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OK, so divorce lawyers are probably the last people you want to hear from on Valentine’s Day. But bear with us. Whether you’re just about to start out your married life, wondering whether your soon-to-be ex is really that bad or feeling pangs of regret about your recent divorce, we take a look at your options and give you some tips to help you through the most romantic day of the year.

 

Prevention is better than cure

Doctors across the country recite this to us to try and get us to eat more healthily, but it also rings true for marriages. As divorce lawyers, we see relationships which have either broken down or are on the verge of breaking down, on a daily basis.

While some relationships seem to be doomed to failure almost from the very start, many couples may be able to avoid the difficult divorce process by taking part in pre-marriage counselling, in order to sort out any issues before they rear their head further down the line.

It’s surprising, for example, how many couples get married without talking about finances and their financial goals (such as do they want to save and buy a home or would they rather live for the moment and spend, spend, spend).

Ironing out these issues right at the very beginning can save a heap of unnecessary heartache.

Face up to any problems

All marriages go through rough patches.

Communication is the key to a happy marriage. If you don’t like the fact that he bought you socks for Valentine’s day, don’t keep it in and build up resentment - just tell him!

Honesty (with sensitivity, of course) really is the best policy.

Divorce should be the last option

Sometimes, divorce is the only (and best) way forward. But it shouldn’t necessarily be viewed as the first or even second option.

Whilst it is possible to remarry someone you have divorced, it might be better to work through the issues if you can and save a whole lot of time, money and heartache.

Valentine’s Day is just another day

If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, it can feel like you’re the only one who doesn’t have someone to cuddle up to.

In reality, it’s just a day designed to squeeze money out of couples who feel pressured into showing how much they love each other on one particular, often dreary, day in February.

The good news is that these days, anti-Valentine’s Day events take place across London and beyond. So, don’t sit in on your own just because you’re told by very clever marketers that you’re supposed to be being romantic. Go out and do something fun.

If you’re having doubts about whether you want to divorce or are regretting starting the divorce process at all, get in touch to talk to one of our experienced family lawyers.

The post Roses are red, violets are blue, we’ll help you escape the Val’s day blues appeared first on Grayfords.

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After rumours surrounding his extra-marital affairs with another woman surfaced, Robert Herjavec and his wife Diane Plese separated on July 24, 2014 after 24 years of marriage and three adult children. Plese filed for divorce in March 2015. When a couple divorce, it’s not unusual for maintenance to form part of the financial settlement. Only a few days ago, the Toronto Sun reported that a Canadian court had ruled that Shark Tank star Robert Herjavec should pay his ex-wife $125,000 per month in spousal maintenance payments, accompanied by a very sizeable capital settlement in the order of tens of millions of Canadian dollars. While maintenance payments on this scale are relatively rare, understanding what maintenance is, as well as the factors the courts may take into account when it comes to awarding maintenance payments, can help you to understand what to expect. What is spousal maintenance? Spousal maintenance can be paid to former spouses on a monthly basis. It can either last for a defined period of time or on what is known as a ‘joint lives’ basis. ‘Joint lives’ means that it will continue until either the payee or the payer of the maintenance dies. Joint lives maintenance orders are becoming increasingly rare here in England and Wales. So how do the courts decide on an amount? Herjavec and his wife of 24 years fought their family court battle over everything from the number of parking spaces in the garage of their mansion to the value of their other real estate assets. When deciding on how much maintenance payments should be, the courts look at everything from how much income you have already, to how much you need to live on. In this case, Herjavec made his fortune with his cybersecurity business called ‘Bark’, which he sold for £31 million in 2000. According to the court, this windfall gave the family “unimagined wealth, which would change their family’s life and lifestyle fundamentally,”. As such, it was important to take their lifestyle and family life into account when awarding maintenance. In the end, the Ontario Supreme Court ruled that Diane Plese should be awarded $125,000 a month in spousal support and a total of $25 million from their massive fortune. Some of these assets included $2.4 million from the proceeds of sale of the couple’s Florida home. Furthermore, the earning capacity of both parties is also taken into account by the courts.  This is also the case here in England and Wales. How much maintenance should be paid and the period of time the maintenance payments will last are down to the discretion of the court and will depend upon the facts of the case. Waggott v Waggott In this case, Mr and Mrs Waggott agreed that their assets, which were valued at over £16 million, would be divided equally between them upon divorce. However, what they couldn’t reach an agreement on was Mrs Waggott’s entitlement to Mr Waggott’s future income. The original court awarded a ‘joint lives’ spousal maintenance order, which both parties appealed, albeit on different bases. The Court of Appeal overruled the joint lives order and imposed term maintenance with payments  finishing in 2021. The court concluded that the lower court had erred in applying the sharing principle (this means that the starting point is that all assets should be divided equally) to earning capacity as a resource. The judge said that sharing stopped "at or within a short time of the end of the relationship”. Mrs Waggott was later refused permission to appeal this decision by the Supreme Court. Spousal maintenance can be complicated If you and your spouse are unable to reach an agreement regarding spousal maintenance, you can ask a solicitor to negotiate for you or the courts to decide for you. Ultimately, the maintenance payable – if any – depends on the facts of the case and there is no set formula to be applied to each individual marriage/civil partnership. Need advice about maintenance or any other aspect of your divorce? Get in touch to speak to one of our expert family lawyers.

