New Leaf Solicitors Blog

“I had previously instructed another firm of solicitors but was let down by them.  Despite paying for an expedited service, it took them 8 months to issue my divorce petition which meant that I would not be divorced in time to get re-married on the arranged date.  
I instructed Melanie Westwood at New Leaf Solicitors at the end of February 2024 and she prepared all of the documentation to apply to expedite my divorce straight away.  The application was made in March and a hearing was listed to take place in May.  The Court approved my application so that the Conditional Order was pronounced within 2 weeks and I could apply for my final order 2 weeks later. 
I am now able to get re-married and move abroad with my family.

Previous Articles

From my first initial contact with Pauline she made me feel at ease. Pauline kept me updated throughout each process, regularly checked in on me and showed a compassionate but determined attitude towards my case.

Before the 2nd hearing I had no confidence this matter would be resolved due to the other party being rather difficult to communicate with. However Pauline proved this to be wrong. With her professional & friendly manner, Pauline was able to have this matter settled and finalised. I cannot thank Pauline enough for the continuous support she has shown me and my Family. I will have no hesitation in recommending Pauline to anyone who would need her service.

"Mr C W"

Wednesday 25th October 2023

The short answer is no, however, there are still many misconceptions about “common law marriage” and your rights as an unmarried couple. Sharing a joint bank account, living together for more than 2 years, having your post delivered to the same address; all frequently heard theories as to what constitutes a common law marriage. But unfortunately, none of these theories, nor indeed many others, have any real relevance when it comes to your rights to share property or assets upon breakdown of a non-marital relationship.

Just wanted to thank you for all your help over the past couple of years.  I was in a real mess with financials, the house and then children and couldn't see a way out.  You just made everything clear and although it was difficult at times I could always see the way forwards with your unwavering support.

Thank you Pauline, you are a great solicitor, but you're also a one in a million just all round amazing person.


There may be uncertainty around financial matters following on from a divorce, particularly in relation to the dividing of assets and the former marital home. This can become difficult when children are involved, as their needs are paramount. It is usually best to ensure that any children involved are able to retain as much normality as possible throughout the divorce process, as it is going to be challenging for them to adjust to change. The change to the family unit may already be hard for them to accept, so by being able to retain the family home, attend the same school and maintain friendships will make the situation easier to come to terms with.

When considering who you should appoint as your Executor in your Will, it is important to think through all of the options. In the initial meeting with our clients, we discuss the difference between a lay and professional Executor, but what exactly is the distinction and what does the role involve? Our Amye Aris, head of Wills and Probate, discusses more below.

Thursday 21st September 2023

Although it is a little too early to be thinking about Christmas… it may be just the right time to think ahead and start to devise a plan if you are co-parenting. It is better to deal with difficult conversations early on to avoid any disagreements and allow yourself time to negotiate. For those who celebrate Christmas, it is a magical time particularly for children. Therefore, it is important to do everything in your power to make it as special as it should be.

The thought of a divorce can be daunting, even before taking that first step in the process. It may be something you cannot face dealing with and would rather not come to terms with right now.

These types of emotions are completely normal, the most important thing is to put yourself first at this stage. Emotions may run high, and it can be difficult to see the best solution. However, things will eventually work out after finding the best way to navigate yourself through.

Thursday 13th July 2023

“I am writing to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the work of Pauline in representing me in my family matter regarding living and contact arrangements for my child. The case was not complicated but there were a couple of additional factors involved to consider. The most tricky aspect was a difficult ex who wished to continue the dispute as long as possible by disagreeing with everything. I found Pauline online as I was unhappy with my previous solicitors approach and lack of direction with the case which had dragged on for over 12 months. Pauline was amazing !  She quickly understood the situation, and was very knowledgeable, being able to advise me on every aspect needed (where other solicitors were unable to advise me).  She confidently handled my ex-husbands curve ball on the morning of the hearing, and within a few hours the case was concluded with agreement for a final order, ending over 12 months of legal proceedings. I could not be happier. I had a poor experience with previous solicitors and lacked any confidence in them. However, I have so much confidence in Pauline and New Leaf Solicitors.  Her professionalism, knowledge, efficiency and strategy is outstanding. I will be recommending Pauline and New Leaf Solicitors to family and friends”.

Ms P

We are sometimes asked by Executors or Administrators of an estate what would happen if the deceased person had accrued more debts than assets in their lifetime in estates in England and Wales. Do the debts die with the deceased? Our Amye Aris, Head of Wills and Probate at New Leaf Solicitors, explains more below.

