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Wigan Family Law Blog

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.

Wife awarded £337 million may fight for more

The former wife of a financier has said that she is considering an appeal after being awarded what is thought to be the largest settlement in English divorce history. The couple, who were married for 15 years, were in dispute over £700 million of assets after separating in 2012. A High Court judge from the Family Division awarded the woman £337 million in a private divorce hearing, making her richer than the Queen.

The couple met when studying at Harvard University and have four children, including 12-year-old triplets. The assets being fought over included residences in the West Indies, the United States and England. The husband told the court that his estranged wife should receive one quarter of their collective fortune whilst the wife argued that she should get half as their wealth was amassed due to their partnership.

What you need to know about parental rights and responsibilities

'Parental responsibility' refers to the responsibilities and legal rights that all mothers and most fathers have as a parent. A mother will automatically have parental responsibility for a child from the time of its birth and a father will have parental responsibility if he is married to the mother of his child or if he is listed on the child's birth certificate. It should be noted that this is only applicable after a certain date, which depends upon where in the United Kingdom the child was born.

The most important tasks under the auspice of parental responsibility are to protect and maintain the child, and to provide a home for them. Although parental responsibility still exists for those who live apart from their child, this does not automatically give the right to contact. The parent who does live with the child, however, must still provide updates on the child's progress, well-being and circumstances.

Couple spends nearly a third of their assets during divorce

According to a High Court judge, a divorcing couple in a case over which he was presiding had spent nearly £1 million fighting over the division of their assets, which total less than £3 million. The couple had been married for 18 years prior to their separation in 2011.

The High Court judge said that more than £150,000 was earmarked for forensic accountants who valuated the 54-year-old husband's business assets. In reality, the division of assets in that divorce case had been easily settleable, according to the judge. Nevertheless, the divorcing couple spent nearly a third of their assets on the divorce, the judge said.