Consent Orders: Triumph or Disaster? Working towards best practice in reaching consent orders

Following a multi-professional seminar, David Pitcher, Family Court Adviser, Cafcass and Carol Mashembo, barrister, Magdalen Chambers, Exeter with Dr Anna Gough and Sarah Evans consider the issues concerning best practice in consent orders in family proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Meal ticket for life?

The recent ‘meal ticket for life’ Supreme Court case of Mills v Mills, [2018] All ER (D) 107 (Jul) (18 July 2018).

Full article: Family Law

Financial Remedies and Divorce Update, September 2018

Rose-Marie Drury, Senior Associate, Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during August 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Brexit and international family law: a pragmatic approach to divorce and maintenance

Gavin Smith, David Hodson, and Valentine Le Grice QC put the case for how the need for the recognition and enforcement of judgments and orders in divorce and maintenance post-Brexit may be met by existing international agreements.

Full article: Family Law Week

The variation or revocation of a settlement order under the Children Act 1989

In Re C (A Child) (Schedule 1 Children Act Variation) the Family Court examined the power of a court to vary or revoke an order for the settlement of property that had already been made.

Full article: Family Law

The importance of the child’s voice when enforcing orders under the 1996 Hague Convention

F and M [2018] EWHC 2106 (Fam) is an interesting Anglo Russian child case with a lengthy history.

Full article: Family Law

Tax and spousal maintenance obligations for international families: the UK experience of the imminent US changes

On 31 December 2018 the US has a significant change in its tax treatment of spousal maintenance, alimony payments.

Full article: Family Law 

Posthumous conception: a legacy in life, incapacity and death

Louisa Ghevaert and Michael Mylonas QC consider the ground breaking decision in Y v A Healthcare NHS Trust and others [2018] EWCOP 18.

Full article: Family Law Week

Reforms to improve enforcement of family financial orders fall short

Plans to make it easier for divorcees to enforce financial orders of the courts in England and Wales do not go far enough to address the challenges those divorcees face in obtaining access to offshore assets of high net worth individuals.

Full story: Out-Law.com

Children: Public Law Update (August 2018)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent, important Children Public Law cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Disclosure and the family lawyer – Part 1

Disclosure: reliance of the family law on common law and civil proceedings rule.

Full article: ICLR

Procedural challenges in a fact-finding hearing in wardship proceedings

The case of M v F and others [2018] EWHC 1720 (Fam) is a reminder that the main issues in the case should be identified and addressed as early as possible in proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Liberty protection safeguards to protect vulnerable people in care

Private Client analysis: Amendments to mental health legislation aim to correct some of the current system’s obvious failings.

Full article: Family Law

Divorce and Financial Remedy Update, August 2018

Naomi Shelton, Associate, Mills & Reeve LLP considers the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during July 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Inadequate police disclosure in care proceedings

Following A Local Government v A and others, a hearing involving the death of a baby in suspicious circumstances, Gemma Taylor QC and Samantha Bowcock stress the importance of disclosure of relevant material in care proceedings and examine the steps that police and local authorities should take in order to avoid compromising a case.

Full article: Family Law

Depriving children of their liberty: Resources and Reform

Michael Jones, barrister, Deans Court Chambers, Manchester, considers the use of the court’s inherent jurisdiction in some deprivation of children’s liberty cases and calls for urgent reform.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mills v Mills Spousal Maintenance – A Meal Ticket for Life?

On 18th July the Supreme Court held that the Court of Appeal erred in increasing W's pps from £13,200 to £17,292 – the increase being the deficit in W’s ‘Needs Budget’; her ‘needs’ including her costs of renting a property when capital provision had been settled to meet her housing need.

Full article: No5 Chambers

The Divorce Trap: Life After Owens v Owens

Georgina Rushworth, Family Law Barrister at Coram Chambers, where she specialises in divorce and its financial consequences, considers the implications of the recent Supreme Court decision.

Full article: Family Law Week

The ‘behaviour’ petition in divorce – as seen in the therapist’s consulting room

In the context of Resolution’s and the Family Matters campaign for no fault divorce, I hope to offer a perspective from my work as a couple therapist to show one aspect of the emotional fall-out that I see in my consulting room from the current system of fault based divorce.

Full article: Family Law

Are the parameters of professional privilege about to be redefined?

Sarah Bazaraa, senior associate at Pannone Corporate LLP, looks at the unusual facts in Bruzas v Saxton and considers whether the issues raised in the case may redefine the boundaries of legal professional privilege.

