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Resolution launches Good Divorce Week

Monday 28 November 2016 marks the start of “Good Divorce Week 2016”, a campaign by Resolution. 

Resolution is a community of family law professionals who subscribe to a Code of Practice to assist working with families and individuals to resolve issues in a constructive way.

The family team at Pinney Talfourd are all proud to be members of Resolution and subscribe to their Code of Practice which has recently been revised.

The ethos of the Code is to encourage families to deal with their issues without conflict or confrontation, to support and encourage them to put forward the best interests of their children first, to act with honesty, integrity and objectivity and to strive to resolve matters so far as it is possible to do so without the need to apply to Court.

A full copy of the Code of Practice can be seen here: http://www.resolution.org.uk/site_content_files/files/code_of_practice_full_version_web.pdf 

As part of the campaign, Resolution will be attending Parliament to lobby for a change in the law to include ‘no fault’ divorce and improving the rights of cohabiting couples.

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The need for a Consent Order

Sarah Tsindides explains why it is important that a financial settlement in divorce proceedings is recorded in a consent order.

When a financial settlement is reached in divorce proceedings it is important that this is recorded within a consent order. This will ensure that all claims that both parties can make against the other are fully resolved and the terms are embodied within the consent order. Once approved and sealed by the court they become enforceable upon Decree Absolute (final decree) being granted.

Therefore if one party refuses to comply with the implementation of the order the other party can apply to the court to seek enforcement and the application can include asking the court to make an order for costs against the offending party.

It is therefore beneficial to both parties that a consent order, to reflect all terms of a full and final settlement, is put in place before Decree Absolute is granted.

Without this neither party are protected. Either party could apply to the court for a further order in relation to the matrimonial finances even if the parties have already agreed to the division of net proceeds of sale or a transfer of the marital home to the other party.

More Information 

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Partner advises on strategic best practice

Alembic Strategy was delighted to be joined by Catherine Polli for a webinar on strategic planning at the Law Society.

Alembic Strategy was delighted to be joined by Catherine Polli, a Partner at Pinney Talfourd for the second webinar in a series of three at the Law Society. These were aimed at helping Lexcel firms respond effectively to the strategic planning component on the Lexcel Standard (v6).

Catherine explained how the use of strategic planning has been crucial in driving growth and performance over that past few years at Pinney Talfourd. The strategic planning process is driven by the 2020 Business Plan which covers all aspects of the firm’s growth up to 2020, from the number of partners and fee earners, the culture of the firm and fee income growth, with an emphasis on staff focused objectives to allow everyone to play a role in achieving goals set. Good communication of this plan is vital in achieving it.

This strategic planning was proven very effective and Pinney Talfourd has just been recommended in an outstanding ten categories by Legal 500 UK 2016. We are also shortlisted for the Private Client Practice Award at the Law Society’s Legal Excellence Awards.

More Information

If you would like more information please contact us on 01708 229444  (Upminster or Hornchurch), 01277 211755 (Brentwood office) or 01702 418433 (Leigh-on-Sea). 


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Family lawyers set to lobby Parliament

Members of Resolution plan to lobby Parliament on 30th November 2016 to raise awareness of numerous issues within family law.

Resolution is an organisation of 6,500 members, mainly family lawyers but also other professionals in England and Wales who are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Resolution members promote a sensitive and cost-effective approach to resolving family disputes. The members are trained to come up with solutions that consider the needs of the whole family and resolve the dispute in the least acrimonious way.

The current chair of the organisation is arranging an event for all members to attend at Westminster to lobby Parliament for the day. The lobby day is planned to take place on 30th November 2016 and Resolution are calling for all members country-wide to pledge their support and attend.

The organisation’s aim is to raise awareness of the current issues in family law that Resolution feel need to be addressed by the government. Resolution have for some time been calling for change in the legislation of a number of areas such as; the introduction of no fault divorce, access to justice for vulnerable people and better rights for cohabiting couples.

The lobby day will give members the opportunity to meet with MPs and discuss the issues in detail and hopefully influence the government’s decision to make the policies that Resolution feel are required to move family law forward.

The family lawyers here at Pinney Talfourd are members of Resolution and plan to support their organisation and take part in the lobby day.

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For Richer, For Poorer - Family Court Fees Hike

In the wake of George Osborne’s Budget this week, it has been announced that some Court fees will increase.
While on the face of it an increase might chime with the idea that prices usually go up rather than down, for Pinney Talfourd's Family Law Department the effect of the Divorce Petition fee increase is more complex. From Monday 21 March, the Divorce Petition fee will increase by 34% from £410 to £550. There was no warning of this.

Divorce is a legal course of action that is rarely approached with joy. It is a difficult decision. Sometimes couples fall out of love and agree it as a best course of action. More commonly however it follows a painful period in people’s lives. Paying a considerable sum to start this exercise will do nothing to abate stress, anxiety or the financial challenge of dividing a combined life into two separate lives, usually with several children to put first.

There is of course the argument that HM Courts & Tribunals Service is under unprecedented strain and threat of cut backs. The Petition fee increase will indeed help in the administration of divorces. They will be able to turn them around faster and the Courts will work more efficiently. However, divorce is a unique legal course of action. Increasing the fees places a higher brick wall in front of those in need of legal assistance in their personal lives at the most difficult of times. Of course there are exemptions from fees but these are limited and the process of being granted an exemption can itself be time consuming and stressful.

