Trustees have no greater claims that those of the bankrupt: Robert v Woodall [2016] EWHC 2987 (Ch)

The High Court has stopped fashion victim Trinny Woodall from being pursued beyond the grave by her bankrupt ex-husband.

Full article: Family Law

Foreign Adoptions: how and in what circumstances should they be afforded recognition?

Michael Jones of Deans Court Chambers examines recent important decisions concerning the recognition of adoption orders made abroad.

Full article: Family Law Week

PSL Essential Update - Law Commission Report on Enforcement of Financial orders

The Law Commission has published a report containing recommendations for the reform of the law regarding enforcement of family financial orders.

Full article: Family Law

Planning for Death, A Child's Wishes and Re JS (Disposal of Body) [2016] EWHC 2859 (Fam)

Louise Spalding, Associate Solicitor with Mills & Reeve LLP, considers the court’s powers to enable a 14-year old girl to make preparations for the post-death disposal of her body.

Full article: Family Law Week

A reminder on the importance of full attendance notes: Hogg v Crutes LLP [2016] EW Misc B29 (CC)

Crutes LLP were found to have been negligent in not providing full and clear advice to their client which resulted in an overgenerous settlement of the case.

Full article: Family Law

PSL essential update – Divorce and Finance

As family practitioners around the country gear up for Christmas, with the inevitable last minute rush, we thought we’d provide you with this handy guide to the latest developments in finance and divorce.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Public Law Update (December 2016)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important judgments in the field of public children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pension sharing orders not available in relation to foreign pensions: Goyal v Goyal [2016] EWFC 50 (Fam)

Unfortunately, the decision in the long running case of Goyal v Goyal [2016] EWFC 50 (Fam) provides that pension sharing pursuant to s 24B is not available in relation to foreign pensions.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce Update, December 2016

Sue Brookes, Senior Associate for Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during November 2016.

Full article; Family Law Week

Re R (Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 1016 and Relocations Within the Jurisdiction

Claire Molyneux, Senior Associate at Mills & Reeve LLP, considers an interesting review and reiteration by the Court of Appeal of the approach to be taken in relocations of an internal nature.

Full article: Family Law Week

What’s mine is (*not) yours - the treatment of non-matrimonial property: no longer a lawless science?

In recent years, there has been two arguably parallel lines of case law on the general approach courts should take to non-matrimonial property.

Full article: Family Law

“If You Prick Us, Do We Not Bleed?”: The Harassment of Cafcass and Local Authority Workers in Family Law Proceedings

Bianca Jackson, barrister of Coram Chambers, sets out the civil remedies available to persons subjected to harassment.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce Update November 2016

Claire Molyneux, Senior Associate and Naomi Shelton, Associate, both of Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during October 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

Setting aside High Court orders for return in asylum cases: Re H (A Child) [2016] EWCA Civ 988

In Re H (A Child) (International Abduction: Asylum and Welfare) [2016] EWCA Civ 988, the Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed a mother’s appeal from High Court orders for her son to be returned to Pakistan.

Full article: Family Law

Band-aids for bullet holes: pro bono legal services post-LASPO

When legal aid was first enshrined in British law, in the form of the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949, it was intended to be an essential component of the welfare state, a service as integral to its citizens as health care and social insurance.

Full article: Family Law

A good divorce?

With some help from policymakers we can change negative perceptions of divorce.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Court of Protection Update (Autumn 2016): Part 2

Sally Bradley and Julia Townend, barristers of 4 Paper Buildings, conclude their review of Court of Protection developments by considering recent judgments concerning reporting restriction orders; costs and civil restraint; and participation in proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

A reminder that the courts have wide discretion when awarding costs: AB v CD [2016] EWHC 2482

This article looks at the outcome of the costs hearing in the long running case of AB v CD [2016] EWHC 2482.

Full article: Family Law

Ilott v Mitson: A storm in a Teacup?

With Ilott due to be heard in the Supreme Court on 12th December 2016, Nicola Phillipson considers the impact the case has had upon claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and wonders whether the importance of the various decisions has in fact been overblown?

Full article: Zenith Chambers

Family: financial needs on divorce

In  June the Family Justice Council published Guidance on ‘Financial Needs’ on Divorce. It has been disseminated among judges and is essential reading for all practitioners undertaking financial remedy work.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Negotiating in the Shadow of the Court: Mediation in parallel with litigation

Madeleine Reardon, barrister of 1 King's Bench Walk, considers the role of mediation in the course of family proceedings, practical issues arising therefrom and, in particular, confidentiality of the mediation process.

Full article: Family Law Week

Court of Protection Update (October 2016): Part 1

In the first part of their Court of Protection Update, Sally Bradley and Julia Townend, barristers of 4 Paper Buildings, focus on recent important judgments concerning deprivation of liberty and capacity.

Full article: Family Law Week

High Court recognises foreign adoption from Nepal

The High Court recently handed down judgment formally recognising the status of an adoption that took place in 2008 in Nepal.

Full article: Family Law

Speech by Lord Justice McFarlane – ‘Nothing Else Will Do’

FLBA National Conference – Keynote Address by Lord Justice McFarlane, 22 October 2016.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (PDF)

Pension offsetting – is a consistent approach possible or even appropriate?

