Internal relocation: A new approach

Re C (Internal Relocation) [2015] EWCA Civ 1305 marks a new approach to internal relocation disputes.

Full article: Family Law

Defining parental involvement after non-traditional conception

Family law practitioners will be all too familiar with the complexities that can arise in the context of the arrangements for children through non-traditional methods.

Full article: Family Law

Equally shared care of children: a pyrrhic victory if for financial motives?

Many family law practitioners will have experience of cases where one parent (usually the father) presses strongly for equal shared care of the children and there is at least a suspicion that part of the motivation is to reduce the amount of child maintenance which would be paid under the formula set by the Child Support Act 1991.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Private Law Update (December 2015)

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important judgments in private law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Towards a digital family court

Things may be changing. Two developments carry important portents.

Full article: Family Law

Domestic Violence and Care Proceedings: Re-victimising the Victim?

Rebekah Wilson, barrister, of Garden Court Chambers examines the plight of victims of domestic violence who find themselves caught up in care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family law: setting aside orders

On  14 October the Supreme Court (SC) gave judgments in Sharland v Sharland [2015] UKSC 60 and Gohil v Gohil [2015] UKSC 61.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Finance & Divorce Update December 2015

Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during November 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

In anticipation of a temporary blip: Would a change in the divorce law increase the divorce rate?

Does the research show that changing the ground for divorce, especially to no-fault divorce, lead to an increase in the rate of divorce?

Full article: Family Law

Practitioners’ lack of knowledge causing arbitration to stumble

The President has once again endorsed the use of arbitration in appropriate financial cases by introducing the best practice guidance.

Full article: Family Law

Family courts: going against tradition

Non-court options in family law disputes will often be in the client’s best interests.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Legal aid: narrowing of residence test is lawful, says Court of Appeal

In Public Law Project v The Lord Chancellor the Court of Appeal have reversed a Divisional Court decision in Public Law Project v The Secretary of State for Justice, which had found certain legal aid provisions ultra vires the legal aid legislation and discriminatory.

Full article: Family Law

Section 20 Children Act 1989: Consent, Not Coercion – Issue or be Damned

By Jacqui Gilliatt, barrister, and Amy Slingo, pupil, both of Four Brick Court.

Full article: Family Law Week

Baroness Hale addresses ALC Annual Conference on the child’s voice in family proceedings

On 20th November, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Deputy President of the Supreme Court, delivered the keynote speech at the Association of Lawyers for Children Annual Conference on the subject of the children's voice in family proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Questioning the Use of Section 20

Judith Masson, Professor of Socio-legal Studies at the University of Bristol, considers section 20 of the Children Act 1989 within its broader historic, legal and practice context.

Full article: Family Law Week

If mediation's the answer to everything, what's the question?

This article was written in support of Resolution's fourth Family Dispute Resolution Week, running from 23-27 November 2015.

Full article: Family Law

Calderback to the future

Practitioners could be forgiven for believing that Calderbank offers (without prejudice offers that are only admissible in arguments as to costs at the conclusion of proceedings) are an extinct species.

Full article: Family Law

Immediate 9 month sentence for non-disclosure

Mostyn J has imposed an immediate 9-month custodial sentence, thought to be the longest immediate custody ever imposed for non-disclosure in the family courts on a husband who has systematically failed to comply with orders of the English court.

Full article: Family Law

“… this can no longer be tolerated”: a short guide to the correct use of section 20, Children Act 1989

Alex Laing, barrister of Coram Chambers, concludes his review of N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction) by considering what the President said about section 20 agreements.

Full article: Family Law Week

Limping Infants and Article 15 BIIA: the “magisterial” judgment in In the Matter of N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction)

Alex Laing, barrister of Coram Chambers, considers two aspects of the decision in N (Children) (Adoption: Jurisdiction): (1) the jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to order the non-consensual adoption of a foreign child; and (2) the construction and use of Article 15 of Brussels IIA to transfer care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance & Divorce Update November 2015

Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during October 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Growing up under the Mental Capacity Act: The twilight zone of 16-18 year olds

How differently does the law treat young people who ‘graduate’ from the family law jurisdiction to that of the Court of Protection?

Full article: Family Law

Radicalisation: a proportionate response

Sarah Williams, Legal Team Leader, Social Care Team, at London Borough of Tower Hamlets, considers the high-profile cases recently heard in the Family Division of the High Court where children or families have been considered at risk of radicalisation and, in some cases, travelling to Syria or Iraq, together with the judicial responses to those cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Barnes v Phillips [2015] EWCA Civ 1056: Imputation! Imputation! Imputation!

