divorce

Divorce petition instead of pigs in blankets?

The festive period is inevitably a difficult time for any separated family, particularly those still going through the legal and administrative steps of divorce and separation. Much is made in the mainstream media of “divorce week”, that week at the start of the new year, where separating parties grab the proverbial bull by the horns and elect to initiate divorce …

agreement

Terms of pre-nuptial agreement considered unfair

Anita Bräck, former wife of McLaren F1 test driver, Kenny Bräck, has succeeded in her appeal against the terms of the financial settlement to the parties’ pre-nuptial agreement. The retired racing driver sought to rely on the terms of the document prepared in 2000, following the parties’ separation in 2015. The racing driver and his bride-to-be to signed the pre-nuptial agreement when …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …