• December 2017
    Jackamans' family team has the skills and sensitivity to help you with any family law issues

    Statistics for 2016 show 18.9 million families in the UK: 67% married couples, 17% cohabiting couples, 15% single parent families and less than 1% same sex families, whether civil partnerships or cohabiting couples.  Dependent children live with 43% of married couples, 37% of cohabiting couples and 21% of civil partnerships.  Some of those children are the children of both partners, others of one partner. This shows a complexity of family relationships unknown sixty years ago.

    Arrangements for children on relationship breakdown fall under the Children Act, under which children’s welfare is paramount.  Even if the parents agree where the children should live, disagreements can spring up over foreign holidays, when one parent wants to move away, sharing birthdays and Christmas, or a parent can feel pushed out by the other parent’s new partner.  If possible, we will try to help you resolve these issues without going to court.  We can also help with care proceedings, or forced marriage protection orders – where proceedings are brought by the local authority.

    Financial arrangements on relationship breakdown between married couples and civil partners on the one hand and co-habiting couples on the other hand are very different.   English law does not accept common law marriages:  you have to have had a valid legal ceremony.

    Cohabitees have no continuing financial obligations to the other when the relationship ends.  This does not affect financial responsibilities towards minor children.  However even if property is in one person’s name, the other may be able to prove that they were intended to have a share.  The best way to avoid misunderstandings is to have a cohabitation agreement.

    Spouses and civil partners have rights to maintenance, capital and pension-sharing which vary tremendously depending on circumstances. In some cases, but not always, an inheritance will not be regarded as a matrimonial asset.  Where one party is bringing a lot more financially to a marriage, or there are children from an earlier relationship, we can advise on pre-nuptial agreements.  During the marriage, if one party receives an inheritance, or personal injury damages, a post nuptial settlement may be possible. On marriage or civil partnership breakdown, it is essential to obtain a court order setting out the financial arrangements to determine finally a couple’s financial responsibilities to each other. Usually this is by consent but, if all else fails, the court will impose an order after a contested hearing – which fortunately occurs in less than 5% of cases.

    All of Jackamans Family team are members of Resolution, and can advise on all of the issues covered in this article.  Other than care proceedings, legal aid is only available where there is evidence of domestic abuse, and is subject to a means test.

    For further information please contact Tim Owers at or call  01394 279636.

    This article provides only a general summary and is not intended to be comprehensive.  Special legal advice should be taken in any individual situation.

    back to articles...
Like most websites...
...Jackamans uses cookies in order to deliver a personalised, responsive service and to improve the site, we remember and store information about how you use it. This is done using simple text files called cookies which sit on your computer. These cookies are completely safe and secure and will never contain any sensitive information. They are used only by Jackamans and will not be shared with anyone else.
Read our cookies policy

how we use your information

This privacy notice tells you what to expect when Jackamans collects personal information.

visitors to our websites

When someone visits a we collect standard internet log information and details of visitor behaviour patterns. We do this to find out things such as the number of visitors to the various parts of the site. We collect this information in a way which does not identify anyone. We do not make any attempt to find out the identities of those visiting our website. We will not associate any data gathered from this site with any personally identifying information from any source. If we do want to collect personally identifiable information through our website, we will be up front about this. We will make it clear when we collect personal information and will explain what we intend to do with it.

use of cookies by Jackamans

Cookies are small text files that are placed on your computer by websites that you visit. They are widely used in order to make websites work, or work more efficiently, as well as to provide information to the owners of the site.

the cookies we use

acceptance Cookie

When you accept cookies from our site we write a cookie called jm_c_opt_in to your machine. This stores your acceptance so that when you return to our site in the future you will not have to accept cookies again.

system cookies

A set of system cookies are used to store information allowing functionality. These include data relating to a users membership, such as log-in details, if the user has signed up to any memberships on the site.

Google analytics

We store analytics cookies on your computer as soon as you visit this site. We need to do this to collect information about how visitors use our site. We use the information to compile reports and to help us improve the site. The cookies collect information in an anonymous form, including the number of visitors to the site, where vistors have come to the site from and the pages they visited. These cookies are listed below:





To opt out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites visit

cookie control

Most web browsers allow some control of most cookies through the browser settings. To find out more about cookies, including how to see what cookies have been set and how to manage and delete them, visit