Monday 22nd May 2023

A warm testimonial for Pauline O’Rourke

“It has been a long road, but you Pauline have been amazing. Thank you so much for your help, wisdom and professional services”.


Wednesday 19th April 2023

“I was very impressed with the legal work done by Amy.  Her communication was exceptional, she kept costs down where she could and I always felt that I was being given the best advice.  Thank you Amy”.


Friday 3rd March 2023

“I would like to thank Pauline O'Rourke for all her hard work in helping me through a very difficult divorce she has being honest and truthfully at all times, and I certainty  would recommend her services  to anyone going through a divorce.

Mr C”

As we welcome the early signs of Spring, the new wedding season is almost upon us! As many couples eagerly await their big day, we thought it would be a good time to remind you what happens to a Will (if you have one) if you get married or enter into a Civil Partnership.

Our Amye Aris, Head of Wills and Probate for New Leaf Solicitors, discusses this topic below. This is especially important for couples with blended families, perhaps marrying for a second or third time, or who have children from previous relationships.

Wednesday 18th January 2023

A testimonial for Pauline O'Rourke, family solicitor based in Birmingham.

"I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you what a fantastic Solicitor Pauline is.  I've had years of representation that only ever seemed to write letters (and charge me handsomely for it).  Pauline's approach was a breath of fresh air; pro-actively calling the other side and trying to drive my case forward to a conclusion, keeping me informed at each stage about what was happening or could happen.  I always feel like there is a plan, and that every eventuality has been catered for.  

The search for a Will – How to find out whether your loved one left a valid Will

After a loved one has died there is a lot to think about and arrange, all at a difficult time when family members are grieving their loss. If your loved one left a valid Will and you know where it is kept this can help reduce some of the uncertainty. Unfortunately, a missing Will or doubts over whether one was left at all can have the opposite effect and cause a lot of stress for the family.

The cost-of-living crisis is something that concerns us all.   The additional worry of household finances and having to restrict outgoings is likely to be a source of discussion and even arguments between couples. Is the cost-of-living crisis likely to impact upon couples wanting to divorce?

Tuesday 23rd August 2022

Another warm testimonial for Amy Trevellick

"My solicitor Amy Trevellick was very professional, proactive and highly supportive in what was a difficult time. I highly recommend Amy and New Leaf Solicitors and would have no hesitation in using them in the future".

Mr McG

We understand that it can sometimes be quite daunting to come and see us to discuss a new Will. Clients tell us that they have put off making a new Will for many reasons, or simply because they don’t wish to think about their death. Ensuring that a valid a Will is in place makes things so much easier for loved ones left behind, and also, when done correctly, ensures that your last wishes are met. Our Amye Aris, Head of Wills and Probate and New Leaf Solicitors, explains the top 5 things to think about before your Will appointment.

Death and Divorce may sound brutal but the subject of Wills and inheritance is important when dealing with divorce.

What do I do if I have divorced but then my ex spouse dies shortly afterwards?  This may be an unusual situation but it can happen.

Our clients are advised during the divorce process that they should have a Will or review their existing Will. This is because divorce, meaning the Final Order, formerly known as the Decree Absolute affects inheritance under a Will.  The Final Order effectively treats the former spouse as if they have died and any provisions in a Will where any property or assets are bequeathed to the former spouse will pass as if that former spouse had died.  In other words if a spouse was to benefit under their spouses Will then that clause will fail and they will not inherit.

Saturday 11th June 2022

The summer is fast approaching so if you haven't already you should discuss the arrangements for contact with your children over the summer holidays.

Many separated couples are able to agree the arrangements for the absent parent to have contact with their children on a regular basis throughout the year and the specific arrangements for contact over the extended summer school holidays.



We have seen a huge surge in the amount of new and returning clients instructing us in relation to Lasting Powers of Attorney. Sadly, in these days of increasing dementia diagnoses and care admissions many experts believe that entering into a Lasting Power of Attorney and regularly reviewing it is as important as having a valid Will in place. But completing the 20+ page document and then registering it at the Office of The Public Guardian can be daunting, and ensuring it is all done correctly even more so.

Wednesday 30th March 2022

No fault divorce finally comes into force on 6 April 2022.

The key feature of the Act is the ‘no fault’ divorce which will allow married couples to divorce without assigning blame.

Sometimes couples just want to separate without having to sling mud at each other, the old rules offered no other option if they have not been separated for two years or more.  The introduction of the ‘no fault’ divorce option will hopefully remove unnecessary acrimony between parties and allow them to focus on the bigger issues upon separation such as finances and children.

Thursday 10th March 2022

As we approach the end of the financial year our Amye Aris discusses the annual gift exemption.


Are you a parent, grandparent, or godparent? Do you make use of your annual gift exemption? If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question you should also consider doing the second as a good way of Estate planning for Inheritance Tax purposes.

Wednesday 9th March 2022

Our Pauline O'Rourke discusses the impact on financial matters when the new divorce law comes into force this April.

Consent Orders and the new D81 form.

We have new divorce procedures coming in to force in April but it is important for the lay person to appreciate that getting divorced and obtaining a clean break financial order on your finances are two separate processes.

Monday 31st January 2022

A warm testimonial for Amye Aris.

" Amye is highly recommended.  I am an Executor of my late sister in laws will. So when she sadly passed away I sought the help of New Leaf Solicitors and instructed Amye Aris to act on our behalf to obtain probate.

She has been brilliant, very approachable and easy to get on with. She efficiently took our instruction and kept us updated throughout the process and painlessly to us, took it through to a successful conclusion.

Thank You New Leaf and Amye for your help".

Mr W


Our Amye Aris, specialist Wills Solicitor, explains the pitfalls in leaving your estate to a surviving spouse outright, and how to better protect your children’s future inheritance.

Wednesday 24th November 2021

Another warm testimonial for Francine Bristo...

‘Thank you so much for your help and support throughout the process…I suppose times with covid have seemed strange without you seeing clients, however you've made me feel like the whole process has been caring and personal'.

From Mrs L

Wednesday 3rd November 2021

Another warm testimonial for our Francine Bristo

“You’ve been so helpful and professional but more importantly “human” and understanding. It’s been such a difficult time but you made me feel much more comfortable and put my mind at ease, thank you.”  

Mrs A

Tuesday 2nd November 2021

Our Francine Bristo offers some guidance on helping your child through separation 

Separation is difficult for everyone including children.  It is hard to parent when you are struggling with your emotions.  There is information and support out there, be kind to yourself and get help where you need it.  It is important to look after yourself.  Life will be difficult for a while but there is lots you can do to reduce the impact of the separation on your children.  Co-parenting is hard but it is so very worthwhile.  When parents co-parent their children well the outcomes are better for everyone.

Our Amy Trevellick shares some advice for those who are newly separated or divorced this Christmas.

For many people, Christmas is a particularly special time of year. Spending time with their loved ones, and seeing glee on their children’s faces as they open their presents on Christmas morning. But for others, Christmas can put a huge strain on their relationship and you may find yourself dreading spending another Christmas at home with your partner or spouse.

Monday 1st November 2021

Christmas is not that far away so if you haven't already you should discuss the arrangements for contact with your children over the Christmas holidays.

Many separated couples are able to agree the arrangements for the absent parent to have contact with their children on a regular basis throughout the year and the specific arrangements for contact over the Christmas and New Year period

Many of our divorcing clients are concerned about how divorce will affect their future estate planning and whether their ex-spouse will receive anything from their previously drawn up Wills.

Our Amye Aris, Wills and Probate Solicitor at New Leaf Solicitors, sets out the position for divorcing or divorced couples.

Wednesday 6th October 2021

Thank you to Purple House Clinic in Rugby for this blog.


Divorce has been found to be one of the most stressful life experiences, along with the death of a spouse(Holmes and Rahe 1967). It therefore makes sense that there would be a significant adjustment process following a divorce, as might be expected following a significant bereavement. The adjustment process will be impacted by a number of factors including the circumstances around the end of the relationship. These might include infidelity, abusive behaviour, drug or alcohol issues, infertility, physical illness, differences in parenting style, different values or beliefs, sexual difficulties, communication difficulties or ‘drifting apart’ because other life priorities have made it difficult to invest time and effort into a relationship.

Wednesday 6th October 2021

A warm testimonial for our Francine Bristo

"Francine was more than efficient and attentive, she’s been brilliant, always cheerful and has made what might have been a bit intimidating a friendly experience".

Mr G

Monday 4th October 2021

A very warm testimonial for our Amye Aris, Wills and Probate Solicitor

"We thank you for your professional, efficient and friendly attention to our business with New Leaf Solicitors.  It is with absolute sincerity and pleasure that we provide feedback, direct to yourself, emphasising our gratitude for your extremely pleasant manner and professional expertise in the efficient handling of our Wills.

