Another step forward in the rights of unmarried couples

The recently reported case of Jane Langford v The Secretary of State for Defence is a reminder that those who live with partners can unexpectedly find themselves with very different legal entitlements to those who are married. The right to make claims in the event of separation and/or death will often depend on whether or not you are legally married. In some cases, this can lead to an unmarried partner being left in a financially vulnerable position.

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Karen McGonagle
Can better communication help you avoid court proceedings about your children?

At a recent conference attended by family law professionals, Sir Andrew McFarlane (President of the Family Division) said that “around 38% of couples need to go to court to resolve disagreements over how they should care for their child post separation” and that this was a “far cry from the previous comfortable urban myth based on a figure of 10%”.  He said this “indicates a major societal problem, with nearly 40% of parents unable to sort out the arrangements for their own child without the need to apply for a court order”. There is no doubt that part of the reason for this is because parents do not have the same access to legal advice as they did previously given the cuts in legal aid. However, in my experience, one of the key reasons that separated parents end up in court is because they cannot communicate. Some parents can’t communicate effectively, and some parents simply can’t or don’t communicate at all.

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