Fresh start through divorce or separation with Bison family solicitors in Aldershot

Our Family Lawyers can Help You Make a Fresh Start in the New Year

As well as being a time for celebration, Christmas often offers a period of reflection – on relationships as much as anything.

For some, family tensions can come to a head at this time of the year, for a number of reasons.

One is that couples tend to be in close proximity throughout the Christmas period. It’s less easy at this time to live more-or-less separate lives, and there’s the absence of distractions such as work or school. The presence of in-laws or other family members can also prove difficult for many.

Another is the financial strain, with December being an expensive month, what with the cost of presents, food, drink and entertaining.

Many of us also over-indulge at Christmas – and excess alcohol is frequently a factor in marital strife.

Some people, particularly those with children, will wait until after the celebrations are over to avoid spoiling Christmas itself. But they will be looking to make a change as soon as possible afterwards. After all, the turn of the year is traditionally a time for resolutions and for fresh starts.

For all these reasons, it’s therefore not surprising that divorce rates soar at the beginning of the new year.

Divorce and Separation – Your Options

The main reason cited for divorce is ‘unreasonable behaviour’. This generally refers to a spouse’s actions over a prolonged period. Other legally-recognised grounds for divorce are adultery, five years’ separation (or two years’ separation if agreed by both parties), or two years’ desertion. (Desertion can be difficult to prove - it might be easier to use unreasonable behaviour or say you’ve lived apart for 2 years). In addition couples must have been married for at least a year before they can divorce.

However, divorce is not the only option. Many people opt for a trial separation to begin with. A separation can be recognised in law as well. You can also avoid legal proceedings completely, at least to begin with, and opt for a separation agreement, which we can help you draft. Please note that while a separation agreement can be legally persuasive, it’s not binding upon the court until it has been formalised into a consent order.

If you’re cohabiting rather than married, you have certain rights if you split up, although not as many as if you were wed. If you’re in a civil partnership, then you will benefit from broadly similar rights to being married.

If you have children, then our child family law professionals can assist in legal advice and arrangements concerning their welfare.

Whatever your status and whatever you’re considering, we can advise you on your options. We can advise you on the personal and financial side, as well as possible agreements you might want to make.  More information is on our Divorce and Separation page

Getting an injunction against a family member

The holiday period can also be the setting for a further dark shadow – domestic abuse. Those who are already separated or divorced will often feel particular stress at being away from their children or former partner. Even if you are still together, factors such as enforced close proximity, alcohol or financial issues can lead to abusive incidents.

Our family law team can help you obtain a suitable injunction – either an Occupation Order or a Non-Molestation Order. These are available to both married and unmarried individuals. For details, please see our Family Court Injunctions page

A Free Consultation

Bison Solicitors offers a free half-hour consultation with a specialist family lawyer if you are considering a separation or divorce. We’re based in Aldershot, Hampshire, with several offices elsewhere in the UK.

We appreciate that every person and every relationship is different, so our first task will be simply to listen.

Then we can help you consider your next steps at a difficult time. Even if your new year isn’t particularly happy right now, we can help you find peace and happiness in the months and years to come.

If you need a fresh start then book your free consultation, please email [email protected] or call 01252 268 168.

Brexit and Your Legal Status in the UK

Brexit and Your Legal Status in the UK – What Next?

The election of the Conservative government and its large majority means that Brexit is due to leave the EU on 31st January, 2020. The exact shape of Brexit and the potential deals involved is likely to occupy the government for much longer.

In the meantime, the situation for people living in the UK who aren’t British citizens is going to remain similarly uncertain for some time to come, with the possibility of a no-deal Brexit further muddying the waters.

Immigration and residency issues

Whether you’re looking to come and live or work in the UK, or are already here, post-Brexit immigration law and your rights are still far from settled. The issues regarding registration requirements are likely to be particularly complex.

At present, a points-based system regulates immigration from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), which consists of EU and other European countries. The government has been proposing a new Australian-style points system, but the nature of this has so far yet to be made clear.

Speculation and leaks have suggested that, in some ways, the system will be similar to the current points-based system. You can view this on our Immigration Law page.

Tier 1 (highly-skilled migrants) will remain broadly similar.

Tier 2 (skilled migrants) will instead be ‘skilled workers’ and in most cases will require a specific job offer.

Tier 3 (low-skilled workers) has already been abolished under the current system. Tier 4 (students) and Tier 5 (temporary workers) will be ‘sector-specific rules-based’ – in other words planned centrally to match demand from specific areas of the economy.

But at the moment, nothing has been formally announced.

Rights for workers is another complex issue that’s likely to become only more complicated in the months ahead. That’s the case whether you work in an EU country, are an EU citizen working over here, or are an employer of EU nationals.

Whatever happens, you can be sure that our professional Brexit solicitors will be here to clarify, advise and, above all, help.

Brexit and Family Law

Currently, there’s no agreement for European family law legislation to continue on a reciprocal basis between EU member states and Britain after withdrawal takes place.

There are many issues that could potentially arise after Brexit if you are divorcing or separating and one of you has connections with an EU state.

Here are just a few questions that could arise with a no-deal Brexit:

  • How will a maintenance order be enforced if my former spouse or partner lives in an EU country?
  • In what ways will Brexit affect my prenuptial agreement?
  • What protections will I have if my ex moves to an EU country and wants to take the children there?
  • If my partner is from an EU country, where will a divorce take place? Will there have to be duplicate proceedings or will a UK divorce suffice?
  • Will my same-sex marriage or civil partnership be recognised by EU states after Brexit?
  • I’m from an EU member country. What rights do I have to stay in the UK after my divorce from a British citizen?

Our family law team will be able to advise you on these and other issues related to Brexit. For more information, see our Family Law section.

Softening the impact of Brexit

The cost of Brexit and its financial impact, positive or negative, will be debated for many years to come. But we believe that whatever happens, those at the sharp end should not suffer unduly, whether from uncertainty or financial loss. That applies to whether you need professional advice, or are making a UK visa application, or anything else related to Brexit.

Most of our work is funded by legal aid, and, for private clients, you’ll find that our fees are substantially lower than those charged by most other law firms. We’re based in Aldershot, Hampshire, and have offices all over the UK, which means we can likely help you wherever you are.

For more details, please call +44 (0)1252 268 068 or fill in our contact form.