What is a grant of probate?
A grant of probate is a court issued certificate which authenticates a person’s will after they have died and is the document which formally appoints the executor.
When should I make a will?
As soon as you are aged over 18 years old. If you only have £1 in your bank account, you can still leave this money to your chosen beneficiary.
I want to challenge a will, do I need a solicitor?
It is a very sensible idea to speak with a solicitor about the process of challenging a will. We can fully inform you about how the law operates and we can assess the strength of your claim.
I need a will, how much will it cost?
Our prices start at £165 + VAT for a single will and £225 + VAT for a mirror will.
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:
- Unreasonable behaviour
- Separation for more than two years with consent
- 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.
Do grandparents have legal rights?
Grandparents do not have any automatic right to see their grandchildren. Sadly, when a relationship breaks down one or both sets of grandparents can be pushed out and lose contact with their grandchildren. The family courts however do recognise the invaluable role that grandparents can play in their grandchildren’s lives, especially at a time when their grandchildren are going through a difficult time in terms of the parental separation. Therefore, if a grandparent makes an application to the family court, they may stand a good chance of success in obtaining a child arrangements order that the grandchildren should spend time with them.
Grandparents do not have an automatic right to make an application for a child arrangements order, they will have to apply for permission (leave) and if they make an application the court will consider, amongst other things, their connection with the child and whether the application is in the child’s best interest.