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Hostile environment continues for families who want to stay together

The Home Secretary had to apologise this week after a Home Office review found that people were wrongly forced to have DNA tests to prove they were entitled to settle in the UK, more evidence of a hostile environment. This is the latest in a series of situations where the way the Home Office has behaved has had a severe impact on both people trying to move to this country, and even those who are legitimately living here.

Dealing with the Home Office is stressful and difficult for many reasons.  The BBC states the immigration officials are “drowning in documents. There are 40,000 documents in seven IT systems”.  So trying to navigate the immigration system is incredibly hard for all parties.

Another two recent cases have highlighted the harsh nature of the way the rules around visas and  immigration are implemented.

Ongoing hostile environment

A Sunderland-born woman had been told her Australian husband would have to return there, despite her job here, and their children being UK citizens. Fortunately, although with no explanation, her husband received a residency permit in the post recently, after the family appealed the decision to deport him.

We hope that there is a similar outcome for another family currently in a very stressful situation. A British citizen who has been married to his wife for 30 years has been told they need to move to Zimbabwe to stay together. He is paralysed from the neck down and his wife is his main carer. We wish them all the best with their appeal at a tribunal next month.

These stories highlight importance of good quality legal advice to make sure that you have the best chance of succeeding in what is still a hostile environment for families who want to be together.

The importance of good quality legal advice

We were delighted to be able to help one Chinese family recently who were claiming asylum. The Home Office initially refused their asylum claim on grounds of credibility and lack of supporting documents. They were however granted 30 months leave to remain outside of the Immigration Rules. Our clients were happy to accept the 30 months leave. We were not. We convinced them to challenge the refusal of asylum claim on appeal before a First Tier Tribunal. The appeal was successful and our clients received documents granting them five years refugee status.

If you or someone you know is facing a situation where you are struggling with Home Office applications, or have been refused a visa or leave to remain then please get in touch. We offer free immigration advice sessions twice a week at our Birmingham offices and twice a month in Telford.  You don’t need an appointment to come along to one of the advice sessions, simply turn up during one of the sessions. You can find full details here.

Get help with immigration applications and appeals

Our immigration team have an excellent record of challenging the Home Office, including successful cases at the Supreme Court, and we will continue to do so.

Please get in touch if we can help you too.

Image of the European flag with one star missing.

How Will Brexit Affect Immigration to the UK?

Immigration had been a vital part of the Brexit movement and the recent rise in immigration was one of the main arguments that brought nationalists together to vote for the UK to leave the European Union. One of the goals of Brexit was to reform the UK’s current immigration system and once the UK leaves, immigration may look differently both in the UK and the EU.

The UK will officially leave the European Union on 29th March 2019. After leaving, there will be a two-year period to help make the UK’s transition as smooth as possible. Currently, it’s unclear how trade deals, the rights of citizens, and immigration will be affected. However, we do know that after the leave has been finalised, the UK will no longer be subject to the EU rules on free movement of people and the UK will be able to change its immigration system.


Free Movement of People

Under the EU laws, countries that are members of the European Union are assured mutual free movement of people, meaning that EU citizens do not need a visa or work permit to live and work in any EU country. Once the leave has been finalised, the UK will no longer be subject to this EU law. Brexiters had promised that this would allow the UK to take control of its own borders and restrict unwanted immigration, however, there are also other situations that would need to be resolved, such as satisfying the demand for migrant labour in low-skilled and middle-skilled jobs, as well as managing the differences between costs and the advantages of the various types of migration.


European & Non-European Migrants

The migrants that would be most affected by Brexit will be the Europeans that are living in the UK or want to work in the UK. Those that have been resident in the UK are likely to be allowed to stay, however, low-skilled migrants that are looking to move into the UK may find it harder to move in. For migrants that are outside of the EU, Brexit may impose a few direct implications.

Many of the EU migrants that are living in Britain have been here for some time. Data from the Migration Observatory shows that in Q1 of 2015, an estimated 39% of citizens from EEA countries have been living in the UK for ten years or more. An additional 32% of citizens had lived in the UK for 5 years or more. From this data, we can see that a majority of EU migrants have been living in the UK long enough to qualify for permanent residence. This is usually gained after 5 years of residence.


UK Migration Restrictions

In comparison to other EU members, the UK already had more flexibility which allowed it to opt in or opt out of EU policies on refugees and migrants. As an example, the UK does not participate in the border-check free Schengen area, this may have contributed to the number of asylum seekers being relatively low. This is unlikely to change after Brexit.

