Using the Inherent Jurisdiction to Disrupt Child Exploitation

Heather Popley, barrister of No 5 Chambers, examines the innovative use of civil injunctions in the recent Birmingham case.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mediation Matters: Misquoting statistics will not help mediation’s cause

There was an awkward moment for Courts and Legal Aid Minister Shailesh Vara when he appeared before the Commons Justice Select Committee earlier this month and took questions about the impact of LASPO on mediation.

Full article: Family Law

E-Bundling – How Soon is Now?

Gawain Williams, Solicitor with Carmarthenshire County Council, describes the benefits of E-bundling as demonstrated by a project established for care proceedings in South West Wales.

Full article: Family Law Week

View from the Foot of the Tower: Two steps forward, two steps back

Following the recent batch of Court of Appeal authorities, which may or may not have coincidentally been timed with the decline in adoption statistics, the Court of Appeal have given a heavyweight judgment in Re R (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1625.

Full article: Family Law

Gudanaviciene: legal aid guidance not compatible with a right to a fair trial

R (ota Gudanaviciene & Ors) v The Director of Legal Aid Casework & Ors [2014] EWCA Civ 1622 affects all applicants for legal aid for any form of civil proceedings, with family proceedings very much included.

Full article: Family Law

Care and placement orders – clarification following Re B-S

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has today handed down judgment in Re R (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1625 in which he has taken the opportunity to address what he refers to as the ‘widespread uncertainty, misunderstanding and confusion’ which has arisen since the decisions in Re B and Re B-S .

Full article: Family Law

Will the Government's Myth Buster document resolve the decline in adoption?

The aim of the document is to undo the perceived damage and misunderstandings caused by the September 2013 Re B and Re B-S cases.

Full article: Family Law

Chai v Peng Undermining the purpose of “forum conveniens?”

Tim Scott QC, Peter Duckworth and James Pullen, all of 29 Bedford Row who represented Dr Kay Peng Khoo in Chai v Peng, analyse the proceedings to date.

Full article: Family Law Week

Representing Transgendered Clients - a guide for family lawyers

Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright, barrister of 2 Dr Johnson's Buildings, offers a guide to the Gender Recognition Act 2004.

Full article: Family Law Week

From civil partnership to marriage

From 10 December 2014 it will be possible to convert civil partnerships into marriage.

Full article: Family Law

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division Keynote speech to Families Need Fathers AGM

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division Keynote speech to Families Need Fathers AGM,16th November 2014.

Full speech: Families Need Fathers

Finance & Divorce Update December 2014

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published by Family Law Week during November.

Full article: Family Law Week

The pitfalls of hair testing

If there is any suggestion in children law proceedings of parental drug use, the court may direct that a hair test is required before determining the amount of time that a child can spend with that parent.

Full article: Family Law

Child abduction changes

Proposed amendments to child abduction legislation will have a far-reaching impact on family law, write Joanna Farrands and Helen Habershon.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Costs in Family Law Cases – is further reform on its way?

Charlotte Trace of 29 Bedford Row considers this question in light of the three recently published cases concerning costs in family law proceedings: J v J, SB v MB and Re L.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Ascertaining Children’s Wishes and Feelings

Paul Bishop, an independent social worker and formerly a Children’s Guardian, draws on 20 years’ experience of interviewing children involved in family proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Fixed fees and windmills

There was an even larger than usual turnout at this week's quarterly meeting of the Forum of Family Arbitrators, a group in which all IFLA accredited arbitrators are invited to participate.

Full article: Family Law

Non-accidental Injury and Re-balancing the Burden of Proof

Dr John Fox, barrister of Lamb Building, reviews some recent cases which may suggest a re-consideration of the burden of proof in cases of alleged non-accidental injury.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mediation Matters: As storm clouds gather, you need faith in those you employ

We’re just a few weeks away from the introduction of a compulsory accreditation scheme which all family mediators will have to work towards if they’re to sell their services to the public.

Full article: Family Law

Family arbitration for 'DR dummies': An overview

In 2012 the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA) launched a scheme which provides for the arbitration of financial disputes following relationship breakdown after marriage or cohabitation.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Three important adoption decisions

The Court of Appeal are still working their way through the backlog of appeals that were generated after the decision in Re B-S and the flurry of successful appeals that followed.

Full article: Family Law

Family Mediation – Boom or Bust?

Amina Somers, Head of Family Mediation at Goodman Ray, asks what can be done to increase the take-up of family mediation.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Devil in the Detail: The Court Bundles Practice Direction and J v J [2014] EWHC 3654

Alexander Chandler, barrister at 1 King’s Bench Walk considers the Implications of the Court Bundles Practice Direction in the light of Mostyn J’s judgment in J v J [2014] EWHC 3654.

Full article: Family Law Week

Revisiting child abduction: solving the problems in Nicolaou and Kayani

As part of a larger project, also including recommendations for the replacement of the common law offences of kidnapping and false imprisonment in statute, the Law Commission has made recommendations designed to resolve problems with the law on child abduction.

Full article: Family Law

Speech by Mr Justice Cobb at the 2014 Association of Lawyers for Children conference

Seen but not heard?

Full speech: Association of Lawyers for Children (PDF)

Little Dorritt and the Human Rights Act

There’s contempt of court, and then there’s contempt for those who don’t pay maintenance for their families. And it’s this category of miscreant who seem to be caught in a Dickensian time warp.

Full article: Family Law

JS Mill strikes back – Mostyn J takes on the Supreme Court

In Rochdale MBC v KW [2014] EWCOP 45, Mr Justice Mostyn took on the Supreme Court in Cheshire West and demanded that it 'reconsider' the application of Article 5 ECHR in the context of deprivation of liberty at home.

Full article: Family Law

Presumption of parental involvement now in force

After an unexplained delay, section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 was brought into force on 22nd October 2011.

Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF)

Motivate to Mediate – the carrot and the stick

Annmarie Carvalho, Associate and Family Mediator with Farrer & Co LLP, examines two recent High Court cases which illustrate the court’s powers to ‘encourage’ parties into mediation.

Full article: Family Law Week

Legal Services Payment Orders and Maintenance Pending Suit

Anne Smallwood, family law barrister at No5 Chambers, recently gave a talk titled 'Section 22 Z A - Getting Paid And M.P.S' at the Family Money Talks Seminar 2014.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Finance & Divorce Update November 2014

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published by Family Law Week during October.

Full article: Family Law Week

Lord Wilson gives the Denning Society Lecture at Lincoln’s Inn

Adoption: Complexities Beyond the Law.

Full speech: Supreme Court (PDF)

Post-Adoption Contact: All Change or More of the Same?