This paper examines the position of the courts, pension experts and lawyers in terms of their valuation of pensions for offsetting in Financial Remedy Proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce Update October 2016

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 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bristol court hosts ‘Mothers in recurrent care proceedings: how do we break the cycle?’

On 20 October, the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre hosted another informative evening event open to the public. This time the focus was on ‘Mothers in recurrent care proceedings: how do we break the cycle?’

Full article: Family Law

Does a McKenzie Friend have many real friends in the legal profession?

With government statistics confirming that in 34% of private law disputes neither party has the benefit of legal representation from either a barrister or a solicitor it is perhaps of no surprise that more litigants are relying on a McKenzie Friend.

Full article: Family Law

Family Court reform: thinking outside the witness box

Natasha Phillips suggests a solution to the system’s woes.

Full article: Family Law

Child Abduction: the Article 13(b) defence and protective measures

Lauren Bovington, paralegal, International Family Law Group LLP, analyses a recent important Court of Appeal judgment concerning the Article 13(b) defence in 1980 Hague Convention proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Child Abduction: the Court of Appeal on the Article 13(b) defence

On Tuesday 9August 2016 the Court of Appeal (comprised of Macur LJ, Beatson LJ and Sales LJ) handed down judgment in the case of Re M (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 942.

Full article: International Family Law Group LLP

The European family in crisis: the consequences of Brexit on English family law

Nicholas Bennett looks at the impact the EU has on English family law, and how this will change once the UK has left the Union.

Full article: Family Law

Closed material procedures and family proceedings

In X, Y and Z (Disclosure to the Security Service) McDonald J considered briefly at the end of his judgment the possibility of a third party seeking confidential information in children proceedings by a closed material procedure.

Full article: Family Law

A matter of life or death

The Oxford Shrieval Lecture, given by Mr Justice Baker on 11 October 2016.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (PDF)

Pensions and insolvency: Horton v Henry [2016] EWCA Civ 989

Until the decision of the Court of Appeal in Horton v Henry [2016] EWCA Civ 989, there was a tension between the decided cases as to whether a bankrupt’s present entitlement to compel payment of benefits fell within the ‘income of the bankrupt’.

Full article: Family Law

Decoding settlement discussions for clients

Throughout financial negotiations everyone is aiming for the same thing: a final settlement that comprehensively deals with all the financial arrangements to be made on the divorce.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Private Law Update (October 2016)

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

Full article: Family Law Week

When will the bubble burst for matrimonial claims?

A recent case in the High Court in England has attracted the attention of family lawyers throughout the UK. Christina Estrada has asked the court for £196m from her ex-husband as an estimation, not of a share of matrimonial property, but of her needs.

Full article: Family Law

Oral agreements and interests in land: a walk in the park!

Can you give away an interest in land in the course of a discussion?

Full article: Family Law

Disclosure and confidentiality: a tale of two cases

In the cross-currents of the common law principles of disclosure and confidentiality two cases, over the past month, stand out, says David Burrows.

Full article: Family Law

Surrogacy Law Update – October 2016

Andrew Powell, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, reviews the latest important judgments concerning surrogacy law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Enforcing English Family Finance Orders in UAE

Byron James, barrister, at FOURTEEN and Alexandra Tribe, Partner, at Expatriate Law consider the problems of enforcing English family finance orders in the United Arab Emirates and examine a possible solution.

Full article: Family Law Week

Proprietary estoppel revisited: Moore v Moore [2016] EWHC 2202 (Ch)

Although Moore v Moore does not purport to set out any new principles of law, the judgment is an extremely useful example of the approach to proprietary estoppel in practice.

Full article: Family Law

Paying the Price of Love: Costs in Hague Cases

Sarah Lucy Cooper, barrister of Thomas More Chambers, considers the circumstances in which a respondent might secure a costs order against an applicant in Hague Convention abduction proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Archer v Titchener: what would a family court decide?

Jennifer Kotilaine, Pauline Troy, Emma Romer and Eilidh Gardner, all barristers at 42 Bedford Row, consider the family law implications for the Archer family following Helen’s much-publicised acquittal in the criminal court.

Full article: Family Law Week

15th View from the President’s Chambers: care cases: the looming crisis

The President asks what is to be done about the seemingly relentless rise in the number of new care cases.

Full article: Family Law

Adoption and The Children and Social Work Bill

Adrian Barnett-Thoung-Holland, pupil barrister at FOURTEEN, considrs the extent to which the proposed legislation promotes adoption as the preferred model of permanency for children subject to care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Privatising family law by the back door

Private financial dispute resolution hearings - a BUPA to the courts’ NHS - are thriving.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Children Arbitration Really Works - What you need to know

Following the determination of the first children arbitration hearing, Farooq Ahmed and Julie Stather, barristers of Hampton Family Arbitration and Westgate Chambers, explain the process and the benefits provided by this new resolution method.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce Update September 2016

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 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pause makes a difference

Looking at Pause, which works with women who have experienced, or are at risk of, repeat removals of children from their care.

Full article: Family Law

The nuances of 'nothing else will do'

A recent adoption case shows the dangers of taking a rigid and inflexible approach to applying legal principles, writes Marilyn Stowe.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Duties of Local Authorities to Unaccompanied Migrant Children

Jennifer Kotilaine, barrister of 42 Bedford Row, analyses the duties of local authorities to unaccompanied migrant children in the light of the House of Lords European Union Select Committee's recent critical report on the subject.

Full article: Family Law Week

Extending the great safety net

In Al-Jeffery v Al-Jeffery, Holman J  has confirmed for the first time that the High Court can exercise an inherent protective jurisdiction over a vulnerable British adult on the basis of their nationality, even if they are not habitually resident in England and Wales.

Full article: Family Law

Seventeenth century Chinese porcelain, section 188 of the Law of Property Act 1925, and the family lawyer

Seventeenth century Chinese porcelain is not the obvious starting point for an important case on ownership of chattels. However, it was the context for the Chancery Division to consider the effect of s 188 of the Law of Property Act 1925 in Butler v Butler.

Full article: Family Law

Honour Based Violence in Children Act Proceedings: A Question of Allocation

Damian Stuart, barrister, FOURTEEN, considers how the family courts might better deal with allegations of honour based violence in the context of private law Children Act proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

The thin end of the wedge

Those who work at the coal face of family law should be properly consulted about potential changes to the system, writes Lucy Reed.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

What could this latest adoption judgment mean for social workers?

Will Re W change practice the way Re B and Re B-S did? Or will the adoption landscape stay the same?

Full article: Community Care

How to budget: projecting living expenses during divorce

What should you think about when putting together a budget?

Full article: Family Law

Can I use the Family Court to issue a freestanding TOLATA claim?

The Civil Courts Structure Review Report by Lord Justice Briggs, published at the end of July 2016, intends to provide clarity about the running of TOLATA claims to those who use the Family Court.

Full article: Family Law

The best interests of the child in the cultural setting

How should the test of the best interests of the child be seen in the context of active support for the child's cultural heritage and upbringing?

Full article: Family Law

After Goddard: what the Child Abuse Inquiry must do next

Natasha Phillips gives her view.

Full article: Family Law

14th View from the President’s Chambers: Care cases: Settlement conferences and the ‘tandem’ model

The President looks at two public law initiatives.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Public Law Update (August 2016)

John Tughan QC, 4 Paper Buildings, reviews recent decisions relevant to public children lawyers, including two important recent decisions of the Court of Appeal.

Full article: Family Law Week

The illegality defence, trusts of land and the family lawyer

The consequences of a conspiracy to commit an offence of insider dealing concerning RBS shares might not be of obvious interest to a family property lawyer.

Full article: Family Law

No presumption or right of a child to be brought up by their natural family

You may be aware that the recent Court of Appeal case of Re W [2016] EWCA Civ 793 has been causing some head scratching among commentators.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce Update August 2016

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 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

Does a recent Court of Appeal decision provide post-Brexit guidance for financial remedy claims?

One of the many issues for family lawyers to grapple with following June's EU referendum vote is how this will impact on financial remedy claims.

Full article: Family Law

Twenty-four may be a big number

Rhys Taylor has recently published Another Witches’ Brew,  his definitive paper on pensions and divorce.

Full article: Family Law

Surrogacy law needs parental guidance

Law Commission suggests legislation is not keeping pace with social change.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Everything You Need To Know About Secrecy In The Family Courts

One of the central principles of the family justice system has long been ensuring the privacy and confidentiality of the families involved.

Full article: RightsInfo

The legality of secret recordings

It is becoming more common for clients to ask whether they can record meetings with professionals or film their ex-partner who behaves one way in court and quite another at handovers. How else can they prove their point when it's just their word against the other party's?

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Seen and heard? Children as witnesses in family proceedings

Damian Stuart, Barrister, FOURTEEN, re-visits Baroness Hale’s seminal speech in Re W (Children) (Abuse: Oral Evidence) in the light of Lord Justice McFarlane’s recent judgment in Re E (A Child).

Full article: Family Law Week

The CJEU rules on rights of residence of non-EU nationals on divorce

Secretary of State for the Home Department v NA has significant ramifications on the rights of residence of non-EU citizens going through divorce proceedings in the UK.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update, July 2016

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 June 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

Update of Bills and new ideas in family law

Despite a very busy few weeks in the run-up to Brexit and its aftermath, child welfare concerns have remained in the spotlight. Here are the latest Bills, ideas and updates in the sector, which make for very interesting - and, at times, controversial - reading.

Full article: Family Law

Proprietary Estoppel: Recent Updates

In recent months the Court of Appeal has had two opportunities to consider the principles of proprietary estoppel. George Mallet examines the recent decisions in this Alerter.

Full article: Henderson Chambers (PDF)

No Nisi, No Dice.

In K v K (Financial Remedy Final Order prior to Decree Nisi) 2016 EWFC 23, Cobb J remitted a case for rehearing on the basis that the trial judge had made an order prior to the grant of decree nisi of divorce.

Full article: Tanfield Chambers

Parents with disabilities

It is entirely common for care proceedings to involve parents with learning disabilities or difficulties. This case is essential reading for all practitioners involved in such cases.

Full article: Park Square Barristers

Surrogacy – Child Arrangement Orders

This article summarises the recent landmark decision in Re Z (surrogacy agreements) (Child Arrangements Orders) [2016] EWFC 34 whereby the Court awarded full care of the child to the surrogate Mother.

Full article: Park Square Barristers

The Child Support Agency is disappearing – but what about maintenance still owed for children?

