Global approach to family law

The reform of family law is a constant source of debate in the UK, and in France it is very much the same situation.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Without notice applications and wasted costs

David Burrows looks at the case of B v A [2012] EWHC 3127.


Full article: Family Law

Are we missing a trick?

Julie Stather examines the advantages to child, parents and local authority of using the under-utilised section 34 of the Children Act.

Full article: Local Government Lawyer

Finance and Divorce December Update

Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse November’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Unvisited: Looked after children and the role of the Independent Visitor

Noel Arnold, Head of Legal Practice at the Coram Children’s Legal Centre, considers the importance of Independent Visitors for looked after children and clarifies confusions in the current arrangements.

Full article: Family Law Week

X’s Appeal Rejected - Disclosure Still Stands

In Re A (A Child) [2012] UKSC 60 the issue before the Supreme Court was whether disclosure of the identity of a father's accuser (‘X') and the substance of her allegations against him should be given to the parties in contact proceedings relating to their child; and whether X should be required to give evidence in those proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

The Court of Protection: how journalists and lawyers can open the closed doors of justice

The Independent's senior lawyer explains what the Court of Protection is and how it ought to change.

Full article: The Independent

Hidden assets?

Prest v Prest overturns 30 years of family case law, says Craig Rose.

Full article: New Law Journal

Taking a global view

Geraldine Morris considers the changes to international maintenance.

Full article: New Law Journal

Court of Protection Update (December 2012)

Sally Bradley and Michael Edwards, Barristers, both of 4 Paper Buildings consider recent developments in the Court of Protection.

Full article: Family Law Week

The 1996 Hague Convention: The Fourth Dimension

Eleri Jones barrister at 1 Garden Court, and Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE and Richard Kwan both of Dawson Cornwell solicitors consider the impact of the 1996 Hague Convention in England and Wales.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Modernisation of Family Justice: An Interview with Mr Justice Ryder

Mr Justice Ryder is interviewed by Zimran Samuel of 9 St John Street Chambers about the modernisation of the family justice system.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Mediation – The option of first resort for separating couples?

Amina Somers, a consultant and mediator with Goodman Ray, asks whether the implementation of the Family Justice Review recommendations will see the court usurped by mediation as the primary dispute resolution process following relationship breakdown.

Full article: Family Law Week

Lucia Clark on Scottish Family Law: To English family lawyers - please be less polite!

This is a heartfelt plea to English matrimonial solicitors - please, please, be less polite. Take a hint from Scots family lawyers - be rude!

Full article: Family Law

Finance Cases Round-Up: November 2012

Gavin Smith of 1 Hare Court reviews some recent key finance cases.

Full article: Class Legal

Children: Private Law Update (November 2012)

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews important recent developments relating to private children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Court of Protection update

Thirty Nine Essex Street Court of Protection Newsletter: August 2012.

Full article: Thirty Nine Essex Street (PDF)

“The government has just introduced equal shared care”

On Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 at 2:36 AM, according to timing on an e-mail from the Department of Education, the UK Government announced its response to the consultation regarding amendments to the Children Act 1989 on the question of parental involvement in the lives of children at a time of parental separation.

Full article: Family Law

Beyond the Nuclear: The Face of Modern Adoption (Ulster Style)

A Judge in Belfast's High Court decided last month that unmarried and same-sex couples in Northern Ireland should be allowed to adopt children.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce November Update

Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse October’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Division 1 – Chancery Division 2: A consideration of Petrodel v Prest

Alison Burge of Pump Court Chambers analyses the Court of Appeal's decision in the watershed case of Petrodel v Prest.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cohabitation Update

“The purpose of this seminar is to consider the law on constructive trusts following Jones v. Kernott and recent developments regarding cohabiting couples.”

Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF)

Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others v Prest and Others

It is not open to Family Division judges, in proceedings for financial provision, to make an order against company-held property unless there exists on the facts of the case relevant impropriety justifying the piercing of the corporate veil.

Full article: Family Law

Quantification of financial provision under Part III

Judgment has been published this week, although handed down 9 May 2012, in the case of Z v A [2012] EWHC 1434 (Fam), an important High Court decision of Coleridge J about quantification of financial provision under Part III MFPA 1984, financial remedies after a foreign divorce.