The UK is aiming to restrict migration from mainland Europe by placing residence and work permit criteria on EU nationals, which is quite similar to the current system that is in place for non-Europeans. This means that EU nationals will need to qualify for work permits based on their level of skill, whether it’s low-skilled or high-skilled. There would be temporary permits for low-skilled workers that last either two years or three years in length, but they would not be eligible for permanent residency in the UK. High-skilled workers would be eligible for work permits that can last five years and they could eventually be eligible to apply for permanent residency.

There are uncertainties as to how Brexit will affect immigration, as with many other questions in the EU referendum debate. We do not know what agreements the EU and the UK might strike or how the UK government will handle policies for both EU and non-EU migration.


Contact Us for European Applications & Immigration Services

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert immigration solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional immigration services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


Image of a business meeting.

What to Know Before Transferring Foreign Workers to the UK

Currently, the UK is subject to free movement of people which allows British citizens, EEA citizens, and Swiss nationals to live and work in the UK without needing a visa or a work permit. However, in some situations, some EEA countries may need special permission.

Although the groups that were mentioned above do not need a visa or work permit, if you are a UK employer looking to employ a foreign worker, then you will need to check that the person you are hiring is eligible to work in the UK. There are specific requirements that you will need to meet depending on the employee’s nationality, their skill set, and their length of the contract.

Here are a few things to know about employing a foreign worker in the UK.


Foreign Workers & Tiers in the Visa System

For most EEA citizens, they are able to freely move throughout Europe and find work, however, for non-European citizens, the situation is somewhat different. Foreign workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA), must apply for a suitable visa that enables them to work in the UK.

Before you employ a foreign worker to the UK, as a UK employer, you will need to check if you are employing someone on a Tier 2 General Worker Visa or a Tier 5 Temporary Worker Visa. If they are on these tiers, then you must hold a Sponsorship License and you must also be registered to sponsor employees in order to employ a worker to the UK from overseas.

Here are the different Visa tiers.


Tier 1 – Highly Skilled Migrants

The Tier 1 visa category is for ‘high-value migrants’ that are from outside of the EEA. This tier is for entrepreneurs, investors, and people that come under the ‘exceptional talent’ visa. People that have a Tier 1 visa do not need to be sponsored by an employer.

There are different sub-categories that come under the Tier 1 visa, including Exceptional Talent, Entrepreneur, Graduate Entrepreneur, and Investor.

  • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas are for people that have been recognised by the Home Office as individuals that are leaders or emerging leaders in the field. There are five hundred of these visas offered every two years.
  • Tier 1 Entrepreneur visas are for people that want to set up their own business in the UK. They must also have at least £200,000 (or £50,000, if you are in the UK in a recognised PBS visa) in investment funds to be eligible to apply for this visa.
  • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur visas are for graduates that have been officially endorsed and have a credible and genuine business idea. They must, however, also meet other specific criteria to be eligible.
  • Tier 1 Investor visas are for people that have at least £2 million to invest. There are also specific criteria that need to be met in order to be eligible for this visa.


Tier 2 – Skilled Migrants

The Tier 2 visa category is for ‘skilled workers’ that are outside of the EEA and have a job offer in the UK. This includes skilled workers that have been transferred to the UK by an international company, skilled workers for proven shortages in the UK, sportspeople, and ministers of religion. People that are on a Tier 2 visa, will need to be sponsored by a firm with a sponsorship license.

There are five different types of Tier 2 visas, including Intra-Company Transfer, Graduate Trainee, Ministers or Religion, and Sportsperson.

  • Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer visas are for foreign workers that are being transferred from an overseas office to work in the UK branch of the organisation. This person will need to have been working for the firm in their home country for at least 12 months unless the firm will pay them £73,900 (at the time of writing) or more per year to work in the UK.
  • Tier 2 Graduate Trainee visas are for transfers into graduate trainee programmes for specialist roles. These people will need to have been employed in their home country for at least three months.
  • Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa is for people that are outside of the EEA and have been offered a job within a faith community. They will also need to meet other eligibility criteria.
  • Tier 2 Sportsperson visas are for qualified coaches or elite sportspersons that have been recognised by their sport’s governing body.
  • The Tier 2 General Work visa is the visa that is likely to be the most relevant for firms. Workers will be eligible to apply for a General Work visa if they have been offered a skilled job in the UK. However, there is a minimum salary that must be offered to the potential foreign worker and the minimum amount may fluctuate depending on the government threshold for that month. It’s important to know that this visa can only be used for occupations that are listed on the Tier 2 Occupation list or occupations that appear on the Tier 2 Shortage list.