Full article: Family Law

Broken family

Sir Andrew McFarlane, who succeeded Sir James Munby last week, is demonstrating plenty of empathy. But practitioners filled with trepidation about the future also detect steel in his leadership, reports Grania Langdon-Down.

Full article: Law Society Gazette

Crackdown on divorcing parents who ‘alienate’ children from former partners

Parents could have access to their children restricted if they try to turn them against their child’s other parent, under a trial process about to be rolled out by Cafcass.

Full article: Family Law

The rise of private FDRs

Sir James Munby’s parting shot.

Full article: Family Law

Capacity in the context of Prader-Willi syndrome

Ella Anderson, barrister at Spire Barristers, discusses the practical implications of the judgment in Re FX – the first ever reported decision to consider questions of capacity in the context of Prader-Willi syndrome.

Full article: Family Law

Crucial new guidance regarding Intercountry Adoption

The Hague Conference on Private International Law has recently published extremely helpful guidance on the interpretation of habitual residence and scope of the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

Full article: Family Law

Children Private law update Summer 2018

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Mills v Mills: Fairness over needs: Taking the ‘cherry’ out of the ‘meal ticket’

Many family lawyers (including me) are starting to put the 'meal ticket for life' phrase in the same bracket as 'quickie divorce' and 'common law spouse'.

Full article: Family Law

Travelling abroad with children after separation – is permission needed?

Getting away on holiday with children is hard enough; following separation, there may be an additional complication and it will need early attention.

Full article: Family Law

Domestic abuse and child contact: key advice on understanding the child’s experience

Asking the right questions can make children feel comfortable talking about their experiences and allow the practitioner to understand their point of view.

Full article: Community Care

Speech by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division: Because it is the right thing to do

President of the Family Division Sir James Munby speech to the Family Justice Young People’s Board re: children who want to come to court.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

The relevant principle of proprietary estoppel (Thompson v Thompson)

Thompson v Thompson demonstrates the willingness of the court, in appropriate circumstances, to award the entirety of a farm to a farmer’s child following a lifetime of work and after informal promises of succession made to him by his parents, under the doctrine of proprietary estoppel.

Full article: St John's Chambers (PDF)

Attorney retrospective approval of gifts from donor accounts

What are the rules governing retrospective approval of gifts and payments for voluntary care? Simon Edwards discusses Re HH which demonstrates the necessity for someone who has power of attorney to retain proper records of care payments.

Full article: Family Law

Supreme Court outlines nine key principles of section 20 practice

A recent court case outlined how social workers should approach section 20 arrangements.

Full article: Community Care

Applying to commit for breach of a child arrangements order

Sarah Keily discusses the decision in CH v CT, which illustrates the need to strictly comply with the relevant procedural requirements when seeking a committal order following a breach of a child arrangements order.

Full article: Family Law

Surrogacy and HFEA Update: July 2018

Andrew Powell, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, considers recent important judgments concerning surrogacy and highlights the focus of the Law Commission’s review of the law of surrogacy.

Full article: Family Law Week

Divorce & Financial Remedy Update, July 2018

Sue Brookes, Principal Associate and Rose-Marie Drury, Senior Associate, both with Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during June 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Stand by your man? The clash of criminal law and family law concerning inter-spousal transfers of assets

The judgment of the Court of Appeal in R v Hayes [2018] EWCA 682 is a stark and unsettling reminder of how occasionally a family court and a criminal court may deliver contradictory judgments on the same facts.

Full article: Family Law

Court of Justice finds UK transgender state pension law discriminatory

A ruling by the CJEU that EU law precludes UK legislation which requires a woman who had previously been a married man to be no longer married to a woman in order to be able to claim a state retirement pension as from the statutory pensionable age applicable to women.

Full article: Family Law

Property rights on separation – where do unmarried couples stand?

The case of Dobson v Griffey is a stark reminder of the limited legal rights that apply to cohabiting couples and the unequal treatment in law resulting from their non-marital status.

Full article: Family Law

Enforcement and the powers of the family court: VS v RE [2018] EWFC 30

Michael Horton, barrister at Coram Chambers explains the jurisdiction of the family court in relation to enforcement proceedings and highlights considerations which impact on the drafting of recitals to consent orders.

Full article: Family Law Week

Farming disputes and proprietary estoppel: Gee v Gee

In recent years there has been a procession of farming proprietary estoppel cases, the most famous of which was probably Davies v Davies with the claimant in that case capturing the media’s attention as the ‘Cowshed Cinderella’.

