Family Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

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Simply Castle Street

Our next SIMPLY CASTLE STREET is taking place at the beautiful venue, Dash Restaurant & Bar, 15 Victoria Street, Liverpool on Wednesday 29th June, commencing at 9:00am and we would love you to join us. Our events are free, friendly and informal and an ideal opportunity to meet likeminded business individuals and grow your contact…

CASE STUDY – Medical Negligence

We have recently dealt with a medical negligence claim for a client and successfully secured compensation. The claim involved cataract surgery with anaesthetic administered to the Claimant during the same. The client had attended hospital to have cataract surgery. She had a left eye cataract and this was uneventful. She returned to the same hospital…

WE DID IT! – We smashed our target for our “Group Distance Challenge for Ukraine”

We have now completed our “Group Distance Challenge for Ukraine”.  We had set ourselves a target to raise £2,000 for charity UK-Med who are “a frontline medical aid charity. Born of the NHS, we’ve been working for over 20 years towards a world where everyone has the healthcare they need when crises or disasters hit.”…

Mental Health Awareness

Theme The Theme for this years’ Mental Health Awareness Week is Loneliness.

Group Distance Challenge for Ukraine

Staff at Maxwell Hodge Solicitors are participating in a group 6 week challenge (1st April to 13th May), raising funds for Ukraine. 


We are often asked by our clients how much it will cost to bring a claim to court. The answer is wide ranging due to the nature of different disputes and also depending on the complexity of a case and how much work would be involved. Disputes such as Will disputes, contract disputes and property…

How to trace the untraceable?

Has a parent deserted their child with no means of contact? Has your partner deserted you and left you in a financial mess?


If you have had a successful accident claim, then you may be entitled to receive compensation.

No Fault Divorce

As of 6th April 2022, No Fault Divorce proceedings are now made law, marking the end of the ‘Blame Game’ in divorces.  From today, divorces in the UK no longer need grounds and parties can even apply jointly. It is hoped that this change will revolutionise divorce proceedings and provide a more amicable process for…

Paralegal Laura Woods

Maxwell Hodge are delighted to welcome Laura Woods as the company’s new Paralegal in the Lifetime Planning Department.


Half of wills in the North of England are out of date.

The Ockenden Review

The Ockenden Review into failings in maternity care at Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has been published today.

Never Events

NHS England’s website defines “never events” as “.. serious incidents that are entirely preventable because guidance or safety recommendations providing strong systemic protective barriers are available at a national level, and should have been implemented by all healthcare providers”.

LBGTQ+ Community

Here at Maxwell Hodge Solicitors we understand that not all families are the same, but all families matter.


We have successfully completed a claim for a client involved in an accident at work.

Struggling with debt? Help is at hand

Debt can be a daunting thing. A lot of people don’t like to talk about debt because it feels almost “taboo”.

Divorce – Did you know?

From the 6th April 2022, the usual five “proof’s” for a divorce (adultery, behaviour, 2 year separation with consent, 2 year desertion and 5 year separation without consent) will no longer be needed

Simply Castle Street

We are delighted to announce that our “SIMPLY CASTLE STREET” face to face networking returns on Wednesday 30th March 2022, at 10:30am-12 noon – our first “in person” networking event for 2 years!

Case Study – Tripping Accident

We have successfully concluded a claim for one of our clients following a tripping accident

The importance of having your later life affairs in order

The fact is we have an ageing population – healthier lifestyles and medical advances mean that people are living longer

Would you like to meet new business contacts?

Come and join us for a morning of friendly on-line networking – SIMPLY ZOOM TOGETHER – taking place on WEDNESDAY 16TH FEBRUARY, commencing at 9:30am

Neighbour Disputes

During our work, assisting clients with disputes, we often are instructed in connection with breakdowns in relationship between neighbours, primarily over land, which forms the boundary between properties.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a procedure in which independent and professionally trained mediators help those who

Upcoming Highway Code Changes

Changes to the Highway Code will shortly be coming in to force. Here’s what you need to know to avoid an accident or liability

Simply Zoom Together

Our networking events are an ideal opportunity for you to meet new business contacts as well as raising your own profile and promoting your business. Our events are free, friendly and informal.  All attendees are given an opportunity to deliver a short pitch to promote their business. You will also have a chance to speak on…


We have recently concluded a claim for one of our clients following a tripping accident.

Parenting Through Separation

Separation is an incredibly hard time for families and many parents don’t know where to turn for advice. 

Anti-Bullying Week 2021

It was recently Anti-Bullying Week, which took place 15th-19th November. The theme for this year was One Kind Word, which emphasises the significance that our words have and whether how we treat others has a negative or positive impact. Bullying can happen to anyone at any time, whether you are a child at school, a…

“SIMPLY CASTLE STREET” networking is back!

We are delighted to announce that our face-to-face networking “SIMPLY CASTLE STREET” is back.

Medical Negligence Cases

We recognise that not receiving proper medical care can have devastating consequences for you or your loved ones.

Would you like to meet new business contacts?

Would you like to meet new business contacts or develop your existing relationships with local businesses?  If so, book on and join us for our “SIMPLY ZOOM TOGETHER” online networking event, taking place on WEDNESDAY 10TH NOVEMBER 2021, commencing at 9:30am.

Domestic Abuse

Domestic abuse is a growing concern within the UK.   So what help outside of the police force is available for victims of domestic abuse?

RTA – New Changes however Solicitors are still actively involved

Following the changes that came into effect on the 31st May 2021, the Official Injury Claims Portal recently released figures showing that at least 45,718 claims have been submitted through the online Claims Portal between the 31st May and the 31st August 2021.

Is your rented property habitable?

We regularly act for Landlord and Tenants in connection with property disputes and providing advice.


Today is “World Menopause Day” – a day where we can raise awareness and highlight the support available for our health and wellbeing.

Landlord and Tenant – Is this a sign of “normal times”?

As someone who specialises in tenant evictions, the past 19 – 20 months have been somewhat of a whirlwind.


Recently, the government launched a 12-week consultation into the modernisation of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s).


The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been devastating both in the UK and worldwide.