Full article: Family Law

“Does it matter what I think”? A comparison of the consideration of children’s views in Hague Convention cases and Children Act 1989 proceedings

Radhika Handa of Coram Chambers compares the court's consideration of children's wishes in Hague Convention and Children Act cases, in both private and public law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Looked-after children: Care should be in the community

Living close to home can offer 'looked-after' children much‑needed stability, so why do so many councils struggle to make local placements?

Full article: The Guardian

Clare's Law: Do you know your partner's past?

A survey of 189 people currently living in refuges across England and Wales found that 75pc said they would have left their relationship had they discovered their partner’s violent history.

Full article: The Telegraph

No Direction Home? Financial Remedies and the Medium Asset case

Alexander Chandler of 1 Garden Court examines the principles the courts will apply in medium asset cases and offers practical guidance to those faced with the challenge of “stretching” limited assets.

Full article: Family Law Week

New threat to child maintenance for the women who already live in fear

The Child Support Agency is to be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service – which will charge those using its services.

Full article: The Observer

Ben Butler's case reminds us the justice system is not infallible

Emma Sherrington, who represented Ben Butler in London Borough of Sutton v Gray & Ors, discusses the case.

Full article: The Guardian

Enhancing the Role of Grandparents in the Current Legal Landscape

Julie Stather of 42 Bedford Row suggests some ways to benefit children by strengthening the position of grandparents.

Full article: Family Law Week

The High Sheriff of Oxfordshire’s Annual Law Lecture Given by Lord Wilson on 9 October 2012

Out of his shadow: The long struggle of wives under English Law.

Full speech: Supreme Court (PDF)

Common Sense Prevails

The recent, anonymised judgment in A v A [2012] has come as a welcome relief to divorcing spouses, and to professionals involved in financial remedy proceedings. Individuals' private financial affairs revealed under compulsion through the courts can now ordinarily expect to remain confidential.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce October 2012 Update

Anna Heenan and Nicola Rowlings, both of Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse September’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

A Life in the UK Care System - Should the process be quicker?

Whilst I appreciate that children need decisions made as to their long term care arrangements as quickly as possible, that has to be balanced with their right to enjoy a family life with their biological family.

Full article: Family Law

Equal civil marriage - death or disappearance of spouse overseas

A particular problem to be considered in drafting equal civil marriage legislation is the fact that whatever arrangements are made for the UK, same-sex marriages performed here will not be recognised in most countries of the world.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Defining violence needs government commitment

"Positive developments must be met by a commitment from the government to support victims of domestic violence who come forward", says Baroness Scotland QC.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Lord McNally’s speech to the Birmingham Law Society Family Conference 2012

Lord McNally’s speech to the Birmingham Law Society Family Conference 2012.

Full article: Ministry of Justice

Anglo Scottish divorce lost in translation and history

If ever there was an example of significantly different outcomes across national borders, notwithstanding close historic ties, it must surely be England and Scotland.

Full article: Family Law

Can the Court Protect Vulnerable Adults who have Capacity?

Moira Sofaer of Goldsmith Chambers, considers the protection afforded by the courts to vulnerable adults who are outside the ambit of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in the light of the Court of Appeal’s judgment in DL.

Full article: Family Law Week

Divorce – needs and non-matrimonial assets: formula or flexibility?

The Law Commission recently published a supplemental consultation paper (Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements – Law Com 2012/208) following its earlier consultation on marital property agreements in 2011.

Full article: Halsbury's Law Exchange

A legal right to gay marriage?

Andrew Commins, associate member of St John’s Chambers in Bristol analyses the legal issues relating to the question of gay marriage.

Full article: Family Law Week

English family law costs all at sea

The English media have greatly relished this week reporting on a short leave to appeal hearing in a divorce financial case involving two practising lawyers.

Full article: Family Law

Family lawyers face turbulent year ahead

Family law’s commercial and legal landscape is changing dramatically with the legal aid reforms, the continuing impact of the recession, competition from ABSs and potential legislative changes affecting everyone from the richest to the poorest.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

The Law Commission speaks to England and Wales - and to the world

On Tuesday, 11 September 2012, the English Law Commission produced a consultation paper likely to lead to fundamental reform of financial outcomes on divorce in England and Wales. But although directed to English law in English courts with legislation from the UK Parliament, it has huge significance for family law worldwide. In our separate sovereign jurisdictions, we are no longer islands.