Full article: Family Law

Court of Appeal sets out approach when considering SGOs in care proceedings

Family analysis: What factors should parties take into consideration in identifying realistic placement options for a child at the start of care proceedings?

Full article: Family Law

Akhmedova v Akhmedov: piercing the corporate veil

This article takes a look at the recent judgment made in Akhmedova v Akhmedov where the wife sought to enforce financial provision orders in the region of a £453m lump sum, after the Russian billionaire husband had taken elaborate steps to conceal his wealth and evade enforcement of the judgment.

Full article: Family Law

Human Rights Act Claims and Care Proceedings: A New Dawn

Will Tyler QC and Ben Mansfield, both of 36 Family, who jointly represented the Local Authority and Father in Northamptonshire County Council & Anor v The Lord Chancellor (via the Legal Aid Agency) [2018], consider the important new Guidance from the Legal Aid Agency, appended to the judgment, which confirms a fundamental change in the Lord Chancellor’s position.

Full article: Family Law Week

When does a marital contribution become special?

Over 10 days in June 2017 Mr Justice Baker heard an application made by the wife for a financial order. Judgment was handed down to the parties six months later in December 2017, but was not made public until mid-June owing to reporting restrictions (see XW v XH [2017] EWFC 76).

Full article: Family Law

The risks to litigants in person when cross-examining psychologist expert witnesses

Many psychologist expert witnesses, from professional bodies (British Psychological Society) to more informal expert witness networks, have raised concerns about the impact of this practice.

Full article: Family Law

Speech by Lord Justice McFarlane: Families Need Fathers Conference 2018

Keynote Address by Lord Justice McFarlane 25 June 2018.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Family Mediation: Piercing the cloak of confidentiality

Deborah Eaton QC, 1 Kings Bench Walk, Hassan Khan, 4 Paper Buildings and Mark Irving, Harbottle & Lewis examine whether mediation agreements are always susceptible to privilege, following Mr Justice Williams’s judgment in BL v TC & OD [2017] EWHC 3363.

Full article: Family Law Week

How far will the Supreme Court go as it tackles Owens v Owens?

On 17 May, the Supreme Court heard the case of Owens v Owens. It is the first time that the ‘fault based’ divorce provisions in the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) have been considered by the highest court.

Full article: Family Law

Villiers - a cross border conundrum

Lucia Clark, Partner (dual-qualified in English and Scottish family law) and Alex Critchley, Solicitor, both of Morton Fraser LLP consider the implications of the recent Court of Appeal judgment in Villiers v Villiers.

Full article: Family Law Week

Special Guardianship Orders Clarified: 10 Points to Note

On 18th June 2018, the Court of Appeal  handed down judgment in the case of In the matter of P-S (Children) unanimously allowing an appeal by the children’s guardian.

Full article: St Ives Chambers (PDF)

Divorce beauty parades: genuine market research or litigation manoeuvring?

This article considers the decision in ZS v FS [2017] EWHC 2660 (Fam), in which a husband failed in his application to prevent his ex-wife’s solicitor from acting.

Full article: Family Law

Owens: unreasonable behaviour on trial

How far will the Supreme Court go as it tackles Owens v Owens, asks Simon Blain.

Full article: New Law Journal

Finance and Divorce Update, June 2018

Naomi Shelton, Associate, Mills & Reeve LLP considers the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during May 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Varying your child maintenance: it can pay dividends!

Using a fictitious scenario Gwyn Evans, barrister, Tanfield Chambers highlights legal and practical issues relating to child maintenance.

Full article: Family Law Week

Speech by Lord Justice McFarlane: Care Crisis Review Launch

Speech by Lord Justice McFarlane, Care Crisis Review Launch, 13th June 2018.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Limits on transparency in the family courts

Following a judge’s decision in 2002 that a girl should live with her father, the Family Division in Re G (A Child) refused a recent application by the girl’s older half-brother for access to all the files in the 2002 proceedings, and also refused the mother’s application for the removal of the undertaking she had given the judge not to communicate with the media.

Full article: Family Law

Ending a marriage in the 21st century, a look beyond no fault divorce

Sophie Crampton, Pupil, Coram Chambers makes the case for reform of the law of divorce.

Full article: Family Law Week

Enhancing the rights of grandchildren to see their grandparents

Julie Stather, barrister, Crown Office Row, Brighton advances the case for reform of the law relating to the rights of grandchildren to see their grandparents.

Full article: Family Law Week

Children: Public Law Update (June 2018)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent, important Children Public Law cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Foreign pre-nup, English divorce? What’s the deal?