Lance Dodgson, barrister of Bank House Chambers, considers the changes concerning post-adoption contact made by the Children and Families Act 2014 and asks what effect they will have in practice.

Full article: Family Law Week

Domestic Violence Prevention and Punishment - A Multi-faceted Approach

Syvil Lloyd Morris, Director of Famil Law at Bastian Lloyd Morris Solicitor Advocates, considers the developing interrelationship between the criminal and family jurisdictions in relation to cases of domestic violence.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children Public Law Update (November 2014)

John Tughan, barrister, of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important judgments in public law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Drug and Alcohol Court: A Practitioners’ and Judge’s Perspectives

Sarah Jennings & Esther Lieu, 3PB, with District Judge Julie Exton look at the Family Drug and Alcohol Court.

Full article: Family Law Week

Enforcement Remedies: A Practical Guide

This article is designed to provide a practitioner’s guide to the principal types of enforcement mechanisms available for financial remedy orders, incorporating a succinct summary of recent authorities.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Regulation of surrogacy

Recent cases prove that universal laws are needed to provide clarity and help secure the welfare of surrogate babies.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

‘The way we are’: accessing the court after LASPO

We are writing this article to explain a process involving four points that we have put into effect in the ‘DFJ area’ of Avon, North Somerset and Gloucestershire.

Full article: Family Law

Speech to Jordan’s Family Law Conference by The Hon. Mr Justice Mostyn

The Hon. Mr Justice Mostyn gave a speech to Jordan’s Family Law Conference on 8 October 2014.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Local Authority Focus - October 2014

Sally Gore, barrister of Fenners Chambers, looks at recent developments of significance to local authorities.

Full article: Family Law Week

21st Century Family Law speech by Sir James Munby

The 2014 Michael Farmer Memorial Lecture, speech on 21st Century Family Law.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

The duty of financial disclosure

The subject of disclosure is currently a hot topic in family law, particularly as a result of the Court of Appeal decision in the case of Sharland v Sharland [2014] EWCA Civ 95, [2014] 2 FLR 89.

Full article: Family Law

Omnibuses of Non-Molestation and Occupation Orders

Yesterday, the President of the Family Division Sir James Munby released Practice Guidance relating to the duration of ex parte (without notice) orders: Practice Guidance: Family Court – Duration of Ex Parte (Without Notice) Orders.

Full article: Family Law

Adoption and access to family history

The case (In the matter of X (Adopted Child: Access to Court File) [2014] EWFC 33) concerned an application by Y, the daughter of X who had been adopted in 1930 by Mr and Mrs C.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

View from the Foot of the Tower: The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth

On my blog recently there has been a discussion about whether a court should give greater weight to the evidence of someone who is devoutly religious, because they are more likely to take the oath seriously. This article considers whether that is the case, and the extent to which the court considers character when weighing evidence.

Full article: Family Law

Safeguarding, privacy and respect for children and young people and the ‘next steps’ in media access to family courts

Proposals to extend further the rights of media access in children and family cases remain problematic.

Full article: Family Law

Transgendered Parents and Private Law Children Proceedings

Lyndsey Sambrooks-Wright, barrister of 2 Dr Johnson's Buildings, considers issues arising in private law children proceedings when one parent undergoes gender reassignment.

Full article: Family Law Week

Access to justice - is a collaborative approach the answer?

Christabel Clappison looks at the potential role of the collaborative approach in promoting access to justice in a post-LASPO landscape.

Full article: Resolution

Legal Services Payments Orders and Legal Aid Exceptional Funding

Under the new sections 22ZA and 22ZB of the MCA 1973, the court can make a legal services payment order.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update October 2014

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published by Family Law Week during September.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mediation Matters: Divorcing and separating – information, signposting and legal aid

Last week’s new MOJ / LAA legal aid and mediation data heralded repeated ‘bring back legal aid’ choruses from some quarters.

Full article: Family Law

Financial remedy applications

The introduction of the family court was the most significant development in family law for many years. However, the change did not fundamentally affect the conduct of financial remedy applications, although there have been various procedural developments since the start of the year. This article summarises some of the most significant.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Capacity to enter into compromise agreements – MAP v RAP [2013] EWHC 4784 (Fam)

The wife sought permission out of time to appeal a consent order. The primary basis of appeal was that the wife did not have mental capacity to enter into the compromise agreement due to her having bipolar effective disorder.

Full article: Family Law

Spousal Maintenance: How appealing is an appeal? Appeal Cost consequences explored

In H v W [2014] EWHC 2846 (Fam) Eleanor King J revisited the issue of costs.

Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF)

Children: Private Law Update (September 2014 )

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers recent judgments in private law children cases, including the President's judgment on legal aid funding in Q v Q.

Full article: Family Law Week

A Proposed Draft Final TOLATA Order

Here follows a suggested draft for a basic final TOLATA order concerning a property subject to a mortgage in the style of the Family Standard Orders, with the occasional marginal note.

Full article: Family Law

Best Interests Reviewed: United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust v N [2014] EWCOP 16

This recent case in the Court of Protection considered best interests in the context of a minimally conscious patient and whether it was lawful for the applicant trust to cease making further efforts to maintain artificial nutrition.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Care Proceedings and the European Dimension: Article 15 Transfers

Michael Jones, barrister of 15 Winckley Square, considers recent developments in respect of care proceedings involving another European state.

Full article: Family Law Week

View from the Foot of the Tower: Stemming the tide

There have been some very complex and ethically difficult cases arising from artificial insemination and disputes afterwards in the last 2 years. A development in science might lead to some even more difficult legal issues.

Full article: Family Law

Scottish families and family law

What if Scotland decides on 18th September to vote for independence? No one will decide on family law reasons. But what might be some family law implications for the Union and for Anglo Scottish families of which there are very many?

Full article: Family Law

A custodial sentence for divorce is slow progress

Marilyn Stowe remains sceptical over proposals to strengthen the law on domestic abuse.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Domestic Violence Update – the latest developments practitioners need to know about

Mandip Ghai, solicitor and legal officer, with Rights of Women, updates practitioners on developments in the prevention of domestic violence.

Full article: Family Law Week

Maintaining jurisdiction

Once divorce proceedings have been issued in England solicitors might mistakenly sit back and assume they have secured jurisdiction and 'won' the jurisdiction race under Brussels II Revised.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update September 2014

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor and Amy Starnes solicitor, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published by Family Law Week in August.

Full article: Family Law Week

Surrogacy Law Update (September 2014)

In this inaugural surrogacy update, Andrew Powell, barrister, of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent judgments in the High Court.

Full article: Family Law Week

The President’s judgment in Q v Q, Re B (A Child) and Re C (A Child) [2014] EWFC 31 – thinking through the implications

Notwithstanding the scrutiny by Parliament of the provisions of LASPO 2012 (including s 10 – exceptional funding) there are private law cases of real difficulty and complexity that require legal expertise to navigate fairly and effectively.

