Divorcing couples with children often find reaching an agreement about the care of their children after divorce or separation pretty difficult. Those who cannot reach an agreement amicably find themselves asking the family court to decide. Either party can make an application for what is known as a child arrangements order, which will set out details of the days and times that a child will spend with each parent.
With marriage breakdown grandparents can be left on the sidelines, denied contact with their grandchildren and concerned for their future welfare. More grandparents are now taking legal action to make sure they play a part in the lives of their grandchildren. The Justice Minister reports that in 2013/2014 there were seven court applications a day by grandparents seeking what is now known as a child arrangements order (previously known as a contact order) in order to see their grandchildren following the divorce or separation of their parents.
Gordon Gecko said in the film Wall Street “The point is, ladies and gentleman, that greed - for lack of a better word - is good.” I’m not sure I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment but it does make me think about my role as a family law solicitor and the advice I give to clients.
Divorce costs often hit the headlines when we learn that multi-millionaires have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on their divorce. The media regularly make claims about the average divorce cost – including a piece in The Telegraph claiming the average divorcing couple spend £44,000 on their separation. The reality is normally somewhat different certainly for the ‘average couple’, whatever that means.
Agreeing the content of a divorce settlement can often be a challenge and it’s our job as family law solicitors to make sure that our clients come to a financial agreement that serves their interests and is agreed by the other party. To do this it’s important to have full disclosure from both parties and establish the real value of all the matrimonial assets.