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custody family solicitor in meeting with couple

When to Consult A Child Custody Solicitor

By | Children

In the event of a separation or divorce from your partner, an important consideration is determining who will have custody over your children. This is never an easy decision to have to make and it can be a very tricky time. Custody matters can result in emotional and logistical challenges for all parties involved, but by consulting a custody solicitor at the right time, you can protect the interests of your children and both adults involved. Here, we take a look at when to consult a solicitor for custody matters. 

Understanding custody matters

If you have never had to navigate custody law before, you could initially be confused by how it works. However, you can quickly get to grips with not only technical terms attached to this legislation but also how it can help you to resolve your custody dilemma.

Definitions and types

Physical custody refers to the child’s physical day-to-day living environment. The child may permanently live with one parent but still receive visits from the other parent.

Meanwhile, legal custody concerns the child’s upbringing — including matters relating to education and healthcare.

With sole custody, one parent is given primary responsibility for caring for and controlling the child. Conversely, joint custody sees the two parents making collective decisions about crucial aspects of the child’s life.

General legal framework

If you are unable to reach a custody agreement, the court can intervene, making a ruling in line with the basic legal principle that the child’s welfare is paramount.

Key situations necessitating a solicitor

How can you tell when you actually need a custody solicitor? Here are several scenarios where this professional’s input can play a major part in preventing legal issues from arising.

Initial custody agreement

Even if the divorce is amicable, it is wise for you to ask a solicitor to help you draft an initial custody agreement so that you can ensure it is comprehensive and legally watertight.

Changes in circumstances

There may come a time when substantial life changes take place. For instance, should you, being the sole custodial parent of your child, experience major shifts like moving to a new place or altering your career path, these changes could sometimes negatively impact your child.

Dispute resolution

What if the other parent disputes existing custody agreements or visitation rights? If you fail to resolve this disagreement through direct negotiation with the other party, it would be crucial to seek legal counsel in the form of mediation or court intervention. 

Enforcement issues

If one parent violates the custody agreement, the other parent can ask the court for legal recourse. The infringing parent could be warned and/or fined, or even held in contempt of court.

Complex or unusual cases

Some custody obstacles are much easier to overcome than others. For example, one partner could move overseas shortly after the separation, or be unwilling to compromise on specific details of the proposed custody arrangements. In such scenarios, specialised legal advice would be imperative. 

Benefits of consulting a solicitor

There might be situations where you don’t strictly ‘need’ a solicitor’s thoughts. However, by heeding them nonetheless, you can tap into the following benefits — and take a lot of pain out of what could have otherwise proved an arduous and cumbersome process.

Expert guidance

You can trust a custody solicitor to take your specific circumstances into account before providing you with expert advice tailored to suit, safeguarding your rights and interests as a result.

Mediation and negotiation

If you and the other parent are struggling to agree on custody arrangements, we encourage you to pursue such dispute resolution methods as mediation before involving a court in custody decisions.

As part of the mediation process, a solicitor can act as a neutral third party facilitating constructive discussion between the parents as they endeavour to keep the child’s best interests close to heart.

Legal representation

Despite your best efforts, custody matters could still escalate to litigation. If this does happen, you must be represented in court by a legal professional with specialist expertise in family law

A solicitor will be able to argue your case to the court — and help you secure the best outcome for your child. 

Preparing to consult a solicitor

So, you have decided to get in touch with a solicitor. By initially meeting up with them in person, you will have the time to speak at length about your situation. However, it’s important to prepare for this consultation carefully so that you can make the most of it. 

What to bring

By phoning our team on 024 7638 2343, you can learn how to arrange an initial consultation with a custody solicitor

In preparation for this meeting, remember to gather evidence of your income, documentation of any existing custody agreements, and details of communication with the other parent.

Questions to ask

At the consultation, you can deepen your understanding of the legal process by asking us about the outcomes it could bring and the costs that would be involved. We are committed to putting your mind at rest.

You are also welcome to ask us questions in advance by emailing enquiries@bromfieldlegal.co.uk.

couple-sat-at-desk-using-solicitor-to-write-and-sign-an-amicable-separation-agreement-paper

How a Solicitor Can Facilitate Amicable Separations 

By | Divorce and Separation

Have you and your spouse or civil partner decided to part ways? You could be in an awkward situation if the two of you have yet to decide whether to end the marriage or civil partnership formally or if it has not lasted long enough to naturally come to a close.

