1. Will I be able to keep the house?

    This is one of the most common concerns for parties going through relationship breakdown. Housing is the priority for any Court, particularly the housing of children and the parent caring for any dependant children most of the time. One of the first steps will be see whether financially that can be achieved but if there…

  2. Jointly owned properties – can I stop him/her from entering the house?

    Whilst property is jointly owned, generally speaking both parties are entitled to live there and so can enter and retain a key unless there is a Court Order (Injunction) in place determining who should live in the property and who can have access to it. Generally, it is not usually possible to stop one party…

  3. My civil partnership has broken down and we are in the process of dissolving this but I am worried about what happens about the house and sorting out a financial settlement. What happens next?

    The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (“CPA”) makes provision for how financial relief can be obtained when a partnership ends. The court can make orders for: – periodical payments (maintenance) – lump sums – property adjustment (eg. what is to happen to the home – is it to be sold, transferred or dealt with in some…

  4. My partner has parental responsibility for his/her children, now that we are in a civil partnership – how do I obtain parental responsibility?

    “Parental Responsibility” (“PR”) is a phrase used in the Children Act 1989 to refer to “the legal rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which a parent has over a child and his property”. The Children Act provides for the acquisition of PR by civil partners in the same way that step parents can gain PR…

  5. My relationship has broken down – how do I end my civil partnership?

    The process to dissolve your civil partnership is very similar to the procedure used for a divorce in that you file a petition, obtain a “conditional order” and then a “final order” which finally dissolves your partnership. You have to have been in your registered civil partnership for a year before you can apply for…

  6. What is the difference between mediation and collaboration?

    During mediation an independent third party assists both you and your former partner to find a mutually acceptable solution to your dispute, whether the dispute is about arrangements for your children or about a financial settlement. You will see a mediator with your former partner and you can also seek legal advice from your solicitor…

  7. What is a MIAM?

    A MIAM is an introductory meeting that all parties must attend if they wish to issue Court proceedings for children or financial issues. The purpose of a MIAM meeting is for both parties separately meet with a mediator who gives them information about the options available to resolve their dispute, such as mediation or the…

  8. What is Mediation?

    Mediation is a process whereby both you and your former partner will meet with one mediator who will explore options and help you come to an agreement. The mediator is not there to give you legal advice but can provide information to help you negotiate a solution to your dispute. Mediation can be used for…

  9. What happens if he does not disclose all of the assets? What if I know there is a property he is not disclosing?

    When the Court are making decisions, it is made clear that both parties should disclose all of their assets. Solicitors advising parties will also explain that to them.

  10. Will I be able to keep the house?

    This is one of the most common concerns for parties going through relationship breakdown. Housing is the priority for any Court, particularly the housing of children and the parent caring for any dependant children most of the time. One of the first steps will be see whether financially that can be achieved but if there…

  11. Jointly owned properties – can I stop him/her from entering the house?

    Whilst property is jointly owned, generally speaking both parties are entitled to live there and so can enter and retain a key unless there is a Court Order (Injunction) in place determining who should live in the property and who can have access to it. Generally, it is not usually possible to stop one party…

  12. What are care proceedings?

    This is the formal process where a Local Authority asks a Court to have your child taken into care and gives the Local Authority ‘parental responsibility’ which means they have a legal right to make decisions which affect your child such as where they live, where they go to school and about other important decisions….

  13. I agreed my child could be accommodated whilst I sorted some things out – now the Local Authority won’t let my child come home, what do I do?

    Under s.20, the Local Authority can only accommodate your child with your consent. Usually we would first write a letter saying that you no longer consent to this arrangement and you want your child to return home within a set time, usually a week. If your child is not returned then this will force the…

  14. I have received a pre proceedings letter from the Local Authority, is it important ?

    It is extremely important. The Local Authority should set out their concerns in the letter and this is a final notice so if you do not follow its instructions then you may have to go to Court and your child could be taken into care.