As part of the process of replacing the Child Support Agency with the Child Maintenance Service, arrears being transferred to the latter are likely to sit untouched and uncollected, explains Janet Allbeson.

Full article: London School of Economics

Needs Must! Family Justice Council provides guidance for financial orders in 'needs' cases

'The law relating to financial orders is inherently unclear. It is not possible to discern from the statute what the law requires, although the courts and family lawyers administer the law with confidence'.

Full article: Family Law

EU refuses to reform divorce forum jurisdiction, but 'speeds up' child abduction

The European Union last week (30 June 2016) adopted the European Commission's proposals for reform of Brussels II, the Brussels Regulation.

Full article: Family Law

Ordering the would-be undertaker: the equitable reach of the Family Court

Norma Cronin, solicitor at Hughes Fowler Carruthers and Mark Ablett, Senior Paralegal at Hughes Fowler Carruthers and soon to be pupil barrister at 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers consider the troublesome issue of enforcement of undertakings in financial remedies cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Occupation Orders: Are we there yet?

Kevin Gordon, Pupil Barrister, Coram Chambers explores the courts’ developing approach to the application and granting of occupation orders under section33 (6) and (7) of the Family Law Act 1996 as an updated summary guide to practitioners.

Full article: Family Law Week

And There Lurks the Minotaur: The Interrelationship Between the Inherent Jurisdiction and Section 25, CA 1989: Part II

Alex Laing, barrister of Coram Chambers, considers further the interrelationship of secure accommodation and the inherent jurisdiction and the principles which should govern its use.

Full article: Family Law Week

Financial remedies pot pourri (February 2016 to June 2016)

The article continues Christopher Sharp QC’s regular reviews of the more important recent financial remedy cases, this one covering the period from February 2016 to mid-June 2016.

Full article: Family Law

Surrogacy laws due for reform

Megan Bennie explains why change is needed in the law on single parents in surrogacy agreements.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Guidance on applying the law on deprivation of liberty

Legal trainer Belinda Schwehr interprets the Supreme Court's 'acid test' as part of an analysis of the law on deprivation of liberty.

Full article: Community Care

Re D (A Child): a decision of its time?

Katy Chokowry and Nicholas Anderson, barristers of 1 King’s Bench Walk, explain the rationale of the Supreme Court’s judgment in Re D (A Child) and consider the lessons that survive form the Court of Appeal’s judgment.

Full article: Family Law Week

Do MIAMs work?

Are pre-court mediation intake assessment meetings increasing the number of cases we actually mediate or are they a pointless pre-court procedure? asks Mary Banham-Hall.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Surrogacy update – June 2016

Andrew Powell, barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, reviews recent important judgments concerning surrogacy law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Shaking up the cost rules

Should the 'no order' principle be changed in financial remedy cases, wonders Marilyn Stowe.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Brexit and national family law

David Hodson OBE sets out some preliminary reflections on the impact on domestic, national family law of the UK voting to leave the EU.

Full article: Family Law

Variation of orders under the maintenance regulation: a nod to substantive harmonisation?

It is no secret that over the last 20 years the legislators of the EU have been pushing a process of harmonisation of European family law in areas of procedure, jurisdiction and conflicts of law and recognition and enforcement of judgments.

Full article: Family Law

Brexit and international family law

This note is exclusively on family law but is part of the bigger political and legal picture.

Full article: Family Law

Domestic violence: where are we now?

As recently as 10 years ago, police and prosecutors in the UK turned a blind eye to domestic abuse, considering it unimportant and ‘lesser’ to other forms of violence.

Full article: Family Law

Judicial discretion in proprietary estoppel claims

Lord Justice Lewison's decision in Davies and Another v Davies [2016] EWCA Civ 463 involved an analysis of the broad judgmental discretion required to adjudicate a proprietary estoppel claim.

Full article: Family Law

Missed opportunity to give children a voice: Re D (A Child) [2016] UKSC 34

Family lawyers’ hopes to receive guidance from the Supreme Court on the fundamental principle of a child’s right to be heard in family cases were dashed when the Supreme Court unanimously dismissed a father’s appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal.

Full article: Family Law

And There Lurks the Minotaur: The Interrelationship Between the Inherent Jurisdiction and Section 25, CA 1989: Part I

Alex Laing, barrister of Coram Chambers, considers the interrelationship of the inherent jurisdiction and secure accommodation.

Full article: Family Law Week

Another witches' brew: Pensions on divorce

This paper provides an up-to-date review of the treatment of pensions on divorce in light of the recent 'pension freedom' changes, state pension changes and up-to-date case-law.

Full article: Family Law

Family Assistance Orders: Could more use be made of them?

Gabrielle Jan Posner, Barrister and Recorder, Trinity Chambers Chelmsford, draws practitioners’ attention to resource underused in both private and public law children cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Open Family Courts: Transparent justice or privacy invasion?

Is allowing unwarranted attention to be turned to famous divorcing couples the price you pay for an open court? What is, and how do you find, a good balance, asks Pippa Allsop.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Children: Private Law Update (June 2016)

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Hart to Hart

The newspaper headlines in respect of the case of Hart v Hart [2016] EWCA Civ 497, which was the husband's application for permission to appeal, reflected only a very small part of the husband's grounds of appeal.

Full article: Family Law

Under pressure: How the rise in care applications is squeezing the system

Care applications are at an all-time high and experts warn that this is increasing the risk of serious mistakes being made.