Full article: Family Law

Early Neutral Evaluations in private law children disputes: the way forward?

This article looks at the use of Early Neutral Evaluations (ENEs) in private law children disputes following, what is understood to be, the first ENE in a children case on 11 July 2014.

Full article: Family Law

Compensation in Financial Remedies Cases – Parthian Shots and The Emperor’s New Clothes

Joshua Viney of 1 Hare Court and Matthew Brunsdon-Tully of 1 Hare Court and St John’s Chambers examine the issue of compensation in spousal maintenance claims.

Full article: Family Law Week

Obtaining exceptional funding under LASPO – is it worth applying? (Yes)

Carol Storer of the Legal Aid Practitioners Groupand Tom Royston of Garden Court North look at the legal challenges around s 10 LASPO.

Full article: Family Law

Adoptions outside of care proceedings

The legal test for the court making a Placement Order in care proceedings is that 'nothing else will do'. What has been somewhat less clear is whether 'nothing else will do' is also the test for a court when considering an adoption where the mother is relinquishing the child for adoption, or in step-parent adoptions.

Full article: Family Law

Cutting edge in family law

Mediation will never replace litigation, says Marilyn Stowe, but nevertheless should be nurtured as a valuable adjunct.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Mediation Matters: Unlocking an understanding of mediation

It’s not traditionally noted for major Government statements, but this month saw one of the most significant announcements affecting family law and mediation for some time.

Full article: Family Law

Civil partnerships and equal marriage: the current position

Hannah Saxe of Irwin Motchell looks at the current state of the law.

Full article: Family Law

Judicially approved voyeurism

Once upon a time, we were able to say to our clients - with a degree of confidence - that their laundry, dirty or otherwise, would be safe with us.

Full article: Family Law

Court of Protection Update (August 2014)

In this update Sally Bradley and Julia Townend, barristers of 4 Paper Buildings, focus on developments in the law concerning capacity to consent to sexual relations.

Full article: Family Law Week

Transparency – essential update

The President of the Family Division Sir James Munby has released a Consultation Paper regarding ‘Transparency – The Next Steps’.

Full article: Family Law

Transparency - The Next Steps: A Consultation Paper issued by the President of the Family Division

A key element of the family justice reforms is the transparency agenda – finding ways of opening up the workings of the Family Court to public scrutiny so as to increase understanding of what we do and how we do it, whilst at the same time preserving confidentiality and respecting the private and family lives of those whom the system serves.

Full article: Family Law

13th View from the President's Chambers

The process of reform: an update.

Full article: Family Law

Relatives, culture and cultural relativism

The High Court have been dealing over the last year with a restructuring of principles – removing the patrician idea that the English Courts are always best placed to deal with children who are in the UK but have a parent from another part of the world.

Full article: Family Law

On an equal footing

Family practitioners must always have one eye on the court’s overriding objective, says Ed Heaton.

Full article: New Law Journal

Applications made without notice

Mr Justice Mostyn has recently issued guidance in relation to applications made without notice, which has been circulated via designated family judges. The purpose of this article is to distil the principles set out in that guidance.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

The Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group – Essential Update

The President’s 12th View set out three main aims for the Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group headed by Hayden J and Russell J. The Working Group has now published an interim report, a summary of which is set out below.

Full article: Family Law

The Financial Remedies Working Group – Essential Update

The dust is only just starting to settle following the April 2014 changes in the family law arena, but now two reports have been published dealing with further changes to family proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Ordinary Residence: Can the ‘Shah test’ survive after Re A and the Cornwall Council case?

Jennifer Perrins, barrister of 1 King’s Bench Walk, and Amy Rowe, associate solicitor with Bindmans LLP, consider whether the test of ordinary residence is distinctive from that of habitual residence.

Full article: Family Law Week

Is the Family Court committed to committal?

Although still a measure of last resort, it seems from recent cases that the Family Court is becoming increasingly willing to commit those in breach of financial remedy orders.

Full article: Family Law

Court authorised Deprivations of Liberty in a post-Cheshire West world

On 7 August 2014, Sir James Munby, President of the Court of Protection handed down his judgment in respect of the practical and procedural implications following the Supreme Court judgment in Cheshire West.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update August 2014

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor with Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in July.

Full article: Family Law Week

Child Maintenance Service to replace Child Support Agency - but is it better?

Reforms to the vexed question of child support payments by absent parents mean extra charges for both sides.

Full article: The Independent

Family justice system reform: what's changed?

Interview with Jo Edwards, Chair, Resolution and Susan Jacklin QC, Chair, Family Law Bar Association.

Full article: Resolution

Revisiting Habitual Residence – The Court of Appeal Decision in Re H

Deirdre Fottrell, Barrister of One Garden Court, considers the parameters of habitual residence and jurisdiction in the light of Re H (Jurisdiction) [2014] EWCA Civ 1101.

Full article: Family Law Week

Reporting restrictions in financial remedy proceedings: a review after case management in Cooper-Hohn v Hohn

The careful judgement of Roberts J in Cooper-Hohn v Hohn [2014] EWHC 2314 (Fam) prompts thoughts on publicity in financial remedy proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Non-legally trained mediators: a Tour de Farce?

Mediation in family disputes is a threat to justice, believes Marilyn Stowe.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Mapping Paths to Family Justice

The Mapping Paths to Family Justice project’s central aim was to provide much needed evidence about the awareness, usage, experience and outcomes of the different ‘alternative’ or ‘out of court’ Family Dispute Resolution processes.

Full article: Family Law

Children will be seen and heard – now they must be understood

Justice Minister, Simon Hughes’ recent announcement that the voice of the child will feature more prominently in deciding family law cases is to be welcomed, but will the proposed measures be enough to ensure that children are not only heard, but understood?

Full article: Family Law

Crime and Punishment

So now Michael Prest has been given a prison sentence - albeit suspended - for failing to pay arrears of maintenance to his ex wife, Yasmin.

Full article: Family Law

When is Same-Gender Parenting a Private Fostering Arrangement?

Kate Tompkins, barrister, of 36 Bedford Row considers the implications of private fostering arrangements in respect of children born to same-gender couples.

Full article: Family Law Week

'Robust' case management and judicial bias

July 2014 has seen several cases reported where the Court of Appeal has had to address the question of apparent bias from judges purporting to exercise their case management or interlocutory functions in a 'robust' way.