This judgment is somewhat unusual. I have summarised it below, and highlighted tensions with the recent decision in Capehorn v Harris [2015] EWCA Civ 955, and with the Court of Appeal's guidance on equitable accounting set out in Willcox v Tait [2006] EWCA Civ 1867, [2007] 2 FLR 871.

Full article: Family Law

Sharland and Gohil: A few F words - Fraud, Floodgates, Full and Frank, Finality…

What are the consequences of non-disclosure discovered after an order has been made in financial remedy proceedings?

Full article: Family Law

Recitals, indemnities and third-party orders: overturning old orthodoxies of orders

In financial proceedings, can the family court order one party to indemnify the other for various debts and liabilities?

Full article: Family Law

International Children Law Update: October 2015

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Sharland and Gohil: Parties Who Cheat – A Cheat Sheet

Don’t have the time or the energy to read two full judgments and get up to speed on the next hot topic in financial proceedings? Michael Horton and Matthew Richardson are here to help.

Full article: Coram Chambers

Should family proceedings be behind closed doors?

The issue of privacy in the family courts has once against raised its head in Mostyn J’s recent case of Appleton and Gallagher v News Group Newspapers Ltd and The Press Association.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update October 2015

Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during September 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Joy Division: Capital Claims, Concealment, Costs and Cars

Nicola Rowlings, PSL at Mills & Reeve, reviews the recent decision in Joy v Joy-Morancho and Others (No. 3) [2015] EWHC 2507 (Fam).

Full article: Family Law Hub

Null and Void

This article, by Nicola Rowlings, PSL at Mills & Reeve, examines the current procedure for obtaining an annulment within the Roman Catholic Church and the significance and impact of reforms announced by Pope Francis in September 2015.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Privacy in Financial Remedies Proceedings

David Bedingfield, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, considers conflicting judicial attitudes to the vexed question of rights to privacy in financial remedies proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pre-nuptial pursuit

Pre-nups: the search for certainty continues, says Ed Heaton.

Full article: New Law Jjournal

Autism and Child Arrangement Disputes

Louise Desrosiers, Barrister, of Lamb Building describes the issues which need to be considered in child arrangement disputes involving children who are on the autism spectrum.

Full article: Family Law Week

Early Neutral Evaluation of cohabitation and Inheritance Act disputes

In Seals v Williams [2015] EWHC 1829 (Ch), concerning an Inheritance Act dispute, Norris J noted, 'An attempt at mediation has largely stalled because of the differing perceptions of the issues and of the strength of the respective arguments.'

Full article: Family Law

Legal Parenthood: Modern Problems, Old Solutions – A review of The HFEA (A and Others) [2015] EWHC 2602

Deirdre Fottrell QC, 1 Garden Court Chambers, and Jemma Dally, Partner, Goodman Ray LLP, explain the factual background and legal issues involved in the President’s recent judgment in The Matter of the HFEA (A and Others).

Full article: Family Law Week

International Relocation: less ‘Payne’ – more pain?

Anita Mehta, barrister at Crown Office Row, Brighton, considers the implications of Re F (A Child) (International Relocation Cases) [2015] EWCA Civ 882 to the jurisprudence in respect of international relocation cases and private law generally.

Full article: Family Law Week

Why can’t we be clear about transparency in the Family Court?

Family judges disagree about approach to reporting of cases involving financial disputes after divorce.

Full article: New Statesman

The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth: Opening the Floodgates in Inheritance Act Actions?

Ilott v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797.

Full article: Park Square Barristers

Court of Protection Update (September 2015)

Sally Bradley and Julia Townend, barristers of 4 Paper Buildings, focus on the applicable law and procedure pertaining to reporting restriction orders in the Court of Protection generally and further to the recent judgment in A Healthcare NHS Trust v P & Q.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance & Divorce Update September 2015

Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during August 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Whose money is it anyway?

Re ARL [2015] EWCOP 55.

Full article: Family Law

Where do the boundaries lie? MN (ADULT) [2015] EWCA Civ 411

Sir James Munby, President of the Court of Protection, provided clear guidance as to the nature of the Court of Protection’s jurisdiction, and the approach that should be adopted when a care provider is unwilling to provide, or to fund, the care sought.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Children Public Law Update (September 2015)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent judgments of significance to child care lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

High Court rejects police officer’s claim to invalidate mother’s last will

The case of McCabe v McCabe [2015] EWHC 1591 (Ch) was a bitter contentious probate dispute between two brothers that lasted 11 days.