Tier 3 – Unskilled Migrants (Suspended)

The Tier 3 category was designed for ‘low-skilled’ workers that are being temporarily employed for labour shortages. However, the government has never allocated any visas under this scheme and so it was eventually discontinued in 2013.


Tier 4 – Students

The Tier 4 visa category is for students over the age of 16 and are located outside of the EEA that would like to study in the UK. This visa is used for students to attend UK universities and colleges. Students must be offered a place on a course from a registered UK establishment in order to be eligible to apply.


Tier 5 – Temporary Workers

The Tier 5 visa contains six different sub-categories of types of temporary visas. These scenarios include, creative and sporting, charity workers, religious workers, government authorised exchange, international agreement, and the youth mobility scheme. People that are sponsored under Tier 5 will have a limited time which they can work in the UK. The length of time can vary from three months up to two years.


Visa Sponsorship License Application

Now that you are aware of the different tiers of visas, if you are looking to employ a worker outside of the EEA in the UK, you will need to check if the potential worker is on a Tier 2 visa or a Tier 5 temporary visa. If the worker is on one of the two tiers, then you will need to register with the Home Office and obtain a sponsorship license.

Applying for a sponsorship license can be a difficult process that requires a great deal of research and preparation. The slightest bit of incorrect or incomplete information may result in your application being denied. Therefore, it’s crucial that you need to be sure that you meet the eligibility criteria before applying. You will need to have several processes in place for various operations, such as monitoring the sponsored employee if a license has been granted and having reliable HR management in place. There are also other criteria that you need to meet in order to be eligible. The current system that is in place can be difficult to manage and there is no guarantee that your application for a sponsorship license will be approved.

Here at J M Wilson Solicitors, we have years of experience and expertise in helping businesses to employ workers from outside of the EEA or transferring workers from companies abroad. We provide a full range of services for businesses and individuals. See how our services can help you.


Contact Us for European Applications & Immigration Services

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert immigration solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional immigration services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


Image of a passport.

How to Obtain a Visit Visa for the UK

Apply for a visit visa if you want to visit the UK or see your family and friends, do business, or receiving private medical treatment, go to creative events. There are a few steps to take on obtaining a visit visa.


Visa for Business

You are allowed to apply for a Standard Visitor visa if you want to visit the UK for Business, for example:

  • You are taking part in a sports-related event.
  • You are a performer, artist, musician coming to perform in the UK.
  • An academic that is doing research or accompanying students on a study abroad programme.
  • You are a doctor or a dentist that is coming to the UK to take part in a clinical attachment.
  • You want to join or run a business in the UK by getting started with funding.
  • Taking the Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test or sit the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE).
  • You are coming to the UK for a meeting or conference.


What You Can and Can’t Do

During your stay in the UK, there are things that you can and cannot do. Here is a quick list of the things that you can do:

  • You may take part in any business-related activities.
  • You can study for up to 30 days.
  • You are able to go through the UK in transit.
  • You may be able to convert your civil partnership into a marriage.


Here is a short list of the things that you cannot do:

  • You will be unable to get public funds.
  • You cannot live in the UK for long periods of time through regular visits.
  • You cannot complete paid or unpaid work.
  • You will not be able to register a civil partnership or give notice of marriage or civil partnership.

To find more information about the things that you can and can’t do during your visit, please refer to the government guidance here.


When Can I Apply?

The earliest time you can apply for a visit visa is 3 months before you travel. The decision on your visa should be made within 3 weeks.

The times for approval for your visa will depend on the country that you’re applying from. You can check the processing times to see how long it might take to get your visa.


How Long Can You Remain in the UK?

Normally you can remain in the UK up to 6 months.

You may be able to remain longer if:

  • You are receiving private medical treatment. You would be allowed to stay up to 11 months with a fee of £186 (at the time of writing).
  • An academic on sabbatical and visiting the UK for research. You are able to stay for up to 12 months. There may be a £186 fee (at the time of writing).

Although, if you’re remaining in the UK as an academic or to get private medical treatment for longer than 6 months then you must apply for a biometric residence permit.

You may possibly be able to receive a visit visa for up to 30 days if you are a visitor under the ADS (Approved Destination Status) Agreement.


Long Term Stay

You can apply for a long-term Standard Visitor visa if you need to visit the UK frequently over a longer period. The long-term Standard Visitor visa that lasts 2,5 or 10 years. You can stay up to 6 months on each visit.