Full article: Family Law

Reviewing Findings of Fact in Care Proceedings

Jennifer Kotilaine, barrister, of 42 Bedford Row considers the President’s endorsement of the three-stage test in Re ZZ [2014] EWFC 9.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mediation Matters: Let professional mediators and solicitors work together so mediation thrives

When the Government’s Family Mediation Task Force report was published early in July, a chorus of disapproval was heard from the solicitor sector.

Full article: Family Law

Welfare of the animal versus property test – the treatment of pets on divorce

More and more pet owners are turning to solicitors to obtain ownership rights over their pet upon the breakdown of their relationship.

Full article: Family Law

Simon Hughes' speech at the Voice of the Child conference

Simon Hughes' speech to the Family Justice Young People's Board 'Voice of the Child' conference.

Full article: Ministry of Justice

Children: Public Law Update (July 2014)

John Tughan, barrister, of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important judgments in public law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children proceedings – evidence from ‘protected’ witnesses

The status of the evidence of children and of vulnerable witnesses has twice been before the Court of Appeal recently.

Full article: Family Law

Marital eroticism on marital separation

David Hodson asks: what happens on separation to intimate photographs taken during the marriage?

Full article: Family Law

Five things we can (usefully) do about LASPO

Five suggestions gleaned from the preliminary findings of the Bar Council’s survey on the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Full article: Family Law

Arbitration of TOLATA disputes: Why would anyone now chose to litigate?

This note is concerned with disputes which must be resolved by way of litigation pursuant to the CPR in the TOLATA and Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 context.

Full article: Family Law

Applications Without Notice: A Practitioner’s Guide

Rodney Noon, solicitor, provides a detailed review of the law and practice of – and the court’s attitude to – without notice applications in family proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Local Authority Focus – July 2014

Sally Gore, barrister, of Fenners Chambers considers recent case law and other developments of particular significance to local authorities.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce July 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor at Mills & Reeve LLP, reviews the latest developments and judgments relating to marriage, divorce and financial remedies.

Full article: Family Law Week

View from the Foot of the Tower: The Cobra Effect

Andrew Pack reflects upon the first year of LASPO.

Full article: Family Law

Deprivation of liberty – some fog clears about children’s homes

In a judgment that assists in resolving one issue that has been exercising practitioners since the judgment in Cheshire West, Holman J has confirmed that the Court of Protection has the power to make an order which authorises that a person who is not a child may be deprived of his liberty in premises which are a children’s home.

Full article: Family Law

Leave to remove from jurisdiction: Re P (Children) [2014] EWCA Civ 852

The Court of Appeal has allowed the appeal of a mother seeking to relocate with her two children, aged 3 and 2 years old, to Germany.

Full article: Family Law

Care Orders and Home Placements: removal and the public funding conundrum

Michael Jones, barrister, of 15 Winckley Square Chambers considers the lessons to be learned from DE (A Child) when care plans provide for placements at home with the family.

Full article: Family Law Week

Legal aid cuts force warring couples into the arms of litigation lenders

Divorce has always been a long and heated process – but while the venom is still plentiful the money is not.

Full article: The Guardian

Insults and Injuries; the court’s approach to personal injury damages in financial remedy proceedings

Pranjal Shrotri barrister, 36 Bedford Row, considers how personal injury claim awards are likely to be treated by the court in distribution of assets between divorcing parties.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cafcass model of ‘Evidence Informed Practice’

A bespoke matrix of standardised assessment tools is being used by Cafcass to produce reports which aim to facilitate early and conclusive decision making in private law family court proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Domestic abuse and forced marriage

Jo Morris, Amy Royce-Greensill, Amy Sanders look at the law in these areas.

Full article: Family Law

Embedding family drug and alcohol courts into family justice

Judith Harwin, Bachar Alrouh, Mary Ryan and Jo Tunnard discuss opportunities and challenges presented by 'problem-solving' courts based on therapeutic jurisprudence.

Full article: Community Care

Pre-nup, post-nup and no-nup

Philippa Dolan looks at pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Full article: Family Law

'They tried to make me go to rehab': what to do when the local authority says 'No, no, no'

The steps to be taken by a local authority when they wish to remove a child who has been placed with parents under a care order were considered by the High Court in the recent case of Re DE (A Child).

Full article: Family Law

Unintended consequences of family justice reform

Byron James, barrister, Fourteen considers some of the less publicised consequences of the reform of the family justice system.

Full article: Family Law Week

Desperately Seeking Certainty. And Fairness. And Equality. And … The Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill

Having had its first reading on 9 June 2014 the Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill is due back in the House of Lords today, Friday 27 June 2014 for its second reading and general debate.

Full article: Family Law

Criminalising Forced Marriage – The Deterrent Effect

Danish Ameen, barrister of 18 St John Street Chambers, considers the impact of the criminalisation of forced marriage which came into effect on the 16th June 2014.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Private Law Update (June 2014)

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers recent judgment in private law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Female Genital Mutilation: Protection v Punishment

In anticipation of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee's report into FGM, Melanie Hepworth, Solicitor at Covent Garden Family Law, calls for greater awareness of the violence threatened to thousands of girls in the UK.

Full article: Family Law Week

Can A Consent Order Be Set Aside In Financial Proceedings?

In the light of TF v PJ [2014] EWHC 1780 (Fam), Francis Wilkinson, barrister of Field Court Chambers, asks whether an application to set aside is permissible where there has been a change of circumstances which undermines the basis of a consent order – and suggests an answer.

Full article: Family Law Week

New EU law on domestic violence

The EU has introduced a law, in force in January 2015, giving significant cross-EU powers and orders for the victims of domestic violence and others needing protective measures.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce June 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor, and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law, both of Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in May.

Full article: Family Law Week

Re KP – International child abduction and the objections of a child

The increase in divorce rates and global travel has inevitably led to a growing problem of international child abduction.

Full article: Family Law

Analysis Post-Re B-S: The Fallacy of ‘Better than Good Enough Care’

Paul Hart, barrister, 15 Winckley Square Chambers, considers whether the courts are asking the right question when determining the capability of parents to care for their children.

Full article: Family Law Week

12th View from the President's Chambers

The process of reform: next steps.

Full article: Family Law

Should There Be a Third Standard of Proof in Care Cases?

Simon Goddard, solicitor, Red Kite Law, questions whether the balance of probabilities is the appropriate standard of proof in all care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Chai v Peng [2014] EWHC 1519 (Fam): a tale of two petitions

The judgment of Mr Justice Holman in Chai v Peng permitting the wife to issue a replacement second petition upon the dismissal of her first, has important repercussions for the ongoing jurisdictional dispute.

Full article: Family Law

Chai v Peng: Shifting the Jurisdictional Goalposts Once the Forum Dispute Match Has Started

Michael Allum, Solicitor, The International Family Law Group LLP, considers the implications.