Full article: Family Law

Tipstaff Orders

Sarah Jennings, barrister of 3PB Chambers, examines the purpose of and procedure for obtaining tipstaff orders.

Full article: Family Law Week

An exception that is becoming exceptionally common? Re CB, the involvement of foreign states, Article 15 of BIIR and leave to oppose adoption

The recent case of Re CB (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 888, [2015] 2 FLR (forthcoming) has attracted a significant amount of press coverage in recent days.

Full article: Family Law

Care proceedings bundles: a duty to pay?

The issue of who should pay for translation of documents in care proceedings has arisen again.

Full article: Family Law

Funding Problems on the Horizon for family lawyers (and their clients)

Stuart Clark, Associate Solicitor with The International Family Law Group LLP considers the implications of increased use of s.37 MCA 1973 in setting aside payments on account of costs in financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Section 20: Abused, or just not used?

Hannah Gomersall examines the recent case law around section 20 of the Children Act 1989 and two concerning trends: s 20 being abused or, worryingly, not used at all.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update August 2015

Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during July 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

How Voluntary is Voluntary Accommodation?

Leah Pitt, pupil barrister, 2 King’s Bench Walk, considers the latest developments in the use of agreements under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

Full article: Family Law Week

A non-decision but far from a non-issue: Re X (Court of Protection Practice) [2015] EWCA Civ 599

In the case of Re X (Court of Protection Practice) [2015] EWCA Civ 599, the Court of Appeal considered two decisions of the President of the Court of Protection, Sir James Munby, which had given rise to a new procedure for dealing with applications made for the Court to authorise deprivations of liberty.

Full article: Family Law

Surrogacy in the UK vs Surrogacy Abroad – entirely different, or one and the same?

Nicola Scott, fertility lawyer at Porter Dodson LLP, considers those issues that often arise in UK surrogacy arrangements.

Full article: Family Law Week

Ilot v Mitson and the danger of Inheritance Act claims

The recent Family Division Court of Appeal case of Ilot v Mitson [2015] EWCA Civ 797 has caused a stir in the world of inheritance act claims.

Full article: Family Law

Malicious use of intimate images : the problem and some practical and legal remedies

Ariel Ricci, barrister at Coram Chambers, Julie Pinborough, Founder and Director of the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre and Frances Ridout, Deputy Director of the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre consider the growing problem of “revenge pornography.

Full article: Family Law Week

Injuries to Infant with Bone Disorder: latest deliberations of the High Court

Zimran Samuel, barrister of 42 Bedford Row, comments on Mr Justice Peter Jackson’s recent judgment concerning an infant with vitamin D deficiency induced rickets who had suffered multiple fractures.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Private Law Update (July 2015)

Alex Verdan QC, of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews recent important judgments in private law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Financial Orders – The Sole Trustee Problem

When the court makes or approves a financial order, there is often not enough money in the matrimonial pot to house both parties and any children in owner-occupied accommodation.

Full article: Tanfield Chambers

The un-named baby appeal [2014] EWCA Civ. 1524

On the 9th October 2014, the Court of Appeal heard a number of applications for permission to appeal by the parents of two children, who had been the subject of care and placement orders.

Full article: Tanfield Chambers

Re H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 583: Appealing decisions out of time and procedural rules for litigants in person

The recent case of Re H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 583 highlighted some of the difficulties that can be encountered by parties acting in person in family proceedings, and the stark consequences that can flow from a simple failure to follow procedural rules.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Three Years On: Same Question, Different Answer? ‘Is There a Legal Right to Gay Marriage?’

Andrew Commins, barrister of St John's Chambers, considers the ECtHR judgment in Oliari v Italy and its wider implications.

Full article: Family Law Week

Best interests of the child overrides EU finance jurisdiction law

An Opinion of an Advocate General of the European Union Court of Justice seems to set out a potentially significant widening of jurisdiction in EU family law finance cases, and perhaps even divorce cases, based on the supremacy of the best interests of the child.

Full article: IFLG (PDF)

All Change for London Family Lawyers: An International Perspective

Stuart Clark, Associate Solicitor at The International Family Law Group LLP, explains the latest changes to the administration of divorce and financial remedies cases in London.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance & Divorce Update July 2015

Edward Heaton, Principal Associate and Jane Booth, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from June 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Exceptional Case Funding: Lord Chancellor must still do better

Review of ECF Guidance and response to Justice Committee report.

