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. …

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 …

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 …

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 …

petition

Tini Owens loses divorce petition fight at Supreme Court

Tini Owens has lost a Supreme Court appeal to be granted a divorce because she said her marriage was unhappy. In May 2015 Mrs Owens issued a divorce petition which has been the subject of a great number of court hearings, concluding in the Supreme Court proceedings. Mrs Owens’ petition was based upon section 1(2)(b) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, in which …

dispute

Dispute over forum considered by Court of Appeal

Highlighting once again the importance of the jurisdictional forum of divorce proceedings, the courts have recently considered the matter of Mr and Mrs Thum and their jurisdictional dispute.   Catja Thum, won the race to lodge her divorce petition in England, before her financier husband, Oliver Thum, did the same in Germany, after she found out that Mr Thum had taken …

The Split

The Split – BBC drama not reflective of family lawyers

The BBC’s latest prime-time drama, The Split, has been widely criticised by family solicitors for its negative portrayal of lawyers and their involvement in family disputes. Despite benefiting from solicitors consulting on the programme, a general theme of complaints from Resolution has included (watch out for spoilers!): (a) When meeting sportswear mogul Davey McKenzie, played by Stephen Tompkinson, his prospective …

Munby

Sir James Munby’s final call for no fault divorce?

The country’s leading family law judge, Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, chose to once again press for a move towards no-fault divorce during the course of a recent lecture to the legal faculty at the University of Edinburgh. Sir James highlighted his view that no fault divorces should be made available to allow those individuals “trapped in …

pension

Pension impact on divorce nears £4,000 a year

New research from Prudential shows that divorcees who plan to retire in 2018 can expect their yearly income to drop by £3,800 compared to those who have never divorced, highlighting the impact of marriage breakdown on pension saving. Prudential’s annual study, running over the last eleven years has tracked the finances, future plans and aspirations of those planning to retire …

costs

Court shines a light on disproportionate divorce costs

Whilst reviewing the latest stage of a matrimonial finance dispute in the Family Division of the High Court, a judge has commented on the “scandalous waste of court time” applied to a case involving divorcing parties, Barbara Cooke and Michael Parker. The pair, operating a luxury bathrobe and towel business, are estimated to have spent some £2,000,000 on legal costs …