Full article: Family Law Week

​Cohabitation law reform

Former Law Society President Martin Mears argues against the reform of the law.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Sharing our bewilderments

Andrew Pack looks at county court judgments published since the 22nd of April.

Full article: Family Law

Not (necessarily) a political broadcast on behalf of UKIP

Where does the present debate on EU family law legislation lie with the sentiments expressed around Europe last Sunday through the ballot box of the EU elections? Is it in any way reflective of a bigger picture? Can lessons be learned?

Full article: Family Law

When Patience Pays – Adjourning Claims for Financial Relief

Claire Reid, senior associate with Slater & Gordon examines the circumstances in which the court may adjourn a financial remedies claim.

Full story: Family Law Week

"Whose Fault is it Anyway?": Reform of Divorce

Joshua Viney, pupil, and Richard Sear, barrister, both of 1 Hare Court, examine the issue of divorce reform following the President’s recent speech.

Full article: Family Law Week

Re B-S and the Perils of the ‘Balance Sheet’ Approach

Michael Jones, barrister, 15 Winckley Square Chambers, considers the response of local authorities to the requirements imposed by Re B-S and later cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

MIAMS and international cases

David Hodson asks whether the requirement to attend a MIAM applies to international cases.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Split hearings - the beginning of the end, or the end of the middle?

The Court of Appeal have given two judgments in 2014 which indicate something of a sea-change in the way the higher Courts view split hearings or finding of fact hearings.

Full article: Family Law

The Children and Families Act 2014 and the impact on recently refreshing authorities

The impact of the changes to the 2014 Act on the welcomed decisions in the cases of Re B (Care Proceedings: Appeal); Re G (Care Proceedings: Welfare Evaluation); Re B-S (Adoption: Application of s 47(5)) and Re W (Care Proceedings: Functions of Court and Local Authority).

Full article: Family Law

Nuptial agreements: Limiting the Family Lawyer’s Exposure to Negligence Claims

The authors consider whether family lawyers are assuming unlimited liability when advising upon or drafting nuptial agreements and look at the practicalities of limiting that liability.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Serial Removal of Children from Young Mothers – is this right?

Maureen N Obi-Ezekpazu, FRSA, Barrister and Mediator, Family Matters, asks what can be done to help the plight of young mothers who have had several children permanently removed.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce May 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor, and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in April.

Full article: Family Law Week

New local authority duty: Staying Put

Noel Arnold looks at the duy of local authorities in relation to 'staying put'.

Full article: Family Law

Estoppel and detrimental reliance: cracking the golden egg

The case of Davies v Davies [2014] EWCA Civ 568 has recently exercised the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Full article: Family Law

The allocation of international relocation cases

With the single Family Court now in operation, one important change that has taken place has been a revision of the allocation and gatekeeping guidance.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Bannister, Bugatti and improved performance

Andrew Pack looks at the 26 week limit in care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

The Children and Families Act 2014 and the new Family Court – will the changes achieve their aims?

Charlotte Sanders asks whether the overhaul of the family system that has been taking place since 22 April 2014 in terms of private law will achieve its aims.

Full article: Family Law

Terminating a Father’s Parental Responsibility: Preserving the legal status quo

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings and Saoirse Townshend of 36 Bedford Row analyse an important Court of Appeal judgment on termination of PR.

Full article: Family Law Week

Regulating McKenzie Friends – too much too soon?

The concept of the McKenzie Friend was established over four decades ago, but as a group they have only really come to prominence in the last few years as legal aid and budget cuts within the family justice system have left many families without legal representation.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Public Law Update (May 2014)

John Tughan considers recent judgments in public law children cases, including the President's recent comments on the 26 week time limit and s 38(6) applications.

Full article: Family Law Week

In the President’s Court 29 April 2014

Before Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice, Lord Justice McFarlane, Lord Justice Ryder and Mr David Norgrove, 29 April 2014, gathering to mark and celebrate the family justice reforms.

Full article: Family Law

Conscious uncoupling? Sir James Munby hints at separating divorce

Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow did it. Now the President of the Family Division wants to do the same with divorce and ancillary relief proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Breaking with the past

Joshua Rozenberg considers the reforms suggested by Sir James Munby.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

The seven habits of highly effective family solicitors

In this new blog, I want to offer some helpful hints and tips to beleaguered family law practitioners.

Full article: Family Law

EU seeks views of English family lawyers on Brussels II

Brussels II (2201/2003) is reviewed periodically by the EU as to its operation and any possible reforms.

Full article: Family Law

Family law finance arbitration: a new dawn

Article by Sir Hugh Bennett.

Full article: Family Law

Liars and Divorce Lawyers: can an OS/DS hearing help and a possible future for split hearings in financial remedies?

Byron James, barrister, Fourteen considers the utility of OS/DS hearings in the resolution of financial remedies disputes.

Full article: Family Law Week

Clean Break Orders and Spousal Maintenance: where are we now?

Liz Cowell, principal lawyer with Slater & Gordon analyses the case law and trends emerging from case law regarding clean breaks and termination of spousal periodical payments orders.

Full article: Family Law Week

Big ask: Jo Edwards calls for change in culture and attitudes around dispute resolution

As the family law sector sees some great changes, Laura Clenshaw asks Resolution's chair about her thoughts and aims.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Moving the deckchairs around the Family Court

Philippa Dolan looks at the reality of the new family justice system.

Full article: Family Law

View from the foot of the Tower: Playing catch-up

By way of a catch-up, here are the things that the High Court and Court of Appeal have told lawyers that they must do or understand, just this year. It is only April, and here is what we have already been hit with.

Full article: Family Law

The Child Arrangements Programme 2014: The Key Provisions

Louise McCallum, barrister at Zenith Chambers, Leeds, looks at the new Child Arrangements Programme that came into force on 22 April 2014.

Full article: Family Law Week

Child Arrangements Programme: What will happen on 22 April 2014?

A summary of the new Child Arrangements Programme governing private children cases from 22 April.

Full article: Family Law Hub

The family law reforms in practice - a view from the crystal ball

Miranda Mourby considers how much will actually change in practice.

Full article: Family Law

Standardised orders and the future delivery of family law services

"Of great significance in the long term internationally is the introduction of standardised court orders to be made by the unified family courts." Says David Hodson.

Full article: Family Law

Children and Families Act 2014 – A Guide for Public Children Lawyers

Jennifer Kotilaine, barrister, of 42 Bedford Row explains the changes introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 of most interest to public children lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

Public Law Outline (PD 12A) – essential update

In our final article in the series of updates, we look at the new PLO.

Full article: Family Law

MIAMS – essential update

This article summarises the essential points you need to know about MIAMs for the 22 April 2014.