Making the decision to live in a care home is a big step for most people. Whilst living in a care home, residents and their loved ones rightly expect to be well cared for and treated with respect. Unfortunately, this does not always happen.

Medical Negligence – Time Limits for Bringing a Claim

There are time limits for bringing most claims. The time limit for a clinical/medical negligence claim is 3 years from the date of injury, or 3 years from the date of knowledge.

Property Disputes – your questions answered

We are asked many questions about property disputes, but most of the questions relate to co-ownership.

RTA Small Claims

We have been keeping you informed about the changes to RTA claims, which came into force on 31st May 2021.

The Pandemic and Retiring Early – Categories: Retirement Choices

There have been several articles written about people being forced into early retirement due to Covid-19.

Law Society “Excellence in Pro Bono” Award Nomination

We are delighted and proud to have been shortlisted for the Law Society “Excellence in Pro Bono” award for our work in the community.

Small Claims RTA – The Detail Announced

In April 2021, we reported that the Road Traffic Accident (RTA) claims process was changing.

Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week

PURPOSE The purpose of Maternal Mental Health Matters Awareness Week (4-9 May 2021) is to encourage important conversations regarding mental illness during pregnancy and/or after giving birth and signposting women and their families to dedicated organisations offering advice, information and support to enable recovery. The Facts According to The Mental Health Foundation, the most common…

Separation Agreements – An important tool to resolve financial matters amicably

The tech billionaire, Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates have undertaken a Separation Contract prior to announcing their impending divorce. 

Case Study – Accident at Work

We have recently concluded a claim for one of our clients following an accident at work.


The procedure for resolving financial issues that arise when a marriage breaks down has been well tried and tested and will apply whether the issues are being dealt with through mediation, the courts or between solicitors.

The New Small Claims RTA Protocol

On 31st May 2021, a new system will come into force for dealing with whiplash injuries arising out of a road traffic accident (RTA). This system is a complete overhaul of whiplash claims as we know it.

Domestic abuse – an ongoing problem. Some essential guidance.

The recent case of H-N (Children) (Domestic Finding of Fact Hearing) [2021] EWCA Civ 448 highlighted the growing problem of domestic abuse within children cases.

Latest statistics show just over half of couples who separate have Child Maintenance Agreements for their children

In statistics published last week from the Department of Work and Pensions, it was revealed that out of 2.4 million separated families in 2020, only 56% had child maintenance agreements in place.

The Domestic Abuse Bill – More protection is on the way for the victims of domestic abuse

Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard, the issue of domestic abuse is at the forefront of our minds.


You may recently have seen Kate Garraway’s heart-breaking story of her husband Derek’s year-long battle with Covid.  The situation has been made even more complicated by the lack of legal protection she and Derek had in place.


It is positive news for buyers following the Government’s budget announcement.

To defend or not defend? That is the question.

In my many years practicing family law, I have seen a multitude of reasons for filing for divorce raised by Petitioners.

Some practical advice – Same Sex Separation

Figures released by the Office of National Statistics show that the rate of divorce for same sex couples doubled in 2019, compared to the previous year.

Making a Complaint about NHS Treatment

If you believe that you, or a member of your family, have received substandard or negligent care, you may wish to send a letter of complaint to the NHS Trust or the individual responsible for that care.

No Fault Divorce Is Coming Soon

Under the current law, divorce is based on the irretrievable breakdown of marriage supported by proof of one out of five available facts

Five Things to do Before the End of the Tax Year

1.            Top up your ISA One of the most tax-efficient ways to invest is through an individual savings account (ISA).


One of the major problems the UK faces during lockdown is the issue of domestic abuse.

Valentine’s Day & Mental Health

Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to celebrate loving relationships. However, many of us will suffer with our mental health because Valentine’s Day can heighten feelings of loneliness and self-worth.

Pensions and Divorce

When a divorcing couple come to sort out their finances the question of what to do with pensions is often overlooked, avoided or simply swept under the carpet because it is too complicated.

Children’s mental health and separation – How best to deal with separation

With lockdown still in effect in the UK, 2021’s Children’s Mental Health Week has received much more attention than usual with many children experiencing poor mental health whilst at home.

Child Maintenance cases down as more parents agree voluntary arrangements

In figures produced recently by the Department of Work and Pensions, the number of open cases handled by Child Maintenance Services (CMS) has dropped from 75,000 in June 2020, to 71,700 in September 2020.

Children and Young People’s Mental Health

WHY IT MATTERS The Mental Health Foundation states that 1 in 10 children and young people will experience a mental health problem.

Time to Talk Day

Today, Thursday 4th February 2021, is Time to Talk Day.

New guidance to protect victims of domestic abuse in the Family Courts

To attend and give evidence at a Family Court hearing is a daunting prospect for anyone. However, for those who have suffered abuse at the hands of their ex-partner, the stress of attending court will, undoubtedly, be increased.

Blame and Financial awards – A myth in Divorce

In every divorce, irretrievable breakdown of the marriage must be proven to the Court.

Leaving Reviews Online – What you need to consider

The attached article published by Legal Futures highlights the risks involved in leaving online reviews against any business. It seems commonplace these days for many people to turn to online reviews to vent their frustration when a service has not met their expectations. However, the attached article highlights the risks in doing this. If you…

Whiplash Reforms

We reported in March 2020 that the Whiplash reforms had been pushed back due to the Covid-19 health crisis. The Reforms have recently been pushed back again, until May 2021, but are still set to go ahead.

You can run, but you can’t hide

What do you do when your spouse ignores divorce proceedings?


During the current lockdown, you may be faced with the additional difficulty of having to share a home with your spouse or partner at the same time that your relationship breaks down. 

New Year – New Lockdown – How does this affect separated families?

With the announcement that England will once again go into lockdown from 5th January until mid-February 2021 at the earliest, many separated parents may feel anxious about what lies ahead.

Donation to the Woodland Trust

As we come to the end of a very challenging, and difficult year, we wanted to focus on something positive, which is why we have donated to the Woodland Trust.

Christmas and Mental Health

Christmas can be such a wonderful time for many of us as we get to connect with loved ones and spend time with one another. However, Christmas can also have a negative impact on our mental health.

