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Vines Legal Limited

Matrimonial & Family Law Specialists

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Call today for your free initial, no obligation, consultation on 01246 555 610 for immediate, friendly and professional advice.

More changes to come on the Family Law front?

As the Children and Families Act 2014 continues to bed in it may be that there are more changes to family law practice and procedure on the horizon. A top family Judge has urged further radical reform of the Family Courts. One area of family practice under review is divorce law which has already seen some quite big changes under the Children and Families Act 2014. It has been suggested that “fault” based grounds (adultery and unreasonable behaviour) might be removed in favour of “irretrievable breakdown” as the sole ground. This would be with a view to trying to take the acrimony out of the process and make it simpler for people. There has also been some discussion as to whether the divorce process should be removed from the Courts and given to Registrars in a Registry Office.

Whilst any attempt to remove some of the distress and acrimony of the divorce process should be encouraged it is questionable to what extent, in reality, people will benefit from this. One school of thought has raised concern that the divorce process could be made too easy and just another thing to cross off the shopping list. A passing of the divorce process to a Registrar would also raise questions and concerns as to what recourse people would have to sorting out their financial issues since currently, in many cases, finances are sorted out under the umbrella of the divorce proceedings where a Judge is able to decide when the parties are unable to agree.

Please contact us on 01246 555 610 if you wish to discuss a family problem. We offer a free initial 30 minute consultation.

By Claire Clark on 17 Nov 2014

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The new Single Family Court and the Children and Families Act 2014 has now come into force. One hot topic which everyone is talking about is the introduction of compulsory mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs).

Under the new rules, you don’t have to ‘mediate’ but you do have to attend a MIAM to decide whether or not this is the best and most appropriate route for you to take if you are having a dispute with regard to children. After attending this meeting, if mediation is not for you, you may proceed down the Court route.

The MIAM therefore is compulsory, mediation is not.

If your dispute does end up in the Court arena you will be required to evidence the fact that you have attended a MIAM. Despite MIAMs being compulsory for the majority of people there are a few exceptions to this rule.

The following are some of the exceptions:-

  1. If there has been, or is a risk of, domestic violence.
  2. The whereabouts of one party is unknown.
  3. The application is made without notice to the other party.
  4. There is a significant risk to the life, liberty or physical safety of one party.
  5. Having spoken to three mediators in a 15 mile radius, none is able to provide a MIAM within 15 days

If you do not fall under any of the exemptions then you will need to attend a MIAM. At this meeting the Mediator will then assist with determining whether or not Mediation is appropriate.

If you are currently involved in a dispute with your ex in regard to the children then please contact Vines Legal today on 01246 555 610 to speak with one of our qualified and experienced professionals.

By Claire Clark on 23 Apr 2014

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Divorce is very emotional and it is often hard to separate that emotion from rational thought. At all times it is always best to try and avoid making any, potentially life changing, financial decisions in the heat of the moment. How the matrimonial assets are divided or what percentage is agreed upon can have a direct impact on your financial stability which, in turn, could affect the rest of your life. So take a minute to let rational thought rule your head rather than letting emotions lead the way.

It is always hard to come to terms with the breakdown of a marriage, and there will be a whole range of emotions in play. It is common to see many people wishing for this ‘to just be over’, or ‘that it is their fault so they will let him/her have the house’. These are very common thoughts and are often the most dangerous. These decisions are not made with any rational aforethought – they are emotion led which, in the Family Court arena, is not the way to deal with a financial division.

At Vines Legal, we would suggest that you think about things properly before making any final decisions and it is important to discuss your options through with a trained and qualified professional in the first instance. Everyone needs time to adjust to the shock, change or stress of a separation and obtaining proper advice, as opposed to what you hear from friends, neighbours, locals in the pub etc.., is the first step to making a sensible, fair and reasonable decision.

If you are currently thinking of separating or you are in the process of issuing a Divorce Petition, Vines Legal can help to make the process just that bit easier for you. Please contact us today on 01246 555 610 to take advantage of our free 30 minute consultation with one our experienced legal professionals.

By Claire Clark on 17 Apr 2014

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Talking about your Divorce…

Most people really don’t want to discuss their relationship problems with those they see and interact with daily; but it really can help.

The old mantra of a problem shared is a problem halved springs to mind and in this circumstance making sure your colleagues and your employer are aware really does help in some way to make the whole divorce process that little bit easier.

Those who scan the internet regularly will undoubtedly be aware of the relationship breakdown of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin, who made their announcement on Gwyneth’s popular website, Goop. The decision to make the announcement in the public domain really isn’t as scary as most would think. The fact that people are aware of what is going on helps to give you the support needed from family and friends.

Most people hate the thought of sharing their private relationship news with other people, but it is more than likely that most of us have either been there ourselves or we know someone that has. Having a support network around you is really important and will help you through the entire process. It is therefore much better to get talking about what is happening than keeping it all bottled up – which seems to be the British way of doing things!

If you are currently going through a divorce or are thinking about a separation, Vines Legal are here to help. Please contact us today on 01246 555 610 to take advantage of our free 30 minute consultation with one our experienced legal professionals.

By Claire Clark on 4 Apr 2014

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Divorce and how it affects your children!

