Tag Archives: UK

UK: Panorama: Inside Britain’s Sharia Courts

Muslims believe the sharia law has been revealed by God. In many cases, even if a civil divorce has been granted, individuals will also ask to be divorced by a sharia council.

There are at least 85 of these in the UK, Corbin reported, which are ruling on matters from residents’ disputes to divorces, even, according to barrister Charlotte Proudman, on child contact matters. “They’re totally unregulated, unauthorised, there’s no accountability, and many of them are not operating in accordance with UK law,” Proudman said.

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UK: Richest Divorcees a List Too Far the Sunday Times

As get-rich-quick schemes go, it’s got to be easier than pretending to put a record out on

UK: How to Keep the Cost of a Divorce Down

The cost of getting a divorce will rise for many ordinary people because of these cuts, and there is already a perception out there that the cost of divorce is too high. The Legal Ombudsman recently reported high levels of dissatisfaction with divorce, and there are undoubtedly a small minority of bad practitioners out there who are only concerned with the final settlement figure.

However, many divorce lawyers do what they can to keep their clients’ legal costs to a minimum, and there are ways to stop a divorce from breaking the bank.

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UK: Loneliness Timebomb Fuelled by Baby-Boomer Divorces

But campaign groups warned that the study suggests that the generation now approaching retirement will prove to be a “loneliness time bomb”.

The study, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), shows that loneliness is most acute among those who live alone or have long-standing illnesses which prompt then to become more isolated.

But the report also draws attention to the role of divorce and separation among over 50s as a major contributory factor.

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UK: A Free Guidebook on how to Represent Yourself in Court

On 1 April 2013, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) came into force. It means that fewer people now have access to free legal representation than at any time since legal aid (state funding for legal advice and representation) was introduced. This means that if you have a legal problem there is now more chance that you will have to represent yourself.

UK: No Legal Aid? How to Represent Yourself in Court

Now those who cannot afford a lawyer may well consider standing up in front of a judge to represent themselves.

So what advice do professionals have for you if you find yourself in that position?

“First of all, look and see if you can get advice from a voluntary agency, Citizens Advice or something like that,” says Maura McGowan, chairman of the Bar Council.

“Secondly, stop and see if you can find £50, £70 or £100 and buy a small piece of time with a lawyer.

“He or she will tell you whether to stop the case, even at that stage, and help provide an outline if you have a case.”

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UK: Scrapping Legal Aid – How to Cut the Cost of Divorce

In today’s age of austerity, this is an obvious way to ease the strain on the public purse. However, removing legal aid for all but the most serious family matters will leave many couples with a hefty bill or the prospect of going it alone.

The changes will be a particular knock-back for spouses who have no independent income of their own – those who have opted to stay at home to look after the kids, for example.

“Such people are usually, though not always, women. If the financially stronger spouse refuses to be fair, then lack of access to the courts is a serious problem,” says Bik Wong, a family solicitor at Hubbard Pegman and Whitney LLP.

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UK: More Men Citing Women’s Drinking as Reason for Divorce

Head of family law at Slater & Gordon, Amanda McAlister, said: ‘The traditional image of the husband spending too long at the pub, while the obedient wife tended to the children is far less common than it was only ten or fifteen years ago.’

She sees 40 to 50 divorces a year where alcohol is a contributing factor – the vast majority where women are the problem.

Mrs McAlister said there has been a 70 per cent increase in men citing alcohol misuse in divorce over the past five years.

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UK: Why Legal Aid Was the Only Option

Brenda Shawky, from St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, was divorced about a year and a half ago.

She had been married to her Egyptian-born husband for 15 years but they were leading separate lives and arguing all the time.

“Things were just getting unbearable,” she recalled. “We were under a lot of financial pressure, and the cultural differences between us didn’t help. I decided I had had enough.”

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UK: Denmark’s Divorce Express

Finally, a grown-up boards and does some huffing in Danish. I explain that I’m still learning the language and only know how to buy train tickets and visit bakeries so far. She cuts me some slack and translates: “I hate getting this train. They call it the ‘divorce express’.”

“Sorry?”

“The kids. One parent puts them on the train on Friday and their ex picks up the other end. On Sunday it’s the reverse.”

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