Author Archive Michael Morrison

ByMichael Morrison

Divorce – How easy is it?

The Supreme Court reminded us last week of the difficulties of obtaining a divorce when it is opposed.

Grounds for divorce

When you apply for a divorce you’ll need to prove that your marriage has broken down. You’ll need to give one or more of the following 5 reasons known as the grounds for divorce:-

Adultery

Your husband or wife had sexual intercourse with someone else of the opposite sex.

The law recognises the act of adultery as sexual intercourse between a man and a woman.

You cannot give adultery as a reason if you lived together as a couple for 6 months after you found out about it.

Unreasonable behaviour

Your husband or wife has behaved in such a way that you cannot reasonably be expected to live with them.

This could include:

  • physical violence
  • verbal abuse, such as insults or threats
  • drunkenness or drug-taking
  • refusing to pay for housekeeping

Desertion

Your husband or wife has left you:

  • without your agreement
  • without a good reason
  • to end your relationship
  • for more than 2 years in the past 2.5 years

You can still claim desertion if you have lived together for up to a total of 6 months in this period.

You’ve been separated for more than 2 years

You can apply for a divorce if you’ve been separated for more than 2 years and both agree to the divorce.

Your husband or wife must agree in writing.

You can be separated while living in the same home as long as you’re not together as a couple (for example you sleep and eat apart).

You’ve been separated for at least 5 years

You can apply for a divorce if you’ve been separated for at least 5 years, even if your husband or wife disagrees.

www.gov.uk

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Employment Law – Settlement Agreements

On the 13th June 2018 the Supreme Court gave judgment that a plumber could claim to be a regular worker despite being described as self – employed in his contract. As he had to use the firm’s van for call outs and had to work for a prescribed amount of time weekly he was under the firm’s direction, subordinate to it and an integral part of the operation.

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ByMichael Morrison

House Prices Are Falling Month on Month

The cost of purchasing a home in London is now double that of the rest of the country; yet prices nationally have been decreasing over the past three months.

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ByMichael Morrison

Statutory Demands Court Orders Bankruptcy Insolvency

Statutory demands are usually issued as a strong arm tactic to obtain funds from someone as the fear of an impending bankruptcy petition usually works. The courts do not encourage their use as a means of enforcing a judgement. Today the debt has to be in excess of £5000 for a petition to be issued. The demand can be made on any of the available forms as this will not effect its validity. After the demands service, by a process server, 21 days have to be allowed to give the debtor time to either pay or negotiate a settlement to the satisfaction of the creditor. A petition for bankruptcy has to be served within 4 months of service of the demand. The debtor can if good reason exists apply to the court to set aside the demand within 18 days of it service. However if the sum demanded is that which has been ordered by a court to be payed to the creditor and the debtor has applied for permission to appeal in good time or an appeal is underway then:-

Rule 10.24(2) of the Insolvency (England and Wales) Rules 2016 provides:-

‘If the petition is brought in respect of a judgment debt, or a sum ordered by any court to be paid, the court may stay or dismiss the petition on the ground that an appeal is pending from the judgment or order, or that execution of the judgment has been stayed.’

This is an important defence and may be sufficient to deter even the most litigiously well resourced creditor. However it should be noted that the mere issuance of a bankruptcy petition by the court has the effect of a notification being sent by the court to the Chief Land Registrar who will make entries to the effect on any Land Registry entries that the alleged debtor may have (i.e. property ownership) which will also effect any charges e.g. by mortgagors that are registered. Therefore a bankruptcy does not have to be granted, when full restrictions will be notified to the Chief Land Registrar, for entries to be made to the register that may subsequently need to be removed.

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Employment Matters – Bonuses, Salary, Restrictive Covenants, Equity and Tax

When considering employing at a senior level today the employer has to ensure that the contract takes into account the following issues:-

i) Bonuses and the form they take, as well as the salary

ii) Notice periods

iii) Restrictive covenants

iv) Equity and tax

 

 

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Commercial Property Sales Remain High

Growth, in flexible working space is continuing apace and also in warehouse facilities; the latter being the conduit of distribution for the burgeoning internet market. These storage edifices are reported to be best sellers especially in the home counties including London. Space being at a premium, may well see these commercial facilities appearing adjoining residential homes.

Current currency rates ensure commercial property in London retains its appeal to investors especially to those of Asian decent.

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Divorce Day is January 8th

So called due to the significant number of people seeking to terminate their relationship as we enter a new year.

Whether you are looking for a rottweiler to divide up business and property assets or for someone who offers a more conciliatory approach when dealing with your child arrangements we can recommend the right solicitor to you.

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Stamp Duty – Cut

Conveyancing solicitors are looking forward to an upturn in work volumes due to the recent Budget announcement by the Chancellor that stamp duty is abolished for first-time buyers of homes up to the value of £300,000. For properties that are up to £500,000 first-time buyers will not pay stamp duty on the first £300,000 and 5% from £300,000 – £500,000.

 

 

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ByMichael Morrison

Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court – Set Aside or Appeal a Master’s Order?

If an order has been made without a hearing by a Master of the High Court on an application with notice made by the opposing party the route is to apply to set aside the order rather than appeal to a High Court Judge.

The order will then be reconsidered by the Master either at a Private Room Appointment, for which both parties will have needed to show their availability on a jointly completed form, or at his discretion he can refer the matter either to the Interim Applications Judge or to the Queen’s Bench Judges’ Listing Section for listing before a High Court Judge.

 

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