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Clarke & Son Blog

What’s been going on?

What’s been going on?

Yes, I know I didn’t write a blog last week. Would you believe the dog ate it? No, neither would I. Apologies to everyone. So let’s do a roundup of interesting Family Law news in the last couple of weeks.

 

Guy Ritchie/Madonna update

Further to my last blog it seems Guy Ritchie has been seen dropping off son Rocco at Madonna’s flat in West London. Although Rocco has not returned to live with his mother, contact has resumed. Looks like they’ve taken on board Mr Justice MacDonald’s recommendations – it’s little steps like this that lead to child care arrangements that both parents are happy with.

 

95% of separating couples head straight to court

Somewhat worrying figures have recently been publicised which seem to indicate that most people go straight to Court and bypass alternative negotiation options. This really isn’t the case. It is now compulsory for parties to attend a MIAM (mediation information and assessment meeting) before they can issue financial or child care arrangement proceedings. However in the last year only 1 in every 20 of the applications issued showed the parties engaging in mediation.

However these figures don’t take into consideration all the separating couples who reach agreements through mediation, collaborative law, solicitors or simply by negotiating themselves. If my clients are anything to go by then there are quite a lot of them out there!

 

Sorting out finances on divorce

Following the disappearance of legal aid for most family matters, recent figures published state that 79% of family cases at court now involve at least one person who is representing themselves. This is a huge amount of people dealing with court proceedings with very limited knowledge of the law and process.

There really is no substitute for good legal advice and I would always urge unrepresented parties to at least have one meeting with a lawyer to ask all the questions they need to ask and make sure they know what the law says.

In their infinite wisdom the people at the Family Justice Council have published a guide to sorting out finances on divorce targeted specifically for litigants in person who are trying to sort out their finances without going to court. It’s very good, with lots of information.

However, even the FJC say that there is no substitute for well timed, tailored legal advice!!

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