Parents fear over a Covid Christmas

We are now just 10 days away from Christmas. However, a recent survey undertaken for “Action for Children” revealed that 1 in 6 parents want to cancel Christmas!

Maxwell Hodge – Managing Expectations – Stamp Duty Incentive

It may seem like many months away, but the current Stamp Duty Land Tax concession is due to expire on 31st March 2021, which will arrive quicker than you think.

Separation agreements – A good tool to separate amicably

Often for unmarried couples, separation is not only a stressful time because of the breakup of the relationship, but also as a result of the financial uncertainty it brings.

DNAR Orders and the Importance of having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place

The CQC’s review into the application of Do-Not-Attempt-Resuscitate (DNAR) orders during the Covid-19 pandemic reveals incorrect and ageist use.


The overriding rule in matrimonial finances is for the husband and the wife to give full and frank disclosure of their assets. 


Maxwell Hodge are delighted and proud to announce that one of their Trainee Solicitors, Olivia Kilgallon, recently became a fully qualified Solicitor.   Olivia joined Maxwell Hodge on 12th June 2017 as a Paralegal, commencing her Training Contract on 14th April 2019, and subsequently being admitted as a Solicitor on 15th October 2020.   Olivia…

Domestic Abuse – An increase in incidents during lockdown

All across Liverpool, awareness for domestic abuse is prevalent as many of our iconic buildings have recently been lit orange to show the city’s support.

When can a Financial Consent Order be varied?

The courts have once again been called upon to confirm that financial consent orders are final and that the circumstances in which they can be varied and amended remain extremely limited.


Throughout the dealing of your claim, your Solicitor may discuss Limitation. The Limitation Period is the time you have to bring a claim.


With the country in lockdown once again, a number of questions have arisen regarding separated families and contact with children.

CAFCASS Positive Co-Parenting Programme introduced

Court proceedings can be considerably stressful for parents. Often the court is the last resort if there has been little to no agreement reached over children matters.

World Mental Health Day 2020

What is Mental Health?

Gatekeeping Hearings and the Family Court

The Family Court is overwhelmed with applications to resolve disputes between separated parents concerning arrangements for their children. 

Parliamentary Taskforce reports Kinship carers are being failed

In a recent report compiled by the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care, it was revealed that many kinship carers found huge disparities with how cases were being dealt with depending on which local authority was overseeing matters.

Back to School

Returning to school is a big deal for children, particularly in light of Coronavirus and the changes introduced at schools to ensure health and safety, such as social distancing, smaller class groups and different start and finish times, amongst other measures. 

Are you considering separating from your spouse? Here is what you need to know…

There is a common misconception that a trip to the solicitors for some marital advice is the beginning of the end when a couple is going through marital difficulties, with Divorce proceedings following shortly thereafter.

The Impact of COVID-19 on our Mental Health – September 2020

Mental Health & COVID-19 The long-term mental health implications of COVID-19 are currently unknown, but what we do know is that there are several factors to consider.

Serious Injury Claims and Damages

If you have been involved in a serious accident, which was not your fault, which has caused injury, there are two types of damages that you can claim.

Expert Evidence

When you bring a claim for damages following a serious injury, as the Claimant, you must prove that you have suffered an injury which has been caused by the accident.

Can my ex partner stop our child returning to school in September?

For many parents, the end of the school holidays can provide them with a sense of relief.  However, quite understandably, while the Covid-19 outbreak is still around, there is a great deal more hesitation for parents surrounding children returning to school during September.

Landlord Concerns Regarding Eviction Process

In the past few months, the world has been turned upside down, whether the concerns relate to health, wealth or employment situations.

New Survey aims to identify further support needed for Kinship Carers

Kinship carers play a valuable role in children’s lives.  The national charity, Grandparents Plus has launched its “State of the Nation” survey to gather information from kinship carers as to the challenges they currently face.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors announce new Property Team Leader

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors are delighted to announce the appointment of Lisa Neary as their new Leader of the Property Team. Lisa joined the company in October 2015.  She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, having qualified in October 2008. Lisa is based at both Huyton and Woolton offices.  She has 18…

The Importance of making a Lasting Power of Attorney

Have you ever thought to yourself “What would I do if I was no longer able to manage my own affairs?”

I have a Judgment – How can I get my money back?

This is a question that our clients are always worried about when they are owed money by a third party (the Defendant). They may have tried to get their money back by asking both verbally and in writing, yet nothing has been received.

Working Group produces recommendations for the Family Court to take on board in Special Guardianship cases

For many of our clients. we have had to advise that a Special Guardianship report, preceding the appointment of a Special Guardian, can often be lacking.


The division of matrimonial assets on separation can be extremely complex and stressful.  After the marital home, pensions are usually the next most important consideration.


In modern Britain, cohabitation is a more popular option for couples than ever before. Sadly, some cohabiting couples fail to realise that they do not enjoy the same rights and legal protection as a married couple or civil partners


Firstly, not all parents automatically have Parental Responsibility.   All mothers have this but for fathers it can be more problematic.


The stress and commitment required by armed forces personnel can put added stress on a relationship, which in turn can lead to spouses separating. Sadly, for many the damage is irreparable, and often ends in break-up and divorce.


Undertaking a lengthy tour away from home can be tough, spending long periods away from loved ones. This can be even more problematic when a relationship breaks down and there are children making it difficult to continue a relationship with the child.

Remote Hearings

The Family Courts have, in recent months, undergone massive changes as to how they deal with cases. The Covid-19 outbreak has forced Courts to operate almost exclusively remotely.


I am pleased to note that the Divorce, Separation and Dissolution bill is now reaching the final stage before it becomes law, despite the added complication of the Covid-19 outbreak bringing the country into lockdown. The bill aims to introduce the much needed “no fault” divorce and consign the fault based divorce into the dustbin…

Further guidance for separated families during the Covid-19 outbreak

Since late March, the country has been in lockdown. Initially, this presented many separated parents with a great deal of uncertainty with regards to their contact arrangements.

Solicitors, Barristers and Experts – Who’s who?