It is not at all uncommon for international couples who marry abroad to have entered into a pre-nuptial agreement or a ‘matrimonial property regime’.

Full article: Family Law

What is family law? – Securing social justice for children and young people

Speech by President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby at the University of Liverpool 30 May 2018.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Surrogacy and parental orders for single parents – the ‘non-urgent’ road to change

Since May 2016, prospective single applicants for parental orders for surrogate children have waited with bated breath for the change in the law that permits them to make their applications, independent of their relationship status.

Full article: Family Law

‘Dishonesty, coercion and power’: how do social workers respond to social media criticism of care proceedings?

John Simmonds about the rising challenge that critical social media postings poses for care proceedings and the children, parents and social workers in them.

Full article: Community Care

Temporary relocation of a child: a practical approach

Temporary relocation cases tend to fall into two categories.

Full article: Family Law

The legal process for gender recognition

This article looks at the legal framework surrounding gender recognition and examines recent case law illustrating the approach taken by the courts.

Full article: Family Law

The Impact of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations 1963 within Child Protection

Sian Young, Solicitor with Nottinghamshire County Council, provides guidance for practitioners.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cohabitation and the problem of proving constructive trusts or proprietary estoppel

The case of Dobson v Griffey is a timely reminder of the difficulties involved in proving constructive trusts or proprietary estoppel in cohabitation cases and the pitfalls of failing to document agreements properly or, indeed, failing to take legal advice.

Full article: Family Law

The exercise of discretion where a pre-nuptial agreement is upheld

In KA v MA (Pre-nuptial Agreement - Needs), the Family Division upheld a pre-nuptial agreement where the wife had argued that she had been subject to duress, but made a needs-based award of £2.95m in excess of the sum provided for in the agreement.

Full article: Family Law

Interim Sale of the Family Home in Financial Remedy Proceedings

Philip Newton, barrister, Becket Chambers Canterbury considers whether it is possible to obtain an order for sale of the family home before the final hearing.

Full article: Family Law Week

A Short Note on Habitual Residence: AB v CD [2018] EWHC 1021 (Fam)

Alex Laing of Coram Chambers notes Mr Justice Keehan's judgment in a 'helpful template case' for the determination of disputed habitual residence.

Full article: Family Law Week

Mediation Matters: How do we persuade more couples who attend an assessment meeting to undertake full mediation?

Mediators aren’t salespeople, but most would say that at the initial mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM), when mediation is explained, with knowledge that in just a few meetings settlement is within grasp, the client is usually sold on the benefits.

Full article: Family Law

UK/EU Family law after Brexit: a speech to the European Parliament

Speech given by Prof David Hodson OBE MICArb to the European Parliament on 16 May 2018.

Full article: Family Law

Openness and Privacy in Family Proceedings

Sir Nicholas Wall Memorial Lecture 2018, Gray’s Inn, London - Lady Hale, President of The Supreme Court.

Full speech: Supreme Court

Daedalus, Ariadne and the Minotaur: Where are we now?

Alex Laing of Coram Chambers re-visits the use of the inherent jurisdiction to deprive children of their liberty in the light of recent judgments.

Full article: Family Law Week

Speech by the President of the Family Division Sir James Munby: the Family Bar in a Digital World

A talk by the President of the Family Division Sir James Munby at the Family Law Bar Association conference at Cumberland Lodge on 12 May 2018.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Finance & Divorce Update, May 2018

Sue Brookes, Principal Associate and Rose-Marie Drury, Senior Associate, both with Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during April 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Breaking up is hard to do: the fate of family law in post-Brexit Britain

With approximately three million EU citizens living in the UK and around one million British citizens living in other EU member states, the implications of Brexit for European couples separating or divorcing and for their families is wide-reaching and of concern to all family practitioners.

Full article: Family Law

JY v RY: An Indictment of the Impact of Legal Aid Cuts

Matthew Richardson, barrister, Coram Chambers explains why a case, described by the judge as ‘the most unsatisfactory’ he has heard and in which ‘had one or both of these parents been represented … probably the outcome would have been very different’, serves as an alarming lesson in just how far our justice system has fallen.

Full article: Family Law Week

Cohabitees’ inheritance rights – courts will decide each case on its facts

In Thompson v Ragget, the claimant claimed reasonable financial provision under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 out of the estate of her late partner, who had left her nothing.

Full article: Family Law

Ex-husband used corporate structures to conceal wealth, court rules

An English court has ordered a wealthy Russian businessman to transfer ownership of a luxury yacht from one of his companies to his ex-wife, in order to satisfy part of their divorce settlement.

