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Individual and Family Law

Divorce Changes on Back Burner Again

Lucinda McWatt
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As Parliament has been dissolved and politicians turn their minds to canvassing ahead of the General Election the business of Government and changes to the law have been put on the back burner and this will have an effect on the progress of the Divorce Bill....

Later Life Marriage, Divorce and Finances

Emma Kendall
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A later life relationship can be a new start, but those entering should give careful consideration to pensions, inheritance, property and most of all finances. There are steps that can be taken to protect these assets and these are often the main source of...

It's Strictly the Silver Splitters Heading to the Divorce Courts

Lucinda McWatt
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With the onset of autumn couples often start thinking about themselves and their relationships and so it tends to be a key time for those considering divorce, but more recently the age 55+ divorce is leading the way in the usual September spike in cases. ...

Emma joins the Family Team

Emma Kendall
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Pearson have strengthened their Family team this summer with the appointment of solicitor Emma Kendall. A solicitor with 10 years’ experience Emma will be specialising in divorce and all aspects of matrimonial law with a Resolution friendly approach...

Rebecca accredited as Children Law Practitioner

Rebecca Wolfenden
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Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers are delighted to announce that Family & Care Solicitor Rebecca Wolfenden has become accredited by the Law Society as a member of the Children Law Panel. The Children Law Accreditation Scheme covers all types...

An End to the Blame Game in Divorce

Lucinda McWatt
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‘No blame’ divorce is now to become law making it easier for couples to split. The Justice Secretary has announced changes to the 50-year-old divorce laws meaning divorcing couples no longer have to blame each other for the breakdown of their...

Pensions, Divorce and Death

Lucinda McWatt
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It’s a complicated state of affairs when an ex partner dies and pensions are brought into the equation – who benefits from the pension - the ex wife or the new wife? If the deceased has made a new Will after his second marriage and left...

Probate Changes Could Affect Families from April this Year

Hannah Pearson
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April sees a change in probate rules with fees of up to £6,000 now payable on estates for the first time. The fee would only be applied to estates worth more than £50,000, unlike the current system which is charged on all estates above...

Divorce and What To Do with The family Money

Richard Eastwood
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When talking about divorce it’s never long before pensions, finances and how much the whole process costs comes into the conversation. There has been the usual spike in January divorces once again, not least the richest man in the world Jeff Bezos of...

No Fault Divorce to become the Law

Lucinda McWatt
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No fault divorce for separating couples are going to be introduced into the law. In the next session in parliament the justice secretary David Gauke has confirmed he will bring in the legislation enacting the reform.  This will mean that couples...

Drafting prenuptial agreements before the Wedding Day

Lucinda McWatt
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Consideration of financial or prenuptial agreements before setting out on a life together can be essential if you are marrying into wealth. As we see in the news recently the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos announces his pending divorce to wife MacKenzie of...

Filing online - Divorce, the easy way?

Lucinda McWatt
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FILING PAPERS ONLINE - DIVORCE, THE EASY WAY? Whilst the rest of us were tucking into Christmas Dinner 13 people were filing for a divorce to online service of HM Courts and Tribunals.  The official figures show that this rose to 77 people completing...

Remember You're a Parent

Pamela Walsh
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Separated parents squabbling over who gets to spend time with their children over Christmas are advised to resolve disputes before the festive season. Although your relationship with your partner has ended it is important to remember that you are both still...

The Importance of Continuously Updating Your Will

Laura Pracy
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An estimated 40 million people in Britain have not produced a Will. It’s, therefore, no surprise that the term ‘wills apathy’ has been widely used to illustrate a behavioural trend among the general public. This trend shows that the...

Raising awareness of the common-law marriage myth

Lucinda McWatt
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Saturday 18 August has been reported as the most common day in 2018 to tie the knot in the UK. However, since the early 1970s, the number of people actually getting married has steadily decreased, dropping a further 3.4% last year. There have been many...

Supreme Court rules Woman 'must stay married' whilst family law experts warn of 'divorce crisis'

Lucinda McWatt
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Yesterday the Supreme Court unanimously rejected Tini Owens appeal to grant her a divorce from her husband Hugh.   The couple married in 1978 have two adult children, but as he is refusing to split up, they must remain married until 2020. Lord...

