Wednesday, March 04, 2009

You Asked...

It's been a while since I did one of these, so I thought it was time I answered some of the keyword search questions that have recently led visitors to Family Lore. As usual, the Disclaimer in my sidebar applies to what follows.

Can I send a letter to district judge to correct misunderstanding in ancillary relief?

A very specific question, and perhaps a little ambitious for a Google search. The first thing to say is that you should not write to the court if you have a solicitor representing you - they should write to the court on your behalf. Otherwise, there is nothing to stop you writing to the court. As to correcting a misunderstanding, this really depends upon what the misunderstanding was, and the consequences of the misunderstanding. For example, a simple error on a court order could be corrected under the 'slip rule', without any need for a hearing. More serious problems may require a formal application to the court, rather than just a letter.

What does shared residence mean?

A common question. Shared residence is simply an arrangment whereby the children spend part of their time living with each parent. It does not mean that the children will necessarily spend equal amounts of time with each parent. Often, there is little practical difference between shared residence on the one hand and one parent having residence and the other having contact with the children, on the other.

Can I go to court to apply for a liability order myself for child maintenance?

No, you must ask the Child Support Agency to take enforcement action.

Is a consent order during divorce a good idea?

Yes. I assume you are referring to a consent order setting out an agreed financial/property settlement. Such an order should always be obtained, to ensure that the settlement is final and binding.

How to avoid filling in form e

Avoid or evade? Filling in a Form E can be a very onerous and tedious task, but if either party has applied to the court for a financial/property settlement ('ancillary relief'), then the court will require both parties to complete the form. Often, solicitors will require the forms to be voluntarily completed and exchanged, before negotiations take place. In this instance, it is not compulsory to complete the form, but usually adviseable to do so, with a view to settling the matter by agreement. Having said that, in simpler cases a Form E isn't really necessary, especially where each party has a good idea of the other's means.

Query new partner divorce proceedings

A new partner is not usually relevant to the divorce itself, unless it is based upon the spouse's adultery with their new partner. However, a new partner can be relevant to the financial/property settlement, if they have an effect upon that spouse's means and financial needs.

Garnishee order matrimonial maintenance

Garnishee proceedings (where, for example, the debt is recovered from the debtor's bank account) can be used to enforce matrimonial financial orders. However, they are not necessarily the best method to enforce maintenance, as the garnishee order is a one-off, and maintenance is an ongoing liability. Hence, attachment of earnings is usually the best method to enforce a maintenance order, where it is available.

What is an average child maintenance agreement?

There isn't really an average, save for the amount that the paying parent would be required to pay under the child support formula.

Example of ancillary papers for property settlement

It depends upon what papers you are referring to. Most of the forms are available on the Courts Service website. However, examples of orders are not available, and I would not advise anyone attempting to draft an order without legal advice.

What is a ward of court?

See this post.

Representing yourself at court for ancillary divorce proceedings uk

There is nothing to prevent parties representing themselves. I would, of course, recommend that they take at least some advice from a family lawyer.

Why marriages fail

I suppose I should have some idea about this after 25 years of doing this work, but I am not a marriage guidance counsellor. The best I can do is refer you to the National Statistics Online website, where they have figures for divorces by fact proven.

Cost of a consent order

A lot less than a contested order! Seriously, it depends, as always, upon the amount of work involved, but can be the difference between hundreds and thousands. Your solicitor should give you an estimate at the outset of the matter.

Finally, there were the usual oddities:

Is sex a sin?

What is a sin?

How monkeys work as a family


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