In the meantime, you could still sign what is known as a separation agreement. A separation agreement is where you free yourself from the obligation to live with your partner while negotiating future financial arrangements and outlining plans for the care of any children from the union moving forward.

A solicitor can draw up a separation agreement for you —which specifies the details of the separation and deal with any joint assets, arrangements for children and any other pertinent matters. At Bromfield Legal, our team of experts in Nuneaton and Warwick work with you personally to craft an agreement tailored to your unique circumstances, ensuring it aligns perfectly with your needs and objectives.

 

Understanding Legal Rights and Obligations

Separation can be an incredibly stressful time, particularly if it comes as a surprise to one partner. However, both parties will naturally be keen to have an amicable split — and getting in touch with a solicitor can help them achieve this.

By consulting with a legal advisor, you can gain a clearer understanding of your legal standing with your partner and how to make the separation agreement as watertight as possible. This process can provide you with confidence and certainty about the future.

 

Navigating Financial Arrangements 

If your household has historically relied on one partner for the majority of its income, it’s natural to be concerned about how you’ll manage financially in the future.

Fortunately, a solicitor can help to give you a solid financial standing. You can get reliable legal advice on what you will be entitled to financially and, together with your partner, come to agreements about who will assume responsibility for specific financial obligations, including debts, loans, and overdrafts.

 

Child Arrangements and Support

Certainly, the financial provisions in a separation agreement can often hinge on decisions regarding the care of any children from the ending relationship.

Key to ensuring an amicable split is ensuring that you and your partner both put the children’s welfare first as the law does already.

To achieve this, it’s important to encourage your children to maintain relationships with both parents as you navigate decisions about their living arrangements and financial support for their upbringing.

 

Drafting and Formalising Agreements 

We are thoroughly experienced in helping couples to achieve amicable separations. To ask our team to help you get the best possible result, just call our Nuneaton office on 024 7638 2343 or Warwick team on 01926 702 702. We offer same-day appointments at both locations, allowing you to quickly access and benefit from our legal expertise conveniently.

How Long Does Conveyancing Take?

By | Conveyancing

If you are planning to buy or sell property in the UK, you’ve likely come across the term “conveyancing.” But what exactly is conveyancing, and how long does it take? 

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, an experienced property investor, or simply curious about the process, understanding the timelines involved in conveyancing is essential. At Bromfield Legal, we are experts in the field of conveyancing, so we’ll walk you through the stages of conveyancing, factors that can cause delays, and tips to expedite the process. If you would like to speak to one of our solicitors, please contact the team in our Warwick or Nuneaton offices.

Conveyancing is the legal process of transferring property ownership from one party to another. It involves a series of stages, each with its own set of tasks and responsibilities. While the specific timeline can vary depending on various factors, here’s a general overview of the key stages:

The first step is to choose a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the transaction. Bromfield Legal, a reputable solicitor company, can assist you in this crucial step.

The Stages of Conveyancing: A Roadmap

 

1) Pre-Contract Stage

The seller completes property information forms, including details about the property’s boundaries, utilities, and fixtures.

2) Drafting the Contract

The solicitor checks the property’s title to ensure it’s free from legal issues or disputes. Searches are also conducted to uncover any planning or environmental issues affecting the property. A search at the Land Registry confirms the seller’s ownership and checks for any registered charges or restrictions.

3) Pre-Contract Enquiries

The buyer’s solicitor raises queries with the seller’s solicitor, seeking clarification on any issues discovered during searches. The buyer may arrange a property survey to identify any structural issues.

4) Exchange of Contracts

Once all queries are resolved and both parties are satisfied, contracts are exchanged, and a completion date is set. The buyer typically pays a deposit at this stage.

5) Pre-Completion:

If a mortgage is required, the buyer finalises mortgage arrangements. Last-minute searches are conducted to ensure there are no new issues with the property or the seller.

6) Completion:

The buyer’s funds are transferred to the seller, and legal ownership of the property is transferred. The buyer receives the keys to the property and takes possession.

7) Post-Completion:

The buyer must pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) if applicable. The solicitor registers the property transfer with the Land Registry, officially confirming the new ownership.