Nearly half of all marriages end in divorce and often children are stuck in the middle.

It’s a hard time for adults going through divorce but also even harder sometimes for children who don’t understand why their parents are acting differently and that they have no control over what happens, it can often leave children feeling scared, sad, confused or angry.

Government research has shown that kids whose parents divorce when they are 7 or older find it harder to trust people and make friends.

Talking to your children and letting them know that you both love them can always reassure your child and help them to understand that this is not going to change the way you both are with them.  Working together for your child is so important and there are various resources online with information regarding how to deal with children through a divorce.

We have various information on our website and those that have decided that there is no other option than divorce can find out how we can help at or by contacting us on 01246 555 610.

By Claire Clark on 16 Jan 2014

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Home Renovations A Common Cause Of Divorce!

Recent polls show that many couples choose to get divorced after a home renovation.

Home improvement and design information website,, recently sent a survey out to couples asking about their experiences with home renovations.  More than 50% of those surveyed said that the renovation process caused a significant amount of stress in their marriages and 12% of those couples said that the stress of renovation caused them to consider or pursue divorce or separation.

Experts recommend that any couples that are thinking about renovations to their home should consider setting aside rooms for each of them to decorate individually.  This could take some of the stress out of the renovation process so that each person can have input into their home and decorate in the way they feel comfortable.

Of course, no matter what some couples do to prevent discord, their efforts are unsuccessful and splits occur. It is also important to remember that it is possible to live happily alone.

If there are any concerns or questions about divorce and you would like expert help, please give us a call on 01246 555 610.

By Claire Clark on 13 Jan 2014

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‘Bad Behaviour’ Causes More Marriage Breakdowns than Adultery

A recent major divorce study by Co-operative Legal Services shows that marriages are more likely to break down as a result of bad behaviour – not adultery.

The study analysed more than 5 million divorce cases between 1970 and the present day and as times are changing bad behaviour seems to be more common for the grounds of divorce.

Results showed that couples are half as likely to divorce on grounds of adultery than forty years ago – Whereas complaints of unreasonable behaviour have shot up from 28% in 1970 to almost half (47%) in today’s figures.

In the 1970s 29% of marriages ended because of infidelity, but in comparison, cheating spouses cause just 15% of divorces.

If you are considering separating from your partner and want to know your options or any advice on what you can do, call us on 01246 555610 or visit our website at

By Claire Clark on 8 Jan 2014

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Time to Move on?

Is your relationship causing more stress than happiness? Maybe the person that used to put a smile on your face now ties your stomach in knots, brings a tear in your eye, or just makes you sigh?  If it seems like your relationship is just going backwards, maybe it’s time to ask that obvious question:

"Is it time to move on?"

The biggest mistake most couples make is staying too long in a relationship that is heading nowhere.

If you love and respect yourself and your partner, you owe it to both of you, to be honest with each other and make a courageous decision that frees you both for what you really long for: A love that actually works.

Are you feeling like your relationship hurts more than makes you happier?

Do you keep having the same old arguments about the same things?

By paying attention to the most obvious signs that it’s time to move on, you can honour both yourself and your partner and give both of you the biggest gift of all: The freedom to find a love that’s meant to last.

For advice on separation please contact us on 01246 555 610 or visit for all our free help and advice pages.  

By Claire Clark on 6 Jan 2014

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Big Love, Little Divorce

Overweight people are less likely to divorce as size could determine whether you marriage fails or not.

Research done by online separation service shows that People weighing 101 to 200lbs are three times more likely to end their marriage.

The site found that out of 2,708 cases, 2,054 involved individuals in that weight bracket: almost 76%.  People weighing between 201 and 250lbs accounted for 493 of the cases (18.2%), and only 143 divorce cases involved people weighing over 250lb (just over five per cent).

The results seem to show that happy people eat more and 62% of people admitted gaining up to a stone since being in a relationship, while 72% also think that their loved one has put weight on too.

Part of this seems down to mirroring your beloved's eating habits as 52% of women say they often eat the same amount as their male partner, and 56% admit this means they eat much larger portions than they would normally.  Upon entering into a happy relationship, 30% of couples say their main activity together becomes staying in and watching television, while 20% say eating out together is a key bonding pastime.

If you find yourself in the situation of separating you can either visit our website for information on divorce or give us a call on 01246 555 610.

By Claire Clark on 3 Jan 2014

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Divorce or relationship breakdown can lead to emotional meltdown. Most of us try to hold it together in the workplace but that isn't always possible. There are various situations that can change when going through this difficult time.

Your attendance at work could be affected, arriving late, leaving early, as well as new arrangements about childcare.  Just remember that employers are there to talk to when times are hard, they will appreciate your honesty and will work with you. Be careful with the amount of alcohol you consume, drinking heavily can affect your job and how you perform in your role, even the day afterwards.

Remember work can be a really stabilising influence on your life during divorce; it may be one of the major life structures that does not change.  So don't let divorce derail your work!

We can help you through your divorce and provide you with all the advice you will need on how to deal with this.  Please give us a call today to find out how we can help on 01246 555 610.

By Claire Clark on 1 Jan 2014

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