Full article: Family Law

Fact Finding Hearings: Who Pays?

Stuart Hughes and Sabuhi Chaudhry consider recent developments concerning costs in fact finding hearings and the divergence between private law and public law cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Forced Marriage and the Criminal Law

Charlotte Rachael Proudman provides an overview of the Government’s proposed changes to the law intended to combat forced marriage.

Full article: Family Law Week

Can you unmake a family?

Duncan Ranton examines the recent surrogacy case G -v- G.

Full article: Family Law

Courts will lose vital flexibility’ if family law becomes formulaic

The introduction of a formula to bring consistency to how divorce cases are handled in the English courts could mean some of the ability for judges to base rulings on the individual circumstances of each case are lost.

Full article: Family Law

Lessons from Singapore

Although for years, even decades, it has been countries such as Australia which have led the way in developments in family law and practice, that role is now also being increasingly adopted by new, developing jurisdictions.

Full article: Family Law

Japan fails to adopt Hague child abduction Convention

Mikiko Otani, one of Japan's leading family lawyers, has today, 7 September, 2012, confirmed to the IAML annual conference in Singapore that Japan will not be signing the Hague child abduction Convention in the near future, at least a year as a minimum.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce September Update

Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse July’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Delays in the family justice system

How often has it been said that delay is the cancer which eats away at our system of justice?

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Children: Private Law Update (September 2012)

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers those judgments of the last few months which are of most importance in the area of private law children proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

International Children Law Update: August 2012

Jacqueline Renton of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews the latest key decisions in international children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Napoleon Bonaparte and the Queensland Gold Coast

I had the considerable privilege of being invited this summer by the Queensland Law Society to be the international keynote speaker at their residential annual family law conference in mid-August, which took place on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane.

Full article: Family Law

In a Dorney-Kingdom of their own: Segal orders examined

Byron James, of 14 Gray’s Inn Square, considers the circumstances in which Segal Orders can be made.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Rights Group in response to Mr Justice Ryder's proposal for the modernisation of family justice

By Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive, Family Rights Group on modernisation of the family justice system.

Full article: Family Law

Dukali v Lamrani: a cautionary tale on how the courts define marriage

Dr John Fox and Eleanor Fletcher, both of Lamb Building, consider the lessons to be learned from the court’s approach to determining the validity of the parties’ marriage in Dukali v Lamrani.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce August 2012 Update

Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse July’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Court of Protection update

Thirty Nine Essex Street Court of Protection Newsletter: August 2012.

Full article: Thirty Nine Essex Street (PDF)

Implications of Hague 2007 being implemented

If domestic child maintenance regulations can be described as labyrinthine then by analogy any consideration of the rules of reciprocal enforcement are similar to sinking in quicksand whilst listening to Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen.

Full article: Family Law

The Issue of Costs following the Supreme Court Decision in T (Children) – ‘Not about the money?’

Dorothea Gartland of 4 Paper Buildings and Penny Logan, principal lawyer, Cafcass, consider the lessons to be learned from T (Children).

Full article: Family Law Week

Beyond the Nuclear: Same-sex adoption - Victorian in name and approach

As recently as August 2010, Australian media outlets were reporting on the adoption of a child by one of his gay foster parents. What made the case newsworthy was that the adoption order was believed to be the first in Victoria in favour of a gay parent.

Full article: Family Law

Section 38(6) Applications – Further fine-tuning

Sally Gore of 14 Gray's Inn Square, examines developments concerning applications for assessment under section 38(6) of the Children Act 1989 culminating in the Court of Appeal's clarification in S (A Child) [2011].

Full article: Family Law Week

Cohabitation Update

“The law of property, as it applies to cohabiting couples in England and Wales, continues to produce outcomes which many commentators regard as unfair. In the Scottish case of Gow v. Grant, a recent appeal under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 Lady Hale calls for similar legislation to be introduced in England and Wales.”

Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF)

Beyond the Nuclear: Who’s bringing up baby?

The Government announced in the Queen's Speech in May its plan to reform parenting leave.

Full article: Family Law

Stuart Clark on Immigration & Family Law

I recently undertook a secondment at Fragomen LLP, one of the world's leading specialist immigration lawyers. It was useful in very many ways; most interestingly bringing together two disciplines which complement each other: international family law and immigration.

Full article: Family Law

Hague Convention mediation guide to good practice

The Hague Conference on Private International Law has just published its long-awaited guide to good practice on mediation in child abduction work.

Full article: Family Law

Expertly done? A look at the use of experts in family proceedings and changes proposed by Mr Justice Ryder prior to the announcement of his final proposals

Leanne Buckley –Thomson, pupil at 1 Crown Office Row Brighton, considers the current problems in relation to the use of expert evidence particularly in care proceedings and the proposals for change thus far highlighted by Mr Justice Ryder in response.

Full article: Family Law Week

Beyond the Nuclear: State and Church – An irreconcilable breakdown

The Church of England published its official response to the Government Consultation on marriage equality last month.

Full article: Family Law

A Bridge over Tasman waters

New bilateral legislation comes into force later this year between Australia and New Zealand to resolve a number of difficult contentious family law issues between the two countries.

Full article: Family Law

BIIR Rules, OK?

What would your instinct be if a client came to you with a classic case of wrongful retention? A speedy application for a return order under the Hague Convention? A recent judgment of Mostyn J JRG v EB  highlights the importance of making the right application at the outset.

Full article: Family Law

Spousal maintenance - part two

In my last article I considered the courts’ approach to the quantum of periodical payments. Recent decisions have seen an increased focus on needs as the prevailing factor when quantifying such payments. In a similar vein, and perhaps reflecting a less generous approach to periodical payments orders, there has been a move towards term orders and away from joint lives orders.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

A Local Authority v DS – An invitation to judicially review the Legal Services Commission?

Chris McWatters and Sharon Love of Garden Court Chambers consider the implications of the President’s Guidance on seeking prior approval of the LSC to adduce expert evidence in family proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cohabitation and Trusts of Land Update

The purpose of this article is to consider the law of constructive trusts following Jones v. Kernott [2011] UKSC 53, judgment given on 9th November 2011, insofar as it relates to the purchase of property primarily by cohabitants.

Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF)

The Family Court: “Be careful what you wish for”

Michael Horton of Coram Chambers examines the proposed creation of a single family court, the reasons for its establishment, how it might work and whether it is necessary at all.

Full article: Family Law Week

June 2012 Finance Divorce Update

Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the latest financial remedies and divorce news and cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Civil Partnership - Marriage Equality's Missing Link

As the latest salvo in the ongoing gay marriage debate, the Telegraph (on 18 June 2012) included an article headed "Civil partnerships should have been called marriage, says top divorce lawyer".

Full article: Family Law

What is safe parental involvement?

The government consultation of 14 June 2012 has proposed an amendment to the Children Act 1989 by adding some form of presumption or principle or starting point or addition to the welfare checklist.

Full article: Family Law

Mediation in Dubai

David Hodson on International Family Law.

Full article: Family Law

Social Media and the Voice of the Child in Hague Convention Cases

Emma Pinder, Solicitor, of Spring Law considers a Hague Convention case which has attracted extensive attention in Australia and analyses the potential wider impact of the coverage, especially that within social media.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Public Law Update (June 2012)

John Tughan of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews some recent important judgments concerning children public law matters.

Full article: Family Law Week

Opportunity knocks

Geraldine Morris advises a cautious approach to clean-break orders.

Full article: New Law Journal

Hayley Trim's Analysis: Are you married?

This is a question which the husband and wife (so called here for convenience) in the recent case of Dukali v Lamrani [2012] EWHC 1748 (Fam), would have undoubtedly answered in the affirmative, until the husband's divorce solicitors suggested otherwise.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce May 2012 Update

Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the latest key financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Matrimonial lawyers and accounting experts

Matrimonial lawyers should consider the following five practical tips when dealing with accounting experts.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Parental alienation and intractable contact disputes: an update

Henry Clayton of 4 Paper Buildings summarizes the recent authorities in parental alienation and intractable contact cases, in light of the recent decision of Hedley J in Re E.