 

While conveyancing typically follows a structured timeline, several factors can lead to delays:

Chain Transactions – If your sale or purchase is part of a chain, where multiple properties are involved, delays in any link of the chain can affect the entire process.

Legal Issues – Complex legal issues, disputes, or unexpected title problems can prolong the conveyancing process.

Survey Results – If a property survey reveals significant issues or structural defects, negotiations may be required, leading to delays.

Search Delay – Delays can occur if local authority searches or Land Registry searches take longer than expected.

Mortgage Approval – If the buyer’s mortgage application faces delays or rejection, it can halt the process.

Communication – Poor communication between parties or solicitors can slow down the exchange of information and documentation.

 

Some delays may be unavoidable, there are steps you can take to expedite the conveyancing process:

Firstly, understand the key stages of conveyancing to have realistic expectations and make informed decisions. Ensure to choose a reputable solicitor like Bromfield Legal with experience in property transactions can help ensure a smoother process. Stay in regular communication with your solicitor to stay informed about the progress of your transaction. You should always respond promptly to any queries and requests from them to keep the process moving.

Ensure all required documentation, such as ID, proof of funds, and property information forms, are readily available and arrange a property survey early in the process to identify potential issues upfront.

The duration of conveyancing can totally depend on each person’s circumstances, but understanding the stages and why potential delays can occur can help you navigate the process more confidently. Bromfield Legal can help streamline the process and work towards a successful property transaction. So, whether you’re buying your dream home or selling an investment property, you’re now better equipped to answer the question, “How long does conveyancing take?”

How Long Does It Take for Solicitors to Complete a House Purchase in the UK?

By | Property Law

If you’re in the UK and planning to buy your first house or move into a new home, one of the most pressing questions you might have is, “How long does it take for solicitors to complete a house purchase?” The process of buying a house involves various legal steps, and understanding the timeline can help you plan your move effectively. A good rule of thumb is to expect the sale process to take 19 weeks from when you find the right home. At Bromfield Legal, we are experts in the field, we’ll break down the key stages of the house-buying process for you and provide insights into the timeframes involved. 

Our property solicitor team can deal with all the legal issues and documentation, so you don’t have to worry. Leave all the forms and legislation to us. We’ll make sure that every requirement is met so your purchase goes smoothly.

 

Finding the Right Property 

Before you even involve solicitors, you need to find the perfect property. This stage can vary greatly in duration, depending on your preferences, budget, and the state of the property market. 

Mortgage Approval 

Once you’ve found your dream home, the next step is securing a mortgage. This process typically takes between 4 to 6 weeks. During this time, you’ll work with your chosen lender, providing financial documents and undergoing credit checks. It’s important to have your mortgage offer in place before moving forward, as this will affect the timeline.

Appointing a Solicitor 

After securing your mortgage, you’ll need to appoint a solicitor or conveyancer to handle the legal aspects of the purchase. The time it takes to find and appoint a solicitor can vary, but it’s crucial to choose one who specialises in property law and has experience with residential transactions. Bromfield Legal, for example, is a reputable firm that can provide personal, expert guidance in this area.

Property Searches and Due Diligence 

Your solicitor will begin by conducting property searches and due diligence. This involves investigating the property’s title, checking for any outstanding issues, and ensuring that it’s fit for sale. 

Exchange of Contracts 

The exchange of contracts is a pivotal moment in the house-buying process. At this stage, both the buyer and seller commit to the transaction, and a legally binding agreement is formed. Delays can occur due to various factors, such as complex legal issues or a long property chain.

Completion 

Completion is the day you’ve been eagerly waiting for – when you officially take possession of your new home. It involves the transfer of funds, finalising legal documents, and ensuring that all outstanding matters are resolved.

Registration and Post-Completion 

After you’ve moved in, your solicitor will handle the post-completion tasks, including registering your ownership with the Land Registry. 

Stamp Duty and Other Costs (Variable)

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) is a significant cost associated with buying a property in the UK. The amount you pay depends on the purchase price and your circumstances, and it must be settled within 14 days of completion. Your solicitor will help you calculate and pay the correct amount.

Managing Expectations

It’s essential to have realistic expectations about the timeframes involved in buying a house. Delays can occur at any stage of the process, and factors such as the complexity of the transaction or the efficiency of your solicitor can impact the timeline.