Solicitors are Getting Down and Dirty to Fight Cancer

Suzanne Wright
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A team of solicitors will be swapping court shoes for trainers this weekend when they take on the Pretty Muddy challenge to raise funds for Cancer Research. The race at Heaton Park will see the team of solicitors and support staff from Pearson...

Online Review Results Give Solicitors Thumbs Up

Suzanne Wright
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Restaurants, bars and holidays – we all turn to trip advisor and online reviews before making a booking or a purchase these days and so it is increasingly the same with legal services – whilst the majority of our clients have been with us for...

We Never Stop Learning

Joanne Ormston
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Learning never stops even after you get that job at Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.  Due to the nature of our business our staff have a variety of backgrounds and join the firm with varying qualifications . Joanne Ormston , Practice...

Celebrating Our Volunteers

Joanne Ormston
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Volunteering plays a key part in our communities without which many charities, social events and community activities wouldn’t exist. This week is all about celebrating volunteering, recognising what is done behind the scenes and celebrating the huge...

We Are Celebrating Quality

Joanne Ormston
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For the 16th year on the run we have been awarded the prestigious Lexcel quality mark. After an exhaustive and detailed inspection of our files and office procedures, including interviews with our solicitors and staff, the Law Society’s practice...

'No Fault' Divorce

Lucinda McWatt
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Should you be able to divorce without blaming your spouse in divorce proceedings? Resolution, the family justice body, are currently campaigning for the law surrounding divorce in England and Wales to be changed into ‘no fault’ divorce allowing...

Emily - Recognised as Outstanding Student

Bridget Batty
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Emily Gardner , Office Administration Assistant in our Family Team, has just completed Level 2 Office Administration at Oldham College. It’s ‘Learning at Work Week’ so we’d like to acknowledge Emily’s success of her...

Challenging a Will? Speed is of the Essence

Laura Pracy
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A recent case warns beneficiaries of a will to ensure they understand its effects – and to take action if they think they have not been adequately provided for. The provisions of most wills often come as little surprise to family and friends. They...

Calculating the Cost of Care Home Fees

Joanne Jones
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Care home fees is a hot topic for many reasons. To begin with, we are all living longer and therefore our chances of requiring some variation of care are increased, whether this be in a residential care home or via a package of care in our own properties. ...

January Blues is No Myth Says Divorce Lawyer

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It’s no myth that the first day back at work after the Christmas break is known by divorce lawyers as ‘divorce day’. It’s their busiest day of the year and with the divorce rate going up for the first time in 10 years, they are...

Setting the Law Straight

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With cohabiting couples being the second largest family type in the UK, Ministers are backing a recent bill put forward to Parliament which could see straight couples being able to enter civil partnerships for the first time. The new law, which has been...

New Legal Aid Reforms for Domestic Abuse Victims

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Recently, the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has announced changes to the Legal Aid Reforms to give more support and protection to those families who have been abused by their former partners. The current five year limit on abuse evidence is to be abolished and...

Local Woman Wins Fight for Bereavement Damages

Kenneth Lees
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In a recent reported case, a local woman has won a legal fight for cohabiting (unmarried) couples to be awarded better rights should they lose their long-term partners. Smith from Chorley took the government to Court for breaching her human rights in denying...

Cohabiting? Do You Know Your Legal Rights?

Lucinda McWatt
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27 November - 1 December 2017 is national Cohabitation Awareness Week and Pearson Solicitors are highlighting the need for unmarried couples to seek legal advice to safeguard themselves should their relationships break down. According to the ONS (Office for...

Divorce Laws - Are They Corrosive?

Lucinda McWatt
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Senior Judges and other legal dignitaries are backing a campaign for an end to the archaic and damaging Divorce Laws in the UK, claiming they are harsh, unjust and don't put the welfare of children or relationships first. The Times have launched a...

Shortlisted for the Lawyer Monthly Private Client Awards 2018

Suzanne Wright
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We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the Lawyer Monthly Private Client Awards 2018 in the category of: Estate Planning and Administration - Solicitor of the Year, ahead of the announcement of results on 9 November 2017. The Lawyer Monthly...

Lasting Powers of Attorney - Friend or Foe?