You will probably come across a number of different professionals during the course of your serious injury claim – but how do you know who they are and what they are doing to assist your claim?

Grandparents’ Contact

During the current Lockdown, with the imposition of social distancing, the important role that grandparents play in children’s lives has been highlighted in the media. 

Settlement / ADR

There are formal processes to try and settle your serious injury claim. These processes are collectively known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Family Law Questions in lockdown

At Maxwell Hodge we get asked many questions and in these uncertain times people may be unclear as to how to find answers. This blog aims to answer some of the key questions facing people in family law.


A Will is one of the most important documents that a person will ever sign, yet surprisingly 2 out of 3 adults die without leaving a valid Will.

Claims involving disputes and litigation during lockdown

The Covid-19 health crisis has meant that we are mostly confined to our homes, working from home, home schooling our children and trying to stay safe.

Stress Awareness

To highlight stress awareness this year, our Mental Health First Aid Team asked the Board of Directors what stress management means to them and the techniques they use to overcome stress:

Stress Awareness

What is Stress? Stress is the body’s reaction to change. Naturally, we use physical, mental and emotional responses to deal with any change that requires an adjustment or response and therefore, stress is a normal part of life.

Claims involving medical negligence and personal injury during lockdown

The Covid-19 health crisis has meant that we are mostly confined to our homes, working from home, home schooling our children and trying to stay safe. Except for Key Workers, life is almost entirely on hold. However, for some of our clients they still have claims which require attention.

Breaking up isn’t hard to do

The issue of movement during lockdown is a hot topic at the moment. It is of particular interest to those people who were contemplating separation when the lockdown was announced or have decided to separate during or because of the lockdown.

Personal Injury Trusts

If your serious injury claim is successful and you are awarded damages or agree a settlement, it is likely that you will have a significant amount of money to deal with.

Remote hearings during the Covid-19 outbreak

The increase in use of technology has been on the Family Court’s agenda for a number of years now.  However, the current Covid-19 outbreaks have propelled the Courts forward into embracing new technology.

Domestic Abuse – The Concerns during the Covid-19 Lockdown

The issue of domestic abuse is a long-standing concern within the UK. Obviously with the current lockdown, many domestic abuse campaigners remain concerned about the impact this will have on those victims of domestic abuse.

Can’t pay or won’t pay? Maintenance and Covid-19

Whilst the Covid-19 virus is sweeping across the world and taking lives, it is also taking the livelihood away from people and reducing income.  If you have been paying maintenance to your ex-partner what can you do if you have lost your job or are on furlough?

The Marriage Minefield

With the increase of online divorce providers, many people are turning away from specialist lawyers when they want a divorce and instead opting to go online to “speed up” the process. But this approach doesn’t always mean a smooth ride.

Whiplash Reforms

The Civil Liability Act 2018 brought about proposed changes to Road Traffic Accident claims. These changes are not yet in force however, statutory instruments are being passed through parliament to bring in these changes. The changes should have been in force in April 2020 however, have now been pushed back to August 2020. With the…

Further guidance to parents with Child Arrangements Orders

Following Boris Johnson’s announcement indicating that we all should remain home for the next 3 weeks, many separated parents with children were left confused as to what this may mean for their child arrangements.

Government Guidance on Contact Arrangements

As many of us watched on last night’s news, Boris Johnson made the incredible announcement that we will only be allowed to leave our homes in a very limited set of circumstances namely;

Part 36 Offers

Your Solicitor will discuss the potential to settle your claim throughout the claims process. Medical evidence will be needed to value your injuries together with any other reports to value your financial losses. Our Guides on Damages and Expert Evidence detail these processes.

Common myths in children matters

Continuing with our series of articles on common myths in family law, this article aims to remedy some of the mistruths our clients are being told:

S.H.A.R.E. – 5 top tips on domestic abuse

Personal safety is a huge issue within the UK. Domestic abuse can take many forms including violence, verbal abuse and controlling behaviour. It is therefore vitally important to know what protection is available to you. Remember, you don’t have to put up with abuse of any sort, so do seek help.

Common myths in Divorce and Financial Remedy Matters

For many of the clients we see at our offices, the first meeting with a lawyer can be a daunting prospect. One contributing factor to this is the number of myths that exist within family law, with clients very often being given misleading information prior to attending an appointment. This article aims to dispel a…

Issuing a Claim and the Court Process

A Solicitor may have to issue a claim for a number of reasons. If liability is in dispute, a settlement cannot be reached or there is a deadline approaching for your claim, then court proceedings may be issued. Issued means sending the details of your claim to the court. The court will then process the…

Mental Health on Valentine’s Day

Loneliness, low self-esteem and difficulty managing mental health in a relationship can all heighten due to Valentine’s day and whether or not we are in a loving relationship, we can all feel left out on days like Valentine’s day.

Thinking of using a ‘trust scheme’ to save care home fees?

The financial press often report on families being put at risk by unregulated firms promising to help them avoid care fees and inheritance tax.


Whether your close relationship is a married one or not, break-up and separation is a painful process. P.A.U.S.E. for thought …..

Serious Injury Claims and Damages

If you have been involved in a serious accident, which was not your fault, which has caused injury, there are two types of damages that you can claim.


When a relationship breaks down, it can be an extremely stressful and uncertain time. There are often legal implications when a relationship ends:


Since the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority was first introduced in 1964 victims of violent crimes could make a claim against the Government for the injuries they suffered. This was introduced as a way of allowing the victim to recover what they should have received from their assailant by way of compensation.

Healthy Habits

Habits provide the basis for our most positive outcomes in life; mindfulness, becoming fitter/stronger and giving work our full attention – but our habits nevertheless create most of the problems that we encounter in our lives, such as getting lost for hours on social media instead of being present for the people we love.


It has been recently reported that the Divorce, Separation and Dissolution Bill is again being brought before parliament. The Bill, which aims to introduce the much needed “no fault” divorce, has been re-introduced to parliament following formation of the new government.

