Spooky shoes

These well worn shoes, now on display in the Bevirs Law Calne office reception, were once concealed within the walls of the building and found when the premises were converted into offices in 1976.

The smaller is probably a girl’s shoe, dated between 1600 and 1660. Heels such as this came into fashion after 1600 but it has a latchet clasp rather than a buckle, which were introduced in 1659.

The larger golosh, designed to be worn over a shoe in bad weather, is probably from the late 17th century.

There are several theories put forward by historians and archaeologists to explain why this strange tradition, dating back to the 12th century, exists. Superstitious belief is a common link. One theory suggests hiding particular items within the structure of a building was thought to ward off evil spirits, which may be distracted by the shoe and leave the occupants alone. As the shoes are nearly always well worn, they have taken on the imprint of the owner. This could have increased the belief in their protective power, along with the tendency to be concealed near doors, chimneys and in roofs – all entry points into a home. Another theory suggests the hidden shoes were good luck fertility charms.


Moving with your child overseas

Michelle Bowyer, Associate Solicitor – Family Team

Following a relationship breakdown, one parent may wish to move abroad. If this step is agreed upon there is no need to obtain a court order. However, if one parent does not consent, an application to the court for either a specific issue order (if you are the parent wishing to move), or a prohibited steps order (if you wish to prevent your child from moving), will become necessary.

The legal position is that it is unlawful to remove a child from the jurisdiction without the consent from all who hold parental responsibility for the child.

The approach of the court

The family court’s paramount consideration when determining any application under the Children Act 1989, is the welfare of the child. It must also have regard for the Welfare Checklist contained within the statute which is as follows:

1.            The ascertainable wishes of the child.

2.            The child’s physical, emotional and educational needs.

3.            The likely effect on the child of a change in circumstances.

4.            The child’s age, sex, background and any other characteristics which the court considers relevant.

5.            Any harm which the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering.

6.            How capable each parents is, of meeting the child’s needs.

7.            The range of powers available to the court.

If you are wishing to persuade a court that it is in your child’s best interests to move abroad with you, be prepared to produce detailed plans about where you will live and how you will fund your new life, and about your child’s schooling and their contact with the non-resident parent and their extended family members.

The first stage

Any family court user must attempt to resolve differences by attempting mediation before pursuing an application to the court, unless one of the few exemptions apply. Mediation is a powerful method of dispute resolution and may allow you to wholly settle your dispute, or to narrow the issues. If mediation does not produce an agreement, you will become entitled to file an application at court, inviting it to determine where your child should reside and the arrangements for contact with the non-resident parent.

If in doubt, the family team at Bevirs Law can advise you and represent you should court proceedings become necessary.

The Remarriage Trap

Michelle Bowyer, Associate Solicitor – Family Team

A change in divorce laws in the Spring of 2022 has allowed many more people to undertake their own divorce proceedings without the need for solicitor input. The process has been simplified, no longer requires details of behaviour to be recited and is now available via the user friendly and (almost always) efficient online court portal. This has been a positive step for the family court user. However, the ease at which parties can now divorce, has resulted in an increase in client’s falling foul of the “remarriage trap”.

The only way to prevent future financial claims being pursued against you by your former spouse, is to obtain a clean break order from the court. This should be addressed within divorce proceedings,  and this can be either by consent or by imposition of court order following contested proceedings. The only exception to this rule, is the remarriage trap.

If you remarry before obtaining a clean break order, you are statue barred from pursuing an application for either lump sum, property adjustment or periodical payments (spousal maintenance) against your former spouse. A quirk in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 allows you to still pursue an application for a pension sharing order despite your remarriage. It is noteworthy that your own remarriage will not prevent your former spouse from applying to the court for a lump sum, property adjustment or periodical payments order against you.

It is imperative that you secure a clean break order upon your divorce, and before your remarriage. The practical implications of you failing to do so could result in you losing the right to claim any assets from your marriage.

At Bevirs Law, we offer a fixed fee for drafting a clean break order and supporting financial statement of £850 + VAT providing you and your spouse have reached an agreement. If you have not yet achieved consensus, we would urge you to attempt to mediate your differences and can assist during that process or we can undertake the negotiations on your behalf, for which our hourly rates will be charged.

The family team hourly rates:

Natalee Worthington, Partner £260 + VAT

Michelle Bowyer, Associate Solicitor £240 + VAT

Ellie Chivers, Solicitor £185 + VAT

Prenuptial Agreements

Michelle Bowyer, Associate Solicitor – Family Team

A prenuptial agreement documents the ownership of assets and what will happen to those assets in the event of a marriage breakdown.

