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Why do we need family lawyers?

View profile for Mike Devlin
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We are in a new era where some people feel they do not wish to take legal advice and they trawl the internet. We check out medical advice on the internet and are even told to go and read articles about the safety of drugs...maybe we don’t need doctors any more either. Do we need legal advice these days or can we just read a few blogs and check out different sites? After all in a financial case if there is to be an equal split why spend money on legal fees? So what happens when it all goes wrong and the result is not what you expected?

The recent case of CR v SR 2013 is just such a case. In this case the parties had been married for 16 years and had two children. The home was transferred outright to the wife and she also received lifetime maintenance. Effectively, the husband was left with no capital and all the debts. The husband appealed saying it was unfair. Not only was he left with no capital but the maintenance awarded also created a major disparity in the income position of the parties.

The starting point was for the court to consider if the husband was to be allowed to appeal. The starting point was to determine whether the appeal had a real prospect of success. The court felt there was reasonable chance of success due to the husband’s lack of capital and imbalance in income. The appeal has been allowed and the case will now need to be reconsidered. The case is also interesting because a warning was given about the treatment of future income in that caution must be exercised to ensure it was affordable and did not mean one party was substantially better off than the other. The case also highlights the importance of getting it right first time around.

Perhaps it could be said that family law is an art and not a science. Appeals may be possible but expensive. It seems there is still a need for lawyers to provide advice as to what to expect and how best to present your case to avoid problems.

 

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