Divorce reforms

As reported in the wider press, the Ministry of Justice has announced ground-breaking changes to our current 50-year-old divorce laws. Proposals for changes to the law are intended to reduce hostility for the family involved. They will include:
Retaining the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as the sole ground for divorce
Replacing the requirement to provide evidence of a ‘fact’ around behaviour or separation with a requirement to provide a statement of irretrievable breakdown
Retaining the two-stage legal process currently referred to as decree nisi and decree absolute
Creating the option of a joint application for divorce, alongside retaining the option for one party to initiate the process
Removing the ability to contest a divorce
Introducing a minimum timeframe of 6 months, from petition stage to final divorce (20 weeks from petition stage to decree nisi; 6 weeks from decree nisi to decree absolute).
Lifetime ISA and other retirement considerations
One of the first things you should do if you’re serious about saving for retirement is open a tax-efficient savings/investment account that’s designed for retirement saving. This kind of account will help you grow your retirement money far more effectively. Some of the best accounts to consider are the SIPP (Self-Invested Personal Pension), the Stocks & Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account), and the Lifetime ISA. All of these accounts enable you to hold a broad range of investments including stocks, funds, and ETFs while sheltering capital gains and income from the tax man. I’d forget about a Cash ISA as this is pretty much useless for retirement saving due to the fact that interest rates are so low. Any money in a Cash ISA is going to lose money over time.
Even if you have a workplace pension in place, opening a SIPP or an ISA to save a little more for retirement could turn out to be a great move in the long run. Next, look to take advantage of the generous bonuses that the government is handing out to those who are willing to save for retirement. So, for example, the SIPP comes with 20% tax relief for basic-rate taxpayers. This means if you pay in £800, your contribution will be topped up by HMRC to £1,000. Similarly, the Lifetime ISA also comes with attractive bonuses. Pay in £1,000 and your account will be topped up to £1,250. Finally, spend some time thinking about your asset allocation. This is the mix of different assets in your portfolio. This step is really important as it will have a big impact on your overall returns. For example, if 90% of your money is sitting in cash earning 1%, your wealth isn’t going to grow at a high rate.

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