‘‘Prorogation of Parliament’’ – How many times have you heard this phrase lately? The answer is probably a lot, and almost certainly in relation to Brexit. But did you know that the prorogation of Parliament is also impacting family law?
It is perhaps the most persistent of all myths and is widely believed to be fact by an astonishing number of people. It almost trips off the tongue too easily, “But you’re surely a common law wife after 20 years of living together…” The simple and sometimes the often hard answer is, “No”.
A nuptial agreement, either a pre-nuptial agreement or a post nuptial agreement, can be entered into by the parties to a marriage to set out what will happen in the event of a divorce. There are many obvious advantages, such as to protect pre-acquired assets and to establish certainty, insofar as it is possible, in the event of divorce. Of course agreeing such matters when both parties are on the same page usually reduces legal costs and acrimony if the marriage does not survive.
Divorce and separation can be a time of huge conflict and heartache for couples. It is widely accepted that the current divorce law in England & Wales has further exacerbated the position, leaving divorcing couples with no option to end the marriage amicably immediately upon separation. As it stands, unless blame is apportioned, they must wait until they are separated for two plus years. This can be very distressing for separating couples and can result in increased acrimony or considerable delays, neither of which are particularly helpful in already very difficult circumstances. The impact of starting proceedings on an acrimonious note on the families going forward is immeasurable.