Full article: Community Care

Family law at a distance

Speech by Lord Sumption, At a Glance Conference 2016, Royal College of Surgeons 8 June 2016.

Full speech: Supreme Court (PDF)

We need to talk about the children

One of the hardest things for parents following separation is continuing the conversation about what their children need in order to keep channels of communication open, and to continue to parent as part of an effective working relationship.

Full article: Family Law

International Children Law Update: June 2016

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance & Divorce Update June 2016

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 May 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

Private lives not private after all?

Should financial remedy claims be heard in public or private, and what will the long-term consequences be for the rule of law?

Full article: Family Law

Baby relinquished for adoption – case management

How should a local authority approach a case where a baby is relinquished for adoption at birth by parents whose home country is not (or not necessarily) the United Kingdom and his or her parents do not seek to contest an adoption in the UK?

Full article: Park Square Barristers

Conduct versus Needs

Christopher Ferguson considers a case in which conduct was raised.

Full article: Park Square Barristers

Serious Parental Alienation – The Approach of the Courts and Practitioners in 2016

Francesca Wiley QC of 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers considers how the landscape is changing in the courts’ and practitioners’ attitudes to intractable contact cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act Incompatible with Convention Rights

Catriona Stirling considers the case of Z (a child) (No.2), in which Sir James Munby has made a declaration under s.4 HRA that s. 54(1) HFEA is incompatible with Article 8 together with Article 14 ECHR.

Full article: Cloisters

PSL Essential Update - Motivational May

We've made it through May, with its unpredictable weather systems, a peppering of guidance and some headline-hitting cases.

Full article: Family Law

Disclosure and a protocol: co-operation and care proceedings

The story of the (authorised) police bug in the home of parents in care proceedings to try to identify which parent had killed their child prompts thoughts of what the relationship is between family courts, police and local authorities when it comes to communication of information about child abuse.

Full article: Family Law

Adoption reform: what the government said, and what the government did

Looking back on what the government said about the adoption reform included in the Children and Social Work Bill, and what it actually did.

Full article: Community Care

Children and Social Work Bill - what do we know?

Government aims to 'tip the balance in favour of permanent adoption where that is the right thing for the child'.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Public Law Update (May 2016)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important judgments in the field of public children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family: needs and standard of living

The issue for many judges is the period over which the standard of living is to be maintained.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Finance & Divorce May 2016

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 April 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

The Turkish Constitutional Court on international parental child abduction: judgment of Marcus Frank Cerny

By an individual application made by Marcus Frank Cerny in July 2013 (App No 2013/5126), the Turkish Constitutional Court for the first time examined an allegation of violation of rights secured under the Turkish Constitution in the proceedings before the Turkish courts in relation to the 1980 Hague International Child Abduction Convention to which Turkey has been a party since 2000.

Full article: Family Law

When the rules break the rules: appeals against pension sharing

In CS v ACS (Consent Order: Non-Disclosure: Correct Procedure) [2015] EWHC 1005 (Fam), [2016] 1 FLR 131 the President, Sir James Munby, ruled that paragraph 14.1 of Practice Direction 30A of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 was ultra vires or made without the power to make it.

Full article: Family Law

Sex and drugs and ancillary relief

Add-backs after MAP v MFP [2016] 1 FLR 70 and Rapp v Sarre [2016] EWCA Civ 93: seminar to Payne Hicks Beach on 29 February 2016

Full article: Family Law

What’s really in the bests interests of children from other European countries involved in care proceedings?

Sarah Phillimore, barrister, of St John's Chambers considers the 'best interests' test under Article 15 of Brussels IIR in the light of the Supreme Court's judgment in Re N.

Full article: Family Law Week

Preventing CSE: a lacuna in the law

Matthew Warmoth, pupil barrister at Fourteen, finds that the court can do little to protect children from CSE when the exploiter is not a party to proceedings and there has been no police caution or conviction for a sexual or violent offence.

Full article: Family Law Week

Tackling financial disclosures

Gathering together the financial documents needed to provide full financial disclosure on divorce is a daunting procedure, whether you are using mediation, negotiating via solicitors or going through the court process to work out a financial settlement.

Full article: Family Law

YRes West Midlands Children Law Update

YRes West Midlands Children Law Update, 14 April 2016 at St Ives Chambers.

Full article: Family Law

Capacity and transparency: the Court of Protection and the media

Sir James Munby is well known as a promoter of transparency in the family courts, but perhaps lesser so as being equally enthusiastic with regard to the Court of Protection.

Full article: Family Law

Shares, chairs and automobiles: Montalto v Popat and Others [2016] EWHC 801 (Ch)

This case is a cautionary tale of the ‘cost and heartache’ (para [139]) that can follow the break-up of a couple who are neither married nor in a civil partnership but who together own businesses and property.

Full article: Family Law

The Brave New World of Electronic Filing at the Central Family Court

Michael Allum, Solicitor with The International Family Law Group LLP, explains how the Central Family Court's pilot scheme for electronic filing of documents will work.

Full article: Family Law Week

Part 25 Applications – The theory and the practice

Marie Crawford, barrister, Becket Chambers considers the disconnection between theory and practice in making applications to adduce expert evidence.

Full article: Family Law Week

A clean break on divorce?

