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Online Divorce - 455 divorce applications submitted over the Christmas period

07 January 2019

It has been heavily publicised that the new online divorce system has been taken advantage of over the Christmas and New year break with a total of 455 divorce applications being made over the Christmas period, 77 of these on New Years day alone.

Can applying for a divorce online really be that easy?

Online processes do not deal with any finances that need to be resolved nor does it deal with any issues concerning children.

It is a common misconception that on decree absolute being pronounced that this provides what is called a ‘clean break’, that is that neither party can apply to the court for matters concerning finances. This is not the case. A clean break can only be achieved by way of a court order separate to the divorce itself. Therefore, even if you are divorced unless there has been a court order made by consent or by the court through proceedings, you may still make financial applications against the other.

If you are applying for the divorce yourself or have received a divorce petition, it is essential to obtain legal advice on how to resolve the finances and arrangements concerning children. Don’t leave it until after decree absolute has been pronounced especially if there are pensions involved in any financial division. We often see people where an agreement has been reached and sometimes even implemented but the other party is now wanting more. Seeking the correct advice is always the sensible step before agreeing or implementing anything following a relationship breakdown.

Ellisons offer a fixed fee appointment for 1 hour for £150 including VAT where we cover advice across all these issues. Please call the Family team at any of our offices for an appointment on 01206 764477.

Ellisons Solicitors has been busy giving out Christmas presents this December

20 December 2018

Throughout December, the firm collected presents across all offices to donate to a local cause as part of a firm wide ‘Christmas Gift Donation’ initiative.  For Colchester it was Colchester Soup Kitchen, Ipswich chose Lighthouse Women’s Aid and Voluntary Services Tendring for the Tendring team.

Alexandra Chisnall assisted with the Ipswich Collection and delivered 30 presents to the Lighthouse on Monday 17th December.

Harwich delivered 10 bags of food and other goodies ready to be turned into Christmas hampers for those in need in the local area on 17th December. Clare Clark was joined by Sophie Partridge, Alan Holden and Sarah White. 

Colchester presents were handed to Colchester Soup Kitchen by Bethan Williams, solicitor who chairs the firms Social Committee. Phil from Kingsland Church who will be serving on Christmas Eve and collected the gifts was delighted and overwhelmed to receive so many gifts from Ellisons. Phil said “All of these gifts will be very much appreciated and it’s great to see that Ellisons care about the local community.  Thank you to all your staff".

The Tendring team bought gifts for the Bereavement and Friendship Café in Jaywick. Gina Westbrook, Michelle Lamm and Hannah Wheeler gave the presents to attendees of the Group at their Christmas party.

The Friendship and Bereavement Group is part of Community Voluntary Services Tendring, which runs a number of different groups in the area.

The gift-wrapped presents included chocolates, hats, scarfs, gloves, socks, puzzle books, handheld torches, tooth brush and paste, deodorant and long life sweets.

What can the Insurance Industry expect from the Civil Liability Bill?

19 December 2018

In a direct attempt to drive down the growing volume of whiplash related claims, the House of Commons have voted in favour of the Civil Liability Bill on its Third Reading. As part of the package reforms, it would appear that the Governments proposal to increase the Small Claims Limit in claims for compensation arising out of minor Road Traffic Accidents from £1,000 to £5,000 may be a reality come April 2020.

In a legal landscape where personal injury is plagued by fraudulent whiplash claims, phantom passengers and exaggerated injuries have become a huge concern for the Government and Insurance Companies alike. Adding to these concerns are the aggressive tactics used by Claims Management Companies to encourage people to exploit the current system.

The Courts have partially addressed this issue by increasing the use of sanctions resulting from a finding of fundamental dishonesty under s57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015. This provision was recently utilized by Ellisons in the case of Boon and Others (unreported), where we successfully convinced the Court that 19 Claimant’s who all alleged to be injured on board a coach on a ‘Stag Do’ were fundamentally dishonest. The inconsistencies in their evidence enabled the Judge to agree with confidence that their claims were unmeritorious, and as a result each Claimant was found liable to pay £2,000 in legal costs.

By increasing the Small Claims Limit from £1,000 to £5,000 for RTAs, it is unlikely that those seeking to recover for whiplash injuries will have legal representation. Furthermore, the Bill cracks down on exaggerated injuries by placing a ban on settling whiplash claims without medical evidence.

The reforms are set to receive a warm reception from the Insurance Industry, as it is estimated that they will make savings of £1.3 billion every year. Consumers have placed mountainous pressure on Insurers to reduce prices, as car insurance premiums have increased by 8% since 2016. Therefore, the Government have estimated that around 80% of the money saved by the Insurer will be returned to the consumer in the form of reduced premiums. Whilst the effect of the reforms might not be seen immediately, the savings predicted will enable Insurers to redirect their attention away from unmeritorious claims and place their priority back on the everyday consumer.

For further information, please contact Robert Jones