakistan every year but for say three or four weeks or on alternate years for the full summer holiday.

If you cannot resolve matters with your former wife then you will need advice on starting children court proceedings for an order to let you take the children to Pakistan. When deciding whether to make an order the court will look at what it considers to be in the best interests of your children.

 

You do need family law advice on taking your children abroad on holiday. We would therefore ask you to call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.

 

Please note the answer provided above is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. In order for OTS Solicitors to provide legal advice you would need to instruct OTS Solicitors family law team. If you would like to proceed with legal advice and consult with our family law solicitors please call us on 0203 959 9123.

Q.
I have been married to my husband for 6 months. I realised that shortly after the marriage that it was a mistake. Can I get a divorce? He says I cannot divorce him without his agreement and he says he will never agree to a divorce.
A.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

Under current English divorce law you normally have to be married for at least one year before you can start divorce proceedings. You could separate from your husband now and get divorced in six months if you have the grounds to start divorce proceedings. We would need to speak with you to discuss whether you have the grounds to start divorce proceedings.

 

It is important that you are aware that you do not always need a spouse’s agreement to get a divorce. Agreement is only necessary if you start divorce proceedings based on two years separation with your spouse consenting to a divorce. There are other ways or grounds to get a divorce.

 

If you decide to separate now it may be sensible to sign a separation agreement. At the time of the divorce proceedings, the separation agreement could be converted into a financial court order to prevent either you or your husband making any further financial claims against one another.

 

If you are not a UK citizen, it is important that you take immigration law advice before you separate from your husband or start divorce proceedings. This is because your immigration status could be affected by the separation or divorce.  

 

You do need family law advice on a separation agreement or divorce proceedings and your financial settlement options. We would therefore ask you to call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.

 

Please note the answer provided above is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. In order for OTS Solicitors to provide legal advice you would need to instruct OTS Solicitors family law team. If you would like to proceed with legal advice and consult with our family law solicitors please call us on 0203 959 9123.

Q.
I have split up from my partner. I want to see more of my children. My former partner will not agree. I think she is being very unreasonable as the children want to spend more time with me. If I go to court and get an access order, will the court order her to pay all my legal costs?
A.

Thank you for your enquiry. We are sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing in seeing your children as much as you would like after your separation from your former partner.

 

If you cannot reach an agreement with your former partner over the amount of time the children should spend with you then you could apply to the court for a child arrangements order. This order is the new name for an access order or contact order. A child arrangements order will set out how much time the children should spend with you each week and can cover holiday contact as well.

 

When the court is deciding on an appropriate child arrangements order and contact the court will take into account the children’s wishes.

 

In relation to costs, the general rule is that a mother and father will pay their own legal costs of applying for a child arrangements order or responding to an application for a child arrangements order. It is very rare for in a children court case for a judge to order that one parent pays all or a share of the other parent’s legal fees. The conduct of one parent would need to be quite extreme for the court to consider making a costs order.  

 

If you take legal advice, you may be able to agree an increase in contact with your children with your former partner through solicitor negotiations. That would avoid the need for a court application.

 

To discuss your situation and your children law options we would need to see you. We can give you  expert children law advice and advise you on the best way forward and the cost of applying for a child arrangements order. Please call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you.

 

Please note the answer provided above is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. In order for OTS Solicitors to provide legal advice you would need to instruct OTS Solicitors family law team. If you would like to proceed with legal advice and consult with our family law solicitors please call us on 0203 959 9123.

Q.
I have been in a civil partnership with my partner for five years. I have decided that I want to separate. How do I end the civil partnership?
A.

Thank you for your enquiry.

 

If you have decided to separate from your civil partner, you can apply to the family court to dissolve your civil partnership. Dissolving a civil partnership is like starting divorce proceedings, as it is a very similar court process.

 

Under current English family law, it is not possible to get a no fault divorce or dissolution of civil partnership. That means that in order to start dissolution of civil partnership proceedings you would need to prove one of a number of grounds to dissolve the civil partnership. We would need to meet you and discuss your situation in order to advise you on the relevant ground for the dissolution of your civil partnership.

 

When the court dissolves a civil partnership, the court also has the power, on the application of either civil partner, to make financial court orders. These orders can be made either by agreement or after a court hearing when the judge decides how family assets should be split. A judge can order the sale or transfer of property, cash or lump sum payments, pension sharing orders or maintenance.   

 

It is important that you take legal advice on your financial settlement options and if civil partnership dissolution proceedings are started that you secure a financial court order. This is important as without a financial court order either you or your civil partner could bring future financial claims against one another.

 

You do need family law advice on your civil partnership dissolution and financial settlement options. We would therefore ask you to call us on 0203 959 9123 to arrange an appointment to discuss how we can help you. Please call us.

 

Please note the answer provided above is for information purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. In order for OTS Solicitors to provide legal advice you would need to instruct OTS Solicitors family law team. If you would like to proceed with legal advice and consult with our family law solicitors please call us on 0203 959 9123.

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