The post Too much or just enough? Ex-wife awarded 125K monthly on divorce appeared first on Grayfords.

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Watching their parents divorce or separate can be one of the most difficult experiences any child will have to go through. The reality is, that for many children, seeing their parents separate will be the toughest thing they have encountered so far. Understanding how divorce can affect children and knowing what you can do as parents to help them adjust, can enable you to take the necessary steps to ensure that the sometimes bumpy road to having two parents who are no longer together, runs as smoothly as possible. Children react in different ways There is no ‘normal’ way for a child to react when they hear that their parents are separating. Shock is not unusual. Often, children will be confused, too. Depending on their age and level of understanding, they will probably have a great deal of questions. Anxiety is also common, as the only family that they have ever known is changing forever, in a big way. The emotions that children feel when they find out their parents are separating, can result in everything from sleepless nights to temper tantrums. Often it is difficult for children to articulate their feelings in words, especially if they are young. Break the news together if possible If you can, you and your partner should tell your children about your separation together. This way, you are showing a united front, so the children don’t think that it is just one parent’s decision and that the other parent is unhappy or to blame. This can help to reduce conflict and anxiety for the children. It’s important to break the news in an age-appropriate manner. How much detail you tell the children and how you explain the situation, will depend upon their age.  It is good to agree together upon the level of detail and what you are both going to say before speaking to the children.  If you are in any doubt as to what to tell the children or as to the level of detail, guidance can be sought together from some of the organisations referred to in the link in the comment at the end of this article. It’s also important to explain to them that the separation is not as a result of anything that they may or may not have done but simply as a result of the fact that their parents may not be living in the same house in the future. Stick to the practicalities Children will want to know what this means for them. Explain to them that, for example, they will now be lucky enough to have two homes, one with one parent and one with the other. Informing children of how everything will work will help to provide certainty and stability for them which will help them to feel less anxious about the future. Answer any questions Encourage your children to talk about any concerns they have. Reassure them that if they have questions at any time, they can ask either you or your partner. Ensuring that children are able to talk freely about the situation, without being worried that they will upset either parent, can help to make sure that small concerns don’t turn into big problems. Keep the dialogue open by regularly asking your children if they want to talk about anything. Tell them you both love them Maybe most importantly, reassure your children that both you and your spouse still love them and nothing will change that. It is not unusual for children to think that it is something that they have done wrong that ended your relationship. Make sure that they are clear that this is not the case. Be respectful of your partner at all times No matter what the differences may be between you and your partner it is important to always speak positively of them in front of your children.  It is natural for children to want to please both their parents.  Any divisive or negative comments, therefore, may cause them to internalise any conflict between the two of you which may have a negative and long lasting effect on them.   Neil Graham, a Partner at Grayfords, comments as follows: “The interests and welfare of the children should always be the most important consideration when relationships break down, not only when the day to day arrangements for them in the future are determined but also when their needs are considered as part of a resolution of the financial consequences.  Whilst we at Grayfords have extensive knowledge and experience of the legal remedies and processes involved in each of these two areas we recognise the importance, first and foremost, of trying to resolve any differences by agreement either in the form of mediation or alternative means of resolution before resorting to legal proceedings.  Alongside each of these processes, there are practical ways in which parents can assist by minimising the impact of the breakdown of their relationship on the children such as some of those referred to in the article above or such as attending a Separated Parents Information Programme, full details of which are available via the following link: https://www.cafcass.gov.uk/grown-ups/parents-and-carers/divorce-and-separation/separated-parents-information-programme/   We have also produced a book which may be of assistance both to parents and to children, the proceeds of which go to the Evelina Children’s Hospital.  Full details may be accessed via the following link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forest-Families-Squirrel-Beyond-Law-ebook/dp/B07356YVQJ

The post How to make divorce and separation easier for children appeared first on Grayfords.

