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Oh Calderbank: which approach is the fairer of them all? Contrasting the English and Australian positions on costs offers

In the recent Australian decision of Laniga and Carron (No. 2)1 a costs order was made against the husband following the final financial order being more favourable to the wife than various without prejudice offers made by her and rejected by him. In contrast, an English court would have been unable to take the without prejudice offers into account and therefore would have been unable to make costs order on a similar basis.

A reminder (from abroad) on the importance of complying with court orders

In Senna & Aldenberg & Anor [2018] FCCA 2711, a mother of two (aged approximately eight and nine years old) and her own mother (the grandmother) were imprisoned following their failure to comply with Orders of a Family Law Court in Australia.  As a similar approach could be taken by an English Family Court for failure to comply with comparable orders, the decision serves as a reminder of the importance of complying with court orders and the likely response of the court if an

Marital or relationship agreements: Liability of lawyers to the other party!

By David Hodson & Sarah Basso 

Australia ends requirement to file exhibits at the family court: should England and Wales follow suit?

A recent change in the rules of the family court in Australia ends the requirement for exhibits both generally and specifically to be filed at the court.  Should England be following suit?  They take up a huge amount of space in the paperwork at the court office.  They are often duplicated in the bundle which is filed the court for any hearing.  Many of them are never looked at again after filing.  This article looks at what could be procedural reform in England.

Divorce forum disputes: when dual nationality may not be a possibility


As there can be dramatic financial and other differences for an international family in proceedings in one country or another, jurisdiction is fundamentally important.  It is sometimes based on nationality.  But some countries prevent citizens having nationality of more than one country.  International family lawyers need to be aware of which countries allow or prohibit dual nationality

Australia launches private family arbitration scheme: the Alternative Courtroom

Last week in Australia a private family law arbitration scheme was launched. Known as the Alternative Courtroom, it provides a service for those involved in family disputes to help produce an adjudicated outcome and resolution. It has a panel of experienced and specialist Australian family arbitrators. It makes the arrangements for the start of the process including assisting the arbitrator and dealing with issues of disclosure.

David Hodson considers landmark Australian decision regarding special contributions A very important decision has been handed down in a landmark full Family Court decision in Australia in respect of financial outcomes on divorce, especially affecting wealthy families. The decision in the case of Kane has ended a long line of decisions giving significant weight to the so-called ‘special contribution' of the spouse who financially created the wealth of the family.

There's a ghost in the matrimonial home... and it's not the ex David Hodson in his international family law opinion piece describes the possible effect of a haunting of the matrimonial home on the divorce financial outcome, as set out in a judgment from a federal magistrate's decision in Sydney, Australia

Technology creates 24/7 duty of care on lawyers to respond to clients Technology has transformed the way in which lawyers across the world conduct their work. This is especially the case for lawyers dealing with international cases. But what is our duty out of hours?  How much can we safely leave the office in the evening, turn off the BlackBerry, power down the laptop and chillax?

International endorsement for family arbitration Family arbitration has been successfully launched in several countries recently and is having a kick-start in those countries where it is presently available but underused.

There has been a recent endorsement and encouragement at the 6th World Congress on Family Law and Children's Rights in Sydney, Australia, in March 2013. The Congress passed the following motion amongst other motions:

This Congress: