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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.

Pets and Divorce

One of the most difficult issues to resolve after separation can be who gets custody of pets, especially cats, dogs and horses. According to research undertaken by The Dogs Trust, 25% of couples separating said their pet would be the most important thing for them in their settlement.

The law, however, sees pets in a very different way to their owners and classifies them as objects or personal property. If you cannot come to an agreement between yourselves and you are getting a divorce, the Court may decide who the pet will live with and may take into consideration who spent more time caring for the pet.

However, if you are unmarried, there is no such provision and the only thing that will be taken into consideration is who legally owns the pet. If you do not wish to get married but would like to protect your assets in the eventuality of a separation, a Cohabitation Agreement can be drawn up and who gets custody of pets can be included as part of this.

To discuss separation or divorce matters, please call 01246 555 610 for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.

By Claire Clark on 9 Mar 2016

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The Re-marriage Trap

Many people choose to remarry after divorce and while, most of the time, this would be considered a happy and positive thing, remarriage can pose a risk if your finances were not dealt with properly at the time of your divorce. If you did not reach any financial resolution with your partner and you remarry, you are unable to apply to make a claim against your ex-partner in the future. However, if your ex-partner does not remarry, they have the right to make a financial claim against you.

By not obtaining what in legal terms is known as a ‘financial clean break’ before remarriage, you are vulnerable to claims being made against you in the future by your ex-partner. Although it is a complex area of law, made more complex still when a lot of time has passed, it is not uncommon for people to change their minds and decide to claim against their ex.

Our solicitors are dedicated to protecting the assets you have today and those you may have in the future. In order to avoid putting yourself in a vulnerable position, call Vines Legal on 01246 555 610 to book a free 30-minute consultation.  

By Claire Clark on 1 Mar 2016

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The ‘Boomerang’ Divorce

According to research undertaken by the Co-Op Legal Services, a quarter of divorcees in the UK have considered getting back together with their ex-spouse – 12% of which did get back together. 73% cited that they would reconsider reconciliation after forgiving an infidelity and 40% admitted they still loved their ex.

Harley Street psychotherapist Christine Webber says that new children can be a common reason for relationship breakdown and that ‘a lot of people go through an angry phase when their children are quite small and they are trying to have careers – it’s a troublesome time’.

It is suggested that it could also be a result of couples marrying young, maturing after their divorce and having a more relaxed approach as they grow older. Webber continues to say that ‘on the whole, people are more tolerant with age. They realise that the sort of things they argued ferociously about when they were younger actually are not that important’.

If you are considering a divorce or are struggling with the breakdown of a relationship, call 01246 555 610 for a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.

By Claire Clark on 16 Feb 2016

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‘No Fault’ Divorces

According to a recent survey, more than four out of five people believe that the law should be changed to allow an immediate ‘no fault’ option when filing for divorce.

Currently, married couples seeking an immediate divorce have to provide the Courts with evidence of adultery or unreasonable behaviour. A change in the Law, therefore, would accommodate couples who do not have evidence of any of these and who simply choose to end their marriage. It is suggested that this new option could allow for couples to divorce more amicably, creating less stress for all parties involved, particularly children.

Jo Edwards, Chair of family law organisation, said: “We know that our current fault-based divorce system achieves nothing besides escalating conflict during divorce. It does not act as a deterrent, nor does it help couples to salvage their marriage. The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that 114,720 people divorced in England and Wales in 2013, despite fault-based petitions.”

If you have decided to divorce and are looking for advice on how to proceed, call 01246 555 610 for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.

By Claire Clark on 3 Feb 2016

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The Season of Divorce

Christmas is over, it’s a new year and a new start with many deciding that a new start means divorce or separation. The Mirror reported that 40% of couples blame their separations on the financial strain of Christmas as this increases pressure on their relationship. As well as the financial impact of Christmas, it has also been reported that having to spend extended periods of time over the festive period in an unhappy couple can be a catalyst into starting divorce proceedings in January. Infamously dubbed ‘D-Day’ or ‘Divorce Day’, the first working day in January has become the busiest day of the year in most solicitors’ offices.

According to a report by The Independent, one in five married couples are considering separating after staying together over Christmas. However, research by The Co-operative indicates that many couples had already decided to separate before Christmas with one in four couples deciding to wait to separate until the festive period was over in order to avoid upsetting family and loved ones and enjoy one last Christmas together as a family unit.

If you have decided to divorce and are looking for advice on how to proceed, call 01246 555 610 for a free initial consultation with one of our experienced solicitors.

By Claire Clark on 20 Jan 2016

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Protecting Your Loved Ones During Divorce

The results of a recent survey conducted by family law organisation Resolution show that 82% of young people would rather their parents split up than stay together for their sake. So if you and your partner do decide to divorce, how do you protect your children?

‘We must remember that our goal as parents is not to prevent our children from experiencing any stress, but to help make the stressors our children face moderate enough so they can tolerate and overcome them,’ says Diane M. Berry, author of Child Friendly Divorce.

With this in mind, how can we reduce the impact that divorce has on our children?

Trying mediation before considering the litigation route

With mediation now compulsory for most couples looking to resolve issues with finances or children issues, this is an excellent opportunity to try to keep the process as short and amicable as possible. Although this may not always be possible, it is a useful and facilitated way to try to reach decisions together.

Keep communication flowing

You may not be in a position to communicate effectively with your ex, but being able to talk to your children about the situation is key. They may not understand exactly what is happening and your reassurance and guidance through the process will be of great comfort to them.