Full article: Family Law Week

Spousal maintenance - how much and for how long?

These two questions vex even the most experienced family law practitioners.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

The Race to Court 2 - A Paralegal’s Guide

My colleague, Lucy Loizou, wrote an opinion piece published on 26 April 2012 about why you may need to be "first to issue" divorce proceedings where there is a jurisdiction race. In light of her piece I set out here how to race to Court in those circumstances.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Private Law Update (May 2012)

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers several recent important judgments covering a range of private law issues concerning children

Full article: Family Law Week

Arbitration: The Best Way For The Wealthy To Divorce?

Grant Howell, partner, collaborative lawyer and family law arbitrator at Charles Russell, discusses the attractions of arbitration for HNW couples who are divorcing.

Full article: Mondaq (registration required)

Court of Protection update

Thirty Nine Essex Street Court of Protection Newsletter: April 2012.

Full article: Thirty Nine Essex Street (PDF)

Using insolvency to discharge financial order obligations: the blank canvas remains

Byron James of 14 Gray's Inn Square explores the, as yet, unfettered and undefined discretion of the court to discharge a party from obligations under orders made in family proceedings following bankruptcy, following the recent Chancery Division case of Hayes v Hayes.

Full article: Family Law Week

Can mediation always rise to the occasion?

The numbers of family and commercial mediations are growing - but while an elite group of commercial mediators is earning six figures, newcomers in both fields are finding it hard to gain the experience to break into the market.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Parental Orders in Cases of International Surrogacy: Practical Considerations

Gwynneth Knowles QC of Atlantic Chambers, Liverpool, provides a guide through the legal difficulties often created by international surrogacy arrangements.

Full article: Family Law Week

Court of Protection Update (May 2012)

Sally Bradley of 4 Paper Buildings analyses recent decisions in the Court of Protection relating to capacity to consent to sexual relations, DNA testing and statutory wills.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance & Divorce April Update 2012

Joanna Grandfield, Associate, Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the latest key financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Going the distance

Senior District Judge Philip Waller traces the changing face of family law.

Full article: New Law Journal

Pandora on the rampage and Agbaje reined in?

Coleridge J has been in the news recently for his Marriage Foundation which has had a mixed reception, and perhaps coincidentally there have been two of his judgments landing on my desk in the last few days.

Full article: Family Law

‘It’s Good to Share’ – Should there be a presumption of equality between parents when it comes to caring for their children?

Bindu Bansal, Solicitor with Paris Smith LLP, considers the advantages and disadvantages of establishing a presumption of shared parenting.

Full article: Family Law Week

“Needs” claims and sole domicile jurisdiction

The EU Maintenance Regulation is one of the most complex and bewildering pieces of legislation in English family law, having been directly imposed into our law from the EU with effect from 18 June 2011.

Full article: Family Law

The race to court

My blog is not in anticipation of the Olympics which are shortly to be with us but about being the "first to issue" in European cases where there is a jurisdiction race.

Full article: Family Law

Changes To Regulation Of Social Workers

Social workers have been in the spotlight in recent times, particularly in the aftermath of the Baby P scandal.

Full article: Mondaq (registration required)

Disabled Children, Threshold and the Unique Case of Re K

In the recent case of Re K [2012] EWHC FLR Forthcoming, Hedley J had some very interesting things to say about the role of the court in cases involving disabled children.

Full article: Family Law

Financial Remedy Cases: Piecing Together The Jigsaw

An examination of the pros and cons of the available methods for resolving financial remedy cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Divorce tourism

Last week, The Times (10 April) ran a front-page story headed "'Divorce tourists' take over the courts".

Full article: Family Law

Why Should Family Lawyers be Interested in the Brighton Conference?

Deirdre Fottrell of Coram Chambers considers the proposed reforms of the ECHR which are under consideration at the Brighton Conference and explains why they are of particular importance to family lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

Involving the Family Court Advisor in Pre-proceedings Practice – Initial lessons from the Coventry and Warwickshire pilot

Dr Karen Broadhurst, Senior Lecturer in Social Work and Social Science, Lancaster University, and Kim Holt, Director of the Social Work Programmes at Bradford University.

