Divorce ultimately affects many people. It is not just those directly involved – the husband, wife and children – but wider families, grandparents, circles of friends, even workmates. However, it all starts with one party petitioning for a divorce.
The office for National Statistics has recently reported that cohabitating couples are the fastest growing family type. Apparently, it is now the second largest family type and has doubled its figures from 1.5 million in 1996 to 3.3 million families in 2017. The explanation, I presume is that these days people are choosing to cohabit instead of marrying or at least to cohabit before marriage but I wonder why that is the increasing trend. Is it that people are afraid of marriage these days? Is it that living together before marriage is not frowned upon as much as it used to be and well… its just easier?
A spousal maintenance payment is a payment made by one party to a marriage or Civil Partnership to the other party. The legal term for such maintenance payments are “periodical payments” and the court can make what is called a periodical payments order in favour of one party.
The debate about whether children should have a voice in cases which decide their future was recently reignited. The BBC reported (Should children be heard in English family court cases?) that some children and campaigners supported by some senior family law judges wanted to see a change in the law to allow children to speak to the judge in their case, if they so choose.
In my experience as a divorce and family law solicitor I find that people often feel embarrassed asking basic legal questions as they feel that they will look stupid. I am asked the same questions time and time again and clients should never feel silly asking as it is important that they understand the basics so that I can do the best job for them.