Full article: Out-Law.com

Family implications of a Brexit relocation to France

Couples relocating to France as part of Brexit arrangements should consider carefully in advance how the relocation will affect the arrangements between them and what steps they should take before the move.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Private Law Update (Spring 2018)

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

Full article: Family Law Week

Approach when a local authority seeks permission to withdraw application for care order

Maud Davis says the judgment in A local authority v A mother and others makes it clear that the risk of significant harm has to be established on the basis of evidence, and not ‘assumptions or speculation on future behaviour’.

Full article: Family Law

Waggott v Waggott: in support of the clean break

The case of Waggott v Waggott is being hailed by some as the end to the ‘meal ticket’, but the decision in respect of periodical payments is perhaps not surprising, there are few cases these days where a ‘joint lives’ order is the eventual outcome.

Full article: Family Law

Lady Hale at Resolution's 30th National Conference, Bristol

Keynote Speech - Resolution’s 30th National Conference, Bristol - Lady Hale, President of The Supreme Court - 20 April 2018.

Full speech: Supreme Court

Analysing the Government response to the review of the law on deprivation of liberty

Ben Troke, partner at Browne Jacobson LLP, discusses the Government’s proposals and assesses whether they go far enough, as well as the likely timescales involved in implementing them.

Full article: Family Law

Court of Protection approves administration of medication by deception

 Alex Ruck Keene, barrister, of 39 Essex Chambers, examines the decision of the Court of Protection in Re AB to approve deceiving a person lacking mental capacity in order to administer her medication.

Full article: Family Law

The courts’ jurisdiction to vary capital orders

Clare Williams examines the limited scope for the variation of capital orders, and diverging judicial views on the jurisdiction of the court to make an interim order for sale, in the case of SR v HR where an added complication was the bankruptcy of the husband.

Full article: Family Law

New Resolution Chair addresses National Conference

Earlier today (20 April), Margaret Heathcote became National Chair of Resolution. Here is her inaugural address to the 30th National Conference, taking place in Bristol on 20-21 April.

Full article: Resolution

Getting the Most Out of Independent Reviewing Officers in Care Proceedings

Gabrielle Jan Posner, Barrister and Recorder, Trinity Chambers Chelmsford, argues for a more involved role for IROs in care proceedings.

Full article: Family Law Week

Finance and Divorce Update, April 2018

Claire Molyneux Senior Associate, and Naomi Shelton, Associate, Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during March 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Appeals and clarification of a judge’s reasons: Re P (A Child)

Clarification of a court judgment.

Full article: Family Law

Shared care arrangements in relocation cases

Richard Jones, barrister at 1 Garden Court Chambers, discusses the practical implications of the judgment in JAL v LSW, which concerns how the courts should approach relocation cases where care of the child has been shared.

Full article: Family Law

Forced Marriage: protective measures for children and young people in the family courts and the court of protection – part 2

In the second of two articles concerning the development of the law in relation to forced marriage and the protective remedies available for children and young people, Judith Pepper, barrister of Four Brick Court, examines the remedies available for adults.

Full article: Family Law Week

Forced Marriage: protective measures for children and young people in the family courts and the court of protection – part 1

Judith Pepper, barrister of 4 Brick Court, examines in the first of two articles the development of the law in relation to forced marriage and the protective remedies available for children and young people, focusing on the protective measures available by utilising the inherent jurisdiction of the court.

Full article: Family Law Week

Leave to remove post-Brexit: appealing an appeal

In the recent case of L v F the Court of Appeal reinstated a first instance judgment that refused to grant a mother permission to relocate to Italy with the parties’ child. The case offers a reminder of the approach that the court must take when deciding whether or not to grant an appeal.

Full article: Family Law

Al and technology in family law

Could family law benefit from artificial intelligence (Al)? It has already proved its worth in huge-scale disclosure, but could it, say, draft a pre-nup?

Full article: Family Law

Australia ends requirement to file exhibits at the family court: should England and Wales follow suit?

A recent change in the rules of the family court in Australia ends the requirement for exhibits both generally and specifically to be filed at the court. Should England and Wales be following suit?

Full article: Family Law

Lower Tier Members of the Hague Club?

Elisabeth Andrews, Pupil Barrister at 4 Paper Buildings, considers the difficulties faced by countries aiming to become new members of the Hague Convention 1980 and what influence Pakistan’s accession may have in terms of encouraging other South Asian and Muslim countries to follow suit.

