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)