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Only a few days after the Christmas festivities ended, Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos announced their decision to divorce “after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation”. MacKenzie, novelist and one half of what is said to be the world’s richest couple, could be set to become the world’s wealthiest woman when she divorces the Amazon CEO after a 25-year marriage, with Jeff Bezos being worth an estimated $136 billion. That is, if she receives half of the fortune. At this point, it’s unclear how their divorce settlement will look. In the meantime, let’s take a little look back on their marriage and what could happen when they divorce… How did the couple meet? Jeff and MacKenzie met when they were both working at an investment management firm. Jeff, who was then a vice president, was on the interview panel when MacKenzie applied for a job at the company. In an interview with Vogue back in 2013, MacKenzie mentioned that it was hearing Jeff’s laugh in the next-door office which had attracted her to him. She said: “How could you not fall in love with that laugh?” Within months, the pair were engaged and then married. They now have four children. Do they have a prenuptial agreement? A prenuptial agreement is an agreement in which a couple set out what they would like to happen to their assets should they divorce. In England and Wales, prenuptial agreements are not legally binding, but if undertaken in the right manner, the court may take them into account in determining how matrimonial finances should be divided up on divorce. Whether or not Jeff and MacKenzie have a prenuptial agreement is unclear. Since they were married before Jeff founded Amazon, they could end up splitting everything down the middle. Indeed, according to the Guardian newspaper, Washington state law says that if there is an absence of a prenuptial agreement, any property that is acquired during a marriage would normally be divided equally between the two people. It may also be possible that MacKenzie could end up with a large stake in Amazon as part of the divorce settlement, as, according to Business Insider, most of Jeff’s net worth is in the form of Amazon stock. However, it’s worth noting here that they may have chosen to sign a postnuptial agreement when Amazon started to grow (postnups are signed after marriage, prenups before but they have the same function). Nonetheless, any settlement they reach could be the largest one ever. When announcing their divorce, the couple said they would continue their “shared lives as friends". “We feel incredibly lucky to have found each other and deeply grateful for every one of the years we have been married to each other. If we had known we would separate after 25 years, we would do it all again.” Do you want to find out whether a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be right for you? Get in touch to speak to one of our experienced family lawyers today.

The post Amazon Boss Jeff Bezos to divorce wife of 25 years MacKenzie appeared first on Grayfords.

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Decorated Swedish driver, Kenny Bräck, became a household name after winning three separate Championship titles during the 90s. Bräck also survived one of the most violent crashes in sport’s history when his car touched wheels with Tomas Scheckter's in the closing stages of the Texas Motor Speedway in 2003, before returning eighteen months later to set the fastest qualifying time of the field at the Indy 500. Kenny began living with his then-girlfriend, Anita, in 1994. The couple married in 2000 and raised two children in their £3 million property in Berkshire. Mrs Brack filed for divorce in February 2015 in the UK and the couple separate a month later. Unfortunately for Mrs. Bräck, a prenuptial agreement signed on a romantic weekend away, as well as two other separate, similar agreements, left her with a small fraction of the couple’s wealth, with Mr. Bräck taking the lion’s share - over £10 million. Anita Bräck is now appealing the court’s decision to uphold the prenup and is arguing that half the fortune should be shared. The Divorce During the initial court proceedings, Mr. Justice Francis of the Family Court argued that, while he saw Mr. Bräck as ‘financially mean’, he could not award Mrs. Bräck half of the family wealth, on the grounds that she had fully understood the consequences of the prenuptial agreement upon signing them. The Judge stated, ‘I do not believe it to be fair, after a marriage of this length and with these contributions and these children, for the wife to be left with almost nothing and for the husband to be left with almost everything.' However, he also pointed to an entry in Mrs. Bräck’s diary during the couple’s romantic break which stated 'Vacation. Cosied up in the morning. Went to Niagara Falls. Back to the hotel and had a massage and pedicure! Went for a walk and ate at a worthless Italian restaurant. Was at the hotel and watched a video. Signed the marriage papers.’ The judge concluded 'these did not appear to be the musings of a person who was shocked by the request that she sign a prenuptial agreement after so many years together'. After the couple’s £3 million home was sold, and Mrs. Bräck cleared her debts, she was left with £560,000, while her husband was left with over £10 million. Mr. Bräck was also ordered to pay a £95,000 a year child maintenance payment, a carer’s allowance to Mrs. Bräck for raising the children, and a £2 million capital settlement to be used for housing, to be repaid to him when the children grow up. Anita Bräck’s Appeal Anita Bräck has now asked the Court of Appeal to overturn the decision made by Mr. Justice Francis two years ago. Mrs. Bräck’s representative, Patrick Chamberlayne QC, claims the introduction of new email evidence will show that the judge made an error in his initial ruling. Mr. Chamberlayne stated 'the emails make clear that the wife was telling the truth at trial when she said that, at the time she signed the agreements, the husband had told her that they would not govern the actual financial provision he would make for her’. Meanwhile, Mr. Bräck’s representative, Martin Pointer QC, argues that Mr. Justice Francis’ decision was the correct one. Prenuptial agreements in England and Wales are not legally binding but can be extremely influential as long as certain standards are met. To have any value though, certain safeguards must be met such as both parties having independent legal advice, keeping the agreement up to date to avoid any manifest unfairness that may result from changes in circumstances (e.g. the birth of children or the loss of employment) and forming the agreement 21 days prior to the marriage ceremony taking place.  In the event the 21 day provision cannot be met, a couple may find they are better waiting until they’re back from honeymoon and forming a postnuptial agreement – much the same as a prenuptial one except it is formed post-marriage. This case highlights the potential consequences of entering into a prenuptial agreement as well as the importance of seeking independent legal advice before making such an important decision. If you would like more information on entering into a prenuptial agreement, contact us to speak to on our experienced solicitors.  Our prenuptial agreement specialists tailor the agreement to fit the unique aspects of your relationship, putting your mind at ease knowing that everything is taken care of should the worst happen.

