Hylton-Potts Law Blog

Legal Issues and Opinions affecting people from across the UK

Cohabitation – couples with and without children

Cohabitation   This is where people are not married or civil partners.  There is no such thing as ‘A common law wife’.  Such a person does not exist in law. Sorry to smash another legal myth.   Sometimes a former partner (cohabitee) may have a claim to a share of property (and also a claim can be made via a child).   If the property is owned jointly then one can apply for a sale or other Court Orders e.g. buying the other person out.   If the property is not in your name at all it is hard to

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Establishing unreasonable behaviour – is an enquiry agent or private detective necessary ?

Should you bring in an enquiry agent or private detective? Forget about proving adultery. (Getting a divorce on that ground is a mistake and the judge is not interested, even though it might make you feel better). You can, however, use an enquiry agent to investigate your spouse’s lifestyle, such hidden money or cash receipts The financial process starts with Form A, and the judge lays down a strict timetable ordering each party to give full disclosure and information to the other. This has to be full and truthful i.e. full disclosure holding nothing back. Supposing for example there was

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If you got divorced but did not get a financial settlement or court order dismissing your ex’s claims, an excellent article in the Financial Times 8th December 2014 page 4 is well worth a read (www.ft.com). 23 years after a divorce, impoverished couple separated, and following a most unlikely set of events, the husband became a millionaire following the success of a green energy business. When the couple got divorced there was nothing to argue about or divide up so nobody bothered to get a court order dismissing the wife’s claims. 22 years later the wife has made a claim

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Public Carriage Office

If you have a problem with the Public Carriage Office in relation to the revocation of renewal of your license, a look at the following link should help http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/34/contents Expert legal advice should be taken at an early stage. We would be interested in your comments, please leave them by clicking on the title to this blog above.

Particulars of Claim – Letter Before Action

Judges expect you to try to settle the case before going to Court and can penalise you in a number of ways including costs (financially) if you do not.  What you do is send a Letter Before Action, which is addressed to the potential Defendant. It tells him who you are the summary of the facts upon which you rely and what you want from him e.g. compensation. You should attach letters and documents upon which you rely such as an estimate for putting defective work right and give him 7 or often best 14 days to respond.  After that

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The documentation horror show

An excellent article by District Judge Ayers in the Solicitors Journal 2 December 2014 (www.solicitorsjournal.com) will help with preparing bundles. Read what the judge says. It is not rocket science but pure common sense. Supposing that you were a judge and asked to read a set of documents before or at a hearing. Would you like it if the bundle sprang apart because it was too full? It would intensely irritate you, especially if it fell on the floor. Try to avoid staples, but if you must use them in the corner not elsewhere and not twice. Colour photographs need

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Legal Aid

Legal aid is being phased out for many areas of law including family and civil This is well advanced according to a report from the National Audit Office and  many litigants now have to manage without a solicitor on the record, and become a litigant in person. Help is at hand from fixed fee lawyers who are brought in as required for specific areas and tasks. This team approach is cost-effective and can even be fun.

Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support

The US government has now begun the process of implementing the treaty into domestic law. This bears close reading, and is essential to legal advice if you are want to enforce maintenance for children in the USA, or are involved in enforcing USA court orders in the UK. We would be interested in your comments, please leave them by clicking on the title to this blog above.


This is the highest Court in the land and was previously the House of Lords.  It deals with the big landmark divorce cases such a White v White and Miller v MacFarlane.    If you Google those cases, you will see that in the average family with a house and regular incomes the judge is not going to be interested in who worked harder or put more money or effort into the marriage.   He will just say 50/50.  In the larger money cases however, these factors come into play.   The judge aims to split 50/50, but often there

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Mesher and Other Solutions

Housing the family in two homes instead of one with the same income, is always going to mean belt tightening. Even with additional state benefits, not payable when together, both parties will have to get used to the idea of a lower standard of living.  If there is enough money to go round a 50/50 split is great, and you go your separate ways but in practice this is rarely achievable. The case of Mesher v Mesher provided one solution.  The judge orders the house or flat to be transferred to the person living in it, and subject to an

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