Full article: Family Law

Bankers’ Bonuses – how the divorce capital of the world treats the rewards reaped from the financial capital of Europe

Lois Rogers, solicitor at Vardags, and Lily Mottahedan, barrister at 1 Hare Court, examine the court’s treatment of bonuses in financial remedy claims in light of the recent decision of Mrs Justice Eleanor King in H v W [2014] EWHC 4105 (Fam) and pre-existing case law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Guide to statutory instruments coming into force on 22 April 2014

The following statutory instruments, made in recent months, come into force on the 22nd April 2014 in consequence of the establishment of the family court and/ or the implementation of Parts 1 and 2 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

Full article: Family Law Week

Is Time Running Out For Section 20 of The Children Act?

Julie Stather, barrister of 42 Bedford Row, examines the recent use of section 20 and considers its future in the light of the impending 26 week limit for care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Children and Families Act 2014 – essential update

A summary of the need-to-know points for 22 April 2014.

Full article: Family Law

What are the causes of inadequate child protection services?

For local areas where child protection is inadequate, the problems are likely to have had a number of causes.

Full article: The Guardian

Child Arrangements Programme (PD 12B) – essential update

Some of the salient points to note in the CAP.

Full article: Family Law

The single Family Court – essential update

With three working days to go until the single Family Court becomes a reality this is the second article in our series of essential updates, designed to give family law professionals a summary the key changes happening on 22 April 2014.

Full article: Family Law

11th View from the President's Chambers

The Process of reform: on the cusp of history.

Full article: Family Law

Family Justice Reforms – Divorce and Finance: What you need to know on 22 April 2014

Nicola Rowlings, PSL at Mills & Reeve, summarises the key changes for finance and divorce cases that will kick in with implementation of the single Family Court on 22 April.

Full article: Family Law Hub

View from the foot of the Tower: Avocado meetings

Since the first version of the PLO came into being, way back in 2008, the parties have been supposed to convene an advocates meeting before the Case Management Conference (now Case Management Hearing) and Issues Resolution Hearing.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce April 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor, and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in March.

Full article: Family Law Week

“Please Sir I Want Some More”

Sarah Lucy Cooper, barrister of Thomas More Chambers, examines the law on anti-suit injunctions and their role in financial remedies cases where one party seeks to pursue claims in another jurisdiction despite a final order having been made in this jurisdiction.

Full article: Family Law Week

Local Authority Focus – Families with No Recourse to Public Funding and Part III of the Children Act

Sally Gore, barrister of Fourteen, considers a pressing concern of local authorities and immigrant families: the duties owed under Part III of the Children Act 1989 to individuals who have no recourse to public funding.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Budget and Pensions and Conscious Uncoupling

It is 2 weeks since the Chancellor announced changes (some actual, some proposed) in his Budget to how pensions may be dealt with in the future.

Full article: Family Law

Compulsory meetings for all: what does it mean for mediation?

From April 22, under section 10 of the Children and Families Act, anyone wanting to issue family proceedings will have to attend a mediation information assessment meeting.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Changes in the law on Habitual Residence

Over the last 12 months there have been substantial developments in the law on habitual residence following judgments handed down from the Supreme Court, most notably in the cases of Re A (Children: Habitual Residence) [2013] UKSC 60, and the recent decision of LC (children) [2014] UKSC 1, handed down in early January.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Single Family Court - family justice system reforms

The single Family Court will be implemented on 22 April. On the same day, the majority of the family justice provisions in the Children and Families Act will come into force.

Full article: Family Law

Pre-acquired Assets – a new approach?

Liz Cowell and Abigail Lowther both of Slater & Gordon analyse the case law to see whether any general principles can be identified as to how the court will deal with pre-acquired assets in financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family justice: generational shift

On 22 April, the largest family justice reforms for a generation come into effect, putting children at the heart of the system. The new single Family Court becomes a reality and provisions from the Children and Families Act will be implemented.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Cinderella Law – how might the new criminal measures affect already existing family legislation?

New legislation nicknamed the Cinderella Law, which looks set to become enacted in the near future, could have significant ramifications upon the practice of family law.

Full article: Family Law

Too many international cases spoil the family justice broth?

David Hodson considers Holman J's remarks in Chai v Peng.

Full article: Family Law

Legal aid for committal proceedings

Munby P granted criminal legal aid to the alleged contemnor in respect of committal proceedings within Hague Convention proceedings on 6 March 2014.

Full article: Family Law

Divorce here or abroad: is arbitration the best way?

Is ‘private judging' by way of arbitration to become the preferred route for resolving financial disputes on divorce and separation?

Full article: Family Law

Where are we now with pre-nuptial agreements?

Since the seminal case of Radmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, [2010] 2 FLR 1900 there has been a shift in how pre-nuptial agreements are viewed.

Full article: Family Law

Practitioners and the public deserve clarity on prenups

The Law Commission’s report on matrimonial property, needs and agreements was a huge anti-climax, says Judith Fitton.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Care Proceedings: Who is Best Placed to Provide Best Evidence?

Eleanor Battie, barrister of Crown Office Row, Brighton, asks whether the demand for speed in care proceedings is at the cost of best expert evidence.

Full article: Family Law Week

Domicile in a post-Victoria era

Two cases reported at the start of this year, Ray v Sekhri [2014] EWCA Civ 119 and Divall v Divall [2014] EWHC 95 (Fam), [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming) illustrate the scope for reform of the law relating to domicile.

Full article: Family Law

EU external competency goes to European Court on 1 April, and it’s no joke!

On Tuesday, 1 April 2014, a date rich with irony, the European Court of Justice is hearing claims brought by several EU Governments against the EU asserting that the EU has, in terms, wrongly exceeded its powers by claiming sole competency to enter into bilateral and multilateral arrangements with non-EU countries in respect of family law matters.

Full article: Family Law

Habitual Residence - Habitual Problems

Joshua Viney, pupil at 1 Hare Court, considers the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment in Tan v Choy and the ongoing debate concerning the fifth indent of Article 3 of Brussels IIR.

Full article: Family Law Week

Care Proceedings: The European Dimension

Michael Jones, barrister of 15 Winckley Square Chambers, offers a guide to practitioners conducting care proceedings involving families with European origins.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cheshire West – scoring criteria

In my previous article, I summarised the key points of the decision, and gave some initial comments. I want to return today to consider some further points in the judgments of the Supreme Court Justices, together with some more observations upon where we go from here.

Full article: Family Law

Cheshire West: the Supreme Court’s right hook

After a wait that - if one was being impertinent - might seem doubtfully compliant with the requirement of speed in Art 5(4) ECHR, the Supreme Court has now handed down its judgment in the conjoined cases of Cheshire West and P and Q.