Sarah Finnigan
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Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are a hot topic, often sparking debate. There is no doubt that more people than ever are aware of them and this firm has certainly seen an increase in the number of clients making them. Yet there is still conflicting opinion...

Solicitor Condemns Fraud in Holiday Sickness Cases

Ian Wolstenhulme
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The recent news regarding prison convictions for a couple who made false claims for holiday sickness is welcome and will hopefully make people realise these cases are not quick wins but are properly investigated and should only be for those who have...

Make a Will and Donate to Dr Kershaw's Hospice

Hannah Pearson
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Plan for Your Future and Help a Charity at the Same Time From October 9th – 15th our solicitors are donating their time free of charge if clients need a Will, all we are asking is that the fee is donated to Dr Kershaw’s Hospice. For the past...

Pearson Pop the Kettle on for Charity

Joanne Ormston
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Staff at Oldham law firm Pearson Solicitors are popping the kettle on and welcoming clients with coffee and a cake as they take part in the annual Macmillan Coffee Morning this Friday. As well as inviting neighbouring businesses and clients to the coffee...

September Spike In Divorces, say Local Lawyer

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September often sees a seasonal spike in parents getting advice on separation and divorce, often seeking a new start with the new term and having waited until the end of the school summer holidays. A survey by Relate states almost one in five (18%) couples...

Waiving Will Writing Fees for Charity

Joanne Jones
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Have you made a Will? Do you need to update your Will? The Private Client team are proud to be supporting The Christie Make A Will Campaign by waiving their Will writing fees during 18-29 September 2017 and will be encouraging the community and beyond to...

The Process of Divorce

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Although divorce is a commonplace occurrence these days, few people going into their first divorce have much idea about how the process operates. Here is a brief guide. The process for dissolution of a civil partnership is essentially the same, as are the...

More People Are Disputing Their Inheritance (or Lack of It)

Laura Pracy
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We’ve recently seen an increase in enquiries from people wanting to challenge a relative’s will or make a claim if they are not provided for – so much so that we have expanded our team. Laura Pracy rejoined us in June and is now working in...

Capital Protection on Divorce

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According to the Office for National Statistics, divorce rates are falling, latest statistics revealed show there were 111,169 divorces in 2014, a reduction of 3.1% compared with 2013, but the question I always get asked in an initial interview surrounds the...

What it means when you hear about the tax advantages of marriage

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The number of unmarried cohabiting couples more than doubled in the 20 years between 1996 and 2006, from 1.5 million to 3.2 million.  As a divorced financial adviser I know just what the tax issues surrounding marriages are. Recent research found that...

Making Wills fit for the 21st Century

Joanne Jones
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Recent proposals to bring the law around Wills up to date have been welcomed by solicitors after a recent statement issued by the Law Society on the changes. In a response to the Law Commission’s consultation, President, Joe Egan stated: “...

Holiday not gone to plan - We are here to help

Ian Wolstenhulme
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Holidays should be a relaxing time, we all work hard for our weeks in the sunshine, but if you have been ill and had your holidays ruined through no fault of your own you can make a claim. Have you or anyone in your family suffered from food poisoning? ...

Relief as government drops proposals to increase probate fees

Sarah Finnigan
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We’re pleased to report that the government has dropped its proposals to increase probate fees confirming that there is insufficient time to implement the legislation ahead of the general election in June. In our recent article on the...

Estate Planning for Farming Families

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Rural businesses are being urged to review their succession planning amidst European uncertainty and the advice of a professional is necessary, more so now than ever, in order to minimise potentially large tax bills For all Estates, a clearly planned Will...

It's been a charitable year so far....

Suzanne Wright
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As a firm we get involved in the community in which we all live and work and as we reach the end of the financial year we are looking back proudly on what we have achieved. Our annual Wills Weeks for Dr Kershaw’s and The Christie raised over...

Wills, Trusts, Care Homes, and Property, Your Future Plans

Joanne Jones
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We solicitors talk about planning ahead a lot and whilst it may seem repetitive the message is important. If you make provision for the future now, by doing things like taking financial advice, drafting a Will or making a Power of Attorney, this can have...

Local People Losing Access to Justice, claims Family Solicitor

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Single parents, the vulnerable, the disabled and those living on less than £15,000 a year are more likely to experience multiple legal problems, according to a recent government study. Access to justice, following legal aid reforms, has meant that for...