If you are under 18 years old and you apply, then your long-term Standard Visitor visa will only valid for 6 months till you turn 18.


Visa Fees

The cost for a standard visit visa is £93 and the fee for a long-term standard visitor visa will depend on the length. These fees may change.

These are the costs for long-term standard visas of various lengths of time:

  • 2 years is £350
  • 5 years is £636
  • 10 years is £798


Contact Us for Entry Clearance Advice

If you’re in the West Midlands and need help and advice from our expert immigration solicitors, please get in touch with us and we can discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


Image of a passport with a flight ticket.

How To Know If You’re Employing Illegal Immigrants

There are immigration rules for preventing illegal working and employers operate under arduous duties in order to prevent illegal working. Employers that are found to have breached the immigration compliance duties and are alleged to be employing illegal immigrants, will face serious Home Office penalties. It is important to know if you’re employing illegal immigrants so that you avoid the penalties.


How to Avoid Employing Illegal Immigrants

When you carry out prescribed document checks, these required steps must be undertaken:

  • Acquire an original document or supporting documents in agreement with the home office approved list.
  • Check the documents that are provided are valid.
  • Make a safe and secure copy of the documentation hardcopy or electronically. Make it a format that cannot be altered, such as a jpeg/pdf document or photocopy.
  • Make a consistent record of the date of when you carried out the check. This can be done by either creating a dated copy or holding a sperate record. You should keep a record of when any repeat checks are made.
  • Hold onto your copies and records until the duration of the individual’s employment and an extra 2 years when they leave. As these records and copies may need to be shown to the Home office if requested to enforce your statutory excuse.


Validity of Documents

The validity of documents is part of avoiding employing illegal immigrants. The validity of documentation is proof of the employee’s right to work. So, you must ensure that:

  • The documentation is real and original.
  • The documents have not been tampered with.
  • The person that will be presenting the documentation is the legal holder.
  • The details are reliable across multiple documents. E.g. photographs and dates of birth.
  • There is an explanation for any difference in names across many documents. You should pursue further documentation to explain any difference. E.g. marriage certificate. The documents must be copied and retained.


Penalties for Employing Illegal Immigrants

  • Under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 you may be liable for a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal employees. If you employ someone that does not have permission to be in the UK or be employed to work, then you could be at risk of this penalty.
  • Employers will have a chance to face criminal prosecution if they knew. For employing illegal immigrants, you could face up to 5 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
  • Any civil or criminal penalties imposed for employing illegal immigrants can cause your business to face a number of other consequences.


Contact Us for Business Immigration Services

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert immigration solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional immigration services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


Image of documents on a desk.

Are You At Risk Of Removal After Brexit?

The topic of removal after Brexit is one of the many topics that people would like answers to. For a lot of EU nationals that are living in the UK, the outlook that they could be deported after the Brexit leave has been finalised is a rather frightening one. Currently, there are no tangible answers as to what qualifies those who may or may not be deported after Brexit. However, we are able to make guesses as to who is most likely to be at risk and the steps that an EU citizen can take as precautions against removal after Brexit.


Who Will Be At Risk?

At this point in time, this is a difficult question to answer as there are still many uncertainties surrounding immigration and the immigration system after Brexit. Until the Brexit leave has been finalised, EU nationals will still have the right to freedom of movement throughout the UK and there shouldn’t be any restrictions placed on EU nationals that are currently living or working in the UK.

The government had unveiled details about a settlement scheme earlier this year for EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit. The details about the scheme suggest that EU nationals and their families that have been living in the UK for five years or more by the end of 2020, will be able to apply for a ‘settled status’. A settled status gives them the right to remain living and working in the UK permanently. EU nationals that have been living in the UK for less than five years by the cut off date, they may be able to wait until they qualify for an application.


Should I Apply For Residency?

Ministers had recently revealed that there were approximately 135,000 EU nationals that applied for permanent residency in the UK within the last 6 months. This could be a path that you could take if you wanted to take steps in securing a residency. Removal after Brexit could be a risk that may leave many EU citizens in an undetermined state, and as a result, a lot of people have begun taking precautionary steps rather than waiting to see what might happen.

If you have been living in the UK for five years or more, then you may be able to apply for a permanent residence status, however, if you have been living in the UK for less than five years, then you may need to apply for a registration certificate. You may apply through a family member or partner, or you could also apply as a qualified person based on your employment.