Full article: Family Law

Has forum shopping had its day?

London is regularly referred to as the ‘divorce capital of the world', principally because the law in England and Wales is felt to favour the economically weaker spouse.

Full article: Family Law

Prenuptial agreements and Radmacher

In recent weeks the legal world has been talking about the Law Commission’s report Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreement, which includes a draft bill that would make prenuptial agreements binding. What would be the implications for the legal market and practitioners of these proposals were they to become law?

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Children and Families Act 2014: what private law reforms survived?

The Children and Families Bill received Royal Assent on 13 March. James Finch of 29 Bedford Row looks at what reforms got through the lengthy Parliamentary process.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Update: Joint Ownership of Property - A Round–Up of the Major Decisions in the Wake of Jones v. Kernott

The following is a brief summary of the major reported cases that have followed in the wake of Jones v. Kernott.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Family Law Week’s Budget Briefing 2014

Jan Ellis, chartered accountant, of Ellis Foster LLP, a firm which specialises in advising family lawyers on tax-related family law issues, explains the budget changes of most relevance to family lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Children and Families Act 2014 – Private Law Proceedings: what practitioners need to know

Anna Heenan, solicitor with Gregg Latchams LLP in Bristol, examines the new statutory provisions in respect of MIAMs, continued parental involvement and child arrangement orders.

Full article: Family Law Week

Funding Family Proceedings and Legal Services Orders

Tony Ward, Family Law barrister with 3PB analyses the latest case law relating to Legal Services Orders under s.22ZA MCA 1973.

Full article: Family Law Week

View from the foot of the Tower: Renewals of section 38 orders

The Children and Families Act 2014 removes from the Children Act 1989 the old prohibition on an Interim Care Order or Interim Supervision Order being made for longer than 28 days (or a combination of the first two such orders adding up to 12 weeks). In this article, I will briefly set out the new provisions, but then more importantly consider what this means in practice.

Full article: Family Law

Fact-finding and probability: the importance of asking the right questions

"This decision [Re D] in a fact-finding hearing relating to children merits note here because of the helpful summary of the relevant legal principles, which are - we suggest - directly applicable to fact-finding hearings in proceedings in the CoP where it is alleged that a third party has caused harm to P."

Full article: Family Law

Worldwide qualifying conditions for marital agreements

One of the good recommendations from the recent English Law Commission report into marital agreements was that foreign marital agreements should be given equal weight and binding status under English law if they accorded with the same minimum qualifying conditions as required for English marital agreements.

Full article: Family Law

Same Sex Marriage – essential update

This is the first of a series of articles designed to help family lawyers get up to speed with the reforms and other legislation by summarising the changes to the law and how they will affect day-to-day practice.

Full article: Family Law

Child Support – What Is Going On?

Jody Atkinson TEP, barrister at St John's Chambers, Bristol, considers the ongoing changes to the Child Support Act system.

Full article: Family Law Week

From "Shaken Baby Syndrome" to "Non-Accidental Head Injury" – The Continuing Research and the Law

David Bedingfield of 4 Paper Buildings charts the recent history of scientific research into serious non-accidental head injuries suffered by babies and the response of the family and criminal courts in England and Wales.

Full article: Family Law Week

Ilott v Mitson [2014] EWHC 542 - Appeal with caution

‘On 3 March 2014 Mrs Justice Parker handed down judgment in the appeal on the issue of quantum in the case of Ilott v Mitson [2014] EWHC 542 (Fam). The case concerned an application for reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (“the 1975 Act”).’

Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF)

Reporting Restrictions and the New Transparency - Part 3

In the final part of her article reviewing reporting restriction orders and the new transparency Mary Lazarus, barrister of 42 Bedford Row, considers in detail the President's recent guidance on transparency in the family courts.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce March 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in February.

Full article: Family Law Week

Law Commission proposals and international families

The proposals by the Law Commission are now a week old and a better opportunity can now be taken to consider their wider impact. How do they affect international families?

Full article: Family Law

View from the foot of the Tower: Just the facts, ma’am

The High Court has ruled, in the case of Re NL (Appeal: Interim Care Report: Facts and Reasons) [2014] EWHC 270 (Fam), [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming) that the practice of parties (sometimes all of them, sometimes the Local Authority) drafting Facts and Reasons for the Magistrates in family cases for agreed orders or 'not opposed but not consented to orders' must stop.

Full article: Family Law

Family lawyers need to start adjusting to forthcoming changes

A single family court and a faster adoption process are only some of the far-reaching changes due to take place in the coming months, says Julia Thackray.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

President’s Address to the FLBA Dinner 28 February 2014

Address by the President, Sir James Munby, at the Annual Dinner of the Family Law Bar Association in Middle Temple Hall on Friday 28 February 2014.

Full speech: FLBA

Reporting Restrictions and the New Transparency - Part 2

In the second part of her article reviewing reporting restriction orders and the new transparency Mary Lazarus, barrister of 42 Bedford Row, considers those cases involving aggrieved parties and cases with international implications.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cafcass: The rule of three - changes to the family courts

In late April 2014, three simultaneous changes to the way family courts in England and Wales operate will be launched.

Full article: Family Law

The Termination of Parental Responsibility: Awaiting the Court of Appeal's Judgment in the Appeal of CW v SG [2013] EWHC 854 (Fam)

Esther Lieu, barrister of Queen Square Chambers in Bristol, explores the circumstances in which parental responsibility may be terminated and considers the effect of s.4(2A) in anticipation of the Court of Appeal's judgment in the appeal from CW v SG.

Full article: Family Law Week

Fraudulent non-disclosure: the latest Chapter

Sarah Foreman, a solicitor at Vardags, analyses the Court of Appeal judgment in Sharland v. Sharland.

Full article: Family Law Week

Arbitration in family cases – the way forward?

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has endorsed the use of arbitration in financial remedy cases.

Full article: Family Law

The Law Commission proposals: A wasted opportunity, passing the reform buck and continued unpredictability for future settlements?

The English Law Commission has today (27 February 2014) published its long awaited final report and proposed draft legislation on its government prompted consultation on 'Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements'.

Full article: Family Law

Putting need back on centre stage: The Law Commission report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements

The Law Commission reported on 27 February 2014. It is an interesting, thorough and (at 231 pages) long document. This note by Max Lewis of 29 Bedford Row is intended to highlight the main issues that are likely to impact on practitioners, with some preliminary commentary on what the future might now hold as a result.

Full article: Family Law Hub

A work in progress

In an exclusive series David Burrows puts the new family court under scrutiny & assesses its ability to deliver justice.