 

To gain further insights into the house-buying process and ensure a smooth experience, you can visit the Bromfield Legal website. We offer expert legal services for property transactions in the UK.

Buying a house is a significant life event that comes with a series of legal processes. While the average time it takes to complete a house purchase is approximately 19 weeks, it’s important to remember that this timeline can vary based on numerous factors. Finding the right property, securing a mortgage, appointing a reputable solicitor like Bromfield Legal, and navigating the legal steps all contribute to the overall duration of the process. By understanding these stages and being prepared for potential delays, you can approach the journey of buying a house with confidence and realistic expectations. Get in touch for advice today, your new home may be just a few months away!

Is Tenants In Common A Good Idea?

By | Property Law

With the property market moving more compared to earlier in the year, a common question we see being asked is if tenants in common is a good idea for individuals.

 

Whether tenants in common is a good idea completely depends on the specific circumstances and goals of the individuals involved. At Bromfield Legal, we are experts in Conveyancing and Property Law and discuss below some factors for you to consider. We would always recommend consulting with a legal professional to best practice, as each person’s state of affairs is different.

 

What is tenants in common?

Tenancy in Common (otherwise known as TIC) is a legal arrangement in which two or more parties share ownership rights in a real estate property or parcel of land. Each independent owner may control an equal or different percentage of the total property, whether commercial or residential. The parties are known as tenants in common. This is a popular option for couples that aren’t married and would rather have security in their agreement. It is also a great alternative for friends moving in together, as now, more than ever, it is a popular way for first time buyers to fund their home.

 

What does tenants in common provide?

Shared Ownership: Tenants in common is a form of joint ownership where each owner holds a share of the property. This can be beneficial when multiple individuals want to have ownership rights over a property while maintaining separate interests.

Flexibility: TIC allows for flexibility in ownership shares. Each owner can have a different percentage of ownership, which can be advantageous if individuals contribute varying amounts of capital or have different investment objectives.

Estate Planning: Tenants in common can be useful for estate planning purposes. Each owner can specify their desired beneficiaries for their share of the property, ensuring that their assets are distributed according to their wishes upon their death.

Shared Expenses and Responsibilities: Owners typically share expenses and responsibilities related to the property. This can include costs for maintenance, repairs, and property taxes. It’s important to have clear agreements and communication among the owners to avoid conflicts.

Selling or Transferring Ownership: Allows for individual owners to sell or transfer their share of the property independently. This flexibility can be beneficial if an owner wants to divest their interest or if there is a change in ownership structure desired by one or more parties.

 

Understanding the law – why would I need a solicitor?

Potential Disputes: With shared ownership, there is a potential for disputes to arise, particularly if there are disagreements about the use, management, or sale of the property. It’s crucial to have a clear legal agreement in place that outlines decision-making processes, dispute-resolution mechanisms, and exit strategies.

 

Ultimately, whether tenants in common is a good idea depends on the specific needs and goals of the individuals involved. We urge you to consult with a legal and financial professional like Bromfield Legal to get a better understanding of the legal implications and to determine the best ownership structure based on the specific circumstances. As specialists in the industry, we take pride in our ability to provide an exceptional service. 

For expert advice, please contact one of our solicitors based at our offices in Nuneaton or Warwick. We can also advise you over the phone if preferred, please telephone our offices on 024 7638 2343 to make an appointment.

 

house in divorce

What is a Financial Agreement in a Divorce

By | Divorce and Separation

Going through a divorce can be a difficult and emotional time. During this challenging time, you might be thinking ‘What is a financial agreement in a divorce?’. We’ve put this useful guide together to break it down for you. 

In addition to the emotional upheaval, there will be many financial matters that need to be addressed. One of the most important financial decisions that you will need to make is how to divide your assets and debts.

how does the divorce process workWhat is a financial agreement?

A financial agreement can be reached during divorce proceedings and is separate from a divorce

While most people assume the financial agreement is part of the divorce, it is a separate process. 

There are a number of different ways to divide your assets and debts in a divorce. One option is to reach an agreement with your spouse through negotiation or mediation. If you are able to reach an agreement, you will need to have it formalised in a legal document called a financial agreement.

