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Family law

Worry over drop in family law cases since the Government’s change to legal aid

CAFCASS (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) figures show a drop in private law cases from July 2013 to July 2014 of 36%.

These cases tend to relate to living and shared time arrangements for children whose parents are separated.


Divorce and inheritance – what are you entitled to?

It is sometimes said that divorce and death form some of the most contentious subject matters that the courts have to deal with. It’s not surprising that the worst combination can be when we’re faced with divorcing couples arguing over the distribution of a loved one’s estate.

Ross Coates Solicitors, a firm with real experience in this area of law, has kindly put together some information designed to provide an insight as to how the courts tend to deal with inherited property in the context of a divorce.

They have also offered some practical solutions to avoid the expense litigation that sometimes follows.


Marriage is a shared partnership, right? Maybe not if you have ‘ugly’ kids…

An unusual family law case from China recently surfaced in a number of new sources.

According to the reports, Jian Fang was “horrified” at how ugly his and his beautiful wife’s newborn daughter was.

He initially refused to believe the child was his, which led to his wife admitting having had extensive plastic surgery in South Korea before they met.

Apparently Fang sued his now ex-wife for false pretences and won, with the judge ordering her to pay several thousand pounds in compensation.


Millionaire receives jail term for hiding money in divorce case

A claim for contempt of court at the Chancery division of the High Court in Birmingham in November has resulted in a jail term of two years being handed out to an ex-boss of the Ford plant at Dagenham. This is the longest sentence of its kind, according to a report by the Daily Mail.

David Thursfield, 67, had been the subject of a previous High Court freezing order in 2011, after a claim brought by his ex-wife, to stop him disposing of money and property she claimed he had hidden during their divorce. Although he had a string of high-profile, highly-paid jobs, Thursfield claims he is now ‘penniless’.


Government plans regarding same-sex marriage law

The BBC reports that the Government is to publish plans next Tuesday, outlining how it intends to introduce same-sex marriage. For example, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, is now in favour of churches in England and Wales being able to carry out same-sex unions if they wish; originally he said legislation would not include religious ceremonies.

Due to the fact that some religious groups, such as the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, have voiced opposition to the plans, Ministers say any changes would “fully respect” the rights of religious organisations’ non-participation.


Five-year-old British girl embroiled in transatlantic custody dispute

A young British girl with an American father is the subject of an international custody battle which has gone all the way to the US Supreme Court, according to the Telegraph.

Five-year-old Eris Hales Chafin’s mother, Lynne Hales, is arguing with ex-husband Jeffrey Chafin, a US Army sergeant, over custody of their daughter.


Pilot wins right to divorce Brazilian wife in UK

An easyJet pilot whose wife refused to return from Brazil to England after a holiday in her homeland has won his legal fight to have their divorce settled in British courts, according to The Telegraph.

Silvana Cattin left her husband, Jean, and refused to return to England with their children after a row several days into a Brazilian holiday.


Judge comments that ‘need’ is not relevant in ‘big money’ divorce settlements

Last Friday, Lord Justice Thorpe gave a warning about the ex-wives of rich husbands who think they ‘need’ large financial settlements in the wake of their divorces, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The judge made the remarks as he presided over an appeal case in London, together with Lords Justice Rimer and Elias, in which a multi-millionaire hotel owner, 50-year-old Andrew Davies, is trying to cut a £2.75m divorce pay-out previously awarded to his ex-wife, 39-year-old Debra Davies.


Informal sperm donor must pay child support 13 years later

Mark Langridge, 47, was shocked to be told by the Child Support Agency (CSA) recently, that he must pay £26 a week child support for two children he fathered as a favour to a lesbian couple, as yet unnamed, who were his friends years ago.

The Daily Mail reports that Essex-resident Langridge and his long-term partner, Shaun Keeble, met the women in a gay nightclub in Southend in 1997.


Couple left with pittance after £1.7m fortune squandered on divorce

A judge has criticised two solicitors for spending £1.7 million on legal fees throughout a divorce, according to The Telegraph.

Judge Clive Million, in a County Court judgement delivered in December, said the couple had driven their marriage “full tilt onto the rocks” and stated they have “spent almost all of their assets in litigation” with each other.


When you have issues in your family relationships, or a relationship has broken down, you will need legal advice and support. In our family law blog we cover the main issues affecting you, such as pre-nuptial agreements, separation, divorce, custody and child support, financial settlement, spousal maintenance, and domestic violence. We also cover current issues in the media, such as the UK’s surrogacy laws, rights of civil partners, and changes to adoption laws.

Have a browse for topics of interest.

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