The Pinney Talfourd Family Law Department  are all active members of Resolution, whose 6,500 members are committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes following a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach. One of the firm’s family law solicitors, Sebastian Burrows, who is also Chair of Resolution Essex, says “Resolution fights hard to dampen the flames of divorce. A fee increase simply adds more petrol.”

Of all the legal procedures, a divorce in which there is scope for a non-confrontational solution merits fee relief. Higher fees will potentially leave people stranded in the position they need to escape. Otherwise it forces people to tackle complex legal matters alone, in turn burdening the Courts Service.

Richard Bacon MP is pushing his Private Members Bill to implement a No-Fault Divorce further to dampen the flames at this highly sensitive time. The Californians have ‘Irreconcilable Differences’ as a route to divorce. To obtain a divorce in this country requires the Petitioner to prove one of the ‘five facts’, 3 of which require the parties having lived apart for over 2 years and there is no ‘catch all ground’ for those only recently or not yet separated.

It seems that this particular court fee hike is steering the divorce ship away from it’s path towards amicable solutions and financial efficiency into old stormy seas.

More information

If you would like more information on your options in light of this fee increase please contact our Family Law Department on 01708 229444 or book a free initial family consultation using our online booking form.

This article was written by Sebastian Burrows, Family Law solicitor at Pinney Talfourd Solicitors and Chair of Resolution Essex  The contents of this article are for the purposes of general awareness only. They do not purport to constitute legal or professional advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as at March 2016.

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Fault based divorce petitions and false allegations

Latest research has revealed that fault-based divorce petitions are causing over a quarter of divorcees to make false allegations.
The fault-based nature of divorce in England & Wales requires one person to accuse the other of adultery or unreasonable behaviour to have their divorce granted within two years of marriage breakdown. This is driving over a quarter (27%) of divorcing couples to make false allegations to the court, according to new research from family law organisation Resolution. Resolution has over 5,000 family lawyers, mediators and other family professionals in England who work to minimise conflict in divorce and separation.

No-fault divorce is the subject of a Ten Minute Motion being debated in the House of Commons, brought by Conservative MP Richard Bacon and supported by Resolution.

Resolution’s research, carried out by YouGov, found that:

  • 52% of divorce petitions were fault-based alleging either unreasonable behaviour or adultery
  • 27% of divorcing couples who asserted blame in a divorce petition admitted the allegation of fault was not true, but was the easiest option
"Working with families in the Essex area we see every day the problems caused by fault-based divorce, which can have knock on repercussions for families that last for many years. We fully support Richard Bacon’s Ten Minute Motion and hope that our local MPs will support the introduction of a no fault divorce which will have a positive impact on hundreds of families in the area." say Resolution.

“It is not about making divorce easier. It is about making it easier for people to resolve their issues on separation and move on with their lives after divorce. As our research findings show, the current system is causing couples to make false allegations in court in order to have their divorce finalised within a reasonable time.”

"Children can also suffer during this period, with no formal resolution of their parents’ financial and living arrangements. So people resort to agreeing to make an untrue allegation in court of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, in order to move on with their lives. Fault-based petitions are outdated and unfair and the law is in urgent need of reform."

Resolution, of which all the family lawyers at Pinney Talfourd are members of, has campaigned for many years for the introduction of no-fault divorce, which was provided for in the Family Law Act 1996 but never enacted.

Call 01708 229 444 or email our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if this issue affects you or you want to discuss your separation. Alternatively click here to find out more about our family law services.

This article was written by Sue Nash, a Chartered Legal Executive in our Family Law Department at Pinney Talfourd Solicitors. This article is only intended to provide a general summary and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be taken on each individual matter. This article is based on the law as at November 2015. 

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Sebastian is new Chair of Resolution (Essex)

Pinney Talfourd's Sebastian Burrows has been announced as the new Chair of Resolution’s Essex Regional Committee
Sebastian's new role will commence in October 2015 and follows 6 years of direct involvement with the committee. During this time he has worked closely with fellow lawyers who are all dedicated to constructively resolving cases by putting the family first. The Committee represents Resolution in this huge county of 1,400 square miles and 1.8 million people.

Sebastian’s leadership of the committee will be focused on promoting the ethos of the organisation regionally, for clients and legal professionals. By reinforcing the Resolution approach with other professionals, the unique difficulties of family law cases can be lessened for those involved. Ultimately all clients will benefit.

Resolution’s 6,500 members nationally are family lawyers and other professionals committed to the constructive resolution of family disputes. Members follow a Code of Practice that promotes a non-confrontational approach to family problems. Members encourage solutions that consider the needs of the whole family - and in particular the best interests of children.

Sebastian’s appointment as Chair of the Regional Resolution Committee combines with the firm’s already well established involvement, with Catherine Loadman as Treasurer and Sue Nash as Press Officer.

All members of the Pinney Talfourd Family Law department are active members of Resolution.

To find out more or speak to one of our dedicated family solicitors please contact us via our online enquiry form or call 01708 299 444. We are always available to meet you in any of our three offices in Brentwood, Hornchurch and Upminster.
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