changes

Changes to divorce law and matrimonial finances

The Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill has been scheduled to commence its Committee stage in the House of Lords on 23 November 2018. This stage affords the proposed bill to be scrutinised on a line by line basis, in order to consider changes proposed to existing legislation. The proposed bill, sponsored by Baroness Deech, suggests changes to the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 …

Northampton

Northampton becomes part of Family Court pilot scheme

The Family Court at Northampton is soon to join the Financial Remedies Pilot, as part of the court’s strategy to manage court proceedings relating to matrimonial finances. Following further consultation, the current President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, announced that the regional piloting scheme was to be extended to eight new courts, including Northampton. The Financial Remedies Court is …

service

International divorce and service of documents

The divorce process requires the court to be satisfied that the responding party is aware of the proceedings and has been given the opportunity to engage in those proceedings. To this end, the court takes steps to ensure that service of relevant documentation upon the respondent party is correctly conducted. Service is particularly challenging in cases involving an international divorce. …

disclosure

Disclosure refresh – is all the information provided?

To assist in the consideration of negotiation and settlement, the principles of full and frank disclosure are essential to facilitating meaningful discussions. Deriving from common law principles, the duty of financial disclosure is the foundation of financial remedy proceedings. The general rule is that the court makes its decision on the basis of all available relevant evidence. To enable the …

non-molestation orders

Non-molestation orders data under review

Since 2013, when LASPO came into force, it has been reported by the National Audit Office that up to 80% of private family law cases before the courts involve at least one party that has no legal representation. This is an increase of some 30%, or approximately 18,500 families per year, on pre-LASPO levels. Within this same time frame, the …

partnership

Civil partnership to be made open to all

Civil partnership is to be available to heterosexual couples following the recent Supreme Court case of Steinfeld and Keidan v Secretary of State for International Development [2018]. Many family law practitioners had urged the government to extend the scope of civil partnership after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Steinfeld and Keidan, wherein the court found that there was no justification for the discrimination …

transparency

Transparency on the increase in family courts

Running from 1 October 2018 until 30 June 2019, family law courts in England Wales are now operating a pilot for “duly authorised” lawyers to “blog” about report on private hearings. However, there are still some restrictions and rules in place to protect the parties’ privacy. The greater transparency of these hearings is operating for a pilot period, with rules set …

pound

Husband ordered to pay wife’s solicitor if he pays his own

The millionaire husband in a divorce dispute has been ordered not to pay his lawyers a pound without paying a pound to his wife’s solicitors, under a High Court ruling from Mr Justice Holman.  The judge said it was “intolerable and an affront to justice” that the husband had been able to pay tens of thousands of pounds to his new …

conflict

CAFCASS develop response to high conflict cases and those of parental alienation

For separating parents, deciding where the children live and how much time they spend with their ex is often their first concern, but ultimately, can be hard to agree. In circumstances of conflict and emotion, a child may not wish to see the non-resident other parent and there are sadly circumstances where this is encouraged or facilitated by the resident parent, …

change

Changes to divorce law on the horizon

Married couples may soon be entitled to no-fault divorces and spouses will lose the right to defend and contest the irretrievable breakdown of a marriage as standard, under proposals for a historic change of the divorce laws, currently being drawn up by the government. Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor, David Gauke, is expected to soon announce a government …