From here you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions across all our services. Using the filter simply choose either business or individual to access the complete range of services available. Can’t find the answer you are looking for? Contact us to discuss your query.

How do I know if my business is insolvent?


If the company is unable to pay its debts as and when they fall due, the directors should seek professional advice from a solicitor or an accountant as to the options available.  In some cases, if advice is sought immediately, the business can be saved.

How do I know if I am insolvent, what should I do next?


If you believe that you may be unable to pay your debts as and when they fall due, you should seek professional advice from your solicitor or accountant as to the options available to you.

What is administration?


Administration is a formal insolvency procedure whereby an administrator is appointed by either the court, the directors of the company or a floating charge holder. The purpose of the administration is to either attempt a reorganisation of the business or to take steps to sell the company’s assets under the protection of a moratorium. Creditors cannot take steps against the company whilst it is in administration but they may be able to recover goods under a retention of title clause.

What is liquidation?


There are different forms of liquidation including members’ voluntary liquidation, creditors’ voluntary liquidation and compulsory liquidation.  A members’ voluntary liquidation is where a company is solvent and able to pay its debts but the shareholders wish to cease trading and wind up the company’s affairs.   A creditors’ voluntary liquidation is where the directors of a company believe that the company is insolvent and can no longer trade. A compulsory liquidation is where a creditor of the company applies to the court for an order winding up the company.

I have received a statutory demand, do I need a solicitor?


It is important that you deal with the statutory demand quickly to prevent a bankruptcy petition being issued against you.  If the money is due, you will need to make payment.  If you are unable to make payment, you may wish to contact the creditor and agree a repayment plan or look at other options such as an individual voluntary arrangement.  If the debt is disputed, you will need to make an application to the court asking for the statutory demand to be set aside (if this cannot be agreed with the creditor).  You have a limited amount of time to deal with a statutory demand and, therefore, if you require any assistance in dealing with the statutory demand, you need to obtain advice quickly.

What is the matrimonial home?


The matrimonial home/family home is often referred to as the home in which the parties and their family lived in. Were people are married it is often referred to as the matrimonial home, where they have been in a cohabiting relationship it is often referred to as the family home.  Both parties can have rights over this property irrespective of whose name it is in, irrespective of who has paid the bills. Please note that the rights of a married couple on separation may well be very different to the rights of a cohabiting couple on separation. Again, it is important that legal advice is taken to advise on those rights and that in certain circumstances where the property is in one party’s sole name, that advice is taken to protect the non-owning party’s interest in the property. 

How can I work out what my partner should pay to me for our children as child maintenance?


Parents are encouraged to try and resolve amicably the level of child support that is paid by one parent (the parent with whom the children do not live with the majority of the time) to the other.  If they can reach an agreement all well and good, that does not need to be ratified in a court order or via the CMS (Child Maintenance Service).  Parents can be helped to reached an agreement by using a variety of sources including Child Maintenance Options, a free service providing impartial information and support to help separating parents make decisions about child maintenance arrangements.

Sometimes however parents cannot reach an agreement and an application to the CMS may be necessary. The CMS have a variety of options in dealing with child maintenance including carrying out a formal calculation based on the absent parent’s gross income, collecting the maintenance etc. please note that an application to the Child Maintenance Service is not free, it needs to be paid for by both parents.  The CMS does have a variety of options for enforcement of maintenance as well.

Click here to see the CMS website

What is child maintenance?


Child maintenance is where one parent sometimes referred to as the absent parent i.e. the parent with whom the child does not spend the majority of their time with, pays maintenance to the other parent for that child’s support. Please note that what that parent does with the money is up to them, they may save it, they may use it to pay bills, they may use it to pay for a holiday i.e. the paying parent has no control over what the money is used for. 

If parents share the care of the child(ren) then it may be that no child maintenance will be paid but in order to work this out you have to count the actual number of nights a child spends with both parents and if it is seven nights out of fourteen, then it is likely to be deemed true shared care.  However, if it is only three nights out of seven, then one parent will be deemed to be the parent with care. If you can agree maintenance all well and good, if you cannot agree maintenance then you can make an application to the CMS (Child Maintenance Service) for them to determine child maintenance. Child maintenance is worked out on a formula and is based on your gross income and on a percentage basis according to the number of children you have and the number of nights they stay overnight with you. 

I am in a civil partnership, can I get divorced?


Bringing an end to a civil partnership involves slightly different terminology than bringing an end to a marriage.  You can apply to dissolve (end) your civil partnership provided you have been in the registered civil partnership for at least one year.  The process is fairly similar to divorce in that you send paperwork to the court to ask for permission to end your civil partnership.  You do not normally need to attend the court if you are just dealing with the paperwork application for dissolution. The grounds for ending a civil partnership are that the relationship has irretrievably broken down and this is proved in one of four ways:

  1. Unreasonable behaviour
  2. Desertion
  3. Separation for more than two years with consent
  4. Living apart for more than five years

What is spousal maintenance?


Spousal maintenance is where one party to a marriage pays maintenance (financial support) to the other. Please note that spousal maintenance is only available to parties to a marriage/civil partnership, the court has no power to order former cohabitees to pay spousal maintenance to the other. Spousal maintenance can be paid for a fixed period of time to enable one parent to adjust, to get back into the job market etc., or can be paid long term, possibly on a joint lives basis.