We would have no hesitation whatsoever in returning to New Leaf Solicitors, should we have additional business to transact, or, indeed, should we have the opportunity to pass on our recommendations to all potential customers, of New Leaf Solicitors.".

Mr & Mrs D. R and J Keill.

Wednesday 1st September 2021

Our Amye Aris helpfully explains what the terminology in Estate Administration and Probate means.

The loss of a loved one is upsetting enough. Having to then deal with arranging a funeral, locate a valid Will and then navigate the legal jargon used by solicitors whilst trying to deal with an Estate can be extremely daunting.


Thursday 26th August 2021

For Amye Aris our Wills & Probate Solicitor..

"It was a pleasure to meet you at your garden office.  May I record my deep appreciation for your professional etiquette, helpful advice and efficiency. I will have no hesitation in recommending your service to those who may need it".  BD

Our Amy Trevellick talks about what happens to your pets upon separation and whether a pet nup is right for you.

With the increase of pet ownership since the start of the pandemic, many people are now asking “what will happen to our pets if we separate?”. Of course, anyone who owns a pet will know that they soon become part of the family. It is therefore difficult to explain to client’s that their pets will only be considered a “chattel”, much in the same way as the furniture in their home, or their personal possessions. Unfortunately, the law has not developed in this area to keep up with the modern family owning domestic pets, and so this outdated approach remains in place.

Our Francine Bristo deals with the importance of discussing financial matters with your partner or spouse.

Most couples don’t make the time to have a conversation about the finances because it can lead to increased tension and arguments.  Money is emotional, evoking feelings of shame, fear, anger and frustration.  It is no wonder that people avoid talking about money and what would happen in the event of their relationship ending.  Ignoring these issues whilst they are small however, allows them to grow into larger problems.  There is nothing worse than dealing with the emotion of money combined with the emotion of separation. 

Thursday 5th August 2021

A warm testimonial for our Francine Bristo in our Rugby office.

"Many thanks for everything you’ve done to make this process as painless as possible and looking out for my best interests where you could".

Ms H.

Wednesday 4th August 2021

Our Francine Bristo considers how best to tell the children you are separating.

During separation most children feel powerless finding themselves forced to accept change in which they have had no say.  Children find it hard to raise the subject with their parents but they want to be consulted and listened to.

The divorce rate amongst older couples, the so called Silver splitters, is growing year by year.

There are many reasons for this.  First, people are living longer and are expected to be in good health well into their later years.  The whole ‘in sickness and in health, til death do us part’ promise can suddenly seem like a lengthy commitment.  Financial security is also an issue.  There are new rules which allow people to cash in their pension pots on retirement and so some couples may not feel compelled to stay together because it’s too complicated to separate.

A will is often associated with the elderly, however the stress of living through a pandemic has meant we have seen a huge increase in new will enquiries and appointments as more and more people are thinking about making or updating their will.

Friday 25th June 2021

Some kind words from Mr H for our Francine Bristo and Amanda Weaver at our Rugby office

"I honestly can’t thank you and Amanda enough for everything you have done, especially for my relationship with my children".

Wednesday 23rd June 2021

We asked Francine Bristo why she chose family law...

"I wanted to become a family lawyer because the law fascinated me and I enjoy people, the law alone was too dry.  I like listening to people’s problems and helping them to find the light at the end of the tunnel.   I try to be understanding and empathetic without getting too involved in the emotion and I am to help my  clients to reach a solution that works for them.  I like to support clients by calmly taking on management of the legal process so that they don’t have to worry about this aspect of things when they have so much else to deal with.  It is really satisfying and a privilege to journey with my clients through what can be a very difficult time in their lives".  

Our Amy Trevellick in our Daventry office answers this question.

The short answer is, no. Although Civil Partnerships and Same Sex Marriage share many of the same features, and convey almost exactly the same legal rights, they are fundamentally different in nature and process. For one thing, if you are in a Civil Partnership, you cannot formally say you are “married”. So why are there 2 different processes?

Thursday 10th June 2021

No fault divorce – we FINALLY have a date!

On 8th June 2021, we received the long awaited and welcome news that the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Act 2020 will come into force on 6th April 2022.  The key feature of the Act is the ‘no fault’ divorce which will allow married couples to divorce without assigning blame.