Full article: Family Law Week

Researching Relocation Disputes in First Instance Courts

Dr Rob George, Fellow in Law at the University of Oxford and Associate Tenant at Harcourt Chambers, discusses relocation disputes and his on-going research into how these cases are dealt with in the first instance courts of England and Wales.

Full article: Family Law Week

Lawrence v Gallagher Analysis

On the 29 of March 2012 the Court of Appeal handed down its first judgment in an appeal concerning a financial settlement in a civil partnership.

Full article: Family Law

Litigants in Person Cases: It Doesn’t Have to Be Like This

Lesley Pendlebury Cox, Consultant with Gregory Rowcliffe Milners considers the issues arising from the increase in the number of self represented clients in family cases, its impact on family lawyers and their clients.

Full article: Family Law Week

Who will pay for the expert's report?

As DJ Tacy Cronin considers whether a divorced couple's monies under lien with one of their solicitors should be used to pay for an expert in a contact dispute, she finds out how involving Cafcass could avoid the expense altogether.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Children update

As the courts are getting to grips with new family models, Noel Arnold reviews how they approach the protection of children's interests.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Law Society Family Justice Review Summit round table discussion speech

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families Tim Loughton's full speech as given at the Law Society's Family Justice Summit.

Full article: Department for Education

A dead parrot or simply pining for the fjords - or no parrot at all?

El Gamal v Al Maktoum [2011] EWHC B27, just reported, is another High Court decision concerning recognition of (foreign and other) marriages in which the court has found not that the marriage was voidable but that there was no marriage at all. The so-called concept of non-marriage.

Full article: Family Law

Alternative Families and Children: A review of the recent case of A v B and C

Alex Verdan QC and Charles Hale, both of 4 Paper Buildings, counsel for the father in A v B and C consider the lessons that can be learned by practitioners from the Court of Appeal judgment.

Full article: Family Law Week

'We should be given inquisitorial powers'

DJ Richard Chapman talks to Jean-Yves Gilg about why he believes the role of district judges must radically change and procedures be overhauled if county courts are to effectively tackle upcoming challenges.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Court of Protection update

Thirty Nine Essex Street Court of Protection Newsletter: April 2012.

Full article: Thirty Nine Essex Street (PDF)

Are We Missing a Trick? Section 34 of the Children Act - An under-used application

Julie Stather, of 42 Bedford Row examines the advantages to child, parents and local authority of using section 34 of the Children Act.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance & Divorce Spring Update 2012

Joanna Grandfield, Associate, Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the key financial remedies cases arising in the first quarter of 2012.

Full article: Family Law Week

Annual Resolution Conference

Speech by Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division.

Full article: Judiciary of  England and Wales (PDF)

Counting the pennies

With the rise in spouses at risk of bankruptcy, divorce lawyers should make sure they are conversant with personal insolvency rules, says Claire Reid.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Budget Pensions changes: implications for Financial remedies cases

Clive Weir, pensions specialist, outlines the impact of the principal pensions changes in the budget which may impact on financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pre-Nuptial agreements: developments since Radmacher

David Marusza of Harcourt Chambers summarises and analyses the latest cases involving prenuptial agreements.

Full article: Family Law Week

Budget 2012 impact of foreign owned residential properties

George Osborne's Budget on 21 March 2012 contains several elements which affect family lawyers doing international cases with substantial assets.

Full article: Family Law

Child access for father in 'lesbian' family

The appellant was a 'donor' father seeking a fuller relationship with and contact to his son.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Family Law Week's Budget Briefing 2012

Steve Crompton & David Kitson, Tax Directors at RSM Tenon, review the Chancellor’s 2012 Budget announcements.

Full article: Family Law Week

Arbitration is a worthy alternative to court

Family lawyers must embrace this fairer, more flexible and potentially cheaper option, says Marilyn Stowe.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

The Supreme Court's judgment in In the Matter of S (A Child) - An Analysis

Jennifer Perrins of 1 King's Bench Walk analyses the Supreme Court's judgment in In the Matter of S (A Child).