The English courts are moving away from the traditional needs-based approach to deciding spousal maintenance applications, explains Caroline Park.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Adoption: A Vision for Change – permanency and ‘the last resort’

Adrian Barnett-Thoung-Holland, pupil barrister at Fourteen, considers how the Department for Education’s proposed four year plan may affect permanency options for children in care.

Full article: Family Law Week

Adoption targets: the good, the bad and the ugly

On 14 January 2016, the Department of Education announced a 'fundamental change to the law' that would ensure that 'courts and councils always pursue adoption when it is in a child's interests'.

Full article: Family Law

'I have nothing to declare but my genius': a consideration of special contributions in Robertson v Robertson - are such arguments dead, disguised or revived?

Practitioners will be well-versed in hearing contentions from husbands and wives in divorce proceedings as to what contributions they have each made during the course of the marriage, and therefore why they should receive their fair shares.

Full article: Family Law

Children arbitration overview

An overview of the Children Arbitration Scheme, which is being launched in July 2016.

Full article: Family Law

No child transfer to the EU under Article 15 BIIR without a best interests analysis of its effects on the child

Roger McCarthy QC and Mark Twomey, barrister, of Coram Chambers address the central point of the Supreme Court's judgment in Re N (Children) [2016] UKSC 15.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Law Arbitration: A better way to Justice? – Lecture to the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators

Master's Lecture given by Sir Hugh Bennett, 6th April 2016, Norton Rose Fulbright.

Full article: Family Law

Context is hugely important in proprietary estoppel but does it reflect the realities of family life?

The factual background of last month's Court of Appeal's decision Liden v Burton involved the acquisition, by Ms Liden, a Swedish national, of a share in the beneficial interest of Mr Burton's home, arising from her monthly contribution, of which there was '£200 towards the house'.

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update, April 2016

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 March 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

Covert Recording by Parents – Nothing to Fear but the Truth?

Farooq Ahmed, barrister of Westgate Chambers and recorder, addresses the legal issues arising when parents embroiled in children proceedings record conversations or events.

Full article: Family Law Week

Panama papers: advice privilege and Sharland set aside

The subject of legal profession privilege  is in the news at present: there is talk of its definition being reviewed in legislation going through Parliament, and its application to the Panama papers has raised question as to how it applies to the leaked documents.

Full article: Family Law

Mediation: construction of terms of an agreement or consent order

The recent case of Besharova v Berezovsky has things to say: firstly, to any mediator or lawyer who seeks to settle financial issues between formerly married or cohabiting couples (although Besharova specifically applies only to married couples); second, to any lawyer (or mediators) who may be called upon to draft an agreement, Tomlin order or consent orders; and thirdly, to any lawyer called upon to construe agreements or orders when they are found to be unclear.

Full article: Family Law

Presenting financial remedy ‘needs’ cases

Rhys Taylor reflects upon the conduct and presentation of a 'needs' case referred to in the  Family Justice Council 'Sorting out Finances on Divorce' Report.

Full article: Family Law

Changes to the Children Act 1989 in Wales

The Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act is fully implemented on 6 April, and makes major changes to social services functions in Wales. This article highlights the ways in which the Children Act 1989 will be affected.

Full article: Family Law

Brexit is not in the interest of the family lawyer

Since 2001, when Brussels I regulation arrived on our shores as the first attempt to synchronise laws between EU countries, family lawyers have tended to greet each new EU convention with some hesitation and suspicion.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Adoption: A vision for change?

On 27th March 2016 – Easter Sunday – the Department of Education released its policy paper setting out its vision for improving adoption rates.

Full article: Family Law

Anglo-Scottish spousal maintenance: a kingdom very gender disunited

A decision on 23 March 2016 (Re V (European Maintenance Regulation) [2016] EWHC 668) by the English High Court (Mrs Justice Parker) has made public what has been known by international family lawyers for many years: the financial treatment of wives as applicant spouses on divorce is incredibly different between England and Scotland.

Full article: Family Law

English judges tell warring spouses 'Resolve financial disputes without courts'

Most mediators and almost all family lawyers have heard clients say that there is no point in attending a meeting because they know their partner so well that it will be a waste of time.

Full article: Family Law

Family Justice and Race: the need for a fundamental review?

Rebekah Wilson, barrister, of Garden Court Chambers asks whether it is time for a review of the lack of racial diversity in the family justice system and of its consequences.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Private Law Update (March 2016)

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Rapp v Sarre [2016] EWCA Civ 93: appealing an order after having failed to properly participate in the proceedings

The Court of Appeal case of Rapp v Sarre [2016] EWCA Civ 93 received wide spread national press coverage.

Full article: Family Law

Adoption, foreign nationals and parental consent: where are we now?

Michael Jones, Barrister, Deans Court Chambers, analyses the implications of a recent judgment in Re JL and AO (Babies Relinquished for Adoption) which concerned the adoption of children with the consent of the foreign parents.

Full article: Family Law Week

Family Law Week’s Budget Briefing. March 2016

Matt Boggis of Creaseys Chartered Accountants and tax advisers explains the Budget changes of most relevance to family lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

NR v AB [2016] EWHC 277 (Fam): A licence made sense

If a matrimonial home is owned by a limited company, shares in which are held - and financing for which was provided - by a spouse together with his wider family, can the ownership of such a matrimonial home (and of other property similarly held) be construed as a nuptial settlement capable of variation under s 24(1)(c), Matrimonial Causes Act 1973?

