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 …

mediation

Mediation – will it ever become popular?

The thorny issue of mediation, and alternative forms of dispute resolution (ADR) was raised again this month by the Civil Justice Council, in their working group interim report.  The CJC is an advisory body, established under the Civil Procedure Act 1997, with responsibility for overseeing and co-coordinating the modernisation of the civil justice system. The CJC meet at least three times …

drugs

Hair strand test analysis – is it reliable?

In the recent case of H (A Child: Hair Strand Testing) [2017] EWFC 64, Mr Justice Peter Jackson upheld the existing practices of providers of hair strand tests for cocaine, but has moved to offer suggestions as to how their reports might be written in the future, in order to assist the family courts and parties in proceedings. In this case, …

abuse

Changes to Domestic Violence and Abuse in Family Cases

From the 2 October 2017, a key Practice Direction that applies to all family proceedings in the Family Court and the High Court has been significantly reviewed and amended. The changes to Practice Direction 12J will have a considerable impact on family proceedings, particularly in cases involving children. Within this Practice Direction, the definition of ‘domestic abuse’ has been substantially …

justice

Ministry of Justice stats and the worrying rise in the number of Litigants in Person

The Ministry of Justice’s latest family court statistics have illustrated that in 36% of cases, divorcing couples go to court without legal representation in matters concerning their children or matrimonial finances. The family court statistics from the Ministry of Justice, covering April to June 2017, were published yesterday and show a continuing rise in the number of private law applications before …

The rise in nuptial agreements

Hunter and Uro partner, Philip Hunter, recently authored the following article on the rise of nuptial agreements for Family Law – market leader in family law, combining a  portfolio of leading family law titles in print and online solutions.   Although in common parlance and phraseology, a “pre-nup” was treated with some trepidation by lawyers prior the leading 2010 case of …