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Wigan Family Law Blog

Thousands of disclosures requested using Clare's Law

Clare's Law, or the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, was discussed and put into force after an incident in Salford, Greater Manchester. In that case, a woman was strangled and then set alight by her former partner. The man reportedly had a long history of abusive behavior, but this was never revealed to the victim.

In March 2014, Clare's Law was introduced so that an individual can request information about their partner from the police regarding their criminal history. This extends to family members who might be concerned that their relative is in a relationship that might involve domestic abuse. However, police authorities are able to refuse to disclose information if there is no evidence that an individual is at risk.

Husband permitted to contest ruling directing him to get a job

In an interesting turn of events, London's's Appeal Court recently allowed a househusband to appeal against the divorce ruling that directed him to move out from his home and fend for himself by getting a job. Claiming to be a victim of gender bias, the artist husband is also reportedly not satisfied with the financial settlement, which includes a lump amount of £300,000 plus £50,000 as annual maintenance, which was decided after factoring in his earnings on an earlier job and on the assumption that he will find himself a new job.

Being accustomed to high standards of living and supported by the income of his estranged wife, the husband's counsel attributed his inability to get back into a job to the fact he has never donned the role of a traditional breadwinner and cannot be expected or forced to do so. His wife has an annual salary of £420,000 a year as a partner at PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

£2.9 billion unpaid child support payments deemed 'uncollectable'

Official figures prepared for the government by the Department for Work and Pensions have revealed that almost three quarters of the £3.9 billion in unpaid child support payments has been labelled uncollectable. More than a million parents are owed money by their absent counterparts, and in many cases, those parents have taken their issues to the Child Support Agency to get help in collecting.

The CSA has made collecting recent debts, particularly for those families with children still under the age of 18, a priority. Their definition of uncollectable maintenance payments refers to absent parents that have made no contributions in the last six months and have no order in place for the future. Because of the concentration on current outstanding payments, £2.9 billion of the total £3.9 billion has been classified as uncollectable, but the DWP also stresses the actual figure is only a fraction of that when looking at arrears deemed permanently impossible to collect.

Enforcing child maintenance decision against overseas parent

A divorced parent in England may be able to enforce a child maintenance order or petition for a new maintenance decision even if the paying parent moves abroad. A number of different countries have signed agreements with the United Kingdom to enforce child maintenance decisions. Countries who are signatories to these agreements are referred to as "REMO countries".

A parent who would like to enforce a child maintenance order after the paying parent moves to another European Union country should complete a REMO 7 form. A REMO 8 form should be completed if a parent wishes to apply for a new child maintenance decision against a parent living in a different European Union country. These forms can be delivered to a local family court or mailed directly to the REMO Unit.

How child support rates differ

The Child Support Agency uses the income of the paying parent to determine how much child maintenance should be paid. There are four rates used, which are the nil rate, flat rate, reduced rate and basic rate.

Nil rate is applied when the paying parent is a student, is a child under 16 years of age, lives in a hospital or care home with fee assistance, is older than 16 but younger than 18 and receives certain benefits or is a prisoner. The flat rate is a weekly payment of £5 if their income is no more than £100 and they do not qualify for the nil rate. The reduced rate is applied when the paying parent earns less than £200, and the basic rate is applied if the paying parent earns £200 or more per week.

Divorce rates surge after holiday season

A poll of 2000 married individuals by a legal firm has revealed that one-fifth of those questioned were considering separating from their spouse after spending the festive season together. Dubbed 'Divorce Day', specialists in family law problems have said that the first working Monday of any January sees a significant increase in the number of enquiries.

The findings are supported by the Office of National Statistics, who claim that 42 percent of all marriages end in divorce. According to the ONS, 71 percent of all divorces are from those in their first marriage, one in seven of all divorces are due to adultery and, in 2012, nearly 50 percent of divorces were undertaken by those within their first decade of marriage.

Bitter divorce battle ends with £337 million settlement

The bitter divorce battle between a hedge fund billionaire and his estranged wife was finally brought to an end after the 49-year-old woman said that she would not appeal the settlement. The couple, who had been married for 19 years after meeting at Harvard University, separated in 2012.

The couple had been in dispute over a billion pound fortune. The wife argued that she was entitled to half of the wealth as the assets had been accrued as a result of their partnership. When discussing the settlement and the family law problem, she expressed surprise that her contributions to her family's wealth did not make her equal partner before the law.

How to end a civil partnership

Rather than entering into a marriage, some residents of Greater Manchester instead have chosen to form a civil partnership. However, these relationships can also come to an end, and the process for dissolving the partnership is a bit different than dissolving a traditional marriage.

There must be grounds to end a civil partnership, and the four grounds that are allowed include desertion, unreasonable behavior, living apart for more than two years and living apart for more than five years. If the civil partnership has been in place for longer than a year, one member of the partnership can file a dissolution petition. This involves presenting the reason for the split to the court and requesting permission to dissolve the partnership. The next step is to apply for a conditional order. The conditional order must state that the other partner has received the dissolution petition and agrees with proposed arrangements for any children. If the grounds for dissolving the partnership involve living separately for two years, then the conditional order must include the other spouse's agreement to the dissolution.

How to apply for a decree absolute

There are a number of stages involved in divorcing a spouse, the final of which is applying for a decree absolute. However, before an individual can conclude the process with this application, they must apply for a decree nisi.

A decree nisi is a document that states that the courts see no reason for an individual to remain married. An application involves filling in one of five statement forms. Each of these forms relates to the reason an individual might have given for wanting to divorce, so they should use the one that is relevant to their circumstances. If the application is successful, they will be sent the decree nisi, and after six weeks, they can apply for a decree absolute to end the marriage.

Woman sues husband for maintenance 22 years after they divorce

A woman who divorced her husband more than two decades ago is now suing him for maintenance. The couple divorced in 1992, and she told the court that she had been left to raise their son and a daughter from a previous relationship on benefits. The court heard that the man is now worth more than £100 million after beginning a green energy company following the divorce.

The woman told the court that she had approached her former husband for help in the 1990s, but her efforts were rebuffed. The woman suggest that he told her that his business's needs made him unable to help her financially. She then contacted the Child Support Agency to help with her family law problems. They began an investigation into his finances, but she told the court that she had asked for her claim to be dropped after their investigations prompted him to be abusive.