Full article: Family Law Week

Headlines – Re S and A v B and C

There have been two really interesting judgments in the last couple of days, just as I go off on holiday.

Full article: Family Law

Why the Government is wrong about shared parenting legislation.

The Government Response to the Family Justice Review’s final report ignores the concerns raised in the Family Justice Review and proposes at paragraph 60 “a legislative statement of the importance of children having an ongoing relationship with both parents after family separation, where that is safe, and in the child’s best interests”.

Full article: The Lawyer

International Children Law Update - March 2012

Jacqueline Renton of 4 Paper Buildings reviews the latest key decisions in international children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Child Abduction as Criminal Kidnapping

In the recent R v Kayani, R v Solliman decision [2011] EWCA Crim 2871, the Court of Appeal has called upon the Law Commission to address the question of whether parental child abduction cases should be treated as kidnapping offences.

Full article: Family Law

Non-disclosure of assets in divorce proceedings

Is the non-disclosure of assets a common problem within divorce proceedings or not?

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Court of Protection update

Thirty Nine Essex Street Court of Protection Newsletter: March 2012.

Full article: Thirty Nine Essex Street (PDF)

Best Interest decision-making in the Court of Protection

Decision making in the Court of Protection on behalf of persons who lacks capacity is a familiar role for the court.

Full article:  No. 5 Chambers (PDF)

New family arbitration scheme is no alternative to litigation

The sound rationale behind the new family dispute arbitration scheme doesn't mean it is a credible alternative to either mediation or litigation, says Miles Geffin.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Dolan v Corby: Opening the Door to Confusion in the Test for Occupation Orders?

Eleanor Fletcher and Juliet Chapman of Lamb Building explore how far the Court of Appeal’s latest guidance for granting exclusionary occupation orders is consistent with its previous dicta.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Decision In BJ v MJ And Others [2011] EWHC 2708

The decision of BJ v MJ and Others [2011] EWHC 2708 (Fam) again examines the treatment of offshore trust interests in the context of financial remedy proceedings on divorce and is essential reading for all those involved in such cases.

Full article: Mondaq (registration required)

Foreign pension sharing after the EU Maintenance Regulation

I am grateful to Anna Heenan of Mills & Reeves for drawing attention to another incidental and possibly accidental implication of the EU Maintenance Regulation in the context of foreign pension sharing orders and arrangements.

Full article: Family Law

The Participation and Involvement of Children in Family Proceedings

Rachel Langdale QC and James Robottom of 7 Bedford Row consider the jurisprudence and practical realities concerning the participation and involvement of children in proceedings relating to them.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family arbitration – a soft launch or a hard landing? Some provisional thoughts.

Rhys Taylor, family arbitrator and collaborative lawyer offers guidance on family arbitration.

Full article: Family Law Week

Safeguards and needs in marital agreements – where are we now?

A couple of recent cases have highlighted to me that perhaps statutory guidance on nuptial agreements is needed sooner rather than later despite the relatively small proportion of divorcing couples affected.

Full article: Family Law

Custody Battle Between Three Parents

The Court of Appeal is shortly expected to give their judgment on the case concerning lesbian parents who seek to marginalise the relationship between their son and his natural father.

Full article: Family Law

A brewing storm

Trying to keep divorcing couples out of the courts will prove fruitless – the government should be focusing on making the justice system quicker and easier for clients, argues Marilyn Stowe.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Preconceived ideas

The greatest advantage of preconception agreements in the context of non-traditional families is that they are a checkpoint for the parties to assess the long-term sustainability of their shared parenting, says Helen Waite.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Interview with Sir Andrew Macfarlane

Sir Andrew McFarlane was promoted to the Court of Appeal in July 2011, the most recent appointment in a meteoric career that began in the drama department of Durham University.

Full article: FLBA

Children: Public Law Update (February 2012)

John Tughan of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent developments in Public Children Law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Dominican Republic and other superfast divorces

Newspapers at the weekend carried stories of a new service of superfast 24 hour divorces being offered to people in England.