Full article: Family Law

Greater Transparency in Children Proceedings: A Note of Caution

Tom Wilson, pupil barrister at 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers, examines the arguments in favour of greater transparency in the family justice system but sounds a note of caution.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance Cases Round-Up: June 2015

Lynsey Cade Davies of 29 Bedford Row summarises 3 finance cases which have been published recently.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Family Law Week’s Budget Briefing, July 2015

Richard Holme, Chartered Accountant of Creaseys, 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

Is it time for no fault divorce?

David Marusza, barrister, Harcourt Chambers makes the case for the introduction of no fault divorce.

Full article: Family Law Week

Speech by Hon Mr Justice Mostyn: Magna Carta and Access to Justice in Family Proceedings

Magna Carta and Access to Justice in Family Proceedings speech by The Hon Mr Justice Mostyn at the National Access to Justice and Pro Bono Conference, Sydney 18 – 19 June 2015.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Surrogacy Law Update (June 2015)

Andrew Powell, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, examines recent developments in surrogacy law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Court bundles – be warned

Court bundles may not be the most enthralling or captivating subject for a legal update, but the run of recent cases on the issue is essential reading for practitioners if they wish to avoid censure, adverse costs orders or worse – being publicly named and shamed.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Placement and Adoption: if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing well

Mavis Amonoo-Acquah, Pupil Barrister, 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers, considers recent judicial guidance, and its application, in respect of non-consensual adoption.

Full article: Family Law Week

Horton v Henry; pensions, bankruptcy and divorce

Pranjal Shrotri, barrister, 36 Bedford Row identifies the importance of the forthcoming judgment of the Court of Appeal in Horton v Henry.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce Update June 2015

Rebecca Lang, Associate, of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from May 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Recurring misconceptions in TOLATA cases

At a distance, cohabitation disputes involving constructive trusts, proprietary estoppel and applications under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 look very much like a 'family law' dispute.

Full article: Family Law

Relief from Sanctions in the Family Courts

Chris Barnes, 4 Paper Buildings, and Jane Wells and James Billingham, Harney and Wells Solicitors, consider the lessons of H (Children) in which they acted for the appellant father.

Full article: Family Law Week

Child Abduction and Inchoate Rights

Marie Crawford, barrister of Becket Chambers, considers one of the most significant developments in relation to child abduction cases in the last thirty years.

Full article: Family Law Week

Genes or Jeans? The importance of the genetic relationship when evaluating a child's best interest

The winds of change blow gustily. The once-solid ideal of the traditional family has become increasingly supple, re-wrought and re-modelled with time. Central to this is the issue of parenthood.

Full article: Family Law

Is the child protection system fit for purpose?

About 100 delegates and speakers representing all those involved in the child protection system – lawyers, magistrates, Cafcass, social workers, guardians, psychologists, therapists, charities, parents, care leavers, campaigners - met in London on 1 June to discuss issues of concern about the current system and where we can go from here.

Full article: Family Law

Is finding a Barder event like finding a needle in a haystack? The Court of Appeal in Critchell v Critchell [2015] EWCA Civ 436 considers the principle

This article looks at challenging an order due to the basis of that order being invalidated by a subsequent event, and the Court of Appeal’s latest musings on the subject in Critchell v Critchell.

Full article: Family Law

Keep Calm and Read B-S

Cyrus Larizadeh of 4 Paper Buildings and Senate House Chambers recently spoke at the NAGALRO Conference on Re B-S, its aftermath and some of the misconceptions arising from it.

Full article: Family Law Week

Financial remedy and Wyatt v Vince

Despite the highly unusual facts of Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC 14, the Supreme Court’s decision on 11 March to allow Ms Wyatt to proceed with her financial remedy application has attracted a great deal of comment.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Taking the mayonnaise out of the sandwich – what might happen if the Human Rights Act is revoked?

The purpose of this piece is to think about what will happen to the law that we follow if the HRA is revoked.

Full article: Family Law

Finance cases round-up: May 2015

Max Lewis of 29 Bedford Row reviews the latest finance cases.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Children Public Law Update (May 2015)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent judgments of particular importance to all practitioners in public children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Queen’s Speech 2015 – Thoughts from a family lawyer

The Queen’s Speech marked the first purely conservative legislative programme for almost 20 years in which Mr Cameron adopted a one nation approach: 'helping working people get on; supporting aspiration'. What possible consequences might this have on a family lawyer’s field of work?