Full article: Family Law

Lay advisers are the lawyers of the future - let's support them

Lay advisers have historically been met with suspicion and sometimes hostility inside the Family Court, but the judiciary’s latest Consultation on McKenzie Friends examining their status and place inside the system is the perfect opportunity to embrace this new form of assistance, and to acknowledge the part it is playing in shaping the future of family law.

Full article: Family Law

Mending Rainbows: Domestic Violence in the LGBT Community/Communities

It is generally disregarded that approximately 25% of the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community/communities experience domestic abuse, which is the same rate of domestic abuse perpetrated against heterosexual women.

Full article: Family Law Week

Publicity and Poppi Worthington

Re W (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 113 is an appeal against aspects of a reporting restrictions order made by Peter Jackson J in relation to a renewed fact-finding hearing in relation to his earlier findings as to the death and injuries prior to death of Poppi Worthington.

Full article: Family Law

What next for 'stepped' periodical payments orders?

The Court of Appeal recently decided a discreet argument regarding periodical payments orders in the case of Aburn v Aburn [2016] EWCA Civ 72, [2016] FLR (forthcoming). So, what are the implications for automatic variations in periodical payments?

Full article: Family Law

Pension sharing on divorce and annuities: experts' review

When new pension freedom rules were introduced in April 2015 there was much speculation in the financial press and media that pensions could simply be treated as bank accounts. Whilst this has proved to be an oversimplification in terms of the products available and the tax consequences of large withdrawals, there are some circumstances where the capital value may be more relevant than the potential pension income.

Full article: Family Law

Disallowed costs and case management

The case of Re L (Case Management: Wasted Costs) [2016] EWFC B8 – where HHJ Bellamy in the Family Court awarded ‘wasted costs’ against solicitors in care proceedings – is difficult to reconcile with the mainstream of wasted costs orders in the civil courts.

Full article: Family Law

EU proposes accession to Istanbul Convention on domestic violence: a brief background to international domestic violence laws including the Istanbul Convention

On 4 March 2016, there was much EU fanfare and self-congratulation that the EU was proposing that it should accede to the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence. Beyond the press releases, what does this mean? Where does it fit in to what is already existing international law? What might it mean in practice?

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce Update (March 2016)

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 February 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

A review of financial remedy cases (October 2015 to February 2016)

Christopher Sharp QC reviews the more important recent financial remedy cases, covering the period from October 2015 to the end of February 2016.

Full article: St John's Chambers (PDF)

Family law: offsetting pensions

The decision of HHJ Lord Meston QC in WS v WS [2015] EWHC 3941 (Fam) provides a considered overview of offsetting pensions in financial remedy orders.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

All in a good 'show cause'

Sir Peter Singer comments on the recent case of DB v DLJ [2016] EWHC 324 (Fam), the only known financial arbitration 'show cause' contest to be decided in the family courts.

Full article: Family Law Hub

The President’s Address at the Annual Dinner of the Family Law Bar Association 26 February 2016

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, Middle Temple Hall, 26 February 2016.

Full speech: Family Law

What is it like to arbitrate?

Alexander Chandler, barrister, 1 King’s Bench Walk, offers insights into the arbitration process.

Full article: Family Law Week

Challenging an arbitral award: DB v DLJ [2016] EWHC 324 (Fam)

One of the reservations that has been expressed about family law arbitration is not knowing if the arbitral award will be binding.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Public Law Update (February 2016)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings analyses recent significant judgments in public children law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pension offsetting: a question for the Family Court, or for an actuary?

In ancillary relief litigation, whose responsibility is it to quantify the value of future pension benefits and their non-pension substitutes if offsetting is being considered? What method should be applied to any comparison of pension and non-pension assets?

Full article: Tanfield Chambers

A very legal playground: Re B (A Child) (Habitual Residence: Inherent Jurisdiction) and the habitual residence seesaw

On 3 February 2016, the Supreme Court gave judgment in Re B (A Child) (Habitual Residence: Inherent Jurisdiction) [2016] UKSC 4.

Full article: Family Law

Time-limit on application for domestic violence legal aid invalid

David Burrows analyses Rights of Women v The Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice [2016] EWCA Civ 91.

Full article: Family Law

Evidence of child witness

Challenging the evidence of an unwilling child witness.

Full article: Family Law

An Inconvenient Truth: The Danger of Using Undertakings in International Cases

Sarah Lucy Cooper, barrister, of Thomas More Chambers considers the perils of relying on undertakings in cases with a foreign element.

Full article: Family Law Week

The rising demand of care applications

As the number of care cases continues to increase, Kevin Gibbs looks at the possible reasons and considers how the wider family justice system can respond.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Abduction and the court’s powers to determine habitual residence

Re B in the Supreme Court highlights the complications that arise when abduction is to a foreign jurisdiction, and where same-sex couples are concerned, writes Hetty Gleave.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Finance and Divorce Update, February 2016

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 January 2016.

Full article: Family Law Week

In the Matter of B (A Child): Habitual Residence and the Child-Centric Approach to Jurisdiction

Richard Harrison QC, Madeleine Reardon and Jennifer Perrins, all of 1 King's Bench Walk, and Simon Bruce, Partner, of Farrer & Co, analyse the judgment in B (A Child) [2016] UKSC 4 and the key issues: (i) loss of habitual residence; (ii) the relevance of parental status in cases involving same-sex couples; and (iii) the parens patriae jurisdiction.