Probate Fees set to Rise From May

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From this May probate fees will increase and on some estates this could push the bill up by £1000s warned Partner and Head of Private Client, Daniel Prince. The Ministry of Justice has confirmed it will push through an increase to charges for...

Business Plans and a Commercial LPA

Joanne Jones
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No matter what your interest in a business – owner, director, partner or sole trader – it just makes sense to protect the future of that business. ‘How?’ I hear you ask… You can start by ensuring you have a Will and Lasting...

Pension Rights, Public Sector and Cohabiting Couples

Joanne Jones
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Changing trends in family and living arrangements in the UK have meant there has been a shift away from the traditional ‘nuclear family’. According to the office of National Statistics, cohabiting couple families were the fastest growing family...

Divorce, the in-laws and inheritance

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Recent research indicates that a third of parents are not willing to offer an inheritance or financial aid to their married offspring due to the fear of divorce. Now, whilst I would not suggest you disinherit your nearest and dearest, in this era of the...

Deaths of The Rich And Famous Are A Stark Reminder To Us All

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The unexpected and alarmingly high number of celebrity deaths in 2016 got everyone thinking about their own mortality that little bit more. Even more worrying was the news that some of them with multi-million fortunes had no Will in place and their affairs...

Family Clinics Fill Up As January Life Changes Are Put In Place

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This week life gets back to normal after the excesses of Christmas and the New Year, but for many families it will be the start of something new as our law clinics, giving advice on separation and divorce, are getting fully booked. We run 2 full day clinics...

Why Making A Will Should Be Your New Year Resolution

Hannah Pearson
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Anyone over the age of 18 should consider making their 2017 New Year Resolution to make a Will warn solicitors as changing Intestacy rules mean more families are being disinherited or paying high inheritance taxes. Experts claim rising house prices...

The Christmas Spirit Comes early to Oldham Solicitors

Suzanne Wright
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The Christmas Spirit has come early to staff at Pearsons as they have been doing extra shopping in the run up to December 25th in aid of the Oldham Food Bank. Staff have been popping one or two items into their weekly shop and collecting it together at the...

The importance of making a Will

Christopher Burke
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Not making a will can create problems and inhertiance disputes for the family and employees you leave behind. We’re fast approaching Christmas and the New Year and, when we review 2016 in terms of celebrity losses, it's been a...

What the Sex Pistols, TS Eliot and LPAs have in common

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Solicitor Daniel Prince recently turned 50, here he looks at the definition of old in our society and what legal preparations you might need to make…. “It was a seminal moment, the big 50, the end of my youth, or so I was told - although I...

Make A Will and Support A Charity

Hannah Pearson
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Plan for your future and help a charity at the same time For the past few years Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers has supported the hospice’s charity event ‘Make a Will Week’ when firms from all over the town donate part or all of...

Putting the Children First in Divorce is not just for Hollywood

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When couples with children divorce you don’t have to be a Hollywood A lister to know that the children come first.  Many couples come to our free clinics for advice during the initial stages.  They come for advice on that first thought...

INSIGHT: A Date in the Diary for all Professional Networkers in Oldham

Suzanne Wright
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Calling all professional businesses in Oldham, following on from a very successful launch in the summer the Professional Oldham group is hosting a second get together at one of Oldham’s hidden gems. St Georges Chapel on George Street is the perfect...

You do not have to be old to have an LPA?

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It’s a fact that people are living longer and with an increasingly elderly population there will naturally be a greater number of people with dementia, a condition that carries with it a number of debilitating brain disorders. It is clearly essential...

Where there is a Will there is a Way to help The Christie

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People in Oldham will have the opportunity to make or update their will for free this week as part of The Christie’s Make a Will Week, in return for a donation to the charity. The Christie, the North West’s specialist cancer centre is...

September Spike in Divorce Cases

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September often sees a seasonal spike in parents getting advice on separation and divorce, often seeking a new start with the new term and having waited until the end of the school summer holidays. In a recent survey by Relate almost one in five (18%)...

DIY Divorce Can Spell Disaster and End Up Costly

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Divorce ranks as one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life, add to that significant financial worries – not just about how much money you are likely to receive post-settlement, but the cost of a divorce itself – and the whole...