Full article: Family Law

Divorce centres: the South East – Bury your marriage?

‘How will the new Bury St Edmunds Divorce Centre affect family law practice in the South East?’ That was the title of a question and answer session on the new divorce centre.

Full article: Family Law

The UNCRC in the Supreme Court – the impact of SG v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Deirdre Fotttrell QC of 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers considers the Supreme Court's latest deliberations on when and how the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child are directly enforceable in English law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Just how significant are parental intentions in determining a child’s habitual residence?

Most international child lawyers may have thought that the concept of habitual residence had been determined by a trio of children cases heard by the UK Supreme Court during the last 2 years.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update May 2015

Claire Molyneux, senior solicitor, and Rebecca Lang, solicitor, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from April 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Time for a Regulated Process for Surrogate Parents?

Natalie Gamble, solicitor, of Natalie Gamble Associates and Elizabeth Isaacs QC of St Ives Chambers consider the significance of H v S (Surrogacy Agreement) in which Ms Justice Russell awarded care of a surrogate child to a gay couple.

Full article: Family Law Week

The British general election 2015 and international family law

On 7 May 2015 the United Kingdom went to the polls to elect our next government. What might be some of the outcomes and future considerations for international family law from the perspective of England and Wales?

Full article: Family Law

High Court awards care of baby girl to same-sex couple

The High Court ruled this week that a same-sex couple should be awarded care of their baby daughter after a 15 month court battle.

Full article: Family Law

“Reattribution” after MAP v MFP or “For better, for worse”

Ella Calnan, barrister of Fourteen, considers the future prospects of claims for reattribution of expenditure in financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Separating out non-matrimonial property – JL v SL (No 2) [2014] EWHC 360 (Fam)

Mostyn J’s latest case provides a useful summary and clarification on the method to divide the assets on divorce to reflect any non-matrimonial property.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Horse-trading and threshold concessions

This time it is about the negotiations on threshold criteria, something to which the term ‘horse-trading’ gets used almost as much as in political discussions about what might happen after an election that doesn't deliver a majority.

Full article: Family Law

Exceptional circumstances legal aid: the ‘fig leaf’ of a ‘system which is neither compassionate nor even humane’

In the last month, there have been stark warnings on the effects of family legal aid cuts from all corners: the senior judiciary, the parliamentary justice and human rights select committees, numerous charities, the bar council and law society, and even the UN committee on the rights of the child.

Full article: Family Law

The Court of Appeal and the Birth Family: Making Certain Justice is Seen to be Done

David Bedingfield, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, considers two recent Court of Appeal judgments which had cause to consider the significance of a child's family ties.

Full article: Family Law Week

Set aside and appeals: a ‘procedural quagmire’

Family proceedings: material changes of circumstances.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Private Law Update (April 2015)

Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important judgments in private law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family law: culture clash

As we reach the first anniversary of a ‘cultural revolution’ in family law, the complexities of people’s lives mean the reform process has a long way to go.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Finance & Divorce Update April 2015

Clare Molyneux, senior solicitor and Rebecca Lang solicitor, both of Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from March 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Re J: A Lesson on Threshold and Logic

Alex Laing, pupil, and Radhika Handa, barrister, of Coram Chambers, consider Re J in which the Court of Appeal picked up a number of the themes articulated by the President in Re A.

Full article: Family Law Week

Divorce in the United Arab Emirates

Mary Barton, a consultant solicitor with James Berry & Associates, provides a brief outline of the law applicable on divorce in the United Arab Emirates.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mediation Matters: MIAMs can be so much more than a box-ticking exercise

Today, 22 April 2015, is the first anniversary of Children and Families Act legislation that made it compulsory for separating couples seeking a court order to first attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM).

Full article: Family Law

Championing blame-free divorce

Removing the need for one party to take responsibility for marriage breakdown would make divorce more harmonious.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

False economies afflicting courts

Removal of public funding in family law is having a huge impact on court business.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Fathers are not just for Christmas

Recently I attended a debate devoted to the highly emotive issue of relocation. I voiced the opinion that too little weight is given – still – to the damage caused to a child when one of their parents leaves the jurisdiction.

Full article: Family Law

Changes to the Divorce Process in England and Wales: Q&A

HM Courts & Tribunals Service explain how the forthcoming changes will affect the divorce process in England and Wales.