We understand that every client’s situation is different but it is not uncommon for a client to say that they would rather wait until the children have finished their GCSE’s or the children have left for University or just when the children have left home, before they consider separation and divorce proceedings.


When a small to medium business (SME) is first formed it is probably the last thing on the owner’s mind to think about what would happen if they can no longer run the business themselves due to a long-term debilitating illness, accident, or worse, a stroke or dementia.

Clients are becoming increasingly mindful about ‘future planning’ their estates to best protect their assets for theirs and their loved one’s future. Many people consider transferring property or cash gifts to their children during their lifetime as this is perceived as a good way to avoid care home fees that may be forthcoming. There are many factors to consider before thinking about transferring assets out of your estate in this way and Amye Aris, Consultant Solicitor in our Wills and Probate team, discusses what these are.

Friday 16th April 2021

Another warm review for Francine Bristo

"Thanks for all your help with this, you have made this whole process very easy".

Ms S

Tuesday 13th April 2021

A warm testimonial for our Francine Bristo

"Many thanks for your support throughout this process.  You've been very kind and professional".

Mrs B

Monday 12th April 2021

It's not true that there is no such thing as a good divorce. Although any separation is a cause for some sadness, it's also clear that when the couple in question is on friendly terms and doing everything in their power to base the divorce process on fairness and cooperation, then the experience can be tolerable, or even harmonious.

If you separate from your partner and are not married but do have children, it’s important to gain a detailed and accurate understanding of what your responsibilities are as soon as possible.

Friday 26th March 2021

Our Pauline O'Rourke answers some commonly asked questions regarding contact, residence and child arrangements.

Quite often I am asked  “I want custody of my child” or “I want visitation rights” or quite simply “I want to see my child”. Getting the terminology right helps to understand what exactly are the rights of children and parents and how best to get the outcome you want.

We understand it is a difficult to decision on whether to start divorce proceedings and deciding to consult a family law solicitor can be the hardest step to take.  Even if you are not sure what you want to do, we can offer valuable, impartial advice in an initial meeting which will help you work things out.

Friday 19th March 2021

For Francine Bristo

"I would not hesitate to use New Leaf Solicitors again should the need be necessary".

Ms N

LIFE IN LOCKDOWN: A day in the life of a Solicitor in our Wills, Probate and Lasting Power of Attorney team.  Amye Aris, our Wills, Probate and Lasting Powers of Attorney Solicitor shares with us what a typical day is like for her whilst we have been in lockdown.

Thursday 4th March 2021

Some very kind words from one of Kelly Bruton's clients, very happy with her representation

"I just wanted to send a short note to say a big thank you for your support , guidance and negotiation skills over the past week. I really do appreciate it.  Kelly, your care and expertise shown through the negotiation phase and reassurance was fantastic".

Mr C.

Thursday 11th February 2021

Our Amye Aris deals with this often asked and important question - what is the role of an Attorney?

We have seen a large increase in new client enquiries asking us to prepare and register Lasting Powers of Attorney documents on their behalf.  But what does it mean to be appointed as someone’s Attorney, and what are your legal duties in that role? Our Amye Aris explains more.

Our Amy Trevellick continues her series of articles about mediation.

Where children are concerned, our client’s attend mediation mostly to discuss when and how often their children will see each parent after a separation or divorce. This is commonly known as “child arrangements”. If these arrangements are agreed as a result of mediation, or indeed, via a direct agreement between the parents, they can be drawn up into a Parenting Plan or, if necessary, a Child Arrangements Order.

Friday 29th January 2021

An amazing testimonial for our Pauline O'Rourke...

"I have just had a really horrible year and Pauline has been amazing, she has literally got me through this.  She is so knowledgeable very, honest about things which she wasn’t able to guarantee would happen and offered me several options possible outcomes.  I felt entirely comfortable talking to her on the phone very easy to talk to and really felt that she was genuinely fighting my corner with everything she had, I certainly had a far better financial outcome than I would have got if I hadn’t got her.

Friday 29th January 2021

Some clients who are divorced or are in the process of getting divorced ask whether they need a consent order.

Where you have agreed how you will deal with the divorce finances (even where you decide not to make any claims against each other) the answer is in most cases, yes.  If you have been unable to agree on how the finances should be dealt with you should seek legal advice to discuss your options further.  Surprisingly many people go to the trouble of getting divorced but do not end their financial relationship with their spouse which can result in unnecessary future stress and complication.