Look after yourself

In order to look after others, you have to be in a place to do so yourself. Divorce is stressful and can take its toll on your health and well-being. It’s important to take some time out once in a while to relax and reboot.

Defend them from the drama

Suddenly having two different homes could seem strange at first, so creating warm and comfortable environments is essential. Try not to dwell or focus on the divorce or what is happening at your ex’s home and instead focus on activities and spending quality time together.

At Vines Legal, we have ample experience supporting families through divorce and separation. If you would like advice regarding divorce, separation or parental rights, book your free consultation on 01246 555 610.

By Claire Clark on 22 Dec 2015

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Ridiculous Reasons for Divorce from Around the World: Part Two

6. World of Warcraft

One woman made the fatal mistake of giving her husband of six years a World of Warcraft game for Christmas. He became so addicted that he stopped doing his chores and paying his bills so she divorced him!

7. Lies, lies, lies!

One Chinese woman told her future husband that she was 24, when really she was 30. He found out 10 years later and divorced her for deceiving him!

8. Poker face

During a game of poker in Russia, one man ran out of money to gamble with and so bet his wife and lost. Naturally, his wife was furious and divorced him. In a strange turn of events, she ended up marrying the man who had won her in the poker game!

9. 50 Shades of Divorce

One woman decided to file for divorce after her husband refused to try some moves from 50 Shades of Grey! He was outraged and so she decided she would rather be single!

10. Big, beautiful lie!

One Chinese man sued and eventually divorced his wife after he found out she had had major facial surgery to make her more attractive before they met. He only discovered this after they had a child together, which bore no resemblance to either of them!

By Claire Clark on 17 Dec 2015

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Ridiculous Reasons for Divorce from Around the World: Part One

1. Guantanamo

A woman in Saudi Arabia filed for divorce after discovering that her husband had her saved in his phone as ‘Guantanamo’.

2. Facebook status

A marriage as short as two months almost ended due to the husband’s busy work schedule leaving him no time to change his relationship status from ‘Single’ to ‘Married’. The Judge ordered the couple to try counselling before heading down the divorce route.

3. Mad about cats

One man in Israel filed for divorce after his wife adopted 550 cats. The pair lived happily with the cats for the first few months, but eventually, the husband couldn’t afford to pay for food due to the expenses he was paying in cat food and litter trays as well as the cats getting under his feet!

4. Mad about dogs

An elderly Romanian couple decided to call it a day after the husband continually spent their monthly pension on food for the stray dogs in the neighbourhood instead of food for the family.

5. Support Beijing Olympics!

One Chinese Olympic fanatic decided to run across China to show his support for the Beijing Olympics. He sold his flat to pay for a van decorated with ‘Support Beijing Olympics!’, to pay for supplies and to hire a team of six people to support him on his journey. He thought his wife was joking when she told him she would file for divorce if he went through with it, but sure enough, she did just that as soon as he had finished.

By Claire Clark on 15 Dec 2015

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Should Grandparents Play More of a Part in Child Arrangement Proceedings?

Often, one of the most challenging aspects of a divorce is agreeing to child arrangements. The Courts encourage parents to try to make these arrangements between themselves in an attempt to keep things as amicable as possible. But in some cases, the relationship between the two parents has broken down so irretrievably that these decisions cannot be made independently or through mediation.

If this is the case, parents can automatically apply to the Courts to resolve the situation. This is not the case for grandparents, however. As grandparents do not have parental responsibility for the child or children in question, they must first ask the Court for permission to make an application for contact with the child (a Child Arrangements Order).

When parents divorce, it can be equally as challenging and frustrating for the grandparents as it can be for the children. Parents can make it more difficult for grandparents to have contact with children, which is regrettable, as grandparents often have close relationships with their grandchildren. This is especially true in a time when it is common for both parents to work full-time, often leaving grandparents to care for or babysit their children. Should grandparents’ custodial rights be considered more when making child arrangements?

At Vines Legal, we understand the important role that each family member plays in a child’s life and that the child’s or children’s needs are paramount. If you would like to discuss a child arrangement case with us, call 01246 555 610 to make a free initial consultation.

By Claire Clark on 3 Dec 2015

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The ‘Quickie Divorce’ Myth Busted

The divorce of Blackadder star Rowan Atkinson has sparked a lot of attention over the past few weeks due to the fact that, according to the media, his divorce supposedly took 65 seconds. However, regardless of your social status or your bank balance, divorcing in 65 seconds is a legal impossibility.

Of course, the time each divorce takes to be completed depends on various different factors and therefore all vary in length, but to comply with English law, there are procedures that everyone must adhere to. These procedures include filing a Divorce Petition, applying for Decree Nisi and finally, applying for Decree Absolute 6 weeks and 1 day after Decree Nisi has been pronounced. These stages must be completed by each and every person filing for divorce in England and will invariably be longer if you have finances to sort out.

The “65 seconds” the media are referring to is simply the moment when the Judge pronounced Decree Nisi; this does not mean that they are officially divorced as there is still the final stage of Decree Absolute.

Divorce can become complicated, especially when there are disputes over how to divide your finances and assets. Therefore, having representation that you can trust and depend upon to guide you through each stage of divorce, no matter how complicated, is key. At Vines Legal, we will aid and advise from start to finish. To discuss any legal family matter with us, call 01246 555 610 to book a free initial consultation.

By Claire Clark on 1 Dec 2015

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