Your Digital Legacy and Your Will

Joanne Jones
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Technology plays a huge part in the modern world, with many aspects of our lives now ‘virtual’ and although many of these things may not be considered ‘assets’ in the traditional sense, they are still an important part of any persons...

Why DIY Wills Are To Be Avoided

Joanne Jones
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Technically anybody can draft their own ‘home made’ Will and it can be tempting to try to avoid paying someone else for the pleasure. Sometimes however, dodging small upfront charges turns out to be more costly in the long run. So perhaps rather...

You Get What You Pay For

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The Court of Appeal has handed down a decision which should give considerable pause for thought to anyone who is tempted to use a 'law shop' or similar provider rather than a qualified and experienced firm of solicitors to handle their affairs. ...

Relatives to Face Additional Charges As Probate Fees Rise

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Relatives could soon be facing huge rises in probate fees if proposed new tiered systems of charges comes into effect for Probate. With property values at a new all time high the changes will obviously affect more and more people who find themselves hit by...

Divorcing Your Partner Just Got More Expensive

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The cost of getting a divorce in England has risen this week by 34% It will now cost £550 to issue a divorce petition, up from £410, following a debate in the House of Lords which approved the change to legislation. As more women than men...

Nesting Means It Is Prime Time To Make A Will

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A recent survey has highlighted that having a baby is the most likely cause for people to put their affairs in order and make a Will. Call it nesting or the onset of Spring, but whatever the reason 56% of people who made a Will did so because they had just...

Lucan Case Shows The Importance Of A Death Certificate In Law

Sarah Finnigan
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More than 40 years after Lord Lucan disappeared the high court has cleared the way for his only son to inherit the earldom. A presumption of death certificate was granted by Mrs Justice Asplin and a certificate was issued under the 2014 Presumption of Death...

Research reveals family court recycles young mothers

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At least one in four women will return to the family court, having previously lost a child through court order, and the chances of having a child removed increase to at least one in three for the youngest women who were teenagers at the birth of their first...

Divorce But Not As We traditionally Know It

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Dispute Resolution Week November 23 - 27 Raising awareness to highlight an alternative for separating couples and their families is part of Dispute Resolution Week with two Oldham law firms offering a free session to individuals aiming for amicable...

A Challenge to Divorce when Assets not Fully Revealed

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A significant Supreme Court ruling has paved the way for divorcing couples to renegotiate their settlements after it was found that two ex-husbands did not disclose the extent of their assets and wealth during their divorce cases. Pearson’s Family...

Damages Awarded In Childcare Proceedings, Stacy Fox Comments

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Damages of £10,000 each have been awarded for the first time to a couple whose children were unlawfully removed by a local authority.  The money was awarded under the Human Rights Act in childcare proceedings for a breach to their right to a...

Public Sector Pensions And Divorce

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It is not just about dividing up the CD collection and the crockery when it comes to divorce, pension pots have to also be taken into account. Unlike most private sector pensions, public sector pensions are excluded from the government’s new rules,...

The Collaborative Approach

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Collaborative Law is a new idea in UK divorce law and one which Pearson Solicitors have embraced as a ‘solution’ for divorcing couples to help reduce the emotional and financial cost on couples and their children. It can also be useful for...

Your Pension Pot and Divorce, dividing up the assets.

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In April Chancellor George Osborne provided the over-55’s the freedom to cash in their qualifying pension pots and take control of their lifetime savings.  We are increasingly finding that our clients who previously considered divorce but were...

Government loosens restrictions on domestic abuse victims

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Legal Aid Lifeline follows intense lobbying by Law Society and other groups Access to legal aid in family cases, even when it was accepted that the victim had suffered violence, was difficult in most cases, now thanks to successful lobbying by lawyers the...

Wife Receives 100% of matrimonial assets in £550,000 payout.

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The Court of Appeal has ruled that a wife should be awarded 100% of her husband’s assets following a divorce ruling.  In Aly v Aly the husband has been ordered to pay £550,000 after not paying maintenance or child support since 2012 and...

Is There A Gender Bias In Childcare Cases

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A recent study has shown that men are treated fairly when trying to get access to their children in family courts, and are ‘overwhelmingly successful’ in getting contact applications approved. The joint report by the University of Warwick and...