Make “putting your affairs in order” a priority for this year

After the excesses of Christmas have been enjoyed, thoughts often turn to New Year’s Resolutions that many of us struggle to maintain. This year, in addition to perhaps exercising more, eating healthier and drinking less, let us at Maxwell Hodge offer some other considerations for 2020: Make a new Will or review your existing one,…

Evidence and Proving Your Claim

Depending on the type of accident which has caused your serious injury, your Solicitor will be particularly interested in any evidence you have to prove your case. As the Claimant, the burden of proving the other party is at fault rests with you.


One of the most difficult aspects when choosing a solicitor is having trust and confidence in them. Where do you start and how do you make the right choice?


With the start of 2020 comes a day which many solicitors call “Divorce Day.” On the 2nd January, many family solicitors see an increase in new enquiries.

Case Management, Rehabilitation and Interim Payments

In an accident involving a serious injury, it is essential to secure an early admission of liability in order to obtain the crucial treatment needed to aid a client’s recovery.

Care Home Fees

Deciding to get help with care is a stressful time. Placing yourself or a loved one in care is a difficult decision that often comes at a time when you do not have time to consider the legalities of care services.

A lack of District Judges to have “adverse consequences” on Family cases

In an annual report published by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, it has been indicated that the shortage of District Judges will have adverse consequences for family and civil courts.

Christmas arrangements for children, plan now to avoid an “un-merry Christmas”

We are now just under a month away from Christmas. Whilst for many of us we haven’t even thought about putting up the Christmas decorations, for separating couples, urgent thought needs to be given to the arrangements for their children.

Bills to Fail on the Dissolution of Parliament

With a general election on the horizon it spells disaster for those who were reliant on the Domestic Abuse Bill and Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill being passed by parliament.

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” but also a time when stress levels soar.

Christmas can cause high levels of stress, pressure and conflict.

Maxwell Hodge hold “Blooming Great Tea Party” raising funds for Marie Curie

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors recently hosted a “Blooming Great Tea Party” raising much needed funds for Marie Curie Hospice, Liverpool who celebrate their 60th anniversary this year.

Mental Health Awareness Day

Maxwell Hodge has a legal duty of care to all employees, which means that all possible steps need to be taken to protect individual wellbeing and provide necessary, and sometimes crucial, support. Maintaining a healthy workplace is a priority.

Co-Parenting, Consent Orders and the Courts

For many separating couples, they will have heard of the term of “co-parenting.” The official definition is “to share the duties of the upbringing of a child”. But in reality, what does that mean for separating couples?

Mental Health First Aider Training – Julie Sowery

I recently attended Mental Health First Aider in the Workplace Course along with Claire, Kris and Sarah. It was a two day course which proved to be quite intense and in turn, emotionally and mentally challenging.


The purpose of divorce is to allow a couple in an unhappy marriage to go their separate ways and to afford them the opportunity to remarry at a later date.

Deal or no deal? That is the question!

Does it make good sense to leave a marriage without a deal?

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors raise funds in aid of Wirral Hospice St John’s

During April, Heswall and West Kirby branches of Maxwell Hodge Solicitors participated in “Make a Will Month” whereby Andrea Ashton and Marie Granby prepared Wills for clients, free of charge, in return for a donation to the hospice.


During May, Maxwell Hodge Solicitors, participated in “Make a Will” month, whereby Maxwell Hodge drew up client’s simple Wills free of charge in return for a donation to St Joseph’s Hospice.

5 Top Tips When Dealing with Child Contact

Going through a relationship breakdown can be an extremely stressful time for children as well as parents. Often the child can be in the middle of this.   Its important for parents to put together plans for the child at an early stage. These tips will help parents in reaching suitable agreements.

5 Top Tips About Divorce

Divorce very often can cause a great deal of stress and worry. Very often with Divorce matters clients are afraid of the unknown and seek out advice before deciding to go through the process. It is therefore important to know what is involved…

5 top tips on Domestic Abuse Matters

Personal safety is a huge issue within the UK. The office of national statistics in their latest figures in November 2018 announced that 7.9% women (1.3 Million) and 4.2% of men (695,000) had experienced some form of domestic abuse within the previous 12 months. With these shocking statistics it is vitally important to know what…

Taking Children Abroad

It is not uncommon for parents during the school holidays to plan trips abroad. However, for those who have separated from their partner, they may not be aware that in the absence of a Court Order, permission is needed.


One of Liverpool’s longest established independent Solicitors, Maxwell Hodge are delighted to have chosen Everton in the Community (“EitC”) as their new charity of the year.


Many questions are being raised with regards to what will happen to family legal disputes involving marriages, maintenance and children where one of the parties lives in the EU.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors working with the next generation of lawyers

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors have announced partnerships with all four Merseyside universities; the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University, Hope University and Edge Hill University.

Understanding Pensions and Pension Sharing

After the family home, pensions are usually the next most important consideration on the breakup of a marriage. Sometimes pensions can be the most valuable assets.

Impending Disrepair Claims for Tenants

The Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 comes in to force on 20th March 2019.

Dispelling the Myth of “common law marriage”

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the number of couples living together has doubled over the last 20 years to just over 3.3 million. More concerning are the figures produced by the British Social Attitudes Survey, which show 46 per cent of the public are under the impression when…

Changes to Personal Injury Claims

Government Minister Lord Keen of Elie has confirmed that a statutory instrument to increase the small claims limits in Personal Injury cases will be brought forward in the second half of this year.

Rising number of grandparents applying to Court to spend time with their grandchildren

It’s a very said day when we have to report that the number of grandparents having to apply to Court for an Order to see their grandchildren. 

Landlord and Tenant Evictions – Don’t get it wrong

Dealing with nuisance tenants can sometimes be more of a worry than a problem.

S.T.A.N.D. – 5 Top Tips to Sort Out Marital Finances

By far, the most difficult aspect of divorce is disentangling the couple’s financial arrangements and dividing the marital assets going forward. These 5 top tips will assist you in sorting things out amicably and fairly.

Michael Pratt, Family Lawyer celebrates 30 years’ service with Maxwell Hodge Solicitors

Congratulations to Michael Pratt, Family Team Co-ordinator at Maxwell Hodge Solicitors who celebrates 30 years’ service with the company.


Going through a Divorce can be extremely stressful. Here are 5 top tips to consider when considering a Divorce.