Is a financial agreement legally binding?

A financial agreement is a contract that sets out the terms of your financial settlement. It is important to note that financial agreements are not always enforceable. For a financial agreement to be enforceable, it must be fair and reasonable, and it must be entered into voluntarily.

If you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, the court will decide how to divide your assets and debts. The court will consider several factors in making its decision, including the length of your marriage, your respective incomes and earning capacities, your contributions to the marriage, and the needs of any children.

What does a financial agreement protect?

You’ll be pleased to know that a financial agreement is a multi-faceted legal agreement that sets out to protect many financial areas. A financial agreement can protect a number of things, including:

  • Property: The family home, investments, and other assets.
  • Income: This could include salaries, pensions, and other sources of income.
  • Debts: Including mortgages, credit card debt, and other debts.
  • Maintenance: Payments to one spouse or civil partner to support them financially after the relationship ends.
  • Child support: Money to be spent on raising the children 
  • Pensions: You may have a large pension that you’d like to protect.
  • Family inheritance: Your family may have capital and assets they need to protect from your ex-spouse. 
  • Future partners: The financial agreement also helps keep future partners on both sides from having any financial influence. 

how does the divorce process workHow do I apply for my financial agreement?

If you are going through a divorce, it is important to speak to a solicitor about your financial options. We will help you understand your rights and options and help you negotiate a fair and reasonable financial settlement.

Your solicitor would typically aim to process the financial agreement before the Decree Absolute. Why? The financial agreement can become more complicated once the divorce is finalised.

Why do you need a financial agreement?

Unsurprisingly, even though you may be amicable with your ex, money can bring out the worst in people. By getting your financial agreement in order, you’ll be safeguarding yourself as well as having peace of mind. 

Avoids going to court 

Going to court can be a lengthy and expensive process. If you can reach an agreement with your spouse, you can avoid the cost and hassle of going to court.

Secure your financial future

Knowing that your financial future is secure can help you move on with your life after your divorce.

Protect your children

A financial agreement can help to ensure that your children’s needs are met after your divorce.

How do I get a financial agreement?

If you are considering reaching a financial agreement in your divorce, speak to us at Bromfield Legal as soon as possible. Our highly experienced team will approach your case with compassion and determination. We will help you understand your rights and options, and work to achieve an agreement which is best for you.

handing key over

Can I put my child’s name on my house deeds?

By | Children

Adding your child’s name to the deeds of your house is a decision which should take some consideration. There are some recurring factors as to why people choose to add their child’s name to a property. 

 

These usually include setting up their child financially, protecting their assets from being hit with hefty tax bills or protecting their child’s inheritance from a new spouse or family arrangement. 

 

It’s important to understand how putting your child’s name on the deeds can lead to uncomfortable implications. With that said, adding your child to the deeds may be the ideal solution for your particular circumstance. 

House in hands grey and white with key

You can put your child’s name on your property but that doesn’t mean you should. We’re here to make sure you have the best advice and end up with the right solution for you. 

 

We strongly advise seeking legal advice before you start changing names on the deeds to your property. Talk to one of our solicitors today to start your process on the best footing. 

 

From avoiding the sting inheritance tax to helping your child get on the property ladder, we understand your motivation for adding their name. 

 

In order to add your child’s name to the deeds, you’ll need to transfer a share of equity to them. This needs to be overseen by a solicitor like us at Bromfield Legal. 

 

How do I transfer my child’s name on to the deeds of my house 

 

There are a few steps you’ll have to take to complete this process which are listed below. 

 

  1. Transferring equity by ‘gifting’ the property. 
  2. Getting a solicitor to help with documentation and legal matters. 
  3. Safeguarding yourself and your assets.

 

Gifting your child 50% of the property 

 

We strongly advise you take the option of 50% shared ownership rather than transferring the entire property to your child. To complete this, you will need the deed mottled ‘tenants in common’ Why? Simply because this protects you from 

 

  • They can’t take debts out on the property 
  • They legally can not evict you from the home 
  • If they get married and then divorced, their ex spouse is only entitled to their share of the property – not yours. 

Benefits of adding child’s name to property 

 

You’ll see the benefits which fit some circumstances. Understanding thoroughly how they will service you for the better will help inform your decision. 