Full article: Family Law Week

Statutory child maintenance variation applications and capital assets

Liz Cowell, partner at McAlister Family Law, examines the implications of P v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and another for cases concerning the diversion of assets and deemed income.

Full article: Family Law

Removing a party to proceedings: A Local Authority v F and others

Following A Local Authority v F and others Gemma Taylor QC, of 42 Bedford Row Chambers, explains the circumstances under which a local authority can be absolved of its duties to consult with a parent and provide information.

Full article: Family Law

Re V: how will the challenge to the spirit of the maintenance regulation fare in the Court of Appeal?

The case of Re V (European Maintenance Regulation), due to be heard in the Court of Appeal, presents a novel opportunity for the court to interpret Art 13 of the maintenance regulation in accordance with the regulation’s objectives.

Full article: Family Law

Hart v Hart: what led the court to order the ultimate sanction?

Anyone reading that John Hart, an 83-year-old man with prostate cancer, had been sent to prison by a High Court judge might naturally raise an eye-brow in surprise.

Full article: Family Law

Bloom v Bloom: The risks of failing to provide full and frank disclosure in financial remedy proceedings

Bloom v Bloom concerned the applicant wife’s application that judgments in the financial remedy proceedings, where the respondent husband had been found to have defrauded her parents, should be published un-anonymised.

Full article: Family Law

Villiers v Villiers: An Update

Michal Horton and Alex Laing, both of Coram Chambers, report on the latest developments in a case that has attracted widespread attention in the press.

Full article: Family Law Week

International child abduction proceedings: key points to note from the latest President's guidance

On 13 March 2018, a new practice direction was issued by the President concerning Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings.

Full article: Family Law

Speech by Sir James Munby: Changing families – family law yesterday, today and tomorrow – a view from south of the Border

In the year when we are commemorating the centenary of the extension of the franchise to women – though only to some women – it is perhaps useful to start what I have to say by looking at the state of English family law a 100 years ago.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Speech by Lord Justice McFarlane: Contact: a point of view

In opening today’s conference, which is focused upon the topic of ‘contact’, I have been invited to express a point of view and I wish to do so by highlighting three separate topics: adoption, contact in adoption and intractable private law disputes.

Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Cohabitation conundrum: extending civil partnerships to opposite-sex couples

Last month, the issue of extending rights for unmarried opposite-sex couples was debated enthusiastically in the House of Commons, as the Civil Partnerships, Marriages & Deaths (Registration Etc) Bill moved unopposed to the next stage of its passage through Parliament.

Full article: Family Law

Decrees in multiple EU jurisdictions: Mensah v Mensah

Mensah v Mensah [2018] EWHC 484 (Fam) is an interesting recent decision pertaining to the Brussels II Regulation (BIIR) and specifically the recognition of a French divorce order.

Full article: Family Law

Care proceedings and Article 5 ECHR

James Goudie QC examines a recent judgment of the President of the Family Division in relation to care proceedings and the right to liberty and security under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Full article: Local Government Lawyer

Jurisdiction to make an interim order for the sale of a former matrimonial home

Sheena Cassidy examines the decision in WS v HS which considers the power of the family courts to make an interim order for sale in circumstances where s 22ZA of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) does not apply.

Full article: Family Law

Lawyers, Legal Language and Fact-finding Hearings under Part IV of the Children Act 1989

David Bedingfield, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, discusses what lessons can be learned from the Court of Appeal's judgment in R (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 198.

Full article: Family Law Week

Deprivation of liberty and administration of medication by a local authority to a child

Louise McCallum and Emily Ross consider the case of T (A Child: Care Order: Beyond Parental Control: Deprivation of Liberty: Authority to Administer Medication), which dealt with issues of deprivation of liberty and administration of medication by a local authority to a child.

Full article: Zenith Chambers

Guidance on Art 5 compliance when a child in local authority care is deprived of their liberty

In Re A-F (Children) (Care Orders: Restrictions on Liberty) the court gave guidance on when Art 5 ECHR is engaged in relation to a child in the care of the local authority, and the procedures necessary to ensure the deprivation of liberty is lawful.

Full article: Family Law

Daughter ordered to take DNA test to prove she has an interest in her late father’s estate

The case Nield-Moir v Freeman [2018] EWHC 299 (Ch).

Full article: Family Law

Finance & Divorce Update March 2018

Rose-Marie Drury analyses the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during February 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

Divorce? You may regret it if you don't ask for legal advice

Yedina v Yedin and another [2017] EWHC 3319 (Ch) was an interesting case which highlighted the importance of seeking advice from a family lawyer when planning to divorce.