Wednesday 27th January 2021

COVID 19 and the subsequent lockdowns have undoubtedly had an affect on peoples lives.  The lockdown has led to many different stresses in each household, tensions running high perhaps with both partners having to work from home and finding the space to do that, as well as sharing the responsibility of home schooling.

Monday 25th January 2021

Our Amy Trevellick continues her series discussing mediation. 

Mediation and Dealing with Finances

I don’t trust my ex to be honest about their income / finances – is it worth me attending mediation? 

Thursday 21st January 2021

The Probate Office have confirmed that the move to mandatory online applications for all probate applications since 11thJanuary 2021 is proving to be a success. The new online service has seen a huge uptake in solicitor firms and probate practitioners registering to use the service since its roll out.

Thursday 7th January 2021

There is common misconception that family mediation is like couples counselling. This is not correct. The purpose of mediation is not to try and save the relationship (although of course, if there is any desire to do that, you can be referred to someone who can help). Mediation is about providing an impartial and non-judgmental environment where you can make arrangements with your ex-partner about your children, money, divorce, or all three. Discussions at mediation are confidential and any proposals you make during mediation cannot be relied upon or referred to if you later end up in court proceedings. This is to encourage open discussions without the fear of it being used against you later on.

Our Amy Trevellick shares some advice for those who are newly separated or divorced this Christmas.

For many people, Christmas is a particularly special time of year. Spending time with their loved ones, and seeing glee on their children’s faces as they open their presents on Christmas morning. But for others, Christmas can put a huge strain on their relationship and you may find yourself dreading spending another Christmas at home with your partner or spouse.

Christmas is not that far away so if you haven't already you should discuss the arrangements for contact with your children over the Christmas holidays.

Many separated couples are able to agree the arrangements for the absent parent to have contact with their children on a regular basis throughout the year and the specific arrangements for contact over the Christmas and New Year period.

Tuesday 17th November 2020

For Francine and Amanda

I wanted to say a big Thank you to you and Amanda for your caring, support and professionalism throughout this awful process for me.  I really appreciate everything you have done for me and wish you both all the very best too.

Mrs S

The long awaited no fault divorce process is getting closer.  The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill has now reached its journey’s end in the House of Commons and now its with the House of Lords to review  before it receives Royal assent.  It is anticipated that it will be Autumn 2021 before the new law comes into effect.

Thursday 29th October 2020

The time will come when the divorce is behind you and you are looking forward to a new chapter.  Here are some helpful hints to help you along your new journey.

Our Amye Aris answers this often posed question.

Being appointed as an Executor in a person’s will is an honour but also a daunting prospect, especially if you have never dealt with an Estate before. We have put together a few tips on what to do if you have been asked to act as an Executor and where to begin.


When you are going through the upsetting and difficult time of separation or divorce it is understandable that making a new will or updating your current one may not be on the top of your to-do list. But it is something you need to do to ensure that your former husband or wife does not unintentionally benefit from your estate if you die.

Tuesday 6th October 2020

Our Kelly Bruton answers the frequently asked question - Can I change my child’s surname?

A question that we are quite frequently asked is whether a child’s surname can be changed.  If a child is under 16, their name can only be changed if everyone with parental responsibility for them gives written evidence of their consent.  If the child is over 16 or the other parent with parental responsibility is willing to provide written consent, we can prepare a Change of Name Deed.

Our Francine Bristo looks at why is September one of the Busiest Months for Divorce?

Every year as with January, we notice an increase in enquiries during September.  This may surprise some as it sees the return of children to school and is could be looked upon as a positive and optimistic time for couples.  Whilst it may be for some, September can be a difficult time for many couples and is a popular time of the year for spouses to file for divorce.  It is not clear why more petitions are lodged in September, couples do not consciously choose a time of year to separate, we suspect there are many reasons for this.

Our Consultant Solicitor Pauline O'Rourke considers how to share a pension in divorce proceedings.

One of the first questions I am often asked when advising on how to settle the finances on divorce is whether my client is entitled to a share of their spouse’s pension.

The answer is yes, although because pensions form part of the financial “pot” overall only part or even none of the pensions may end up being divided. One party for example may wish to keep the available capital or equity in the home as an offset against taking a share of the other’s pension i.e. a pension “offset”.

Thursday 3rd September 2020


Are you a parent, grandparent, or godparent? Do you make use of your annual gift exemption? If you answered ‘yes’ to the first question you should also consider doing the second as a good way of Estate planning for Inheritance Tax purposes.