 

Getting your child on the property ladder 

 

You’ll be one of many who has recognised the harsh economic climate for first time buyers. Whilst there were multiple government schemes such as help-to-buy and shared ownership with the government with only 5% deposit, these schemes have drawn to a close as of 2021. 

 

Parents who are also property owners are seizing the opportunity to offer their children a shared ownership of the family home. 

 

As mentioned above, this would be carried out by you giving over 50% of the equity of the home to your child. 

Protecting your asset from a new spouse 

 

Modern families come in all shapes and sizes and at Bromfield we are well versed in accommodating all family set ups. Your new partner might come and live with you and you might be thinking now is a good time to safeguard your asset for your children’s sake. 

 

Putting their name on the deed in a 50% shared ownership would certainly do this. If you were to remarry with no prenuptial agreement or financial order in place, your new spouse could only claim the equity in your share of the property if you enter into a divorce

 

Avoiding hefty inheritance tax bills 

 

Inheritance suffers a chunky hit from Inheritance Tax. If your property is valued at more than £325,000, you’ll be looking at 40% tax on your inheritance.  

 

Gifting a property to your child 

 

The timing of ‘Gifting’ to your child should be taken into consideration. If you die between 1-7 years after you have given a gift to your child, the amount will be taxed. 

 

After 7 years the gift amount is no longer taxable. But within the first year if you were to die, the gift is eligible to be taxed 38%. The amount of tax decreased as the years add on. 

boy holding house in orange t shirt

Why you shouldn’t add your child’s name to the deeds of your house

 

Here are some serious considerations as to why you shouldn’t add your child’s name to the house deeds

 

Your child will still have to pay capital gains tax 

Capital Gains Tax is the tax applied to increased profit on a property from the date it was bought to the date it was sold. 

 

If you purchased a property for £200,000 and now it’s worth £550,000, the capital gain is the difference between these two figures – £350,000. This is the amount your child will be taxed on if they sell the property. 

 

Your right to live and stay in the property 

 

Unfortunately, fallouts do occur and you’ll want to know your right as a tenant in the property you’ve handed over. 

 

Transferring 100% of the equity of the property to your child could really leave you in a vulnerable position. 

 

If they sell the house, it is within their right to evict you which of course is an unpleasant experience for anyone. 

Making sure you make the best decision and take the right legal action is what we do best. Get in touch with us at Bromfield Legal and speak to an experienced solicitor about your situation. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Parents sit on sofa looking unhappy with child in the foreground

Child maintenance explained

By | Children, Divorce and Separation

When facing divorce from a partner, finances can become a massive concern, especially when you have children involved. 

Child maintenance comes into play when one of the children’s parents no longer lives with them. 

Arranging child maintenance between you and your ex can improve your child’s overall wellbeing and keep the family relationships in a positive communicative space. That’s why it’s important to get a good grasp on what child maintenance is and how to arrange it. 

 

What is Child Maintenance?

Child maintenance is the regular financial support that helps with day-to-day costs involved with raising children. If your child is under the age of 18 and if they are in full time education lower than A-Level, they are eligible to receive child maintenance. 

Both parents, divorced or separated, are legally responsible for the financial costs of their child. You’ll be wanting your child’s lifestyle and general welfare to continue even with the change in circumstance.

Parents sit on sofa looking unhappy with child in the foreground 

What are the different arrangements for child maintenance?

There are three types of arrangement you can choose from. Your circumstance will ultimately determine which option you go with. 

Family Arrangement

A family arrangement is where the two parties agree on a maintenance arrangement privately outside of the court or a CMS (Child Maintenance Service). It is legal to discuss and agree on an arrangement outside of the court but we always recommend having the agreement put into writing so that both parties are clear of the expectations of the maintenance arrangement and so there are no grey areas. 

Consent Order 

A consent order means a court has ruled the maintenance agreement. A consent order is reached by submitting this form with help from your solicitor. Your solicitor can assist you with filling it correctly. Both parents will have to agree on an amount of maintenance which is fair and justified against the amount of earnings on both sides.

If you’d like advice on how this figure is worked out, get in touch and we’ll discuss what a fair amount should look like for you and your child. 

Both parties will have to consent to the amount so seeking legal advice at this stage could be of great benefit. Speak to one of our highly experienced lawyers at Bromfield today.