The post Estranged wife demands half of £11m family fortune after husband made her sign prenup papers on romantic getaway appeared first on Grayfords.

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With a no-deal situation becoming an ever-increasing prospect, there is a feeling of uncertainty around what couples and families could face if they are involved in legal disputes in a post-Brexit climate. Children In the UK, families have enjoyed protection under domestic laws such as the Family Law Act 1986, which contains provisions relating to the legal jurisdiction of children issues. British families have also benefited from international laws such as the 1996 Hague Convention which is based upon a child’s habitual residence. As a result, a British parent can ask the English courts to order the return of their child, provided that their child is habitually resident in England and Wales. The UK legislation will, therefore, apply regarding all matters concerning that child. All judgements relating to that child will also be recognised and enforceable in all other member states. Following Brexit, it is unclear how the issues of jurisdiction, recognition and enforceability will be solved. If no agreement is reached, leaving the EU could potentially make it difficult for British parents to bring their child back to Britain, especially where children live within European countries that are not parties to the Conventions. When it comes to jurisdiction, the situation is likely to be the same as in international cases where the Hague Conventions don’t currently apply. Under the Family Law Act 1986, the English courts can order the return of a child who is habitually resident or present in England and Wales. The country to which the child has been removed to has discretion as to whether or not to recognise and enforce the Order of the British Court. Divorce With divorce, the general EU rule is that the jurisdiction in which divorce proceedings are allowed to continue is the one in which they are lodged first – even by a minute. This rule does not apply to Denmark for various reasons. When the UK leaves, will the EU reciprocate this rule? Or does this leave the EU and UK fighting over who has jurisdiction in divorce proceedings? Unless an agreement is reached, there is the possibility that the UK will treat all European Countries the same as non-European countries. If this is the case, the English courts will determine the jurisdiction of proceedings based on a number of factors centring around which jurisdiction is most appropriate to deal with the matter, including how closely the family is related to the country and where the assets are. This may lead to many couples incurring further legal costs in litigation over determining the jurisdiction of their divorce proceedings. This is likely to have a disproportionate effect the English courts – particularly those in London – because they are seen as offering a more generous approach to the financially weaker spouse due to the broader discretion Judges in England and Wales have compared to their Continental counterparts. Conclusion With March 2019 around the corner, there is a pressing need for a definitive solution. Families in the UK need to know where they stand legally when facing legal proceedings in a post-Brexit world. The hope is that an agreement will be made that definitively clarifies matters, ideally prior to the UK leaving the EU. However, clarity on family law – which is small beer in comparison to pressing economic concerns politicians are currently wrangling with – may come later, leaving the UK an island nation cut off from the EU and all at sea for family law.