Ex-spouse can claim after 23 years of divorce

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“The widely reported case of Wyatt v Vince has undoubtedly caused consternation amongst lawyers and some already divorced people”, says Daniel Prince, divorce lawyer at Pearson Solicitors. “But the case is somewhat limited in its...

Big Money Divorce Case is Landmark Ruling for Stay-At-Home Mums

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A recent case where a judge has told a mother to get a job as she has no right to be “supported for life” following her divorce could have a significant impact on high-net worth divorce cases. Lord Justice Pitchford in the Court of Appeal...

Forced Sterilisation Could Raise More Questions than it Provides Answers For

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The Court of Protection has recently ruled that an unidentified mother of six with an IQ of 70 should be sterilised for her own safety as further pregnancy would be a "significantly life-threatening event" for mother and child. Head of Childcare...

IVF Decisions Could Have Long Term Legal Implications

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Babies created by three parents could open to the door to a whole host of complex legal issues, Specialist Childcare solicitor, Stacy Fox, said this week. The UK leads the way in this law as in an historic move this week MPs voted in favour of the creation...

Accessing Legal Help for Families Split Up in Care Proceedings

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Child care solicitor Stacy Fox has recently welcome recommendations by the Family Rights Group to enable more siblings to live together in care. A recent report found that half of all sibling groups in local authority care are split up, but says it is...

Strict Legal Aid Rules Remain

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Since the Government removed Legal Aid from the majority of family cases in April 2013, there has been a limited exception whereby legal aid would still be available to victims of domestic violence. In practice, this has still caused problems as the...

Divorce Hurting Workplaces In Oldham

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7% locally have had to leave jobs after a split, or have a colleague who has; 16% have seen workplace hit by sick leave following stress of break-up; 15% say separation or divorce had a negative impact on productivity Businesses in Oldham are suffering...

Round Table Divorce Family Dispute resolution Week

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A week of raising awareness to highlight the alternative for separating couples and their families begins to today (November 24 th ) and two Oldham law firms are offering a free session to individuals who are aiming for an amicable separation. Tracy...

Children destined for care from conception

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Oldham childcare solicitor Stacy Fox says all too often she is seeing successive families having second and third children removed and taken into care, with recent research backing this up. “The figures are very concerning, especially because they...

Litigants in person not getting fair hearings

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The impact of cuts in Legal Aid for family cases is having a knock on effect in courts and leaving many people exposed and having to represent themselves with often adverse effects. Just this month the Common’s Justice Committee heard evidence from...

Children get a voice in family court decisions

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Giving children a greater voice in the family justice system so they can tell judges how they feel and what they think about the family disputes they are involved in, has been welcomed by Care Solicitors at Pearsons. Children and young people from the age...

Care proceedings taking 33 weeks on average

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The latest Cafcass annual report shows that on average the duration of care proceedings in Jan-March 2014 was 33 weeks. The Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14  from Cafcass, the body that represents children in family court cases, shows that it is...

More UK marriages taking place but the reasons may be 'not so romantic'

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Marriages have increased in number by more than 5% in England and Wales—with immigration, money and the availability of pre-nups named as possible reasons. The latest ONS statistics showed a 5.3% rise to 262,240 weddings. The figures, which cover...

Legal Aid Evidence Criteria Widened For Victims of Domestic Violence

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Despite the diminishing availability of legal aid in family law cases it is still available for sufferers and survivors of domestic violence. Further changes have been made to the evidence needed to show domestic violence which should make it...

Disclosure of information in family proceedings cases involving children

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By Stacy Fox,  Childcare Solicitor There have in recent months been several reported family law cases relating to media coverage and restrictions on disclosure of information in family proceedings. Media coverage is certainly a highly debated...

Husband Who Hid Assets Faces New Settlement

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If you have negotiated a divorce settlement and then find out that your ex-spouse has been less than open when disclosing their personal finances, the court will reopen the matter if there is sufficient evidence to do so. In a recent hearing, the court...

Landmark Children and Families Act welcomed by Pearson Childcare expert

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By Stacy Fox, Childcare Solicitor The new Children and Families Act, which gives greater protection to vulnerable children, supports the children of separating parents and helps parents balance work and family life, has been welcome by Pearson...