In January of this year, a heterosexual couple lost their court case in which they argued that opposite-sex couples are being subjected to discrimination as, unlike same-sex couples, they do not have the choice to enter into a civil partnership instead of marriage.
At present, same sex couples who wish to formalise their relationship and thereby obtain a legal status entitling them to financial protection and benefits, can choose between civil partnership or marriage. Heterosexual couples need to marry in order to obtain that same financial protection.
As divorce lawyers, we are often asked how to get an annulment to a marriage, and, like many areas of family law, there are often a great number of urban myths to dispel before addressing the original question.
It has recently been widely reported that Pope Francis has reformed the annulment process. Whilst this is true for a religious annulment, it is not true for the annulments which we seek in the Family Court.
“Why are the Courts sending me on a Separated Parents Information Programme?” is a question many clients ask me when them come away from court with an order to attend the Separated Parents Information programme. They seem to think that the Court are suggesting that they don’t know how to parent or care for their own child. This is some distance from the truth.
We often hear divorcing couples say they want a “clean break”. How many of them however, really understand what is meant legally by “a clean break”?
Having a clean break means that from a date specified in a court Order, neither party to the marriage will be able to make further financial claims against the other person. This means there can be no further claims for maintenance, lump sums, pension orders or for property.