Full article: Family Law Week

Personal Support Unit – Bristol Civil Justice Centre

The use of Personal Support Units in civil justice centres across the country is gaining momentum as more and more units have opened and are engaging in providing support to those unable to afford legal assistance.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Manifestos and Care Plans

As the country is in the grip of what I couldn't really describe as 'Election Fever' but something more akin to 'Election Nausea' following the televised debates, I did get to thinking about the similarities between Manifestos and Care Plans.

Full article: Family Law

Deprivation of liberty: a practical guide

The Law Society has issued comprehensive guidance on the law relating to the deprivation of liberty safeguards.

Full article: Law Society

Daedalus’s Twist? Secure Accommodation after a Child’s 16th Birthday

Alex Laing, pupil at Coram Chambers, examines whether, and if so on what basis, the court can place in secure accommodation a child who has celebrated his 16th birthday.

Full article: Family Law Week

Ariadne’s Golden Thread: Placing Children in Secure Accommodation

Alex Laing, pupil at Coram Chambers, provides a step-by-step guide through the secure accommodation labyrinth when determining whether to use section 25 of the Children Act 1989 or the inherent jurisdiction.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Arbitration

Lecture by Sir Hugh Bennett at the Inner Temple.

Full article: The Inner Temple (PDF)

Family Court Key Decision Review: Part 1

In the first of a new series of quarterly round ups, Kathryn Taylor reviews some of the key decisions of the family court since December 2014, with a particular emphasis on Local Authority failings.

Full article: No5 Chambers

Stranded Spouses and Immigration Control

Sulema Jahangir, solicitor with Dawson Cornwell, explains the plight of wives and mothers who are stranded in foreign countries, often separated from their children, and unable to return to England because of immigration restrictions.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Cat’s Out of the Bag: legal advice privilege and the risks of being caught with a divorce lawyer

Samuel Littlejohns, pupil at 1 Hare Court, examines whether the very fact that a party consulted a lawyer at a given time is privileged information, and the practical consequences of this for practitioners.

Full article: Family Law Week

Powers of restraint: the path of least intervention?

The recent case of Mental Health Trust & Ors v DD and BC [2015] EWCOP 4 has raised questions on the degree of consideration the COP must have to the ‘least restrictive’ option.

Full article: Family Law

Transfers of Proceedings under Article 15 Brussels II Revised in a Public Law Context

Oliver Jones, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, and Maria Wright, solicitor of Freemans, currently seconded to the Court of Appeal, analyse a series of recent judgments in which the English courts have considered whether public law children proceedings should be in this jurisdiction or abroad.

Full article: Family Law Week

View from the Foot of the Tower: Nothing speaks for itself

We now know from the Court of Appeal in Re J (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 222 that there is no such thing as res ipsa loquitor in care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Of vulnerable witnesses and children

Hearing from children and evidence of vulnerable witnesses: working group.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update March 2015

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from February 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Revisiting divorce settlements

The case of Stephen and Ellen Debruin, recently the subject of an application for leave to appeal by Mr Debruin, reopens the argument about whether the current wide discretion of judges in our divorce laws results in consistent and fair results.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Schedule 1 - Child Maintenance

The case of Dickson v Rennie [2014] EWHC 4306 (Fam).

Full article: Tanfield Chambers

Vince v Wyatt; the value of a clean break order

The Supreme Court has told us that Ms Wyatt must explain and justify her reasons for delaying in making a claim, and that it is important to address the effect of delay on the Respondent.

Full article: Zenith Chambers

Final report of the Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group: An overview for practitioners

The final report of the Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group has now been delivered and follows the Interim Report released back in August 2014.

Full article: Family Law

Family Law Week’s Budget Briefing 2015

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

Mental Capacity Law Newsletter

Mental Capacity Law Newsletter.

Full article: 39 Essex Chambers (PDF)

Varying a Foreign Maintenance Order Post the Maintenance Regulation

James Roberts, barrister of 1 King’s Bench Walk, and Catherine Silwal , Senior Solicitor with KJ Smith Solicitors, analyse the law relating to variation of foreign maintenance orders and the effect of the EU Maintenance Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 4/2009).

Full article: Family Law Week

What are the changes to the Court of Protection Rules 2007 and why are they important?

The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2015 amending the Court of Protection Rules 2007 were made on 4 March 2015 and laid before Parliament on 9 March 2015.

