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Family Law FAQs

Can I make my spouse leave the family home?

The only way a joint owner of a property can be made to leave, if they are not prepared to leave voluntarily, is that the Court makes an Occupation Order, ordering them to leave or within the financial proceedings a property transfer order is made.

Why do I have to make a will if I am getting divorced?

It is always prudent in matrimonial proceedings to make a will to prevent the Rules of Intestacy applying. If you do not make a will and die intestate before you are divorced your estranged spouse will inherit automatically under your estate.

What is meant by severing the “Joint Tenancy” & why do I need to do this?

When you sever a joint tenancy it means that instead of holding a property as Joint Tenants so that the Right of Survivorship applies, you hold it as Tenants in Common so that the Right of Survivorship does not apply. You need to consider this when getting divorced otherwise you could find that your property passes automatically to your estranged spouse on your death.

What should I do about joint bank accounts?

You should make sure that you either remove any overdraft facility or cap it, as you are jointly and severally liable for it.

What should I do about my pension?

You need to consider changing your nominated pension beneficiary in respect of any death in service benefit that may be payable under the terms of your pension scheme as they may automatically go to your spouse. You need to contact your pension trustees to discuss making provision that it would be paid in the event of your death in service to the beneficiary of your choice.

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