Hylton-Potts Law Blog

Legal Issues and Opinions affecting people from across the UK


Counting the cost of divorce

If there is one thing that attracts even more media attention than the rich and famous getting married, it is when they get divorced. Last week, an acrimonious battle between a millionaire couple that has been ongoing in the family court for months on end was branded “a scandalous waste of court time” by a judge.
While the sums of money might seem far removed from the average man or woman in the street, the underlying message is one that will resonate with anyone: In a messy legal battle, the only winners are the lawyers.
Millions spent in legal costs
Fans

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Want a quickie divorce? Just pop down the supermarket

Last October, the Ministry of Justice allowed anyone wishing to file for divorce to do so online. The scheme was introduced ostensibly to reduce time and bureaucracy, and it was estimated that it would save the MoJ a staggering £250 million. Over the intervening months a number of companies have spotted a business opportunity and started offering online divorce services, but the most recent to join the fray is certain to raise a few eyebrows.
Corner shop divorces
Most of us have a local Co-op within easy reach, and it is often a Godsend if you suddenly need a loaf of bread

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DWP under fire amid more corruption allegations

A few months ago, I covered the shocking story of fraudsters within local government organisations, who had lined their pockets to the tune of more than £1 million by creating bogus claimants and taking the money for themselves.
Sentencing is still awaited in that case, but it would be reasonable for us to assume that when the fraud came to light last summer, the DWP and local authorities took the opportunity to get their house in order and take a long hard look at internal controls. After all, that is what you would expect any responsible business to do if it

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Will Harry and Meghan be the first royals to sign a prenup?

There is more than a little of the Edward and Mrs Simpson about the latest royal love story to dominate the front pages of the tabloids. Eighty years apart, there is no mistaking the similarity between the life and loves of the fifth in line to the British throne and his great-great Uncle.
Both were known for their love of flouting royal convention with their partying habits and attracting media attention that caused red faces in the corridors of Buckingham Palace. And both have chosen to marry an American divorcee.
Of course, in the 1930s, Edward VIII was forced to choose between

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Universal credit helpline loses more than a million callers

As the government continues to press on with the Universal Credit roll out against a growing
tide of resistance from the opposition parties, public figures and even within its own party,
one of the constant phrases we have heard is that there is an abundance of support
available at the end of the phone to help claimants get to grips with the new system.
This claim must sound like a sick joke to more than a million claimants who tried to get
through to the helpline and gave up before the call was answered.
Parliamentary question
The shocking statistic that so many calls for help went unanswered

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What’s Mine is Yours? Maybe Not – the Rise of the Post Nuptial Agreement

For richer, for poorer, for better, for worse. We all know the words, and most of us have said them – sometimes more than once. One of the basic tenets of marriage has always been that as two become one, everything each person has is shared. But does that still hold true in the brave new world of 2018?
If you have read my previous articles on prenuptial, and even no-nuptial agreements, you will know that there is a growing trend for couples to take a slightly more scientific, and perhaps pragmatic, approach to the division of wealth than the traditional

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Bake Off Winner Sophie Faldo Accused of Benefit Fraud

The Great British Bake Off has been one of the biggest TV triumphs of the past decade. It made household names of a huge number of contestants, and in particular, those who made it through to the finals.
This year’s winner, however, has found out the hard way that there can be a downside to having the eyes of the nation upon you. It seems that the DWP are interested in more than Sophie Faldo’s baking skills, and have launched an investigation into her domestic circumstances.
Checking her profile
Sophie’s problems began when an eagle-eyed DWP investigator noticed her profile on the GBBO

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Surviving the post-Christmas blues

January is a time of new beginnings and resolutions to do things better and differently than before. That all sounds positive, but when you look at it in the context of a family that is struggling with money worries and relationship stresses, it can take on a darker meaning.
A survey commissioned by Zeek interviewed 2,000 people and found that an astonishing 500 of them find the Christmas period more stressful than going through a divorce. Little surprise, then, that the season of peace and good will can deteriorate into a marital battle ground before the Christmas tree is back up

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Unlawful Subletting – Are you at Risk of Prosecution?

Anyone who has had to deal with their local authority in connection with social housing will be well aware of the loops that you are forced to jump through and the time and effort it takes simply to get a suitable roof over your head.
The trouble is, demand is greater than supply. There barely seems to be a day that goes by without some new development project shouting from the rooftops that a proportion of its new builds will be social housing, but the truth is that for all the noise, the number actually being built cannot keep up with

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Brexit and the NHS – It’s not too late to save our Doctors

A few months ago, I published a piece about the impact of Brexit on NHS staffing throughout the UK. Now, we all know that Brexit can be a divisive subject, but it was interesting at the time to see the comments left by readers – whether you think Brexit is the best thing that has ever happened or a complete disaster for the country, we are all in agreement that we need to make sure the NHS and the wonderful doctors and nurses who come from all across Europe, are protected.
The decision on Brexit has been made and is yesterday’s

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