The post Brexit and its impact on family law appeared first on Grayfords.

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Relationships aren’t always easy. Yes, they can be wonderful and exciting and thrilling but they can also be frustrating and, at times, pretty painful.

There are no hard and fast rules to having the perfect relationship, if indeed this even exists. Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to help keep your relationship healthy and the good news is, we’re going to share them with you today.

Communication, communication, communication

Talking with each other is one of the keys to a happy, healthy relationship. And we don’t just mean talking about the big stuff.

Sharing your day with each other and chatting about what you’ve been up to, can really help to strengthen your bond.

If there are any problems or one of you isn’t happy about something, open up and talk it through with your other half. A happy relationship is built on communication and trust.

Don’t forget to listen, too.

Share your hopes and dreams for the future

One of the reasons why couples split is because they find themselves on completely different paths in life.

Talk to each other about where you see yourselves in 5, 10 or even 20 years and how you’re going to get there together.

Carrying on in a relationship where you both want completely different things (for example one of you wants to save to buy a house and the other wants to spend your earnings travelling the world) could result in you both being unhappy further down the line.

Be open with each other

Secrets can eat away at us and our relationship.

We don’t mean you should share absolutely everything with your other half, but try not to keep things from them just because you don’t want to make them upset or angry.

Remember to love yourself as well as your partner

It’s sometimes the case in relationships that we’re so focused on keeping our partner happy, we forget our own needs.

Loving and caring for yourself is a vital part of a healthy relationship.

Sometimes you have to agree to disagree

No two people are going to agree on absolutely everything. Differences in opinion can help to keep things interesting.

It’s important to realise that sometimes, it’s just going to be necessary to agree to disagree and move on.

Part of a healthy relationship is talking about how you see your financial future and tackling any issues before they become more difficult further down the line. If you are considering taking your relationship to the next level by moving in together or getting married, why not get in touch with one of our family lawyers to have a chat about how we could help to ensure that you and your partner have the legal side of things covered.

The post Tips for a healthy relationship appeared first on Grayfords.

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It’s official: iconic singer Jennifer Lopez and baseball star Alex Rodriguez make the most beautiful couple.

Spotted only last weekend leaving Cartier in Miami, looking effortlessly cool in their matching sunglasses, we couldn’t help but wonder whether wedding bells would be sounding any time soon. And we’re not the only ones. The press have been speculating for a while now that they could be about to tie the knot.

 Reportedly dating since early 2017, it seems that whether they choose to walk down the aisle or keep things the way they are, J-Lo and A-Rod are completely loved-up. Is this the happy ever after that we all want for them? Only time will tell. Unfortunately, in the celebrity world, like in the world of us mere mortals, there is always an ex.

A-Rod’s battle with his ex?

According to TMZ, A-Rod is still paying his ex-wife, Cynthia Scurtis, spousal support payments. He reportedly now wants to reduce the support payments as, according to the news website, his income has “plummeted”.

Indeed, TMZ reported that its sources had revealed that he’s been paying $115,000 per month, for both spousal and child support, since the divorce in 2008. TMZ said that he has been “locked in a spousal/child support war” with his ex “for months”.

J-Lo has had her fair share of ex troubles, too…

It seems that J-Lo’s path to find true love may not have run so smoothly, either. According to the MailOnline, J-Lo’s second husband, Cris Judd, was going to be paid £10 million “for his silence” after their relatively short marriage.

Plus, in 2016, the Mirror reported that J-Lo had described her divorce from her third husband, Marc Anthony, as the “biggest disappointment” of her life.

J-Lo and A-Rod - a match made in heaven? 

Have J-Lo and A-Rod finally found love together? If they do choose to get married, it won’t be the first time either of them have walked down the aisle. Or, maybe this time, they won’t want to risk another divorce and will steer clear of marriage altogether. We’ll just have to wait and see but we hope that they can finally find happiness together.

If you need advice before, during or after the break-up of your relationship, we have experienced divorce solicitors ready to help. Get in touch today.

The post Spotlight on J-Lo and A-Rod: Happy ever after? appeared first on Grayfords.

