Blogs - Westgate Chambers

Can we debunk the most common myth about common law marriage?

The most common myth about common law marriage is it exists! It did once but the concept was abolished in 1753 so it is incredible that it lives on in so many people’s mind. A recent study carried out by The National Centre for Social Research discovered 46% of us still believe that a cohabiting couple is […]

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Is the cost of living crisis making it harder to agree a divorce settlement?

Many experts fear the cost of living crisis is making it harder to reach a divorce settlement.  Uncertainty around earnings, mortgage rates, energy prices, interest rates not to mention how much inflation will increase the price of even our most standard day to day purchases has left couples scared that any financial settlement they reach […]

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How can survivors of domestic abuse get through the family courts more easily?

The Domestic Abuse Act 2021 came into force exactly one year ago but victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales are still having to navigate a “broken” justice system so how can survivors of domestic abuse get through the family courts more easily? The hurdles the survivors of domestic abuse face not only include under-resourced courts, […]

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Calls for downblousing to be made a criminal offence in England and Wales

Legal experts are calling for downblousing to be made a criminal offence in England and Wales. These calls come three years after ‘upskirting’ (covertly taking photographs under someone’s clothes without their consent) became a criminal offence in England and Wales.  If the campaign is successful and the new laws come into force in England and Wales, […]

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How do you enforce a financial remedy order?

Whether you have reached your financial remedy order by agreement or following contested proceedings, it is essential each person meets their obligations.  But, given relations are likely to be strained, how do you enforce a financial remedy order? Thankfully it is usually a straightforward process.  Each person’s obligations will be clearly set out.  They could […]

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When should I apply for a financial remedy order in my divorce?

Going through a divorce is never easy.  However, despite the strain you and your family will be under, you do need to come to a viable agreement regarding your property and finances.  To do this you will need to apply for a financial remedy order.  We are often asked at what stage of the proceedings […]

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A new non-fatal strangulation offence has come into force

From the 7th of June 2022 anyone who strangles their partners in a bid to control or intimidate them will face up to 5 years behind bars for committing the UK’s new non-fatal strangulation offence. The new non-fatal strangulation offence will also apply to British nationals abroad so there is no escape for abusers even if […]

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The ICO has called for excessive data collection from rape victims to stop

John Edwards, the commissioner of Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), has called for excessive data collection from rape victims to stop now.  He believes the current practices seriously breach data protection laws. In a strongly worded statement Mr Edwards said he expects excessive data collection from rape victims to stop immediately saying: “Our investigation reveals an […]

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Is the Justice system putting ‘trans rights ahead of women’?

A new report claims women are being failed by the criminal justice system because it is too focused on transgender rights which is putting “trans rights ahead of women.” The report, titled Transgenderism and Policy Capture in the Criminal Justice System, was authored by the Policy Exchange think tank.  While researching the paper they found the police, the […]

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New legislation will put victims firmly at heart of the justice system

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has announced he is publishing draft legislation that will put the “needs and voices” of victims “firmly at heart of the justice system”.  The Bill has been designed to provide  better support for victims, increase conviction rates and, many expect, pave the way for the first victims’ law. The reforms to the support for victims […]

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