C.H.I.L.D. – 5 Top Tips when dealing with child contact

Children right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. A common misconception is parental rights to a relationship with a child. This is wrong, it is the child’s right to a relationship with their parents. However, careful consideration also needs to be given as to any prospective risk of harm posed to that child…

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors appoint new Company Director

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors, which has eight offices across Merseyside and the Wirral, is delighted to announce the appointment of Kristina Stoddern as Company Director. The company, who have been established for over 150 years, already have four Directors on their Board.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors Support Knowsley Foodbank’s New Campaigns

It is a sad reality of life that unfortunately, for some people, foodbanks can be an absolute lifeline. Foodbanks rely on donations and the support from local communities – there are ten foodbanks in the Knowsley area alone.

What are Special Damages?

If you have been involved in an accident which was not your fault, there are two types of damages which you can claim for.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors raise further funds for their Charity of the Year

On Wednesday 26th September 2018, Maxwell Hodge Solicitors held their final fundraising event to raise further funds for their Charity of the Year, Ronald McDonald House, Alder Hey, Liverpool, an independent charity affectionately known as “Mac House”.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors host Macmillan Coffee Morning

On Friday 28th September 2018, five branches from Maxwell Hodge Solicitors across Liverpool and the Wirral hosted their Coffee Mornings to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The Square Bar and Grill in Maghull had kindly offered to host the Coffee Morning for our Maghull branch and had provided all teas and coffees. We had…

Don’t keep putting it off – make it a priority to get your affairs in order!

Getting Organised (Legally speaking!) with Maxwell Hodge

Trainee Legal Executive awarded national St John Ambulance Award

Merseyside and Wirral Solicitors, Maxwell Hodge, nominated Adam French, a trainee Legal Executive at their Maghull branch, for the Workplace Hero category of the St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards after he had successfully performed CPR on a gentleman who had suffered a cardiac arrest whilst visiting their office.

Government launches consultation on No Fault Divorce

Justice Secretary David Gauke announced last weekend that the government will undertake a consultation on the issue of no fault Divorce.

Housing Disrepair Claims

Do you know what your rights are?

Unmarried Mothers do not have to be left out in the cold

Legal reform for unmarried couples is slow in coming.

Owens v Owens – The need for the “No Fault Divorce”

The judgement in the recent Supreme Court Appeal case of Owens and Owens was not what many people hoped for.

Maxwell Hodge see increase in Harassment Claim Enquiries

Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 it is a criminal offence for someone to Harass you. The act also creates a civil cause of action for individuals who are subject to Harassment.

Be prepared – don’t leave important decisions about your finances and health and personal care in the hands of strangers!

Clients often have questions about Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) – they may not be entirely clear what a LPA is, why one might be needed and when they should apply for one.

New report warns of looming incapacity crisis

96% of people in the North West leave important health and welfare decisions to chance By 2025, more than 13 million people who are at risk of mental incapacity will not be prepared 73% would like a family member to make medical and care decisions on their behalf, in the event of mental incapacity 78%…

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors raise funds in aid of Wirral Hospice St John’s

Heswall and West Kirby branches of Maxwell Hodge Solicitors participated in “Make a Will Month” in April, and are pleased to announce that they raised £2,070 in aid of Wirral Hospice St John’s. 

Changes to definition of package holiday helps those booking on the internet

The Package Travel and Linked Travel Arrangements 2018 apply to holidays booked from 1st July this year. They extend the definition of package holidays and introduce the concept of linked travel arrangements.


When you make a decision to have work done on your home, time is spent considering what sort of work is required, who should do it and how much you can afford to pay. These are all important decisions, which can be difficult.

A Step in the Right Direction…

A landmark case at The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed an appeal to establish that a heterosexual couple have the right to enter into a civil partnership.

Parents under Pressure – a programme helping adults with drug and alcohol issues

Unfortunately many children cases in Court involve parents with drug and alcohol problems, which have a major impact on their ability to parent a child.

Don’t let Domestic Violence “Kick Off” during the next round of the World Cup

With England making it through to the next round of the World Cup, tensions will be running high amongst the team as they prepare for the next round.   Don’t let the World Cup impact on you and your family, statistics show that there is an increase in domestic violence during football tournaments.


When parents separate they each retain their parental rights. A departing parent who is no longer caring for the children may believe that they have lost their Parental Responsibility. However, this is just a myth.   Parental Responsibility only can end on the making of a court Order and not on the ending of a relationship…

Understanding Pensions and Pension Sharing

Trying to deal with the division of matrimonial assets on separation can be extremely complex and stressful. After the marital home, pensions are usually the next most important consideration.


One major issue affecting a number of armed forces personnel is that of child contact following the breakdown of a relationship.   Very often following separation the former spouse can make it difficult for a parent to continue a relationship with a child.

Divorce and the Armed Forces

An issue that often affects armed forces personnel is relationship breakdown and divorce.

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors provide schools and nurseries with training on family issues

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors have just announced that they are offering free guidance sessions to schools and nurseries on family issues such as Parental Responsibility, Live with and Spend time with Orders.

The Future of Injury Claims

The Future of Personal Injury claims is set to drastically change in the next 12 months with changes to RTA legislation anticipated by April 2019 with further changes to come. The detail is still largely unknown to most practitioners and concerns are that the public will no longer have the access to justice they need.

Injury Claims against Untraced Drivers

In 2003 the Untraced Driver’s Agreement came into force with the Motor Insurers Bureau controlling a central pot to compensate injured victims involved in accidents with untraced drivers. This agreement was designed to allow victims to make a claim for injuries resulting out of “hit and run” accidents. The agreement imposed certain conditions which the…

Property Disputes Can Be Costly

One of the most valuable assets to us is our home. If you own a property, you need to ensure that it is taken care of and that there are no issues which could result in the property being worth less than market value. A number of unexpected issues can mean that your property is…

CAFCASS Study reveals reasons for why cases return to Court

A recent study published by CAFCASS has highlighted reasons why children cases return to Court, sometimes again and again.

