Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Truth (I think...)

Turning to things a little more serious, I thought I would do another question-and-answer session, based upon keyword activity over the last few days. As always, my disclaimer in the sidebar applies to what follows, and if anyone disagrees with what I have said, feel free to comment.

what is ancillary relief

A good place to start. 'Ancillary relief' is legal jargon for the financial/property settlement on divorce.

refusal to sign consent order

You cannot force a party to sign a consent order. However, if you can prove that an agreement was reached then that may be very relevant in any subsequent ancillary relief proceedings.

interest on lump sum orders

If, as is usually the case, the order has been made by a county court then, unless the order states otherwise, it will automatically carry interest at the 'judgment rate' (currently 8% per annum) provided that the lump sum is for £5000 or more. Smaller lump sums carry no interest, unless the order specifies.

how to calculate spousal maintenance uk

There is no formula to calculate spousal maintenance. It is calculated by reference to a number of factors, primarily the needs of the recipient spouse.

who sets child maintenance payments

The amount of child maintenance can either be agreed between the parents (provided that the parent with care is not in receipt of state benefits) or, if no agreement can be reached, set by the Child Support Agency, by reference to the child support formula.

can the mother appeal against a fathers full residence order

Yes, if she has grounds to do so. To be a little more helpful, she will have to show that the judge in the court below was "plainly wrong", which may not be easy to do. The appeal will not be a complete rehearing, although fresh evidence can be allowed.

child maintenance for a child with shared residence

A good question. Usually neither party will pay child maintenance to the other, unless there is a large disparity in their respective incomes. Note, however, that child support may still be payable, although reduced in accordance with the number of nights per week that the child stays with the paying parent.

spousal maintenance wife returns to work

This does not automatically bring the maintenance to an end, but may be grounds to have it reduced.

what happens at a committal hearing divorce

A committal hearing is a hearing at which the court decides whether or not to commit a person to prison for breach of a court order, most commonly (in this field) domestic violence injunction orders.

consent orders child maintenance

Child maintenance orders can be included in consent orders, but once the order has been running for a year, either parent may apply to the Child Support Agency for a child support maintenance assessment, and that assessment will replace the child maintenance order.

set aside the decree absolute

A Decree Absolute will generally only be set aside if there has been a procedural irregularity. For example, resumption of cohabitation after the Decree Absolute is not grounds to have it set aside - the parties will have to remarry!

consent order necessary

A consent order is necessary in order to ensure that any financial/property settlement is final and enforceable.

csa backdating payments

Payments can be backdated to the 'effective date', i.e. the date that liability commenced, which is usually the date that the Child Support Agency informs the non-resident parent about the application for child support.

how to own divorce uk

Ahem, I suggest buying a copy of Do Your Own Divorce!

relationship breakdown custody dogs

The law treats pets in the same way as any other chattels, i.e. as property. If the parties were not married, then they belong to whoever owns them (although proving ownership can be problematic). If the parties were married, then the divorce court can award them to either party.

can i stop the liability order csa

Basically, not unless you have paid the child support - the court must make the order if the non-resident parent is in arrears with payments of child support.

expediting decree absolute uk

It is possible to apply for the expedition of the Decree Absolute, i.e. to reduce the six week period (from Decree Nisi) for applying, in exceptional circumstances, such as where a child will be born to one of the parties before the six weeks have elapsed, and that party wishes to remarry before the birth.

name and shame for adultery

Why? There is no point in naming a co-respondent in an adultery divorce petition, unless you are seeking costs against them.

can bailiffs remove goods in your absence

Yes, so long as they don't force entry into your premises. You should be aware that a bailiff may be or has been instructed. For example, if it is in respect of child support arrears, you will have received the liability order.

family lawyers with legal aid

See the Community Legal Advice Directory - search by your town and tick 'family'.

is there suppose to be a time gap between cafcass report to the next hearing

Yes, there is usually a gap of about two weeks, so that the parties have an opportunity to consider the report before the next hearing.

defending yourself in a court of family law civil uk

If the question is "is this possible?" then the answer is yes - there is no requirement for you to be represented by a lawyer. Having said that, if you want advice as to how to go about it, then you should consult a lawyer.

avoiding ancillary relief

You can't really 'avoid' ancillary relief, but you can agree a settlement with your spouse, thereby avoiding the expense of contested court proceedings. The settlement should still be incorporated into a consent court order, to ensure that it is final and enforceable, as mentioned above.

Finally, some (perhaps) less serious search terms:

advice for adulterers

Erm... enjoy it while you can?

csa bastards

Well, I know feelings towards the CSA can run pretty high, but this is a bit personal...

bizarre ironic facts

Hopefully, not in this post!

the truth

Well, I'm not surprised that such a search term found its way to Family Lore!


  1. Cheers, a useful guide. Its always interesting to see just what people search for.

  2. Thanks. Glad you found it of interest.


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