Contact Us for European Applications & Immigration Services

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert immigration solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional immigration services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


Applying for British Citizenship: A Step by Step Process

Acquiring British citizenship is a complicated process. There are requirements you will need to meet in order to apply for British Citizenship. This is a step by step process to guide you.


Step 1

There are 5 common requirements to apply for British Citizenship through naturalisation that most applicants must meet.

  • Must be over 18 years old
  • Be currently living in the UK
  • Be of good character. (Usually, this means no serious crimes have been committed or immigration fraud.)
  • Meet the English language requirement if you are not from a country that is exempt from this requirement
  • Pass the Life in the UK test

These are the common requirements for naturalisation, but most candidates must also have:

  • Lived in the UK for at least 5 years or 3 years if you are married to a British Citizen, with no absence longer than 450 days.
  • Travelled outside of the UK for longer than 90 days in the last year.
  • UK permanent residence (for EAA nationals) or have been granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK (must have had this for at least 1 year prior to making the application)


Step 2

There are 3 ways to initiate your application for naturalisation:

  • Submit an individual application.
  • Apply through an agent or representative
  • Apply through an NCS (National Checking Service)

If you are applying on your own, then you must complete Form AN.


Step 3

When your application for Naturalisation is complete, you will then need to send it with the fee and the assisting documents to:

UK Visas and Immigration

Department 1
The Capital
New Hall Place
L3 9PP


Step 4

Providing biometric information (fingerprints and photo) is required, as it is a part of the application process. The Home office will tell you when to provide this information when you have submitted your application.


Step 5

After you have sent your application with the fee and assisting documents, you will have to wait. It can take 6 months or longer for the decision to be made on your application. When the decision is made or more information is required from you then you will be contacted by Nationality Department of the Home Office.


Step 6

If your application is approved you will get an invitation to attend a Citizenship Ceremony. This Ceremony is when you will make an Oath of Allegiance to the UK, meaning promising to respect its rights, freedom, and laws. You will then receive your certificate of naturalisation granting you British Citizenship.


Contact Us for Obtaining British Citizenship

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert immigration solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional immigration services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


Image of a wooden gavel.

Your Basic Rights During a Child Contact Dispute

A breakdown of a relationship often brings along many difficulties and hard choices regarding child care. For parents, a child contact dispute can be one of the most stressful and difficult situations they could endure, especially if they do not know what to expect. It’s important to know your basic child contact rights so that you have a fair playing field during the child contact dispute.

Here is some more information about your child contact custody rights.


Child Arrangements Order or previously known as a Contact or Residence Order

A Child Arrangements Order, previously known as, contact or residence orders, is an order that refers to where the children’s main residence will be following the break-up of the child’s parents or how often they will see the absent parent. There are no longer separate contact and residence orders, they are both known as Child Arrangements Orders. If you have been involved in a child dispute case or will be involved in one, then you may have heard of ‘the welfare of the child being paramount’ or  ‘best interests of the child’. This is commonly used to determine Child Arrangements Orders.

There are a few factors that determine the outcome of children cases although case law may define the standard differently.

  1. Examining each parent’s historical role in nurturing the child since birth.
  2. The physical, emotional and educational needs of the child.
  3. Any harm including emotional harm the child may have been exposed to or are likely to experience with change.
  4. The child’s wishes and feelings.


Shared Residence

Shared residence, which is also known as a shared care arrangement within a Child Arrangements Order, is when the children share residency with both parents. This type of Order enables the child to spend equal amounts of time with both parents and this also allows both parents to have equal involvement in major decisions that can impact the child’s life. The time the child spends with each parent does not have to be equal in order for such a Child Arrangements Order to be adopted.

A shared care arrangement has numerous benefits for both the children and the parents, including:

  • Both parents have parenting responsibilities.
  • Separated parents are able to see their children more regularly and they will be able to have more involvement in their children’s lives.
  • The children will be able to have two homes, which provides them with more stability and security.


Parental Responsibility/Specific Issue or Prohibited Steps Order

Parental Responsibility means the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities, and authority a parent has for a child. You acquire Parental Responsibility automatically as a mother upon giving birth to the child. As a father, it is not as simple. Fathers acquire Parental Responsibility in certain circumstances such as being named as the father upon the child’s birth certificate (from 1 December 2003) or being married to the mother, obtaining a Parental Responsibility Order from the court, or by getting a Parental Responsibility agreement.