Full article: Family Law

Court of Protection Issues

This paper provides an overview of the procedure which has been put in place to implement the streamlined process by which the Court of Protection may authorise deprivations of liberty following the Supreme Court decision in P v Cheshire West and Chester Council and P and Q v Surrey County Council [2014] UKSC 19.

Full article: Thirty Nine Essex Street (PDF)

Unlocking the Funds for Justice - Pro Bono Costs

Cyrus Larizadeh, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, explains the costs issues which arise where an advocate, acting pro bono, represents a successful party in care and/or placement proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

The ripples of Re B – for whom are judgments made? A case note on Re N-D [2014] EWCA Civ 1226

The case of Re N-D [2014] EWCA Civ 1226 is interesting as evidence of certain deficiencies within the current family appeal system.

Full article: Family Law

Finance Cases Review: March 2015

James Pullen of 29 Bedford Row reviews two of the key cases published in the last month, including the Supreme Court decision in Wyatt v Vince.

Full article: Family Law Hub

What price good child care? – Ms Wyatt and Mrs Wright ask

One thing is certain. You cannot rely on the tabloids (or some of the broadsheets) to gain an understanding of the impact of financial remedy decisions in the appellate courts.

Full article: Family Law

Pensions on divorce: equalisation of income or capital?

Rhys Taylor looks at the case law.

Full article: Family Law

Lawyers, Social Workers and the Proportionality Test

David Bedingfield, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, considers the President’s judgment in A (A Child) [2015] EWFC 11 and the lessons to be derived by practitioners.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pitfalls for Single Parents in Surrogacy

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE, Partner, and Colin Rogerson, Solicitor Advocate, both of Dawson Cornwell, consider the options for single parents seeking legal parentage of children born through a surrogacy arrangement.

Full article: Family Law Week

Nuptial Agreements: The Search for Intention

Ben Wooldridge, pupil at 1 Hare Court, reviews the court’s treatment of nuptial agreements since Radmacher v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42, highlighting emerging trends and the growing significance of the parties’ intentions in determining enforceability.

Full article: Family Law Week

Unreasonable refusal to engage in mediation

Can a successful party’s costs entitlement be reduced by failure to engage in ADR?

Full article: Family Law

Children: Public Law Update (March 2015)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent judgments of particular importance to all practitioners in public children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

The President’s Address at the Annual Dinner of the Family Law Bar Association

Speech by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, at the Annual Dinner of the Family Law Bar Association on Friday 27 February 2015 at the Middle Temple.

Full speech: Family Law

A Theory of Everything – Special Contributions in Matrimonial Finance

Joshua Viney of 1 Hare Court considers the problem of identifying those cases where a contribution will be treated as “special” and analyses the relevant case law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Surrogacy Law Update (February 2015)

Andrew Powell, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews recent important judgments concerning surrogacy including the President's landmark decision in Re X.

Full article: Family Law Week

Predicting the remedy in a proprietary estoppel claim: which route home?

On what basis can the likely remedy in a proprietary estoppel claim be predicted?

Full article: Family Law

The notion of shared care and its place within the new regime

Practitioners considering the judgment of Lord Justice MacFarlane in M (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1755 may note with interest his comments on the notion of shared care and the place that it has (or perhaps more accurately, does not have) within the new legislation.

Full article: Family Law

Are spousal periodical payments for life of just for Christmas?

Disputes over spousal maintenance can often be the main bar to parties reaching a settlement on divorce.

Full article: Family Law

Mediation Matters: Over-generous funding ‘doubles up’ on existing provision

An evaluation is promised in the spring, but whispers so far seem to suggest a taxpayer-funded Cafcass pilot scheme might not prove a towering value-for-money success.

Full article: Family Law

International Children Law Update: February 2015

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Parental orders and Goldilocks

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 set up provisions for people who have entered into a surrogacy agreement to obtain a parental order, giving them legal rights.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update February 2015

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from January 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mitochondrial Donation

Professor Nils Hoppe and Katy Rensten, both of Coram Chambers, look at the House of Commons debate and the proposed regulations concerning mitochondrial donation and argue for a serious and measured consideration of this important development.

Full article: Family Law Week

Something must be done – will a partial return to Calderbank fit the Bill (or at least reduce it)?

Tom Wilson, pupil at 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers, examines the possibility of a partial re-introduction of the Calderbank offer.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Rise and Rise of Damages in Human Rights Claims

Julie Stather, barrister of Westgate Chambers, considers the development of claims for damages arising from breaches of human rights in care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

View from the Foot of the Tower: If I was a sculptor, but then again no

Has case law in family cases been helpful for families, or is it largely a waste of time?

