Notice of Disassociation

A Notice of Disassociation is a request to credit agencies to unlink individuals who are financially linked and demonstrates to potential lenders and creditors that a couple is no longer together. 

To be successful when requesting one of these notices, applicants will need to ensure there is no active financial link between them and their spouse. 

So, for instance, closing any joint bank accounts should be high on your list of priorities, but applying to the credit agency to have that joint account removed from your credit listing will disassociate you from your spouse. 

If the only financial link between two individuals is a joint mortgage, a Notice of Disassociation can be applied for to demonstrate the relationship has ended. 

Bear in mind that a Notice of Dissociation is only likely to be successful if a couple has been living apart for more than six months and has the financial records to prove it – i.e. individual bill payments for different properties.

No Happy Ending to this story!

In 1912 New Orleans, a girl named Tiana and her friend Charlotte La Bouff listen to Tiana’s mother read the story of The Frog Prince.[5] Charlotte, a believer in true love, finds the story romantic; Tiana declares she will never kiss a frog.

In 1926, Tiana is now an aspiring chef, who works as a hotel maid and a waitress in a local diner, in order to save enough money to open up her own restaurant, a dream she shared with her father, who supposedly died in World War I.

Despite Prince Naveen of Maldonia arriving in New Orleans to better his financial situation, he does nothing to improve it. After being cut off by his parents for being a philanderer and spendthrift, Naveen intends to marry a rich Southern belle, and Charlotte is the perfect candidate. Eli “Big Daddy” La Bouff, a rich sugar baron and Charlotte’s father, hosts a masquerade ball in Naveen’s honor. Charlotte hires Tiana to make beignets for the ball, giving her enough money to buy an old sugar mill to convert into her restaurant. Meanwhile, Naveen and his valet, Lawrence, meet a witch doctor, Dr. Facilier. Inviting them into his emporium, Facilier convinces them that he can make their dreams come true, but neither gets what he expects: Naveen is transformed into a frog while Lawrence, now recruited as Facilier’s henchman, receives a voodoo talisman that gives him Naveen’s appearance. Facilier intends for the transformed Lawrence to marry Charlotte, after which he will kill La Bouff and split his fortune with Lawrence, secretly giving himself the larger sum.

At the ball, Tiana discovers she may lose the mill to a higher bidder. She then meets Naveen, who, believing her to be a princess because of her costume, asks her to kiss him and break Facilier’s spell. In exchange for the money needed, Tiana reluctantly accepts. Still, since she is not an actual princess, she is turned into a frog herself when she kisses Naveen, which also gives her the ability to talk to other animals. A chase ensues, and Tiana and Naveen escape to a bayou. In the bayou, Tiana and Naveen meet a trumpet-playing alligator, Louis, who dreams of playing in a band with humans, but whose ferocious appearance prevents him from doing so. They also meet a Cajun firefly, Ray. Ray believes that the Evening Star is another firefly named “Evangeline,” and is deeply in love with her; no one has the heart to tell him otherwise. Louis and Ray offer to lead Tiana and Naveen to a voodoo queen, Mama Odie, who they believe can undo the curse. During the journey, Tiana and Naveen develop feelings for each other. Meanwhile, Facilier makes a deal with the voodoo spirits (his “friends on the other side”), offering them the souls of the people of New Orleans; in exchange, the spirits grant Facilier the services of a host of shadow demons, whom he orders to find and capture Naveen.

When the four find Mama Odie after escaping from several of the demons and a trio of bumbling frog hunters, she tells them that Naveen must kiss a true princess to break the spell. They return to New Orleans to find Charlotte, the princess of the Mardi Gras Parade, but only until midnight. Naveen tells Ray he loves Tiana and is willing to give up his dreams for her, but before he can, he is captured by the demons and brought to Facilier. After Ray tells Tiana that Naveen loves her, Tiana goes to the parade to confess her love for Naveen, only to find Lawrence, still masquerading as Naveen, marrying Charlotte. Tiana flees, heartbroken. Ray rescues the real Naveen and steals the charm that disguises Lawrence, finds Tiana, and gives her the charm, explaining the deception. He then turns to hold off the demons so she can escape but is mortally wounded by Facilier in the process. Facilier then offers to make Tiana’s restaurant dream come true in exchange for the talisman. Realizing she would rather be with Naveen and recognizing Facilier’s true intentions, Tiana destroys the tailsman by smashing it on the ground. With Facilier’s plan foiled, Tiana watches the angered voodoo spirits drag Facilier and his shadow into the voodoo spirit world for his debts to them, with his frightened expression placed on a tombstone.