When both parties have parental responsibility and cannot agree upon how to raise their child then disputes occur. An example of such a dispute could be where the child will attend school, or which religion the child will follow. That is when an application to the Court is usually required to resolve such issues. They are known as Specific Issue Orders.

There could be a dispute regarding one parent wanting to take the child abroad whereby the other parent does not agree. Both have Parental Responsibility and thus both have an equal say. In this situation, a Prohibited Steps Order may be required to prevent one parent from taking the child abroad until the court considers whether this is in the best interests of the child.


Contact Us for Child Dispute Services

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert family solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional child dispute services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.


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Train to be a legal receptionist with our award winning firm

We are looking for someone who would like to join us and train to be a legal receptionist. The role will involve working on our busy reception desk dealing with a wide range of enquiries.  The ideal candidate should have an outgoing personality, be hard working, and show good attention to detail.  We’d like someone with GCSEs in English and IT.

J M Wilson Solicitors are the Birmingham Law Society Law Firm of the Year (up to 4 partners) and we are shortlisted for the Law Society Awards later this year.  We are a community firm, looking for someone who wants to start their career with us.

Salary will be competitive and dependent on experience.  This is a full-time role

To apply please send your cv and a covering letter to paula@jmwilsonsolicitors.com – by the end of October.

Image of a divorce certificate.

5 Financial Rules to Follow During Divorce

Managing finances is never an easy task and a divorce can complicate matters further. Although a divorce can cause emotional distress in a person’s life, it can also place a burden on your finances. In order to ensure that your finances have the best possible outcome, it would be wise to rely on professional help and advice to establish a plan.

If you are getting divorced, then here are 5 tips to help you manage your finances during the difficult time.


  1. Keep Track of Expenses and Income

Although this is a good idea in general, it can be particularly crucial during the difficult times of a divorce. It’s helpful to track and document your financial details, and this includes payments made to your ex-partner, child support, and other expenses. Many people believe that tracking your personal finance can be rather tedious, however, it doesn’t need to be a difficult task. There are several ways to track and document these details, such as using personal finance apps.


  1. Close Joint Credit Accounts

In the case of divorce, if you have joint credit accounts or loans with your ex-partner, it’s important that you contact your bank or loan provider to explain your situation.

You may also ask your bank to change the way the credit account is set up so that any money withdrawals or account freezing are agreed by both parties. However, please be aware that if you do freeze your credit account, you will need agreement from both parties to unfreeze the account. This may cause difficulties if your ex-partner is unwilling to co-operate.

It’s crucial that you stop accumulating debt in both of your names as it could continue to accrue joint debt. This may end up hurting both of your credit scores and credit reports, which may further complicate the process of divorce.


  1. Develop a Budget

Creating a budget at this point is extremely important, especially if you are transitioning from a two-income household to a single income household. Without appropriate budget management, you may be faced with additional financial stress on top of the difficulties of a divorce. When you develop your budget, you should outline every expense, including daily and monthly expenses, whether it’s your mortgage, utilities, groceries, car payments, and so on. You should also consider budgeting for long-term expenses such as tuition funds and retirement. By planning a budget at this point, it can help you adjust to your financial situation and avoid overspending.


  1. Understand the Management of your Finances

In a lot of marriages, there is usually one spouse that acts as the financial manager. They are usually involved with the management of the bills, setting the budget, filing annual tax returns, investments, budgeting, insurance, and so on. This spouse will have the experience and knowledge to make this an easy transition, however, the spouse that hasn’t been involved in the financial management may have a more difficult transition.

If you are not the spouse that handles the finances, then it would be wise to get help and advice from a certified financial planner to make this an easy transition. It may also be helpful to sign up for an online course on basic financial management to get you on the right tracks.


  1. Establish Your Own Credit

Once you are divorced, you may find that your credit score has been affected due to the removal of your name from the accounts. You may also lose some of your established credit history because of this. Although it is not advised to accrue new debt after a divorce, you may be able to benefit from establishing new credit by getting a credit card in your own name and opening up a new bank account.

You may also want to consider establishing a savings account as every little amount saved can be helpful in the long-term. It may seem counter-productive to save money during a difficult financial time, but you never know when an unexpected expense might crop up.


Contact Us for Divorce Solicitor Services

If you’re located in the West Midlands or the surrounding areas and you would like advice or help from our expert family solicitors, then please get in touch with us. We can provide professional family law services and discuss your situation and needs.

Call us on 0121 356 4556 or you can email us at enquires@jmwilsonsolicitors.com. We’re always happy to help.