Why enter into a prenup?

  • Managing financial negotiations following marriage breakdown can be fraught with emotion and consequently, legal costs for both parties can escalate, especially if an agreement cannot be achieved, and litigation becomes necessary.
  • You may wish to preserve the assets you acquired before the marriage either for yourself, or for your children, if entering into a second marriage.
  • You may wish to protect future inheritances to ensure any such gifts do not form part of the matrimonial “pot” on divorce.
  • You may want certainty about your spouse being solely responsible for any debt held in his/her name at date of marriage.

Are prenups legally binding?

Prenups are not automatically legally binding. However,  a Supreme Court decision in 2010 in the landmark case of Radmacher v Granatino, found that a prenup would stand unless one spouse could show why it should not.  To provide the best chance of a prenup being upheld in the event of a future challenge, there must be full and frank disclosure of all assets, both spouse’s take independent legal advice, and it should be executed no less than 21 days before your marriage ceremony. The agreement must also provide for a fair outcome for both parties.

Can a prenup be varied?

Yes. Ideally, you will undertake a review every 5 years or upon a change in your circumstance. This is called a postnuptial agreement and follows the same guidelines as a prenup, in terms of ensuring full and frank disclosure and needing independent legal advice whilst ensuring fairness prevails.

At Bevirs Law we have seen a dramatic increase in new prenup instructions, over the last 12 months. Our clients are choosing to protect their wealth and wishing to avoid the potential conflict that can occur if such discussions are left until after marriage breakdown.


At Bevirs Law we offer a fixed fee of £2,000 + VAT for drafting a prenup, £1,500 + VAT for drafting a post nuptial agreement and  £1,200 + VAT for advising you in relation to either a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement already drafted by the solicitor for your fiancé/spouse.

Supermarine Bowls Club’s Spitfire Tournament

Bevirs Law was proud to sponsor the annual Supermarine Bowls Club’s Spitfire Tournament, with the Final taking place on Thursday 14th September, in their beautiful grounds and clubhouse in South Marston.

Natalee and Azmol were on hand to present the trophies, and here they are pictured with the runners up – Cricklade 2 and the winners – Strattoners.

Congratulations to everyone participating, and special thanks to the weather for staying fine.

Divorce law history

Did you know Divorce Law in the UK has changed significantly over time?

In 1858 the legal process for divorce was transferred away from the church to the state with the establishment of the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial causes, which was subsequently replaced in 1873 by a division of the new Supreme Court.

In 1937 additional grounds for divorce were added, including desertion, while in 1969 irretrievable breakdown of the marriage could be the sole grounds for a divorce.

No-fault divorce did not become law until 2022, forty-two years after the Family Division of the High Court of Justice committee unanimously called for the concept.

Bevirs Law now have fixed fees for many of our Family Law matters, including Prenuptial agreements, Divorce and Deeds of Separation. 

Wootton Bassett Parochial Charities

The Wootton Bassett Parochial Charities has an impressive history going back as far as 1619 when Charles Pynner and Sir Francis Inglefield between them bequeathed an initial sum of £140, with the aim of supporting the poor. This money was initially invested in the purchase of 7 acres of local land, and the proceeds from the rent of this land was distributed annually to the needy of the parish of Wootton Bassett.

Sometimes distributed as money, but more often in the form of bread, particularly at Christmas, this may be one of the earliest examples of “living on the breadline”, although the phrase itself was not coined until many years later.

Subsequent bequests over the years have swelled the coffers and although most of the land was sold more than a hundred years ago and the capital invested in other ways, to this day funds accrued are distributed to worthy local causes each year.

Bevirs Law has provided secretarial support for the Charity for many years, which is run by trustees.

Shown is an excerpt from the “Poor Stock List” of 1790.

If you would like to donate, please contact azmol.ali@bevirs-law.co.uk

Calne Bike Meet 2023

The last Saturday of July always marks the annual Calne Bike Meet, which has been running since 2000 and is now a major event recognised locally, nationally and beyond.

The bikes start arriving from 8am and by the time the live music kicks off at 10am the centre of the town is absolutely buzzing with people and every sort two wheeled machines you can imagine.

Our Bevirs Law stand with its state of the art tombola raised more than £150 for the Bike Meet charities and a wonderful time was had by all.

More information is available on their website : Calne Bike Meet