As Lawrence is taken away by the police, Naveen explains everything to Charlotte; Tiana and Naveen reveal their love to each other. Charlotte agrees to kiss Naveen so he and Tiana can be together as people, but the clock strikes midnight, and the kiss fails to work. The couple decides they are content to live together as frogs. Ray dies shortly after, and during his funeral, a new star appears next to Evangeline.

Tiana and Naveen are married by Mama Odie and, because of Tiana’s new status as a princess, are both restored to human form after their kiss. Later they return to New Orleans to legally marry and celebrate and open their new restaurant, with Louis playing in the band.

In reality Tiana never had a job and aspired to nothing! She kissed the FROG, abused her husband and everyone else who loved her, left on a plane to the USA leaving a trail of devastation and destruction behind.

She did not live happily ever after!

Family Court

Dispatches also set up questionnaires online for those who have used the family courts. This is not a representative sample, because those who replied were self-selecting however over 4,000 users responded, including 2,776 mothers and 1,147 fathers, making it the largest ever survey of family court users:

  • Over 2,000 parents said they felt the judge was actively hostile towards them.
  • Among those whose cases had concluded, over 70% of both mothers and fathers were unhappy with the outcome.
  • 67% agreed or strongly agreed that their children’s mental health had been affected by participation in the family court proceedings.
  • Court proceedings were reported to have taken on average 18 months to complete, with 1 in 10 cases lasting more than 5 years. The average cost of proceedings was said to be around £13,000, though 1 in 20 claimed they had spent over £100,000.
  • A 1960 law, intended to protect children, says that nothing that happens in a family court can ever be reported without the express permission of the judge. It is a criminal offence to report what has happened in court and if no-one can ever know the specifics of the problems, they can’t be fixed.

Claire Waxman, Victim’s Commissioner for London, “The family courts need a major overhaul, that secrecy is actually enabling abusers and so it’s really important that we lift the lid off the family courts and we actually understand the court decisions that are made”

Family Courts Uncovered

Judges and magistrates in the Family Court in England and Wales have to make extremely difficult decisions about what is best for children if their parents cannot agree on the arrangements for the children on or after parental separation or divorce. The family courts have seen a steady increase in such applications since 2014, with 55,645 private law children applications made in 2020 (Government Justice Data, 2021). While courts make great efforts to reach decisions that are in children’s best interests, there may be cases where the process and decisions do not best serve children and parents in this discretionary area of law. However, if there are problems with the process or decisions made, the public cannot usually know about this. Section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960 stipulates that the publication of information relating to proceedings brought under the Children Act 1989 is a contempt of court. This legislation, which is intended to protect children, means that nothing about a case can be reported without the court’s permission.

click here to download the full document

C4 Dispatches: devastating decisions by Family Courts

Most legal professionals felt the lower courts, where most cases are heard, are particularly letting down victims of domestic abuse and their children. Four out of five lawyers said magistrates have a poor or very poor understanding of domestic abuse and coercive control. One in three said District Judges also have a poor or very poor understanding of these issues.

More than 2,000 parents felt the judge was actively hostile towards them. More than 70% of both mothers and fathers were unhappy with the outcome. Sixty-seven per cent agreed or strongly agreed that their children’s mental health had been affected by family court proceedings.

Cases take on average 18 months to complete, with one in 10 lasting more than five years. The average cost of proceedings is about £13,000, though one in 20 said they had spent more than £100,000.

