No fault divorce
6th April 2022 will see the introduction of the long awaited “no fault” divorce process.
For the last 165 years, most people wishing to obtain a divorce in court have had to do so by blaming the other spouse for the breakdown of their marriage. This has often led to high levels of acrimony and anxiety at what was already a difficult time for separating families. The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 ends this “blame game” and will allow couples to divorce based on the simple fact of irretrievable breakdown without the requirement for any further details or evidence. There are only very limited circumstances in which that divorce can be opposed.
For the first time couples will be able to present joint applications for divorce and the antiquated language of “Decree Nisi”, “Petitioner” and “Decree Absolute” is swept away in favour of plain English. The new divorce process will take a minimum of 26 weeks.
It is important to realise that, while the new divorce process has been simplified and stripped of conflict, couples still need to resolve the financial issues which arise from divorce and that this does not happen automatically as part of the divorce. There is no time limit for bringing financial claims after divorce and claims have been seen many years, and, in some cases, decades after the marriage ended. It is therefore crucial that a court order is obtained dealing with financial settlement at the time of the divorce. Where couples are agreed this can be dealt with on paper without the need for anyone to attend court. Only by doing this can couples have the security of knowing that their finances are secure after their divorce.
Courts no longer routinely scrutinise arrangements for children on divorce preferring parents to make the best decisions over their children. Only where parents disagree are the courts involved and only then if a parent applies for a court order.
It is hoped that these huge changes in divorce law will go a small way to make the emotional process of ending a marriage a little less trying for those involved.
If you would like advice on your family situation, visit our Family Law/Divorce page, or contact us today.
Team triumph at pancake day races
As first time entrants our team, “We’re Going To Batter You” triumphed at the annual Lowestoft Pancake Race on Shrove Tuesday. On what were windy conditions the flipping pancakes were not dropped which proved crucial in our teams success.
New Recorder Appointment
We are delighted to announce that Julian Gibbons of Norton Peskett Solicitors has been appointed to sit as a Recorder by the Lord Chief Justice, effective from 16 September 2019.
This is a well deserved appointment for Julian which reflects the breath of his skill and experience.
A total of 159 Recorders have been appointed this year. A full list of the appointments along with their circuit allocation can be found on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.
Changes to Capital Gains Tax on second properties
New rules are being introduced in April 2020 requiring individuals disposing of an interest in residential property which gives rise to a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability to report such transactions to HMRC and pay the tax arising within 30 days.
Currently, where a CGT liability arises for UK residents on the sale of a residential property, the liability is declared through self-assessment tax returns and payable by 31 January following the tax year in which the gain arises.
The calculation of the amount payable will take into account an individual’s annual exemption and any unused losses that may be available. A “reasonable estimate” of the individual’s income for the year will need to be made in order to calculate the CGT liability due to the effect of income levels on the CGT rate to be applied.
You can find out more information at Which? Money
Cyber Essentials Accreditation
Norton Peskett has achieved Cyber Essentials accreditation. This scheme was introduced by the government in April 2014 to help organisations and their customers protect themselves against common cyber attacks. Law firms are an attractive target for cyber attacks as they hold sensitive client information and handle significant funds.
Businesses and organisations that achieve the Cyber Essentials mark are minimising risks against the two common types of cyber attack. Phishing, which is malware infection generated by users clicking on malicious email attachments or website links, and hacking, whereby criminals exploit known vulnerabilities in internet connected servers and devices using widely available tools and techniques.
Richard Stone, IT Manager says, “We take cyber security very seriously and the Cyber Essentials certification can only help to give our clients confidence that we will protect their confidential matters.”
New Solicitor Partner Announcement
Norton Peskett Solicitors are delighted to announce that Matthew Breeze and Sophie Cooper have been appointed Partners from 1 July 2019.
Matthew joined the firm as a trainee Legal Executive in 1994 and qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2004. Matthew works in the commercial property department from the Great Yarmouth office. He also has experience and knowledge of dealing with company law matters.
Matthew was born and raised in the Great Yarmouth area and continues to live close to the town with his wife and children. He is a supporter of Norwich City Football Club (not that we will hold that against him!)
Sophie joined Norton Peskett as a Trainee Solicitor in 2010 and qualified in 2012 after completing her 2 year Training Contract. Sophie works in the Residential Conveyancing Team and is based in the Lowestoft office. Sophie has lived in the Lowestoft area for many years and has vast personal knowledge of the local area.