Full article: Family Law

Creatures of habit

Puzzled by the new divorce forms? You're not the only one, says DJ Paul Mildred as he explores the pros and cons of the changes introduced by the Family Procedure Rules.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Shared parenting boosts children's rights

The reforms implemented in Australia proved successful in the majority of cases, and the UK can learn from this experience, argues Duncan Ranton.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Norgrove – The Response Considered

Sally Gore of 14 Gray's Inn Square analyses the Government's response to the Family Justice Review in the context of current family law practice

Full article: Family Law Week

No CSA deal, no relocation

This constitutes a simple plea for all international families: Don't agree any final relocation without sorting out and implementing the child support arrangements.

Full article: Family Law

On into Spring

This week, one cannot help but be struck by the care figures increase.

Full article: Family Law

Keeping up with appeal procedure in the High Court (or at least trying to)

Byron James of 14 Gray’s Inn Square reviews the guidance arising from the latest case law concerning applications for leave to appeal in financial remedies orders in the High Court.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Private Law Update (February 2012)

Alex Verdan QC reviews the most significant of the latest judgments in private law Children applications.

Full article: Family Law Week

The going gets tough

So, The Co-op is taking on matrimonial work? They're in for a shock, says Russell Conway as he looks back at his time in the department.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Off target

The adoption system needs vast improvements – but imposing stringent time limits is illogical and unhelpful, argues Graham Pegg.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

The Government’s response to the Family Justice Review – What happens now?

The Government has accepted most of the proposals put forward in the Family Justice Review, although unsurprisingly there is a degree of caution where the proposals have major cost consequences.

Full article: Family Law

James Carroll, Co-chair of the Law Society's Family Law Committee: Government's Response to Family Justice Review

The Government has just published its response to the Family Justice Review. As expected, it accepted most of the Review's recommendations and set forth a preliminary timetable for their implementation.

Full article: Family Law

Twice Married - Double Trouble

It is a little-known fact that one can go through more than one wedding ceremony, naturally of course with the same person otherwise it would be bigamy!

Full article: Family Law

Safety net

With the cohabitant population set to grow further and no change in the law in sight, Therese Nichols reviews the advice lawyers should give to unmarried couples.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Why I'm a families man

Nicholas Crichton, a family judge, tells Juliet Rix that we need more courts to help parents to tackle their drug and alcohol problems.

Full article: The Guardian

A Practical and Legal Analysis of Islamic Marriage, Divorce and Dowry

Charlotte Proudman, a pupil at Coram Chambers, provides some legal and practical guidance on Islamic marriage, divorce and dowry and describes the procedures at Birmingham Central Mosque's Sharia Council.

Full article: Family Law Week

Law Commission Proposes Wider Scope For Family Provision Claims Against Deceaseds’ Estates - Non-Domiciliaries’ Estates Potentially Included

The Law Commission for England and Wales has recommended some widening of the circumstances in which family members and certain other individuals can bring a claim for financial provision against the estate of a deceased person.

Full article: Mondaq (registration required)

Court of Protection Update (January 2012)

Sally Bradley of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews significant recent decisions in the Court of Protection relating to deprivation of liberty, the appointment of a Relevant Person's Representative as litigation friend and costs.

Full article: Family Law Week

Equal Parent Rights

Earlier this month the Government announced its intention to introduce legislation which would compel the judiciary to ensure that each parent is able to see their children regularly or even equally following a separation or divorce.

Full article: Family Law

Route masters

Couples going through separation or divorce must make difficult decisions at a stressful time. Therese Nichols explores the options available and how you can help find the best route for them.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Which comes first: Contact or Adoption?

Post adoption contact has hit the news recently with the concern that birth families are tracking down adopted children via social media.

Full article: Family Law

Why dirty money is still a matrimonial issue

When it comes to matrimonial lawyers and anti-money laundering, the mantra for many years has been: 'the case of Bowman v Fels means I don’t have to worry about any of this and anyway, talking with my client about such issues would be tipping off'.

Full article: The Law Society

How can adopted children be safeguarded in the Facebook age?

When birth parents contact their children using social networking it may not be predatory, but it's not in the children's best interests.

Full article: The Guardian

Children update

Are we experiencing expert overload or are they worth it? Noel Arnold joins the debate.

Full article: Solicitors Journal