Can I write my own consent order?

For the Judge to grant your order, you must have the consent order professionally drafted up by a solicitor. However, you can file a consent order on your own. 

 

Filing a consent order is essentially submitting the initial application. Granting the order means the court has agreed with the application and the consent order must be carried out.  

How much does a consent order cost? 

There are some legal fees you’ll have to foot if you are submitting the consent order. These are 

  • Form submission/ Court fees (£53 approx)
  • Solicitors (can cost anywhere between £700-£2000 approx)
  • Mediators (registered mediators can cost between £100-£170)

piggy bank with stack of coins to the side of it

Child Maintenance Service 

CMS’s are private companies who assist parents without a consent order or family arrangement in place. Child maintenance services also lend themselves to helping those who are struggling to fulfil their agreement or those who are not compliant. 

Fees for using the services of Child Maintenance Service vary depending on the service and provider you use. 

CMS’s offer payment arrangements such as ‘direct pay’ and ‘collect and pay’ on your behalf. 

Explore your options for your child’s maintenance with us at Bromfield Legal 

 

How much child maintenance should I get?

Knowing how much you and your child are entitled to in child maintenance should be at the top of your priority list. Seeking the help and advice of a qualified solicitor could help illuminate any confusion over what you’re entitled to. 

As a standard rate we can see the percentage a parent is expected to pay per child here-

  • One child = 12% of your gross weekly income 
  • Two children = 16% of your gross weekly income 
  • Three or more children = 19% of your gross weekly income 

 

Check out the .gov child maintenance calculator to get a more accurate look at the amount either you or your ex partner should pay. 

My ex isn’t paying child maintenance

You may have taken all the right steps to arrange your consent order for your child’s maintenance with your ex partner but now they won’t or aren’t able to reach the payments. Here are the steps to take to Enforce an Order 

 

 

  • Report the breach. Fill in form C79 to start the application for the court to enforce the child arrangements order. 

 

  • Send to the nearest court to you that deals with cases involving children.

 

  • The cost of submitting this form is £232

 

Need help with this form? Get in touch with our team who are ready to guide you through the process. Let’s start the process together with Bromfield Legal

 

We are proud to offer affordable legal advice and assistance. We appreciate that everyone has different financial situations and fixed fee options are available. Contact us by email or call us on either Nuneaton: 024 7638 2343 or Warwick: 01926 702 702

How long does a child arrangements order last?

By | Children

A child arrangements order legally determines whom a child can live with until 16 years old, except in exceptional circumstances where an order can last until 18. It is an order from the courts and is usually part of the divorce or separation process.

Divorce and separation can be a testing and confusing time for children. They need to be kept in the loop and aware of how much time they will be spending with each parent or guardian. A child arrangements order helps provide stability by laying down some legal ground rules for where a child will reside. Continue reading to learn more about child arrangements orders and how long they last.

What is a child arrangements order?

A child arrangements order can provide you with parental responsibility for a child, even if you don’t happen to be the biological parent. In order to obtain a child arrangements order, you must first apply for a court order granting you permission.

Coming to suitable arrangements for children after going through the emotional rollercoaster of divorce or separation can be a time when everything is up in the air. Try to stay level-headed to put your child’s needs first. Bromfield Legal family solicitors are go-to legal experts for advice on child arrangements orders.

Who can apply for a child arrangements order?

Only certain people in relation to a child will be able to apply for a child arrangements order without first getting the permission of the court. This includes:

  • Parents of a child
  • An appointed guardian or special guardian
  • A person already engaged in an order currently in force
  • Any person involved in a marriage, for example, step-parents
  • Any person a child has lived with for more than 3 years
  • A person who receives the consent of each person with an existing child arrangements order agreement in place
  • A person who receives the consent of the local authority in charge of a child’s care
  • A court has already awarded you with parental responsibilities
  • Foster parents who have lived with a child for at least 1 year prior to the application for an order
  • A family relative of a child who has lived with them for at least 1 year

single parent walking a child

If you don’t fall into any of these criteria, then you will be required to seek leave and ask permission from a court to apply for a child arrangements order. Keep in mind that putting yourself forward does not mean you will be successful with an application.

