Cohabitation v remarriage: what's a breadwinner to do?

June 4, 2008 3 comments

Proposed legal rights for cohabitants have one reader reaching for the panic button. As regular readers are aware, I hold strong views about the Government’s reluctance to introduce new legislation for cohabiting couples. I believe that cohabitants should be allowed to put their relationship before the court in the same way that divorcing couples can….

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Fairness means more than 50/50

May 20, 2008 0 comments

Or, as we lawyers put it, the “Objective of the Court in financial arrangements is to achieve an outcome which is fair” Two round trips to London in the lasts seven days has involved two 5am starts, four train journeys, and a stimulating but challenging work schedule in our vibrant capital. I enjoy London very…

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Family law and forensic accountants

May 11, 2008 0 comments

With a forensic accountant as an advisor, a client can be given a swift measured opinion. Here at Stowe Family Law we have our own in-house forensic accountancy department. It happened more by accident than design. About four years ago, I had lunch with a partner at a well-known accountancy firm. I had encountered him…

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A question of trusts

April 9, 2008 2 comments

A trust is an investment – so is sound advice. Trusts are, without a doubt, bêtes noires for many family lawyers . A client attending a first meeting will expect clear answers, not waffle, particularly if he or she is the beneficiary of a trust. Here at Stowe Family Law, we were recently visited by…

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Unmarried parents, children and chequebooks

March 28, 2008 5 comments

Some of the cases with which I become involved strike me as “entrapment”. Following my comments about cohabitation, Mr. Justice Charles, a veritable Sir Lancelot in shining armour, rides to the rescue! I am often asked to advise mothers who have not married their partners. They need to know the financial settlements they can expect…

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Maintenance, remarriage and “Barder” events

March 7, 2008 20 comments

Settle your case on a continuing maintenance basis, and it can come back to haunt you… For many people, a financial settlement represents the final chapter in a divorce. Generally, it comes to all concerned as a huge relief. Parties can begin to rebuild their lives, putting the unpleasantness of a break-up behind them. For…

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"Tabling" the assets to mutual advantage

January 9, 2008 0 comments

“His wife demanded half of his future income and bonuses. Could he ever achieve closure?” When assets in a medium-term, “big money” marriage are divided, it can be a difficult case to call. If the capital exceeds the reasonable needs of both husband and wife, how should the surplus be allocated? One client of mine,…

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Will the bucks fizzle out?

December 20, 2007 0 comments

“The Courts have been waiting eagerly for a pre-nup test case like this…” Pamela Harriman the late daughter-in-law of Winston Churchill was as renowned for her political foresight in supporting the then unknown but coincidentally charismatic and good looking Bill Clinton for the US Presidency – as she was for her string of incredibly rich…

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Room for manoeuvre

November 9, 2007 0 comments

family life

“In a year or two when their emotions have cleared, they may bitterly regret settling too fast and too expensively.” Sometimes I read in the press that family lawyers can inflame and prolong the divorce process. Perhaps some do. My own clients know from the outset what will happen in their own cases, because my…

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