Full article: Family Law

Judiciary continues to clamp-down on non-compliance

Recent cases have shown an increasing dissatisfaction amongst the judiciary with non-compliance with court orders.

Full article: Family Law

Schedule 1 to The Children Act 1989: Not Just for Wags

Anita Mehta, barrister of Crown Office Row, Brighton, argues that Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 applications should not be regarded as the domain of footballers’ girlfriends or the uber-wealthy but as a powerful tool for meeting children’s needs in a wide variety of cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

“Nowadays not all law can be simple law; but the best law remains simple law”

Christopher Hames and Dorothea Gartland, of 4 Paper Buildings, & Nina Hansen, a partner of Freemans Solicitors, consider the important Court of Appeal judgment in Re M (Republic of Ireland) (Children’s Objection) (Joinder of Children as Parties).

Full article: Family Law Week

Case management of children proceedings

Judicial caution on final case management hearing orders.

Full article: Family Law

View from the Foot of the Tower: Largely illusory – leave to oppose adoption

It is easy to forget, 18 months on, that Re B-S was fundamentally a case dealing with an appeal from a judge’s refusal to grant a mother leave to oppose an adoption application.

Full article: Family Law

Drawing lines: morality, justice and domestic violence

From time to time issues arise in the UK court systems that create moral and emotional waves that pull back the veil, so often drawn across the complexities of our judiciary establishments.

Full article: Family Law

The President, Mr Justice Holmes and the Life of the Law

Following Sir James Munby’s judgment in B and G (Children) (No 2), David Bedingfield, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, considers the continuing relevance of the American jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Private Law Update (January 2015)

Alex Verdan QC, of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews recent important judgments in private law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Spousal maintenance

In the judgment of SS v NS [2014] EWHC 4183 (Fam), Mostyn J has given comprehensive guidance on the principal issues surrounding spousal maintenance.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Report of the Financial Remedies Working Group: An overview for practitioners

Today (26 January 2015) saw the publication of the final report of the FRWG dated 15 December 2014.

Full article: Family Law

Judicial concern about lack of legal aid - Re: K and H

David Emmerson, partner at TV Edwards and chair of Resolution's legal aid committee, looks at how the judiciary are expressing their concern about the lack of legal aid post LASPO and ingenious ways of making legal aid available.

Full article: Resolution

Finance & Divorce Update January 2015

Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor of Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the financial remedies and divorce news and cases from December 2014.

Full article: Family Law Week

Something to be done: after J v J

Excessive cost of ancillary relief litigation.

Full article: Family Law

Court of Protection Update (January 2015)

In this update Sally Bradley and Julia Townend, barristers of 4 Paper Buildings, focus on the applicable procedure for cases in which urgent and serious medical treatment is required.

Full article: Family Law Week

Stop in the Name of Love! The New EU Regulation 606/2013 on Protection Measures

Sarah Lucy Cooper, barrister of Thomas More Chambers, explains the details and effect of this recently implemented EU personal protection law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Is there a difference between marriage and cohabitation?

Graeme Fraser, member of Resolution's Cohabitation Committee and partner at Hunters Solicitors, reviews last week's Sunday Times/Marriage Foundation debate on cohabitation.

Full article: Resolution

Family Court funding: 2015

Two cases have been published already this New Year from different parts of the meagre family courts state funding scene.

Full article: Family Law

Should nuptial agreements be made available to all?

Should the Nuptial Agreements Bill have made nuptial agreements available to all, regardless of wealth?

Full article: Family Law

The Separate Representation of Children in Child Abduction Proceedings

Esther Lieu, barrister of 3PB Chambers, explores how the role of children has developed Hague Convention child abduction proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Child welfare people and policies to watch in 2015

Natasha Phillips gives her opinions.

Full article: Family Law

FRG 40th Anniversary

Keynote speeches given by Baroness Hale of Richmond and Lord Justice McFarlane, highlighting many significant achievements of the Family Rights Group.

Full article: Family Law

Proprietary estoppel – does the recent Court of Appeal case of Southwell v Blackburn change anything for cohabitees?

The recent court of appeal case of Southwell v Blackburn [2014] EWCA Civ 1347 has been heralded by the media as a landmark ruling, whose result ‘could open the floodgates'.

Full article: Family Law