Tag: LAW

Why you need an emergency fund now more than ever

The past few years have been difficult for us all. We are still experiencing the rippling effect of Brexit, the pandemic, the wider impact of the Russia-Ukraine War, and the cost-of-living crisis.

With a series of unpredictable events, it can be easy for uncertainty to rise and for you to worry about things that are out of our control. However, now’s the time to try focussing on what you can control – like planning ahead and preparing yourself a little better for whatever lies ahead by building an emergency fund. Geraint Davies (Independent Financial Adviser) from The Money Partnership shares more.

What is an emergency fund?

An emergency fund is a separate savings pot that you can access to cover unexpected expenses. Job loss, illness, and surprise bills are a few reasons why having a contingency fund of at least three months of living expenses is recommended. To avoid temptation,

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Making arrangements for children this Christmas

With less than two months until Christmas, now’s the time to agree how your children will spend time with their other parent during the holidays.

Christmas can be a time of tension for separated parents as they plan the festivities and plan where and how they’ll each see the children

So, we asked our Regional Director for Yorkshire, Rachel Roberts, to share her advice for parents on taking the strain out of making child arrangements for Christmas. 

Child arrangements and Christmas

As we approach December, we see a flurry of clients getting in touch for help to try and resolve arrangements for the festive season

Before I turn to my tips on how best to manage arrangements, there are a couple of key points from the Government and family law sector that are certainly at the forefront of my mind when advising clients.

Last year, a leading family

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A guide to family mediation

What is family mediation?

Family mediation is an effective alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process in which an impartial, professionally trained mediator helps families to reach decisions that need to be made when a relationship breaks down.

Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process that helps you and your ex-partner to identify possible solutions. The aim is for agreements to be reached amicably outside of court and then be made legally binding with help of your solicitor.

Who is family mediation for?

Family mediation helps couples going through a separation to reach agreements about their future. It is often used when families are unable to agree on a way forward themselves.

Family mediation typically helps couples to resolve disputes concerning their finances and the arrangements for the care of their children. Through mediation couples can reach mutually agreed arrangements in a cost-effective and efficient way, while minimising acrimony and seeking to

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Cohabitation and inheritance – what are unmarried couples entitled to?

Cohabitation and inheritance claims

An increasing number of unmarried couples are making inheritance claims, with the Ministry of Justice published data showing that legal action brought by individuals wanting a share of estates left by loved ones and relatives has increased four-fold over the last 15 years. 

Lawyers warn that the ‘common law’ myth is a big reason for this increase, as unmarried couples falsely believe they have the same rights as married couples, and therefore don’t realise they have to claim inheritance when their partners pass away.

A nationwide survey recently conducted by Stowe Family Law, revealed that 51% of Brits wrongly believe that couples who live together have the same legal rights as married couples, believing they are in a ‘common law marriage’. 

This false assumption – there is no such thing as a ‘common law marriage’ in the eyes of the law – has led to a

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Step-parent adoption: Insight from a family lawyer

This National Adoption Week, we share insights into step-parent adoption during the pandemic from Stowe family lawyer, and adoption specialist, Shanika Varga-Haynes:

Step-parent adoption

It is difficult to find any official statistics on the number of step-parents adoptions taking place in the UK with the figures focusing on the number of children being adopted out of the care system.

However, as a family solicitor and adoption specialist, I have noticed an increase in this area, through both enquiries, and my caseload.

Adoption is a varied and broad area of family law, and all cases bring great reward and challenges. However, Covid-19 and the multiple lockdowns have brought an extra layer of complexity to these already complicated cases.

What is step-parent adoption?

Step-parent adoptions arise when the partner of one of the biological parents wants to adopt the child. The consequence of step-parent adoption is the other biological parent loses their

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