Monthly Archives: December 2016

No-Fault divorces are a no-brainer, says legal experts

John Robinson, a divorce solicitor at Cygnet Law


Cygnet Law, the Redcar-based Law Specialist, has added its voice to the call for the end of the divorce blame game.

Cygnet is arguing that current legal requirements, which dictate, that unless one of the couple attributes fault to the other, separating couples must wait at least two years to have the termination of their relationship legally recognised, is out-dated and is in desperate need of an overhaul.

This quirk in legislation means that in cases of amicable divorce, some couples may be tempted to falsely claim adultery or rely on unreasonable behaviour grounds that are contentious or will cause upset as the course of their separation order to accelerate the process.

John Robinson, a Director and Divorce Specialist at Cygnet Law, believes that a modernisation of the legislation is urgently required. He said: “No-fault divorces seems like a no brainer to me. Forcing couples to drag out their divorces or pin the blame on one another can cause bitterness and further damage the relationship.”

“Going through a divorce is straining as it is, without being made more trying by forcing couples into arguments.

“In my experience, a large number of divorcing couples have taken a mutual decision to split, and delaying the process achieves nothing in those circumstances.”

John rejects suggestions that no-blame divorces would increase the overall number of divorces, arguing instead that the introduction may increase the number of couples using a mediator: “If couples do not have to be hostile in terms of the ground for the divorce then it is more likely they will remain amicable enough to discuss matters through a Mediator and hopefully resolve things without having to resort to the Court. Simplifying the divorce procedure will also free up valuable court time.”

Cygnet Law gives the gift of giving to The Junction



Cygnet Law is channelling the charitable spirit of Christmas to help support vulnerable young people in Tees Valley.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the team at the Redcar-based legal firm collected presents for an initiative organised by The Junction Foundation, a local charity, which provides support to vulnerable, children, young people and their families across the region.

The gifts will be given directly to children and families in the community who may need an act of kindness during the festive period, including those who find themselves without a home, are unemployed and struggling to make ends meet, young carers and young parents.

Lawrence McAnelly, Chief Executive at The Junction Foundation, said: “The Christmas period is a time for celebrating with friends and family, but for many young people in Tees Valley this is not the case.

“Last December we worked with 243 young people and children from the region, and have seen a 25 percent year on year increase in the numbers of people we have been working with. We expect similar numbers this year. These are youngsters who, through no fault of their own, might not have a merry Christmas.

“Thanks to Cygnet Law, we will be able to put a smile on the face of some of the amazing young people we support. Just a small token can be enough to let someone know that there are people out there who care about them, which can make all the difference.”

Stacey Phoenix, a solicitor at Cygnet Law, said: “Cygnet’s work means that we often see first-hand the unfortunate circumstances in which some people find themselves, some of whom receive support from The Junction. I know from my own experiences that The Junction does fantastic work, which has a massive impact when it comes to improving the lives of young vulnerable people in the area.”

Legal expert joins mental health charity’s board

stacey phoenix

Cygnet Law’s Stacey Phoenix has joined the Board of Directors of local mental health charity, Redcar & Cleveland Mind.

In her Trustee position, Stacey, a solicitor at Redcar-based Cygnet Family Law, will be involved in the executive decision-making process about the organisation’s future direction and strategy.

Cygnet Law, which offers specialist mental health related legal services, already has strong connections with Redcar & Cleveland Mind. At its first annual walk to raise money for the charity, partners at the legal firm signed the Time to Change Employer Pledge, which marks its commitment to tackling mental health stigma and fostering a positive working environment.

Stacey Phoenix said: “I’m very proud to be joining the Board of Redcar and Cleveland Mind. As someone who’s lived all my life in Redcar I’m delighted that my work as a Trustee will enable me to bring real influence to an organisation that changes the lives of the people in my own community.

Through my work at Cygnet Law I have seen first-hand the fantastic work that Redcar & Cleveland Mind do with local people to help them address their mental health problems.

“I’m looking forward to helping shape the future of Redcar & Cleveland Mind, spreading the word about the impact of its work, and helping to ensure that this amazing charity is able to continue to provide much needed support to the people of Redcar and Cleveland.”

Redcar & Cleveland Mind’s Chair, Samantha Tullock, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have Stacey joining our Board. It’s so important to us to have knowledgeable local people like Stacey who can bring additional skills and expertise to the governance of our organisation. Charities need exceptional Trustees who can ensure that we deliver the very best outcomes for our beneficiaries. Cygnet, but Stacey in particular, have been great advocates for the work that we do here, so we’re delighted that she’s joining our team.

If you are interested in improving the mental health of your employees Redcar & Cleveland Mind can provide you with bespoke training to help you in developing best practice. Contact Louise Tierney, Training Coordinator, on 01642 296052 or email For information about the Time to Change Employer Pledge visit: