skype

Skype the answer to modern day court user needs

In his retirement speech at the Royal Courts of Justice, outgoing President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby suggested that members of the public should be asked if they want to go to a physical court building or simply talk to the judge via Skype “…from their kitchen…”. Sir James Munby went on to state that “…anyone who thinks …

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 …

civil

Marriage and civil partnerships soon open to all?

This week, the Supreme Court ruled that restricting civil partnerships exclusively to same-sex couples is discriminatory, putting the government under significant pressure to allow heterosexual couples to enter into the same unions. The court found unanimously in favour of Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, confirming that their human rights had been breached in not being able to enter into a civil …

settlement

Court reject claim for financial settlement 27 years after separation

In the recently reported case of  A v B (No 2) [2018], the court concluded that a former husband, who brought an application for financial remedy 26 years after the grant of decree nisi, did not merit any financial provision. The parties had met in 1980 and married in 1983, later having two children in 1986 and 1989.  The marriage broke …

family

The end of the nuclear family

Sir James Munby, the president of the High Court’s family division made a speech at Liverpool University in honour of 20th century social reformer, Eleanor Rathbone, earlier this week in which he called for family law to “adapt itself to these realities” and described the pace of change “maddeningly slow”. He went on to say that the modern British family was complex …

LASPO

LASPO fallout – mediation failing to relieve the court’s workload

Between October and December 2017, mediation instructions fell by 15%, when compared to the same period in 2016, with the total number of initial mediation instructions currently standing at around 1,500 – the lowest  number of initial instructions in any quarter since the implementation of the LASPO Act. Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) during this same period were down …

unmarried

Calls for unmarried couples reform marches on

Momentum for a change in the law affecting unmarried couples has gathered pace in recent years, reflecting the status of unmarried couples as the fastest growing relationship type in England and Wales, which has doubled in the last 20 years. Unmarried couples living up and down the land appear to be widely unaware that they are at risk of financial …

parental alienation

Parental alienation and the groundbreaking changes on the horizon

CAFCASS have declared war on the ever increasing number of families impacted by parental alienation, the so called process by which a parent attempts to turn a child against the other following separation, by proposing to trial a “High Conflict Pathway”. CAFCASS state that this High Conflict Pathway will provide “… guidance, research and tools to practitioners so they can approach …

fault

Fault in divorce – time to leave it behind?

The Nuffield Foundation has produced its latest study, reflecting on fault and divorce law in England and Wales. The report builds on the interim results from early this year that we reported on. The aim of the research project was to explore how the current law regarding divorce and civil partnership dissolution operates in practice and to inform debate about whether …

Sears Tooth

Sears Tooth Agreements funding costs

The Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) detail the rules by which matrimonial proceedings should be conducted. The FPR 2010 sets out the overriding objective in Part 1, in essence the principle pervading all litigation. This principle includes, inter alia, ensuring that the parties conduct litigation “…on an equal footing.” With the demise of public funding and the clear difficulties …