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No-fault divorce proposals: Support in principle but anxieties in practice

On Tuesday, 9 April 2019, the government announced the intention for dramatic reform of the divorce law of England and Wales, to produce a no-fault basis.  This was introduced but never implemented by Parliament in 1996.  It is desperately overdue and supported by all family lawyers.  Nevertheless beyond this headline, there are many concerns about how the process will work in practice.  So often it’s the practice rather than the law which affects people and perceptions.  This note sets out some of these initial concerns.  In particular there seems little active opportunity for prospects of reconciliation or mediation.  References to periods of reflection are thoroughly misleading and probably a sop to objectors of this reform.

High Court Judge urges parties to consider Arbitration in Family Proceedings

In CM v CM [2019] EWFC 16, Mr Justice Moor made a short but punchy judgment after hearing cross applications involving a dispute about the wording of a letter to a single joint expert in financial remedy proceedings.

Moor J had made an order at the First Appointment for an independent accountant to answer six questions about a family business. These were:

The Powers of the High Court in implementing a Child Abduction Summary Return: Re W [2019]

On 22 February 2019 Mrs Justice Gwynneth Knowles handed down judgment in Re W (Children) (Abduction: Implementation of Return Order) [2019] EWHC 357 (Fam); She determined that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to order the mother to apply for a B1/B2 visa to return to the USA with the parties’ two children. 

iFLG hosts the International Family Law Conference 2019

The International Family Law Group LLP and Anthony Gold Solicitors hosted their second annual International Family Law Conference yesterday (21 March 2019) in London.

The conference brought together specialist family lawyers from iFLG and Anthony Gold, as well as barristers who gave practical and updating insights into highly topical areas of international family law.

Potential implications of Brexit on pension sharing after an overseas divorce

Family analysis: Michael Allum and Stuart Clark, partners at The International Family Law Group LLP, highlight that obtaining effective pension sharing orders which will be recognised and implemented by pension providers in England and Wales after an overseas divorce is already a very complex and difficult area, and will become even more so in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

International Forum on Online Courts London, December 2018: an international family lawyer’s perspective

Professor David Hodson OBE MICArb, Partner, The International Family Law Group, provides a family lawyer’s perspective of the matters arising at the inaugural International Forum on Online Courts.

Winning the race to the divorce court by coming second: CJEU delivers surprising lis pendens judgment

Within EU family law where more than one EU member state has a connection, forum is decided only on who is the first party to lodge proceedings. A recent CJEU judgment however found that a divorce pronounced in the country second seized takes effect even overriding the proceedings in the country first seized with the proceedings. This article examines the case:

Restrictions on international travel if child support in arrears

In some countries (for example, in certain states in America) your ability to travel and obtain a passport can be restricted or temporarily removed if you fail to make payment of child maintenance over a set amount.  In late 2018, changes were made to child support legislation in England (the insertion of s39B to 39G of the Child Support Act 1991) which means that your ability to travel may be impacted in a similar fashion if you fail to pay child maintenance. 

New Practice Direction signals further step forward for online divorce (although practitioners will need to wait a bit longer to take part in the pilot)

As we discussed in our previous article, online divorce became available to litigants in person in England in May 2018 and then to selected piloting firms in July 2018.

Matrimonial Property and Risk: A brief analysis of the Court of Appeal judgment in Martin v Martin

A recent Court of Appeal judgment has considered the tricky area of how business assets should be dealt with on divorce.

The case is Martin v Martin B6/2017/1509 and the leading judgment is given by Lord Justice Moylan which addressed both an appeal by the wife and cross-appeal by the husband. Essentially, the appeal boiled down to two questions:

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