BLong Blog

Category Archives: Family & Relationships

Leaving children home alone

A comment in response to “Essex parents arrested for leaving children home alone” in the Halstead Gazette. It is never acceptable practice to leave young children at home alone. There is no definitive age for doing so but the consequences can be tragic and criminal. The authorities will act if parents or other adults in […]

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From pre nups to pet nups!

As well has the financial advantages of pre-nuptial agreements and cohabitation agreements, The Law Society has recently reminded couples that one in four divorces involves a dispute over pets and advise couples to draw up a pre-nuptial agreement over their pets specifying the arrangements for their pets who are of course a part of the […]

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“It ain’t over until the court says it is”

A couple of months ago I commented on the case of Vince v Wyatt, a case which has captured the public imagination as the “new age traveller divorce”. At that time, the Court of Appeal had said that Ms Wyatt could not pursue a financial claim against her ex-husband Mr Vince. They had been married […]

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Should heterosexual people be forced to marry?

Recently, a couple attended at a register office in Chelsea to give notice of their intention to legally formalise their relationship by entering into a civil partnership. The problem: they are an opposite-sex couple and, under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, a couple may only enter into a civil partnership if they are of the […]

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Have you been putting off getting divorced?

I have been surprised recently by the number of people that are separated but for one reason or another have not formally dissolved their marriage. Whilst there are many reasons why a couple who have separated may not divorce, changes to the intestacy laws that came into effect on 1 October 2014 following the implementation […]

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New age traveller divorce

The Supreme Court is now considering its judgement in the case of Vince v Wyatt, a couple who divorced more than twenty years ago after only three years of marriage. Although there was one child of the marriage, the couple lived as travellers for the short time they were together and had no assets of […]

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Warning to spouses who fruitlessy litigate

A recent Court of Appeal judgement has sent a warning to spouses who fruitlessly litigate cases which ought to be capable of settlement and then appeal against perfectly sensible orders. In this case, both husband and wife were high earning professionals in their mid thirties with about £510,000 worth of capital to divide, and a […]

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Child Maintenance Service – application fee and charges

The Child Support Agency (“CSA”) is gradually being replaced by the new Child Maintenance Service (“CMS”) following more than two decades of pretty poor performance by the CSA. At the same time, the CMS has introduced application fees and charges. Now for the first time, research carried out by national charity, Gingerbread, which supports single […]

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Dating and divorce

In a recent High Court decision, Mr Justice Mostyn, a leading family judge, made comments that may lead either party to a divorce to reconsider dating a new partner, before their financial matters are settled. Mr Justice Mostyn commented that either party dating during financial settlement is a “fly in the ointment” for family court […]

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The cost of a child in 2014

According to their website, the Child Poverty Action Group is “the leading national charity working to end poverty among children, young people and families in the UK”. The Child Poverty Action Group, together with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, on 12 August 2014 published a report entitled “The Cost of a Child in 2014”. That report […]

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