The Split – Divorce Fiction

As a family lawyer, I was told by many of my friends about a series starting on BBC1 on 25th April 2018 called “the Split.” The series centres around the issue of Divorce and with a cast of Anthony Head, Nicola Walker, Stephen Tomkinson and Meera Syal, I had high hopes for this new legal…

Parental arguments and the impact on children

In research recently published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, it has been revealed that parental conflict can place children at severe risk of mental health problems and future psychiatric disorders.

Could the wrong car seat prevent contact from taking place?

In February 2017, new laws were brought in to force requiring children weighing less than 22kg or with a height of less than 125cm must have a proper car seat, not a backless or a booster type of seat. The new law has created a great deal of confusion with many parents still unsure what…

Can Cohabitation work after a Divorce?

I was surprised to recently read that Katie Price, who is currently going through her third divorce, has stated that she is happy for her soon to be ex-husband to remain in the family home and be around their children and to work on her farm.

Maxwell Hodge Further Strengthens Family Team

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors have expanded their Family team with the appointment of Solicitor Margaret Agnew

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors raise funds in aid of Local Charity

L-R:     Natalie Allcock, Darren White (Solicitor), Kelly Monaghan (Solicitor) and Gillian Wilson (Fundraising Manager at Mac House)

Power of attorney refunds

If you have registered either an Lasting Power of Attorney or an Enduring Power of Attorney between the dates 1st April 2013 to 31st March 2017 then either the Donor or the Attorney can apply to the Office of Public Guardian for a refund of fees.


From 1st of April 2018 Landlords must meet the maximum energy levels regarding residential properties. If not, they will face a fine of up to £5,000.

Grandparents Contact

I recently heard about a Worcester grandmother who was so upset at the closure of a support group set up her own group for grandparents separated from their grandchildren.

Time for a change, time to get advice

A new year brings a lot of New Years Resolutions. Traditionally gym memberships rise, dieting clubs see a vast increase in their numbers and solicitors see an increased number of family enquiries.

Making a claim against an Uninsured or Untraced Driver

What happens if I am in an accident with an Untraced or Uninsured Motorist?


One of Liverpool’s longest established independent Solicitors, Maxwell Hodge, has chosen Ronald McDonald House Alder Hey, Liverpool as their charity of the year.

Dealing with Claims against Estates

We have recently helped clients whose late Mother had made a Will however had not gifted in equal shares to her children. The Will provided a payment of £1,000 to adult child 1 and the residue of the Estate (the remainder of the net Estate) was to be split between adult children 2 and 3….

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors forge links with all four Liverpool Universities

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors have just announced exciting new partnerships with the legal departments of all four of Liverpool’s Universities. The company, which has 8 branches across Merseyside and Wirral, are assisting the Universities both with student and solicitor led legal clinics, mentoring and offering opportunities to students to shadow their lawyers. Claire Banks, Director of…

Great news for parents seeking Child Support.

I was really pleased to hear that the government intends to close a legal loophole which currently prevents the Child Maintenance Service from taking child support payments out of a jointly held account.


When you make a decision to have work done on your home, time is spent considering what sort of work is required, who should do it and how much you can afford to pay. These are all important decisions, which can be difficult.

CAFCASS to take steps to address “Parental Alienation”

Parental Alienation is the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members.

New Family Fixed Fees

We recognise that going through a relationship breakup or dealing with a family situation can be a stressful and confusing time.  You need to know your options. 

New guidance for protection of domestic abuse victims

In court proceedings involving children, the primary consideration for the court is the wellbeing of the child. When parents are themselves victims of domestic abuse, their wellbeing is often overlooked or ignored.

Maxwell Hodge raise £1,170.17 for MacMillan Cancer Support!

On the 29th September 2017, Maxwell Hodge hosted coffee mornings across Liverpool and the Wirral to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Personal Guarantees and Business

We often get asked by clients about personal guarantees in business. They usually want to know if it will help their business get credit and what it means to be a guarantor. Some businesses cannot get loans or credit without a guarantor. So, what does this mean for your business or you personally?

Compensation Explained

Personal Injury claims have had quite a lot of bad press of late. There are suggestions that individuals who have been involved in accidents are claiming compensation when they have not been injured and just make claims as a matter of course. Insurers claim that for people in say a road traffic accident, a claim…

Too many new Family applications to the Court

I was very concerned to recently read that official government statistics appear to be indicating that between April and June 2017 there had been 13,029 more private law cases appearing before the family courts when compared to last year.   In many of these cases the parties are said to be unrepresented. Since the changes brought…

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors name Ronald McDonald House as its Charity of the Year

Maxwell Hodge Solicitors, have selected Ronald McDonald House, affectionately known as Mac House, an independent charity based in the grounds of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, as their Charity of the Year, and the organisation aims to raise £3,500.

Service Charges Claims set to rise?

Leasehold properties, regardless of length of term, will usually make provision for the Landlord, or Freeholder, to charge a service charge for the services the Landlord is obliged to provide under the terms of the lease.

Property Disputes and Joint Owners – What happens when one owner wants to sell?

We are often contacted by clients who own a property with a partner or spouse however that relationship has broken down and they wish to move on. Often they will want to sell the property but the other owner refuses and wants to stay in the property.

Court of Appeal dismisses wife’s bid for an equal share of the matrimonial assets

The recent case of Hart v Hart caused some controversy because the Court ruled that an unequal division of the matrimonial assets was fair even though the parties had been married for over 23 years.

Local solicitor warns changes to Powers of Attorney may leave older and vulnerable at risk

Local solicitor Andrea Ashton from Maxwell Hodge Solicitors, who have 8 offices across Wirral and Merseyside has joined fellow members of Solicitors for the Elderly in warning against proposals to turn the LPA registration process fully digital.

MacMillan Coffee Morning 29th September!

Cancer. A word that everybody dreads, but sadly the vast majority of us are too familiar with. Whether you have been affected by cancer yourself or it was a loved one who went through the turmoil, we can all agree it is an extremely difficult time for everyone involved.

Clamp Down on Bogus Holiday Sickness Claims

The Government have announced plans to clamp down on bogus holiday sickness claims.

The “No Fault” Divorce – A necessity in the modern age.