Full article: Family Law Week

Pension offsetting: a question for the Family Court, or for an actuary?

In ancillary relief litigation, whose responsibility is it to quantify the value of future pension benefits and their non-pension substitutes if offsetting is being considered? What method should be applied to any comparison of pension and non-pension assets?

Full article: Family Law

No fault divorce - family law in need of modernisation?

"There is ... a feeling that the winds are now changing, and progress may finally be made to bring about much-required modernisation of divorce law in England and Wales."

Full article: Family Law

Burns v Burns – elderly testators, mental impairment and the ‘golden rule’

What if an elderly client, whose state of mental health is uncertain, approaches you and asks you to prepare her will?

Full article: Family Law

A child's habitual residence: Where is it and when can it change?

Hetty Gleave considers recent guidance from the Supreme Court in Re: B, which offers a ray of hope for cases of parental child abduction.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Internal Relocation: The Law Following Re C (Internal Relocation) [2015] EWCA Civ 1305

Deborah Eaton QC and Stephen Jarmain, barrister, both of 1 King’s Bench Walk, explain the lessons to be learned from the important Court of Appeal judgment on internal relocation in which the authors represented the mother.

Full article: Family Law Week

WS v WS: Pensions experts' review

In the recent case of WS v WS, a judgment was made to offset the value of a defined benefit pension scheme using the Duxbury formula. The decision was made without reference to an expert pension report, the husband's request for one having been refused. How might the input of a pension expert have influenced the decision-making process in this case?

Full article: Family Law

Who Guards the Guardians?

The Association of Lawyers for Children and the National Association of Guardians ad Litem and Reporting Officers respond to recent guidance given in the Central Family Court on the need for guardians to justify their attendance at care hearings save in specified circumstances.

Full article: Family Law Week

Press reporting of care proceedings

In this article we consider our recent experience of applying for, and securing, permission to report the details of care proceedings in the case of Tickle v Council of the Borough of North Tyneside & Others [2015] EWHC 2991 (Fam) (19 October 2015).

Full article: Family Law (PDF)

Part III and the Maintenance Regulation: Clash of the Titans

Charles Hale QC and Henry Clayton, both of 4 Paper Buildings, outline the debate which the Court of Appeal declined to resolve in the recent case of Ramadani v Ramadani [2015] EWCA Civ 1138.

Full article: Family Law Week

MH v MH [2015] IEHC 771: The meaning of ‘lodge’ in Article 16 Brussels II Revised

Timothy Scott QC of 29 Bedford Row looks at the impact this Irish ruling may have on cases on the UK.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Unwritten Rules – large families in ToLATA cases

Samuel Littlejohns, barrister, 1 Hare Court, considers legal, evidential and practical problems that can arise in real property disputes where family members share property based on intentions and cultural understandings which do not easily fall within the classifications of English law.

Full article: Family Law Week

Re C (Internal relocation) [2015] EWCA Civ 1305

The Court of Appeal has recently provided guidance about the principles that should be applied to applications for internal relocation in the case of Re C (Internal relocation) [2015] EWCA Civ 1305. Charlotte Trace of 29 Bedford Row summarises the main points.

Full article: Family Law Hub

Nicky Morgan: delivering a revolution in children’s social care

Nicky Morgan sets out plans to transform children’s social work so that social workers can get it right for vulnerable children and families.

Full speech: Department for Education

Surrogacy Law Update (January 2016)

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Re N – Transfer of proceedings – When to make an application under Article 15

Dawn Tighe considers the recent case of  Re N Court of Appeal EWCA Civ 112 2015, determined by the Court of Appeal on 2nd November 2015 with regard to Article 15 applications.

Full article: Park Square Barristers

Read all about it: 
Incompetent reports on the CoP

The mainstream media has failed to grapple with basic facets of the court, such as capacity, the definition of 'vulnerable', and right to die, writes Barbara Rich.

Full article: Solicitors Journal

Finance and Divorce Update January 2016

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 December 2015.

Full article: Family Law Week

Priority of proceedings under EU Brussels II: An Irish High Court decision may mean all change after 15 years of practice

On Wednesday 2 December 2015, Ireland’s High Court by its most senior family court judge, Mr Justice Henry Abbott, handed down a decision, just published, in an Anglo-Irish case which dramatically changes expectations of what is needed across the EU to gain priority of proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

The Race to Court under EU Brussels II: A New Approach?

Stuart Clark, an Associate at The International Family Law Group LLP, reports on a recent Irish case which could have important implications for the priority of divorce proceedings in international cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

From arbitrator’s award to consent order

The arbitrator has delivered the award in your financial remedy dispute. How then to obtain a consent order reflecting its terms?

Full article: Family Law

A baker's dozen of financial remedy cases (June to September 2015)

This article covers a selection of 13 of the more important financial remedy cases decided in the period from June until September 2015.

Full article: Family Law

Saleem, shivering and English winters: jurisdiction under Art 11 of the 1996 Hague Convention

On 25 November 2015, the Supreme Court gave judgment in the first case on the Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (the 1996 Convention) to have come before it.

Full article: Family Law