Tips and Tricks

Divorce applications highest for decade following no-fault divorce

Divorce applications highest for decade following no-fault divorce
Photo by Earl Wilcox on Unsplash

In April of 2022, ‘No-Fault Divorce’, which removed the requirement for fault to be placed with one of the individuals for the breakdown of a marriage, finally came into force. It represents a major change to the legal and public perception of divorce, making it significantly easier for couples who have reached the limit of their relationship to legally end the marriage in a way that enables both parties to walk away without the need for blame. 

Until the spring of this year, couples looking to divorce were left with a few limited options for completing their divorce application, all of which were intended to prove that the marriage had broken down beyond repair. 

Now, blame has been lifted. Early critics of the move to introduce a No Fault Divorce were concerned that it would make divorce too easy for couples who may otherwise have been able to work through their differences, and the marriage would survive. The counter argument was, of course, that whether or not the marriage stood a chance of being fixed was not (and should not be) up to parliament.

New statistics show that 2022 has seen the number of divorce applications filed in England and Wales has risen drastically. Between April and June, the first three months of life under No Fault Divorce, divorce applications were up 22% on the same period of 2021 – and the highest since early 2022.  

So, were early critics right? Are more people jumping to easy conclusions, or is this symptomatic of something more complex? 

The appeal of amicability, rather than speed

It may not be the relative ease and rapidity involved in getting divorced that appeals to couples whose relationships are ‘on the rocks’. After all, we are all aware of the permanency of divorce – the profound impact on family, finances, and homeownership (to name just a few).

Instead, No Fault Divorce may pose a particular appeal to couples who are not ending the marriage under explosive, acrimonious circumstances. The previous options for divorce would have necessitated some sort of ‘blame game’ – or, alternatively, a two year or five year separation before the divorce petition could be issued. With the prospect of No Fault Divorce on the horizon, it may well be the case that many couples chose to defer their divorce applications until the legalities could reflect the cordiality of their separation. 

While No Fault Divorce is, undeniably, easier than the previous route divorcing couples had to take, it is not so easy that marriages can end at the drop of a hat. With the previous approach, apportioning blame represented only one aspect of a much more complicated process – and many of those complications remain. Working with a solicitor is still a necessity for all but the simplest cases. At the acclaimed law firm Willans, their divorce solicitors in Cheltenham hold many years’ combined experience – something that has not been nullified or made superfluous by No Fault Divorce. Couples still need help separating their lives, even if they see no need to apportion blame.  

The pandemic backlog

The impact of Covid-19 was certainly felt in the world of family law. With the number of couples divorcing increasing during the pandemic, and courts having to adapt to remote hearings, plenty of divorce applications were delayed, and the backlog is just now being cleared in 2022. 

This will, of course, mean that for the foreseeable future divorce rates remain high, and skew any statistics that may otherwise paint a picture of No Fault Divorce’s impact on the country’s divorce rates. 

The cost-of-living crisis

While Covid-19 may well be receding into the distance, the country is currently in the grips of a new crisis. With inflation pushing the cost-of-living sky high and an increasing number of households feeling the stress of financial woes, it is only natural that the divorce rate remains high. 

Then again, it could be argued that the cost-of-living crisis may also be responsible for reducing the rate of divorce, since the cost of filing an application and seeking financial advice may not be one that families can take on right now. 

Time will tell whether or not No Fault Divorce is responsible for a sustained ‘high’ for divorce rates across England and Wales, or whether this peak can be explained as a result of couples deferring their divorce until the more amicable option became available earlier in 2022.

Tips and Tricks

Countdown your special events in 2023 with Funko Advent Calendars

Countdown your special events in 2023 with FUNKO Advent Calendars

When you hear of advent calendars, you may think of 24 days before Christmas. Now, when I hear advent calendars, I just think countdown to excitement and special memories to be made. With the Funko’s The Office advent calendar, my teen thinks of collectibles! This is because Christmas is not the only fun event we count down to in the year.

The grandkids may countdown to Grandparent visits or kids want to countdown their birthdays. Teens want to countdown to age 16 or graduation day. Because Funko has advent calendars that are not Santa chocolates, you can use them all year round. Send one to family before they come visit you or enter retirement. Like all of the occasions I mentioned, these calendars make the anticipation that much more fun.

Each day, open the door to a mini Funko collectible relatable to its feature. Any guesses what we will open with The Office on the last day? My bets are on, Belsnickel!

Know anyone with a special event in 2023 who loves The Offie, Star Wars, Disney, Harry Potter (to name a few)? Send them a Funko countdown in advance!

Tips and Tricks

What Happens During the DUI Evaluation Process?

DUI Evaluation Process
Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

A lot of feelings run through you when you get caught driving while under the influence (DUI). If you are found guilty at your court date, you will need to undergo the DUI evaluation process

During the evaluation process, you will go through several steps. Completing this program may also be part of a DUI diversion program.