Full article: New Law Journal

Reporting Restrictions and the New Transparency - Part 1

This is the first part of a three-part article by Mary Lazarus, barrister of 42 Bedford Row, reviewing recent developments concerning reporting restriction orders and transparency in the family courts. In this first part Mary considers some procedural issues before concentrating on those cases involving clashes between the need for privacy and the desire to report issues of genuine public interest.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Law Commission’s Report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements

Spencer Clarke, Lawyer in the Property, Family and Trust Law Team at the Law Commission considers the Key recommendations of the Law Commission's Report on Matrimonial, Property, Needs and Agreements.

Full article: Family Law Week

Off-the-peg divorces: firms adjust to commercial reality

Winning work via loss leaders may be the way forward for large companies now clients are more discerning.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Family courts: women and children first

Men have every right to feel disillusioned with the family courts system.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

International Children Law Update: February 2014

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Capacity to consent to sexual relations - where are we now?

‘When is it appropriate for society to intervene paternalistically in a decision or decisions that individuals make as to their sexual relations?'

Full article: Family Law

View from the foot of the Tower: Elephants and Barbara Streisand

"The elephant in the room relating to the current position in law ... is that trying to keep the identity of a child who has been the subject of care proceedings confidential may ultimately be very difficult." Says Andrew Pack.

Full article: Family Law

Marriage is made for Man, not Man for Marriage

Speech by Lord Wilson at the Medico-Legal Society in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Full speech: Supreme Court

Split Hearings in Care Proceedings: a Thing of the Past?

Michael Jones, barrister of 15 Winckley Square Chambers, reviews the recent Court of Appeal judgment in S (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 25 and considers its likely consequences.

Full article: Family Law Week

Court of Protection Update: February 2014

Sally Bradley and Michael Edwards, barristers of 4 Paper Buildings, consider the President's guidance on transparency in the Court of Protection as well as the most important recent judgments.

Full story: Family Law Week

The view from the President’s window; run up to the family court

The most recent ‘View from the President's chambers' [10] is entitled ‘The process of reform: the beginning of the future'.

Full article: Family Law

Special contribution in Australian law

A very important decision has been handed down in a landmark full Family Court decision in Australia in respect of financial outcomes on divorce, especially affecting wealthy families.

Full article: Family Law

Family Proceedings Courts must formulate their own reasons, not be spoon-fed them

There has been a fairly widespread practice that Local Authorities have been asked by the FPC to draft Facts and Reasons in cases that are agreed, or not opposed.

Full article: Family Law

View from the President's Chambers (10)

The process of reform : the beginning of the future.

Full article: FLBA

Asaad v Kurter: The latest round in ‘non-marriage’ cases - is the tide turning?

Lily Mottahedan, barrister at 1 Hare Court, examines the court’s approach in determining whether a marriage was a ‘non-marriage or a ‘void’ or ‘valid’ in the recent High Court judgment in Asaad v Kurter [2013] EWHC 3852 (Fam).

Full article: Family Law Week

Family law in crisis

Cuts to legal aid have thrown family proceedings into chaos, say Kim Beatson, Caroline Bowden & Ellen Lucas.

Full article: New Law Journal

When Best Interests Collide: A Protected Party, Protected Party’s Children and the Court of Protection

Sarah Phillimore, barrister of St John's Chambers, Bristol, and Daniela Nickols, associate solicitor with Mowbray Woodwards, analyse the recent case of X,Y, and Z [2014] EWHC 87 (COP) in which the Court of Protection considered the interplay between the best interests of a protected party and that party's children.

Full article: Family Law Week

Prenuptial Agreements Latest Caselaw: Pandora’s Box Stays Closed… at least for now

Wife fails in her challenge of a pre-nup entered into with her wealthy husband in respect of MPS and costs allowance.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce February 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in January.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance Cases Round-Up: January 2014

Gavin Smith, barrister, arbitrator and mediator at 1 Hare Court, looks at the key finance cases published in January.

Full article: Class Legal

Surrogacy: A Guide to the Current Law (Part 2) - Issues Arising

In the second of two articles providing an introduction to surrogacy law, Bianca Jackson, a pupil barrister at Coram Chambers, considers the main issues arising from the current legislation.

Full article: Family Law Week

President's Guidance on Publication of Judgments

From 3 February 2104 the Guidance of Sir James Munby P, Transparency in the Family Courts: Publication of Judgements: Practice Guidance of 16 January 2014, will be in force.

Full article: Family Law

A child’s state of mind can determine their habitual residence – Re LC (No 2) [2014] UKSC 1

Do children get a say as to where they should live? Yes, sometimes, says the Supreme Court in the case of Re LC (No 2) [2014] UKSC 1.

Full article: Family Law

‘Magic pill’ mediation is wrong prescription

Promotion of mediation as a cure-all for family law is misguided. It can never replace the law and the court.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Children: Public Law Update (January 2014)

John Tughan, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, analyses recent judgments in public law children cases and, in particular, the Re B-S line of authorities.

Full article: Family Law Week

Surrogacy: A Guide to the Current Law (Part 1)

In the first of two articles providing an introduction to surrogacy law, Bianca Jackson, a pupil barrister at Coram Chambers, considers the key statutes and regulations underpinning this growing area of family law practice.

Full article: Family Law Week

All change (again)

Geraldine Morris looks at the changes ahead for family law & predicts some new developments.

Full article: New Law Journal

Habitual Residence and Joinder in Child Abduction Cases: The Supreme Court's judgment in LC (Children)

Katy Chokowry, barrister of 1 King's Bench Walk, considers the Supreme Court's judgment in LC (Children).

Full article: Family Law Week

Family mediation’s headed for a fall

"The dramatically reduced level of family mediations is propped up by matters begun before April’s legal aid cuts. If no action is taken, there is much worse to come." Says Eduardo Reyes.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

December Family Law Case Reports: Highlights

The Family Law editorial board have shown no signs of slowing down for the Christmas break and provide you with another bumper issue of Family Law including all of the latest news, cases and legislation.

Full article: Family Law

Issue Estoppel – Cost of a Preliminary Issue Application

"In P & O Nedlloyd BV v Arab Metals Co & Anor [2006] EWCA Civ 1717, [2007] 1 WLR 2288 the Court of Appeal held that, where an appeal set aside an order below, the judgment appealed from was a nullity, and the findings on which it was based could not found an estoppel as between the parties." Says David Burrows.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce January 2014 Update

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in December.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Legal Aid Agency and Denial of the Right to a Fair Trial

"The case of Gitana Kineriene ('GK': Kinderis v Kineriene [2013] EWHC 4139 (Fam)) and her 11-year-old daughter operates on a number of levels: the right to a fair trial; the grant or not of legal aid; and the human question of how justice can be done where a legal aid scheme is humanly impenetrable." Says David Burrows.

Full article: Family Law