Full article: Family Law

‘Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse’: a Government consultation paper

Working towards an end to domestic abuse.

Full article: Family Law

Surrogacy and HFEA Update (March 2018)

Andrew Powell, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, considers recent developments relating to surrogacy law, including new guidance, as well as the latest cases concerning administrative errors and the HFEA.

Full article: Family Law Week

Thai case shines the light on international surrogacy

A story reported by The Telegraph last week raises some interesting questions about international surrogacy.

Full article: Family Law

Is the Home Office taking over domestic abuse?

Is Parliamentary and other Government activity in the last week evidence of movement towards a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill?

Full article: Family Law

Child Support Update

Jody Atkinson TEP, barrister at St John's Chambers, Bristol, takes stock of the developments in child support law and practice and considers the implications for parents.

Full article: Family Law Week

The importance of considering all the options in relocation cases

Catherine Wood QC, of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews the decision in Re M (International Relocation: Welfare Analysis) [2017] EWCA Civ 2356 in which the Court of Appeal held that the judge had failed to carry out the sophisticated and complex analysis required in a relocation case.

Full article: Family Law

Does the inclusion of families and children in family proceedings go far enough?

Adele Cameron-Douglas, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, asks how children can continue to be involved in proceedings that concern them after their conclusion.

Full article: Family Law Week

Supreme Court: no indulgence for litigants in person

The Supreme Court decision in Barton v Wright Hassall LLP [2018] UKSC 12.

Full article: Family Law

Child Contact Interventions

Adrian Barnett-Thoung-Holland, barrister of St Alban's Chambers, explains the practicalities of a valuable resource for children lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

Stepfather adoption: the pros and cons

The legal position for a stepfather in relation to his stepchild can be fundamentally altered through an adoption order.

Full article: Family Law

Will extending jurisdiction to missing people overstretch the Court of Protection?

The Guardianship (Missing Persons) Act 2017 (also known as Claudia’s Law) increases the Court of Protection’s jurisdiction to include any person who cannot make decisions for themselves by virtue of being ‘missing’.

Full article: Family Law

Enforcement against Pensions in Financial Remedies Cases: the neglected option.

Joseph Rainer, barrister, Queen Elizabeth Building highlights the availability and effectiveness of the Blight v Brewster method to enforce a financial remedy order.


Full post: Family Law Week

The ECHR’s ruling in Kaminska v Poland: Enforcement of return orders – where do we go from here?

James Netto, Solicitor Advocate with Dawson Cornwell, considers a recent judgment of the ECtHR that confirms the need for the rapid recognition and enforcement of child abduction and custody orders.

Full article: Family Law Week

First cases of mitochondrial donation therapy in the UK and why the 'three-parent baby' headlines are misleading

In February 2015, the UK became the first country to approve laws allowing for the creation of so called 'three-parent babies'.

Full article: Family Law

Non-molestation: a definition for 2018?

What is ‘non-molestation’? How do family courts, by order, deal with ‘molestation’, as it is now defined in law?

Full article: Family Law

Five “Highly Pertinent” Questions: Discrimination, Contact and the Family Court following Re M (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 2164

Hassan Khan and Charlotte Baker, barristers at 4 Paper Buildings, present a framework for approaching cases where issues of human rights and discrimination arise in contact cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Reminder of the law of proprietary estoppel and testamentary capacity

Is the test for testamentary capacity in a wills dispute the same as the mental capacity test under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005)?

Full article: Family Law

Availability of Legal Aid for Applications Pursuant to the 1996 Hague Convention

Anne-Marie Hutchinson OBE QC (Hon), Partner, Dawson Cornwell, and Michael Gration, Barrister, 4 Paper Buildings, highlight an oversight in LASPO.

Full article: Family Law Week

Attempting modernisation: the Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill

Momentum is growing for the modernisation of the statutory approach to the financial division of assets on divorce, the recognition of pre- and post-nuptial agreements, and an overhaul of spousal maintenance.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce Update, February 2018

Naomi Shelton, Associate and Frances Bailey, Principal Associate with Mills & Reeve LLP, analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during January 2018.

Full article: Family Law Week

The perils of an outdated will

The case of Martin v Williams [2017] EWHC 491 (Ch), [2018] 1 FLR 125 concerned the right of a cohabitee to make a claim for financial provision from her partner’s estate.