Screening

The very first thing that will happen is you will be screened. This screening is specifically for determining whether you have a drug or alcohol problem or not. Sometimes you might be asked to take the CAGE questionnaire. This questionnaire will help you determine the overall level of your problem.

After the initial screening process, if it is determined you do not have a drug or alcohol problem, you won’t have to go through extensive treatments.

Interview

Next, you will meet with a counselor for an entrance interview. To access most DUI services in Lexington, you will at least have to go through the interview process.

During the interview, you will be asked about:

  • Your health
  • Your medication history
  • Your medical history
  • The reasons you used the substance
  • Your drug and alcohol use.

This process is sometimes referred to as the interview and assessment if the two parts of the process are combined to make things easier for you and the people doing the evaluation. 

Assessment

It is not uncommon for a psychologist to do an evaluation during the assessment portion as well. This is all to find the right treatment program for you.

They will ask you about your career, employment and relationships. This is so that they can find out what triggers your drinking or drug use and what might help to prevent a relapse.

Outcome

The outcome portion is where everything is compiled, and a treatment program is designed. Some possibilities are:

  • Residential treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous
  • Drug testing
  • Treatment with medications

You might be asked to do one or all of these. In rare cases, you might not have to do anything but a single class, course or psychological counseling.

If you fail to complete this evaluation, there is a good possibility that you will find yourself in court again. In most areas, it is a requirement for you to get your license back.

Paperwork

You will need to keep a few things and bring them with you to the evaluation, your parole officer and your counselor. You will need your arrest record, enrollment paperwork, judgment and the evaluation outcome. If you do not have these,  you might end up back in court for a harsher sentence.

Remember, this whole procedure is designed to ensure you do not wind up back in court with another DUI. It can also help you with a drug or alcohol problem.

Overall a DUI evaluation is not something to be scared about. It is a relatively simple procedure and is much like filling out forms and having an interview to go to a doctor or a psychologist. You must attend the evaluation and any treatments assigned.

Gift Guides, Home, Tips and Tricks

4 Budget-Friendly Anniversary Gift Ideas

4 Budget-Friendly Anniversary Gift Ideas

It can be challenging to find the perfect holiday gift for your partner. However, finding the right present for anniversaries can be even more difficult. Maybe you’re a new couple, and you celebrate your monthaversaries, or perhaps you and your partner have been married for years. Regardless, finding the right gift is important because it represents your appreciation and love for your romantic relationship and partner. 

If you feel like you’re struggling to come up with perfect Anniversary gift ideas for your loved one or are two busing planning a fun day that you haven’t had time to even think about it, here are some fantastic suggestions for you. 

1 A Framed Photograph

A simple and romantic anniversary gift for who you love is a framed photograph of the two of you. Consider framing a picture of significant milestones in your lives like your wedding or first photo together. A special photo of the two of you is a great way to remember and honor the special moments you’ve experienced together. 

If you want to make this anniversary gift even more spectacular, consider upgrading to a cheap canvas for a modern display of your photograph. Printing photos onto a canvas is a great way to boost the quality of your photos.

You can also include a handwritten letter to go with your gift. Handwritten letters are a great way to express your feelings to your partner and will be special to read again years later. You can tape your note to the back of the canvas or write it on a notecard to place beside the photo. 

2. A Personalized Playlist

Whether you want to go the old school route with a mixed tape or CD or simply create a playlist off of your favorite music downloading app, your special someone will love the thoughtfulness and creativity that you’ve put into curating an anniversary playlist for them. 

You’ll want to include songs that are special to the two of you and others that make you think of your partner. You might even include a few to jog up specific memories or milestones that you have had together. Be sure to title your playlist something sweet as the cherry on top of this go-to anniversary gift. 

food gift

3. A Signature Cake

Nothing says “happy anniversary” like a signature cake. If your partner has a sweet tooth, you can create a custom cake with your lover’s favorite flavors and toppings. Include a funny or sweet message to go on top. Many local bakeries offer tons of lovely options for high-quality cakes. Just make sure to order ahead of time! 

The cakes you get at the grocery store are limited in their design capabilities, so it might be best to work with a baker who can customize your cake exactly how you want it. Find some romantic candles to fill the room up with some romantic lighting and ambiance or to top your cake.

4. A Handmade Scrapbook 

Your anniversary is about celebrating your relationship and the time and experiences you’ve gone through together. A scrapbook is a special way to honor those memories.  Create a colorful photobook or digital picture frame of some of your best moments together throughout your relationship. 

You might even title the scrapbook with the dates that the pictures run through. Get creative with the scrapbook paper and cutouts you use to decorate your book. Personalize it to your partner’s tastes so they’ll enjoy your decorations as well as the thought and effort you put into making their anniversary scrapbook. 

Gifts From The Heart  

The best budget-friendly anniversary gifts are those that come from the heart. Whether you use music, artwork, photographs, or food to convey your message, your partner will love whatever you come up with that reminds them of your love and care. Consider the above four suggestions as you create your budget-friendly anniversary gift this year.