Family Law Matters

  • Family Law Matters is our collection of free articles on many areas of family law written by Jo Spain.

    Jo-spain-colour-100x100Jo Spain is a family law solicitor and Director.

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10 questions if you're thinking of divorcing

Question Mark Cloud (cc attribution licence) by Micky AldridgeIf you are thinking of separating from your partner then here are some questions to consider before you take the first step:

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I am getting divorced and my husband won't move out of the matrimonial home. Can I make him go?

The answer to this is, only in certain circumstances. If your husband is violent, threatening violence or subjecting you to harassment or intimidation then it is possible to apply for an Occupation Order together with a Non-Molestation Order which means he has to vacate the home and in some circumstances cannot come within a certain distance of it. He may also be arrested and charged with a criminal offence if he breaches the Order.

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I want to get divorced but my other half will not sign the Acknowledgement form in relation to the Divorce Petition. What can I do?

If you are divorcing on two years separation then the other person has to consent. Alternatively if you wish to go ahead with adultery then the simplest way to proceed is that the other person admits adultery. In both of these cases they would need to sign the forms sent from Court. However if it is an unreasonable behaviour Petition then there are a couple of ways of getting round this if they refuse to sign.

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“We wish you a Merry Christmas! - or do we?”

Christmas is a special time – made even more magical when there are children in the family. It is wonderful to see them wake up on Christmas morning and peer into their stockings to see what Father Christmas has brought them.

It is difficult to accept that when you are separated from their other parent you may have to give up some of this time to allow them to spend time with the other parent.

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"Separating but in no rush to get divorced but my elderly parents are not in good health can my husband claim against any inheritance?”

“I am separating from my husband and am in no rush to get divorced. However I have elderly parents, who are not in good health and I will inherit from them. A friend has told me that my husband could claim against any inheritance. Is this true?”

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We are thinking of moving into a new place with our daughter and son-in-law

“My husband and I have sold our house and are thinking of moving into a new place with our daughter and son-in-law. We intend to put some of our capital into the new place – is there any reason why we should have a formal arrangement in this respect?”

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My children live with me so do I need their father's permission to take them to Spain on holiday this summer?

The answer is that you probably do. If their father has Parental Responsibility for the children (see another article "Can I stop my ex-partner taking our children abroad on holiday?" for more information about what Parental Responsibility is) then you will need to seek his permission to take them out of the country even if this was a day trip. The only exception to that is if you have a Residence Order in your favour and if you do then you are allowed to take them out of the country for up to a month without his permission.

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I am a woman who wants to move to Spain with my two children. Do I need my ex-partner's permission?

The answer is that you may do. If your ex-partner has Parental Responsibility for the children then he will need to give permission for you to permanently remove them from this country to live elsewhere.

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