You will probably remember me as the little kid that got on your knee 40 years ago and told you that I had been advised by my lawyer that I did not have to answer whether I had been naughty or not. Guess what I am now a lawyer working in a family law practice.
Recently I was asked what happens if an engagement breaks down and one party requests the return of the engagement ring. Now you might assume that it would be the property of the person who received the “gift”. This is not so straightforward though and consideration must be given as to whether this ring was a family heirloom or other sentimental piece of jewellery from the giver’s family.
I smiled, wryly the other day at the cartoon in the Times of the divorce lawyer typing his seasonal email to his client: “We hope you have a wonderful holiday with your family, full of joy and family togetherness … but just in case, we offer an excellent advice package on divorce at very competitive rates…”
If parents cannot agree arrangements for where their children will live and when they will spend time with the other parent, they can apply to the courts for a Child Arrangements Order. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the end of things.
The recent case of Joy v Joy – Morancho and others reminds us once again that a full, frank and honest disclosure of your financial circumstances must be provided to one another and to the court before financial claims can be either negotiated upon or decided by the court. In this case the court took a hard line against the husband when it became apparent that he had lied to the court about the true extent of his assets and had set out with the deliberate intention of concealing the truth of his situation. The judge in the case, Sir Peter Singer, ordered that the husband should pay the wife’s costs for proceedings since 1st May 2013 amounting to approximately £334,000 to be paid within fourteen days stating that such an order was no less than the conduct deserved.