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So, are the Beckhams divorcing? Rumour and speculation have been rife in the media suggesting this may well be true. Although, these were put to bed by Victoria Beckham, who stated in an interview with Vogue that divorce is off the table. Our attention must be drawn to the legal implications facing the celebrity couple if divorce is a likely outcome. With an estimated combined annual earning capacity of $45 million, one often wonders how the issue of child custody and a possible pre-nuptial agreement would be resolved. The Children The Beckhams have been married for 19 years and have raised four children together. Brooklyn is the eldest at 19 years old, Romeo aged 16 years old, Cruz aged 13 years old and Harper being the youngest at 7 years. The issue regarding child custody could be filled with confusion and difficulty. Who would be the parent with primary care of the children? Victoria and David may well agree to share the responsibility equally between themselves. But what if both wished to be the primary carer? This would bring into question where the children would spend most of their time. This may prove challenging because the Beckhams own multiple properties. These range from their luxurious countryside barn in the Cotswolds, to their London pad in Holland Park. The wishes and feelings of the children would come into play to an extent based largely on their ages and ability to express those wishes and feelings. Protection of Assets As seen, the Beckhams have amassed a large combined wealth during their marriage.  However, if the couple were to proceed with a divorce, what would happen to their wealth and what would be the effects? As a starting point, the judge would decide on the division of assets based on how long they have been married as well as other factors such as ages, ability to earn, property and money and standard of living. This could lead to their wealth being divided equally. However, as there are children involved, this could result in the couple’s assets being split unequally. This would be to benefit a parent with primary care of the children as their needs would naturally be somewhat more. While the Beckham’s assets would be assessed as a combined pot, both have made successful careers on their own. Prior to their marriage, David was a successful football player and Victoria was a prominent pop artist. Both have continued to have successful careers during the marriage. David remained a footballer until his retirement and Victoria forged a new career as a fashion designer. They may well have agreed a pre-nuptial agreement at the outset of their marriage.  The existence of a pre-nuptial agreement could ease the difficulty in splitting the assets between the couple, as well as providing an agreement on how the couple share the responsibly of raising their children. If you are faced with a similar situation and would like advice, Grayfords’ experienced solicitors can provide you with the legal guidance you need.

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It has been said that getting a divorce is up there as one of the most stressful things most of us will ever go through. While the emotional and financial side of divorce can feel all-encompassing, it is important not to forget how this legal process can have a real impact on other elements of your life, including your Will. Ubbi v Ubbi - what is it all about? The recent case of Ubbi v Ubbi highlights the importance of ensuring that we keep our Wills up to date. Malkiat Ubbi and his wife, Susan, who already had a son together, were married in 2000. In 2007, Malkiat met another woman, Bianca, with whom he subsequently had an affair and later, two children. In 2014, Susan started divorce proceedings (Malkiat had left the home he shared with Susan and moved in with Bianca in 2013). The Decree Nisi followed in January 2015 but, crucially, the divorce was not completed so Susan could still benefit. Under Section 18A of the Wills Act 1837, if the maker of a Will divorces a beneficiary, it is treated as if the beneficiary has died before the maker of the Will unless they specifically say otherwise.  As a result of this some or all of the Will may fall into intestacy or the gift under the will may pass to a secondary beneficiary (an example would be if you leave your house to your wife or to your son if your wife dies first – if you divorce your wife then it is treated as if she is dead and your son steps in as the beneficiary). A short while later, Malkiat died unexpectedly, leaving behind a Will that he had made in August 2010. In this Will, he stated that everything should be left to Susan. Bianca (and the two children they had together) were not mentioned. In 2016, under section 2 of The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975, Bianca made a claim against the Will on the behalf of their two children (on the basis they had not been provided for under the will). The Act enables children to bring a claim against an estate if reasonable financial provision has not been made for them in the Will. What did the court say? The court needed to consider whether Malkiat’s estate made reasonable financial provision for the two children and if it did not, whether there should be an order made in the children’s favour. Bianca was awarded £386,000 out of the £3.5 million estate of Malkiat Ubbi. She had originally sought just under £850,000. What does this case mean for me? The Judge in the case said that there was ‘little specific guidance’ for claims of this kind (made by children). Therefore, this case was likely to be used as guidance in the future for similar claims under the Inheritance Act. It may well be the case that Malkiat Ubbi would have wanted to leave the two children that he had with Bianca more in his Will. We will never know. What this case highlights is the importance of updating your Will following any significant changes, such as divorce, in your life. If Malkiat had updated his Will, it may be that the stress and the cost of going to court could have been avoided. Here at Grayfords, our experienced solicitors will be by your side to advise you at every part of the divorce process, so you don’t neglect something which could cost you or your loved ones time and money further down the line.  We can also assist you with your Will whether you are divorcing or not.            

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