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25 January 2019

In an ideal world, sincerity and good faith would be at the heart of every divorce case. However, when relationships break down it often seems to bring out the worst in divorcing parties, which of course means that, in many cases, it is hard to achieve anything other than agitation, contention and acrimony.

And again in an ideal world, divorce lawyers would help divorcing parties understand that although their situation may look less than ideal, the best way to achieve divorce settlement goals is to act reasonably and litigate in good faith.

This message was one of the take homes from comments recently made by leading family law judge Mr Justice Francis when he said that "people who adopt unreasonable positions in litigation cannot simply do so confident that there will be an indemnity for the costs of the litigation behaviour, however unreasonable it may have been".

12 December 2018

Buying a home, especially your first, is one of life's major milestones. While it's exciting and aspirational to be a house-buyer, the process can be fraught with pitfalls and problems.

For some buyers, a major problem is emotion: your heart takes over when house hunting and you fail to see all the issues with a property and the land upon which it is built. Some things may be fairly easily rectified, such as removing an olive green bathroom suite, or a clearing a garden full of brambles, but there are some parts of property law which can be a little more thorny. For example, restrictive covenants.

29 November 2018

In October of the year, Clive Shaw bought a propriety estoppel claim against his aging parents.

He claimed that his father had promised since 1978 that he would inherit the family dairy farm when the parents died.  However, following a number of arguments between the parents and the son over his “workshy” attitude and his choice of partner, he was written out of their Wills in 2017.

Passing judgement yesterday, the Judge Linwood said

There was a family expectation that Clive, as the eldest child and only son, would inherit the farm – in the sense of it being a family business – not purely as an asset, but as a working farm, to be inherited by Clive as a farmer.

Clive was promised the farm would be his inheritance from about 1978 onwards, but those assurances were conditional upon Clive working properly on the farm in the manner of a dedicated, long-term farmer."

However, Clive was not sufficiently interested and his lifestyle choices were such that he did not want to take on the farm and dedicate himself to it, as his interests were elsewhere, in driving and engineering.”


19 November 2018

The UK has had more than its fair share of unusual laws throughout its history. It's hard to believe some of the laws that were enforced in the past, and it's even harder to believe that a number of them are still in effect today. Below we take a look a few of the strangest laws that are still around.

It is an offence to be drunk and in charge of a cow

The Licensing Act 1872 forbids people from being drunk while in charge on any highway or other public place of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine. Sensibly, the act also prohibits people from being drunk when in possession of any loaded fire-arms.

Offenders face a hefty fine or imprisonment for a maximum of one month. If a fine was issued and not paid, then the court may order him to be imprisoned with hard labour. Probably best to leave your cow or steam engine at home if you are going for a night out.

12 November 2018

Christmas is just a few weeks away, and for many divorced or separated families this can mean extra stress and emotional anxiety.

If this is your first Christmas after separation

Be prepared that you may well find the festive season difficult. Take some time to think about how you may feel and whether there are likely to be any specific triggers that may be upsetting for you. Think about ways of coping not just with the festive season in general but with any potential flashpoints. Let go of any traditions that no longer work for you or that you inherited from your ex’s family. Instead, try creating some new traditions to replace any old ones you'd rather forget – you can get your children involved in creating new arrangements to help them feel fully involved in the festive season.

Get organised early on

Don’t leave making the arrangements for the children until the last minute. Sorting out the arrangements early on will ensure that things go smoothly and is especially important when you are also trying to factor in extended family. The earlier everyone knows what is happening and when, the better. Sometimes trying to make arrangements that suit everyone can be a logistical nightmare so, to save yourself a lot of stress, it may be better to let family know when the children will be with you and invite everyone round on just one day – this leaves you and your children free to enjoy the rest of your time together.  

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