Here is a list of useful family law links, calculators and tools to help litigants in person, (those getting divorced without a solicitor or lawyer) through their family law dispute.
This list has been put together by Family Law Associate Yasmin Khan-Gunns of BLM’s London office (Instagram handle @londonfamilysolicitor).
Q: I need to apply for a non-molestation / occupation order to protect me from domestic abuse. What tool can help me?
A: CourtNav is a digital service provided by the Royal Courts of Justice Citizens Advice Bureau. It is a tool that will help you to put together an application for an injunction. CourtNav will ask you a number of questions and will then generate and fill out the relevant court form and your supporting witness statement. CourtNav will then send your documents to a legal advisor who will explore legal aid with you and your next steps. You will find a link to register with CourtNav below, along with a Gov.uk link where you can apply for an order online.
- Court Nav – https://injunction.courtnav.org.uk/register.
- Government – https://www.gov.uk/injunction-domestic-violence/eligibility-non-molestation
Q: How do I find out my mortgage capacity? The Court would like to know how much I can afford to borrow to purchase a home.
A: You can find out your mortgage capacity by inputting your financial details into one of the many online mortgage affordability calculators. Here are links to a few.
- Money Helper – https://www.moneyhelper.org.uk/en/homes/buying-a-home/mortgage-affordability-calculator?source=mas#.
- Barclays – https://www.barclays.co.uk/mortgages/mortgage-calculator/borrowing-calculator/#/borrow.
- HSBC – https://www.hsbc.co.uk/mortgages/how-much-can-i-borrow/.
- NatWest: https://www.natwest.com/mortgages/mortgage-calculators/how-much-can-i-borrow.html.
Q: How do I find out what pensions I have? The Court would like me to provide details of all the pensions I have along with their cash equivalent transfer values (CETV).
A: It’s not always easy to keep track of a pension, especially if you’ve been in more than one scheme or have changed employers throughout your career. The below link to MoneyHelper.org.uk will help you to trace and find any pensions you may have. Failing this, click on the below Gov.uk link which will take you to the free Pension Tracing Service; the service searches a database of more than 200,000 workplace and personal pension schemes to try to find the contact details you need.
- Money Helper – https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.
- Government – https://www.gov.uk/find-pension-contact-details.
Q: How much child maintenance / child support should my ex be paying?
A: Click the below link and use the calculator to work out what amount the other parent should be paying you in child maintenance. Generally speaking, no child maintenance is payable through the Child Maintenance Service if you are sharing care of the children equally, or if the other parent is a full-time student with no income or if the other parent is in prison.
Divorce and dissolution – what you need to know
Q: How do I calculate capital gains tax (CGT)? The Court would like to know how much CGT will be payable on the sale of my rental property and my shares.
A: Your gain is usually the difference between what you paid and the amount you received when you sold (or ‘disposed of’) it. Click the below links to calculate CGT:
- Sale of a property – https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-property/work-out-your-gain.
- Sale of shares – https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-shares/work-out-your-gain.
Q: How do I apply for a child arrangements order without the help of a solicitor or barrister?
A: The below link will take you to a Gov.uk website where you can make an online application for a child arrangements order, prohibited steps order, specific issue order and consent order. You can also apply using a paper form C100. A link to the charity The Child Law Advice Service is also below; this charity provides lots of useful information on family, child and education law affecting children and families in England.
- Gov.uk – https://www.gov.uk/looking-after-children-divorce/apply-for-court-order.
- The Child Law Advice Service – https://childlawadvice.org.uk/family/
Q: Can I get legal aid for my family law dispute?
A: Legal aid can help pay for legal advice. Click on the below link to find out whether you are eligible for legal aid. You will be asked general questions about your legal problem, your income and your savings. You will also be told where you can get legal advice.
How to explain divorce to your children
Divorce and getting legal advice
Q: How do I calculate stamp duty land tax (SDLT)? The Court would like to know how much SDLT will be payable if I purchase or transfer a property.
A: The below link will take you to a Gov.uk SDLT calculator. You can use this calculator to work out how much SDLT will be payable if you are buying a property for the first time, replacing your main residence, buying an additional property, buying a residential or non-residential property, buying a freehold or leasehold and if you are a non-UK resident buying a residential property.
Q: How do I apply for a divorce?
A: To apply for a divorce, you will need your husband or wife’s full name and address, your original marriage certificate or a certified copy and proof of your name change if you’ve changed it since you got married. If you have this, click the below Gov.uk link to apply for a divorce online. The fee is £593. Alternatively, you can also apply for a divorce through the post on form D8.
Q: Where can I find free advice and information to help me through the divorce and separation journey with children?
A: Click the below link to access Resolution’s free Parenting Through Separation Guide. It is written by family professionals and advises parents on how to put their children first during a separation.
Q: How do I obtain my State Pension forecast? The Court would like to know how much I will receive when I retire.
A: It is easy to check your state pension forecast. Click the below link and answer the questions. You will be told how much State Pension you could get, when you can get it and how to increase it, if you can.
Should you get financial advice when you are going through a divorce?
Q: Where can I find a Mediator to help me with my family law dispute? My ex has suggested that we attend mediation to discuss divorce, finance and children arrangements.
A: Family mediation is a process in which an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you work out arrangements following separation. You can find a local Family Mediation Council (FMC) Registered Mediator by clicking the below link.
Q: What charities can I contact to help me with domestic abuse?
A: Below are just a few charities that may be able to assist. If you are in immediate danger, call 999:
- Women’s Aid – https://www.womensaid.org.uk/about-us/contact/.
- Refuge – https://www.refuge.org.uk/.
- Men’s Advice Line – https://mensadviceline.org.uk/.
- LGBT – https://galop.org.uk/.
- Forced marriage and honour crimes – https://karmanirvana.org.uk/.
Q: I would like to attend marriage or couples counselling. Where should I start?
A: The below link will take you to the website of Relate.org.uk. Relate are the UK’s largest provider of relationship support, helping people to strengthen their relationships. Relate counsellors have all received special training in relationship counselling.
Q: Where can I find a divorce or family law solicitor?
A: I would recommend finding a divorce or family solicitor on the Resolution website. Solicitors who are a member Resolution have follow a Code of Practice where they commit to a non-confrontational approach to help you resolve your family issue. Click the below link to find a Resolution solicitor local to you. If you need an international family lawyer, click the below link to the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) website.
- Resolution – https://resolution.org.uk/find-a-law-professional/.
- IAFL – https://www.iafl.com/find-a-lawyer/.
For more information on Family Law matters, you can contact Yasmin through BLM Law HERE as the team, headed up by Grainne Fahy features in The Hug Directory
Disclaimer: This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that may be of interest to clients of BLM. Specialist legal advice should always be sought in any particular case.