The trauma of the breakdown of a relationship can be significant.   It is not helped when one party has to make accusations about the other.

The Misbehaving Executor

When someone close to you dies it can be a difficult time, both emotionally and practically. If that person has left a will you may find that you have been appointed to act as one of the executors.

Mediation as a way forward

Despite our best of intentions, and no matter what systems we have in place, difficulties can occur, giving rise to conflict, both within the internal workings of our business and with third parties.

Manual Handling and Repeat Tasks at Work

Are you struggling with pain due to manual handling and repeat tasks at work? We can help with that.

The dangers of social media

Following the end of a relationship when feelings run high, it is tempting to go onto social media and vent your frustration. However, I would urge anyone who intends to do this to proceed with caution. Why? Your social media posts could lead you into a lot of trouble.

My child won’t go to contact – What do I do? Some practical advice.

I was recently reminded about a common problem in children cases that is not often written about.  What do you do if your child does not want to spend time with the other parent following a separation?

Manual Handling and Repeat Tasks

Mrs Goget is employed by a well-known retailer and major employer. Her job is to keep the shelves stocked. Largely, she works alone. Mrs Goget has been doing this job for a number of years but, more recently, her employer has been short staffed and Mrs Goget has been required to work extra hours.

When is a final order not a final order?

On the 26th July 2017 the Supreme Court ruled in favour of a wife who sought to vary the terms of a financial consent order made at the time of her divorce.

Who’s the best person for the job?

Last weekend many people sat with bated breath watching the men’s singles final at Wimbledon.  But not everyone watching the final was a tennis fan.  The BBC had cleverly told viewers that they would be announcing the 13th incarnation of Dr Who immediately after the match. The 13th Doctor will be played by Jodie Whittaker,…

Landmark Ruling on Pension entitlement for same sex couples

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that The Equality Act 2010 should not prevent same sex couples benefiting from pension funds.

Debts Claims – New Rules

As from the 1st of October 2017, new legislation will come into effect which will effect how debt claims are conducted and will slow down the speed of recovering money from debtors. The Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (The Protocol) will come in to force, but what effect will this have on you?

Road Traffic Accidents: Back to Basics

Frequently asked questions in relation to making a road traffic accident claim.


Maxwell Hodge recently participated in ‘Make a Will’ month in April which was an excellent opportunity for the public to make or update their Will.

Have you made provisions for all of your loved ones in your will?

There are approximately 20 million animals kept as pets in the UK. One in every two households in the UK have at least one pet.

Potholes – A Liverpool Pandemic

Potholes in the road are a popular discussion topic in Liverpool at the moment as the Council say they don’t have enough funds to repair the current defective roads and pavements. Joe Anderson has recently stated that funds of around £400 million are needed to fix the current road crisis in Liverpool. It is believed…

Litigation – it doesn’t have to mean Court

Most clients these days have heard about alternative dispute resolution and will be familiar with what this means however, when in the heat of a legal dispute, these alternatives to the expense of Court proceedings can often be forgotten. It is worth noting that some disputes cannot be resolved without the Court’s help however for…

How long is the Guarantor of a Tenancy liable for?

You have agreed to act as Guarantor and signed an Assured Shorthold Tenancy Agreement for a family member or friend. The lease Agreement was for a fixed period which has now expired. The landlord is now looking to you for payment of the rent but the lease has expired. Why then are you liable to…

Changes to Probate Tax

In their 2015 election manifesto the Conservative party pledged to take the family home out of tax by increasing the effective inheritance tax threshold for married couples and civil partners to £1million.

Is it too late to claim?

Dealing with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, more commonly known as the CICA can be a stressful and emotional time. This can be why people don’t claim. But when is it too late to claim?

Budget Changes and Residential Property

From a purely property perspective, the 2017 Budget was hardly ground breaking and criticism would not be unfair when applied to the Budget as a whole. Changes that could affect the residential housing market were in truth few and far between.

Netball Team Scores with Legal Sponsor

Leading Law Firm Maxwell Hodge Solicitors are proud to announce that they are the official sponsors of Phoenix Netball, who are based in South Liverpool and regularly train at Liverpool Hope University.

The Two Faces of Family Justice

It is interesting to compare and contrast two recent reported decisions.

Chief Executive in the Running

Businessman Simon Leyland will swap his suit for his running shoes on the 2nd June 2017 to raise funds for Dementia UK.

Probate Fees Set To Soar

In spite of overwhelming protest from solicitors, the government are pressing ahead with a massive hike in probate fees to prop up a struggling court system. For estates worth more than £50,000, fees will increase from the current flat rate of £155 to between £300 and £20,000 depending on the value of the estate.

Giving you peace of mind

A Will is one of the most important documents that a person will ever sign, yet surprisingly 2 out of 3 adults die without leaving a valid Will. This can cause a great deal of uncertainty at what is already a very difficult and emotional time for those left behind.

The Whitechapel Centre – charity of the year

One of Liverpool’s longest established independent Solicitors, Maxwell Hodge has, for a second year, made The Whitechapel Centre their charity of the year.

Making Legal Services More Affordable for Clients

Did you know that if you are involved in a legal dispute or claim and you get stuck along the way, you don’t always need a Solicitor to take over dealing with the whole case for you.

NHS Whistle-Blowers: “fired, gagged & blacklisted”

Across the NHS on a daily basis, hundreds of thousands of people undoubtedly receive excellent care and treatment from dedicated doctors and nurses.


Sunday 4th December marked the 12th annual Liverpool Santa Dash which has become a firm favourite in the run-up to the festive season. This year some of our Maxwell Hodge team took part.


Leading Liverpool Law firm Maxwell Hodge Solicitors say a fond farewell to Carol Head as she retires as Business Services Director from the company after 20 years of service.  Carol was appointed in 1996 by the then named Maxwell Entwistle & Byrne as Practice Manager and was originally based at their Huyton Branch in Sherborne…


This month marks the one year anniversary of leading law firm Maxwell Hodge’s Woolton Branch. The company decided to launch its South Liverpool Office in November 2015, after the success of its other 8 branches, which are spread across Liverpool and the Wirral.