Full article: Family Law

Court ruling on decision to place a child with sibling’s adopters (Re B (a child))

Emily James, barrister at The 36 Group, considers the practical implications of the Court of Appeal judgment in Re B (A Child) (Care Proceedings), in which a decision to place a child for adoption, even when there was a viable family placement available, was upheld.

Full article: Family Law

Parental alienation and intractable contact disputes – when all seems lost

Occasionally, as a family solicitor, I come across a case that makes me despair. Thankfully it’s rare, but that feeling overwhelmed me when I read the child contact case of Q and R (Intractable contact) [2017] EWFC B35.

Full article: Family Law

Thoughts on child rights and Brussels IIA after EU withdrawal

Latvian children, care proceedings and Art 15.

Full article: Family Law

English civil partnership may not be recognised abroad

 Whilst marriage is almost universally recognised around the world and civil partnership is recognised by those countries with their own civil partnership laws, the legal status of an English civil partnership is not recognised in a number of countries.

Full article: Family Law

Children: Public Law Update (January 2018)

John Tughan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews recent important Children Public Law cases.

Full article: Family Law Week

Burden of proof and medical evidence in non-accidental injury cases (A Local Authority v ID and others)

In A Local Authority v ID and others, following a ten-day fact-finding hearing, the court made adverse findings of non-accidental injury against a father to his four-month-old baby. Dr John Fox of Lamb Building explains what can be gleaned from the judgment when dealing with cases of non-accidental injury.

Full article: Family Law

Family Law in the European Court of Human Rights in 2017

Julia Queen, barrister of Coram Chambers, considers a selection of the cases heard by the European Court of Human Rights (‘the Court’) in 2017 which are of particular interest to family lawyers.

Full article: Family Law Week

Parents with Learning Disabilities and a Local Authority’s Responsibilities

Emma Harman, barrister of 3PB, explains the lessons that can be learned from A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) [2017] EWFC B94.

Full article: Family Law Week

Transferring property out of a deceased's estate to an unmarried partner (Lewis v Warner)

Roger Evans, barrister at Harcourt Chambers, says that Lewis v Warner is an interesting demonstration of the courts exercising their jurisdictional powers in the transfer of property under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Full article: Family Law

Local authorities and learning disabled parenting (A Local Authority v CG and others)

Local Government analysis: A case concerning the parental suitability of two parents with mental health and learning difficulties offers a number of lessons that can help local authorities to better manage such challenging circumstances.

Full article: Family Law

How we can cut the cost of divorce

Hazel Wright, Partner and Accredited Mediator with Hunters Solicitors considers the cost benefits of a “no fault” divorce regime.

Full article: Family Law Week

Exploring options over contact applications from transgender parents (Re M (Children)

Lyndsay Sambrooks-Wright, a barrister at 2 Dr Johnson’s Buildings, discusses the Court of Appeal’s decision in Re M (Children).

Full article: Family Law

Court clarifies quasi-settlement defence to removed child’s return (L-S (a child))

Katy Chokowry, barrister at 1 King’s Bench Walk, examines the Court of Appeal’s approach in L-S (a child) to a child’s habitual residence, a parent’s acquiescence in the child’s removal, and the intolerability of the child’s position if returned after settling in new country.

Full article: Family Law

Divorce in the era of cryptocurrency: Bitcoin and non-disclosure

Bitcoin is a form of digital currency developed in 2009. It is created and held electronically in a decentralized system meaning that no one and no government controls it.

Full article: Family Law

Finance and Divorce Update, January 2018

Sue Brookes, Senior Associate with Mills & Reeve LLP analyses the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during December 2017.

Full article: Family Law Week

The use of testing for drugs and alcohol in FDAC

This tenth blog about FDAC focuses on the use of drug and alcohol tests in FDAC.

Full article: Family Law

Exploring “Reasonable Financial Provision” – Lewis v Warner

On 19th December the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the case of Lewis v Warner. The case involved “unusual” and “exceptional” circumstances and was the first time that an application by a cohabitee under the Inheritance Act had reached the Court of Appeal.

Full article: Hardwicke

Jurisdiction and quantum of global maintenance order (AB v CD)

Did the court, in deciding on financial provision, have jurisdiction to make a global maintenance order? Liz Cowell, partner at McAlister Family Law, looks at the issues of ‘global’ and ‘Segal’ orders in the recent case of AB v CD.

Full article: Family Law

The European Court decision on legality of sharia divorce: what is it really about?

A European Court decision in mid-December 2017 in the context of an Islamic divorce pronounced in Syria was bound to create headlines.

Full article: Family Law