“It is essential family court judges, magistrates, professionals and experts have full, trauma-informed training on domestic abuse, as recommended by the Ministry of Justice Harm Panel, and are alive to the tactical use of accusations of parental alienation,” said Dr Barnett.

Fronted by journalist Louise Tickle, who has fought for transparency in the family courts for longer than five years, ‘Torn Apart – Family Courts Uncovered’ airs this evening (Tuesday 20th July) on Channel 4’s Dispatches at 10 pm. Dr Barnett’s full final report publishes later this year. Read her interim report here.

Continue reading “C4 Dispatches: devastating decisions by Family Courts”

Is it legal to hire a private investigator to follow someone UK?

People often ask the question – is it legal to hire a private investigator in the UK? And the simple answer is yes. However, what services a private investigator can offer legally is where confusion can often arise.

Role of Private Investigators in Child Custody Cases

During a child custody investigation, it is important for the parent hiring the private investigator to understand the different types of child custody. Legal custody refers to the right to make legal decisions on behalf of the child. Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child will live. Either type of custody may be sole or joint custody. Sole custody means that one parent has the primary role in the child’s life. Joint means that the parents share the responsibility of the type of custody that is at stake.

Different Roles

A private investigator often plays many different roles in a child custody investigation, including the following:

Interview Witnesses

A private investigator may interview witnesses who may be involved in the child’s life, including neighbors, teachers, counselors, parents of friends and other individuals.

Asset Search

Another important role that a private investigator has is to find assets that may be hidden. If the private investigator can find evidence of this nature, the client can argue that the other parent is attempting to shirk his or her financial obligations to the child.

Gather Evidence

Before a private investigator begins work on the project, he or she generally meets with the client to determine what type of information may be relevant to the case. For example, a parent may know that the other parent hires a babysitter during his or her scheduled time with the child. The person may want evidence that the other party has a romantic partner living with him or her and present during times with the children. Additionally, a private investigator may gather evidence of the parent’s drug or alcohol use when he or she is responsible for the children. In some situations, a private investigator may be able to show that the parent is neglecting or abusing the children.

In other situations, the parent may be concerned about what the other parent is doing during scheduled visits. He or she may be allowing the children to be up late at night and the child’s grades may suffer as a consequence.

A private investigator may take high quality pictures or video of the other parent. These pictures and videos are often taken in public places to avoid any privacy violation claims. Such locations may be in the front yard, park, grocery store or other locations where there is no expectation of privacy.


Battle of the Exes

Our courts have a duty to place the best interest of children first. Unfortunately, this is not always a duty parents take seriously with some often letting personal feelings get in the way and using their kids as pawns in their ongoing battles with their exes.

The Pretoria High Court sent a strong message today that this behaviour is unacceptable, by sentencing a mother to 30 days in jail for denying her ex-husband access to their 3-year-old. The punishment was suspended for five years, as long as the mother allowed her ex-husband access.

In 2011, the mom and her ex entered into a divorce settlement agreement, which was made a binding order of court. They agreed that the child’s dad could see his son every second weekend and during holidays, but despite attempts to exercise his right, the mother outright refused. Consequently,  the mother was found to be in contempt of court for failing to comply with the order. Continue reading “Battle of the Exes”

Erasing Family Documentary About Child Custody After Divorce

The film follows young adults fighting to reunite with their broken families. It took years for the filmmakers to find young adults willing to go on camera to tell their stories as many did not want to talk about being brainwashed to hate a parent after a divorce, due to shame. Family courts are often overwhelmed with cases, and few protocols exist to help these families, forcing them to fight for custody instead of helping them to be co-parents. Yet there is a happy ending as these broken families are being reunited on screen, which will inspire other children to reach out to their own erased parents. It also highlights how showing the reforms to make separation of the parents healthier is urgently needed.

“Joint Custody is still not the norm, and many bar associations oppose making it the default option as there is a lot of money to be made in custody battles,” said Gentile. “Right now, only one state, Kentucky, has such a law passed in 2018.” Continue reading “Erasing Family Documentary About Child Custody After Divorce”