A list of family law terminology to help better understand what lawyers are talking about and some of the specific terms used. This glossary provides general information only. Professional advice should always be taken and we cannot accept any liability for reliance on it.
Section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989 states that when a court determines any question with respect to the upbringing of a child or the administration of a child’s property or the application of any income arising from it, the child’s welfare shall be the court’s first paramount consideration.
Section 1(3) Children Act 1989 requires the court to have regard to a statutory checklist of factors whenever it is considering, amongst other things, making a s8 order. The checklist comprises of the following factors, which are all considered to carry equal weight, although some will be more appropriate in certain cases than others:
a) The ascertainable wishes and feeling of the child concerned (in light of his age and understanding);
b) His physical, emotional, and educational needs;
c) The likely effect on him of any change in circumstances;
d) His age, sex, background, and any characteristics of his which the court considered relevant;
e) Any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
f) How capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considered the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs; and
g) The range of powers available to the court under the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question.
A case decided by the House of Lords in November 2000 which radically altered the whole direction of English financial provision law. Warned against gender discrimination. Said wrong to refer to “reasonable requirements” instead of basic needs. Said there must be good reasons to depart from equality, certainly where assets exceed needs. Now showing a bigger contribution by the bread winner rather than by the wife, mother, home maker etc as a reason to depart from equality will be very difficult. Equality of assets is not always the same as equality of outcome and court takes account of different assets e.g. illiquidity, risk aspects of certain assets etc. See Miller and Fact sheet on Financial Outcomes.
The document without which so many of us crazily choose to die; an item which must be an early agenda item with your solicitor. See Intestacy, above.
Without Prejudice offer
Is one that “may not prejudice the court” and so it is prevented from ever being shown to the court. It is an attempt to find a settlement and save costs and so is secret. Now has no impact on costs in cases where the application is made after April 2006. See Calderbank offer.