Relationship matters – the latest updates

There is no doubt that the festive season, numerous lockdowns and working from home during COVID can put a strain on the best of relationships. If you’ve been struggling with a relationship recently, Liz Wilson matrimonial solicitor at Bendles LLP rounds up some recent developments which may help you take some positive steps forward…

Have you recently separated from your partner? You could be eligible for a £500 voucher to use on mediation services

Did you know that you may be eligible for a £500 voucher to allow you to access mediation services following separation?
The Mediation Voucher Scheme was launched by the government in March 2021 and a further £800,000 has recently been allocated to the scheme. Mediation can help separating couples resolve their disputes out of court. It provides a safe, supported structure to sort out arrangements for children, as well as to decide how to divide assets and money.
Vouchers are limited in number. To find out more about this scheme go to:

Pre-nuptial agreements
The recent case involving Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli demonstrates the value of a properly prepared prenuptial agreement when dividing assets and money on divorce.
The model and singer Kirsty Bertarelli is understood to have signed a prenuptial agreement in Switzerland before her marriage to the Italian businessman Ernesto Bertarelli in 2000.
Ernesto and Kirsty Bertarelli were jointly listed in 14th place in the 2021 Sunday Times Rich List with an estimated fortune of £9.2 billion. It has been widely reported that Kirsty Bertarelli has received a £350 million divorce settlement but that she could have been awarded a lot more of the £9.2 billion fortune but for the prenuptial agreement.
The case is a timely reminder of how a good prenuptial agreement can help protect assets when people divorce and, also how these agreements can help people achieve an amicable settlement with minimal involvement from the Court.

Divorced women of state pension age are being encouraged to check their state pensions after a divorcee received a full basic state pension and back payments of £60,000

With the assistance of pensions consultancy firm Lane Clark Peacock LLP, a 77-year-old divorcee called Mrs Yvonne Hooper submitted a claim to the DWP and has recently been awarded a full basic state pension and back payments of more than £60,000.

You may be able to benefit from the National Insurance Contributions of your ex-husband. If your marital status was “divorced” when you reached state pension age, the DWP may be able to substitute your National Insurance record with the National Insurance record of your ex-husband up to the date of the divorce.
The DWP is not notified of divorces so you would need to notify the DWP of your change in marital status when you claim your state pension. Even if you think that you are not entitled to a state pension, it is still worth making a claim to check the position.

If you need further assistance regarding divorce, pre-nuptial agreements, mediation or any other aspect of family law please get in touch with one of our award-winning team, recently listed in the Legal 500 via our Carlisle office on 01228 522215 or Wigton office on 016973 42121 or find out more here


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