The court will decide whether or not to grant you an order based on factors such as:

  • The nature of the application for the order
  • The applicant’s connection and relationship to the child
  • Considering whether the order application will be disruptive to the child’s life or put them at risk in any way
  • The wishes and future plans of a child and their parents where a local authority is in charge of a child’s care

Can police enforce a child arrangements order?

There are law enforcement measures that can be taken if you can prove to a family court beyond reasonable doubt that your ex-partner or an appointed guardian has failed to follow the order. Family courts have the power to:

  • Demand compensation through a financial loss order
  • Alter child arrangements e.g. changing the amount of time a child spends with one of their parents or guardians
  • Carry out an enforcement order against your ex-partner
  • Make your ex-partner pay a fine
  • Or even send your ex-partner to prison in the most severe cases

Can a child arrangements order be changed?

Decisions on child arrangements orders are made based on what the family court believes the children’s best interests to be at the time. Child arrangements orders can be altered according to changes in parents’ circumstances and how a child’s needs change as they get older. One parent cannot change a child’s arrangements order without first seeking the court’s approval or agreement from the other parent.

parents discussing a child arrangements order

Can a child arrangements order be revoked?

If parents are unable to come to an agreement, an application to the court can be made to revoke a child arrangements order currently in place. In the case that both parents agree, alternative arrangements can be put in place.

Hopefully, you now understand more about how child arrangements orders work and how long they last. At Bromfield legal, we are a team of expert family law solicitors perfectly placed to guide you through securing legally binding childcare arrangements for your divorce or separation.

Get in touch by ringing our Nuneaton office on 024 7638 2343, or our Warwick office on 01926 702 702, or emailing us at enquiries@bromfieldlegal.co.uk.

couple handing over their wedding rings in a divorce

How long does it take to divorce?

By | Divorce and Separation

The divorce process, and the ancillary issues such as property, finance and children, can be a long and drawn-out one. It all really hinges on just how contested the issues are and how much a couple is able to agree on together.

On average, divorces in this country take around 6 months to complete. However, some people spend far longer arguing the toss with their ex regarding the ancillary issues. So, it’s also not unheard of for hotly contested divorces to take 2 years or more to finalise.

To begin official divorce proceedings in the UK, you must have already been married for at least 1 year. If you want to get divorced before this 1 year period elapses, you can alternatively seek a legal separation without divorcing, which gives the courts the power to decide issues relating to finance and property.

What are the grounds for divorce?

The only ground for divorce under the new law which came into effect in April 2022 is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Either party can commence the proceedings. Usually, it is not possible for the other party to defend or delay the proceedings.

This process avoids the proceedings being costly, both financially and emotionally. However, if you are deciding on important matters like childcare arrangements for your children, and financial settlements the proceedings can still be prolonged and expensive, particularly if expert legal advice is not obtained at an early stage.

Pick the right family solicitors firm

Once you feel like getting a divorce will be inevitable, you will want to get it sorted and have the papers in your hands as soon as possible. How long it takes for you to divorce could rest on choosing the services of a good family solicitors firm.

You need to work with legal professionals who know what they’re doing. Otherwise, the divorce and ancillary proceedings can be long-winded and frustrating. At Bromfield Legal, we are experts in family law. We have a wealth of experience in helping to get the best results for our clients, ensuring their divorces are completed as stress-free and as quickly as possible.

Divorce documents

There is essential paperwork you need to have in the UK as evidence to prove you’re now officially divorced and allowed to remarry. When a marriage or civil partnership has officially been terminated by divorce, both the petitioner and the responder will receive the Final Order of Divorce (previously known as the decree absolute). Once your application for the Final Order has been sent to the family court, your divorce will be finalised within a few weeks at most, and often within a few days.

Try remaining calm

Try staying well-mannered and affable with your ex-partner. This will help speed everything up and make things go more smoothly.

divorcing couple

There’s nothing wrong with being candid about the arrangements you want to secure in your divorce arrangement. However, there’s no need to be rude or inflame an already stressful situation for both parties and your loved ones. Remain as calm as possible. This should help to give you some peace of mind during an inevitably tricky time in your life.

For dedicated legal advice to help you through a divorce or separation, look no further than Bromfield Legal. Get in touch by phoning us at our Nuneaton or Warwick offices or sending an email to enquiries@bromfieldlegal.co.uk.