Why has everyone stopped getting divorced?

This week brought us the very surprising announcement by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) that divorces plummeted in 2022. In 2021 there were 113,505 divorces in England and Wales , but in 2022, this fell to only 80,057. There … read more

A blunt instrument: the child maintenance system

The current child maintenance formula has the virtue of simplicity, particularly compared to the previous incarnation which was so complicated that solicitors needed specialist software to be able to calculate the figure correctly. However, this simplicity comes at a price; … read more

Some people just don’t want to be helped

        One of the frustrating things about being a family law solicitor is that you often encounter people whose legal problems you can solve, but they won’t let you. Of course, many people have legal problems and … read more

Christmas is coming

Now that December is here, family lawyers will be bracing themselves for an annual family law tradition; the Christmas contact dispute. It is very common at this time of year for separated parents to fall out about how their children … read more

A recipe for disaster – Part 2

Informal property ownership arrangements don’t just affect people who are divorcing. They cause terrible problems with unmarried couples too. There were only 1.5 million unmarried couples in England and Wales in 2021 in 1996, but by 2021 the number had … read more

A recipe for disaster – part 1

In 2004, Michael Lee and his wife King-Su Huang had what they thought was a really good idea. They wanted to buy a house in Kensington for £1.57 million, but did not want the extent of their wealth of to … read more

What is the point of the cooling off period?

The no-fault divorce law introduced in April 2022 is a vast improvement on the old fault-based divorce law that it replaced. It has removed a pointlessly confrontational procedure which did nothing to save marriages and simply gave separating spouses and … read more

The clash between parental alienation and domestic abuse

Applications to the Family Court for child arrangements orders have increasingly become dominated by allegation of domestic abuse and counter-allegations of parental alienation. There are those who claim that some parents engage in parental alienation, designed to prevent a child … read more

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

Imagine the scene. A husband is getting divorced from his wife after a lengthy marriage. The couple cannot agree financial issues and end up in court. The husband argues to the judge that he always earned more than his wife … read more

There is no such thing as a quickie divorce

The competition watchdog has announced an investigation into businesses that offer legal services, such as online divorces and will writing. The Competition & Markets Authority has announced that it will consider whether these businesses are complying with consumer protection law, … read more