Well, DIVORCE is the obvious one. But there’s load of stuff all over the internet about divorce – when you can divorce, where you divorce and the reasons you can use to get divorced. I’ve written about that on my website here. I’m not going to repeat it all but there are a few additions:
• No, the law has not changed yet. It will and it will be no fault – so you divorce because you agree the marriage is over. Do I think the law will change soon? Nope. I reckon it will take at least another year before there is any real change. The law has to be drafted and get through Parliament. They are a little but busy, as I write this in June 2019.
• You can now apply for a divorce online if you do not have a solicitor. Yes, the system is simple but it is the same for many things. If you know what you are doing then it will be simple and if you don’t, well, it won’t be simple.
• Some solicitors can use the special solicitor online system that is being tested. I am one of the solicitors allowed to use the online portal. It is interesting and helpful – but it is not complete yet.
• Soon, all the divorce centres around the country will be closed and the cases will be processes at one ‘super centre’ in Stoke on Trent. You will not really see a difference. The postman and online usage in Stoke on Trent will do, though.
So, what else is ‘D’ for? DOGS of course. There has been a lot of chatter in the legal news about ‘pet prenups’ or ‘petnups’. What’s that all about? Well, dogs are not treated like children. Dog, cats, cockatoos, iguanas… you get the drift… are all treated as things. Chattels. Items. Same as you would a sofa or a car.
The judge will not be looking at who gets to keep FiFi or Poodles nor who gets to spend what time with The Hound. If you can’t agree about who will have the dog/cat/leopard, then the judge is left with few options. Give the dog to one of you and deny the other, or, as a judge said in one of my cases, order the dog to be sold and the proceeds of sale are split between you both.
Sounds harsh, doesn’t it but the matrimonial law was focussing on people and children – not the beloved pet that can often be treated as much as a family member. They are not a ‘person’ in law, see?
Anyway, back to ‘petnups’. These are basically written agreements setting out what will happen to the dog/cat/lion if you divorce. You can use them if you are unmarried too – and they are likely to have significant force in that situation.
What do you need to do to get one of these? You need to agree between you what you want to happen and then you need to contact a smart, savvy solicitor like me to get the agreement drawn up. It does not take long once you have decided what you want.
And no the dog does not need to get legal advice.