Despite allegations of aged old paternalism, courts are increasingly turning to empowerment of the litigants to reach an agreement themselves, reducing the need for costly and time-consuming final hearings. In my experience, when it comes to pre-nuptial agreements and parenting plans, parties are unlikely to reach an agreement without prompting from their solicitors.

Parenting plans

A parenting plan is a menu of conversation prompts designed to enable parents to discuss all aspects of their children's' lives, both current and future, and can be disclosed to the court in the event of a dispute. It is designed to pre-empt disagreements and multiple court applications, and covers everything from schooling, to the introduction of new partners. A helpful leaflet and template is provided by Cafcass (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service); you can find out more about parenting plans on our website here.

Pre-nuptial agreements

Unlike in the United States of America, pre-nuptial agreements are not fully binding. The court, however, should give effect to one if it is freely entered into by both parties, who are fully appreciating of its implications and unless the circumstances prevailing it are deemed fair if they were held. Essentially, if both parties take legal advice and make full disclosure, and there are no procedural irregularities, a court will endorse the agreement. Both parties should take legal advice well before the marriage ceremony to avoid legal issues, such as the perception of undue influence and the practical realities of actually getting it all done thoroughly and correctly.

For further information

To find out more about how Anthony Collins Solicitors can support you through with parenting plans or pre-nuptial agreements, please contact Elizabeth Wyatt.

Is £400m enough?
Is £400m enough?

The government announced on 16 May that it will provide a fund of £400m to cover the costs of removal and replacement of cladding to high rise residential blocks which have failed tests.

The problems with co-owned properties and attorneys
The problems with co-owned properties and attorneys

Whilst some people are under the impression that preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is simply a case of completing a form and ticking a few boxes, it is about far more than this.

What's mine is (not) yours!
What's mine is (not) yours!

A big fear for some people facing divorce and the inevitable carving up of the matrimonial assets. They seek assurances that such assets will be “ring-fenced” and retained for them.

How to avoid the PET trap
How to avoid the PET trap

When an individual is thinking about making a gift to another individual, consideration needs to be given to the Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) trap.

Fictitious divorces
Fictitious divorces

Arising from the recent Family Division announcement, people who think they are legally divorced may in fact still be married.