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Specialisation and the Financial Remedy Court with a Proposed New Form A

by Stuart Clark / 19 Feb, 2018

In his latest view from the President’s Chambers Sir James Munby sets out his plans, following consultation, for specialised reg

Possible changes to marriage certificates being considered by government

by Emma Nash / 05 Feb, 2018

A private members bill, proposed by MP Tim Loughton, which had its second reading in the House of Commons on 2 February 2018, has received support from the Home Office.  The bill proposes reform on several key issues including whether marriage certificates should include the names of both parents

A matter of trust: Should trust assets be considered in divorce cases in England & Wales?

by Lucy Greenwood / 02 Feb, 2018

Divorce often brings out the defensive instinct. "It's mine, hands off!" is a common retort amongst parting spouses.

For the most part, it will be obvious that a particular asset belongs to one of the spouses: for example, the family home (in either party's or in joint names) will invariably form part of the family assets which a court may then be asked to divide between the parties.

But in the less public world of trust law, whether the monies held in a trust "belong" to a spouse can be the subject of fierce debate. Divorcing parties may hold entirely different views about how to treat trust funds: one party saying that the trust monies should be poured into the matrimonial pot for division, the other saying that the trust as a separate entity should remain untouched.

Many trusts contain considerable sums of money and so the way in which they are treated by the family courts and divorcing parties can significantly impact the level of resources potentially deemed available for division upon divorce.

Parliament set to consider long awaited changes to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 to enable single people to apply for parental orders

by Helen Blackburn / 30 Jan, 2018

In his judgment in Z (A child) (No 2) [2016] EWHC 1191 (Fam) the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, declared key provisions of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008, relating to applications for parental orders, incompatible with the UK’s obligations under the

Court of Appeal allows appeal by transgender father who had been refused direct contact with his children

by Helen Blackburn / 30 Jan, 2018

Last year we commented on the case of J v B (ultra-orthodox Judaism: Transgender) [2017] EWFC 4 which concerned a father who had left the Charedi community and now lives as a woman and his quest for contact with his 5 children.  The mother of the children opposed

English civil partnerships may not be recognised abroad

by David Hodson OBE MCIArb / 26 Jan, 2018

As England debates the future status, role and purpose of civil partnership, its cross-border status should be brought into account. Whilst marriage is almost universally recognised around the world and civil partnership is recognised by those countries with their own civil partnership laws, the legal status of an English civil partnership is not recognised in a number of countries. The civil partners have no different status in law to cohabitants in those countries.  This places them in a real difficulty.  A little-known and surprising piece of law may come to their aid. But should civil partnerships be continued now there is same-sex marriage including in view of the position abroad?  

International Family Law Conference 2018 announced

by Madeleine Gordon / 08 Jan, 2018

We are delighted to announce that we will be hosting the first International Family Law Conference in partnership with Anthony Gold Solicitors. It aims to give a unique insight to this niche area of law.

Where do divorce proceedings take place for those who have connections to more than one country?

by Michael Allum / 05 Jan, 2018

In many instances when a marriage breaks down the spouses only have a connection with one country and the divorce and financial proceedings take place there.  But what happens when one or both people have a connection with more than one country? 

The European Court decision on legality of sharia divorce: what is it really about?

by David Hodson OBE MCIArb / 03 Jan, 2018

A European Court decision in mid-December 2017 in the context of a Islamic divorce pronounced in Syria was bound to create headlines.  Too often these were potentially misleading when the issue of law was a fairly narrow one and moderately legal technical.  Nevertheless, within that legal tec

Top 5 reasons why Prenups are worth the paper they are written on

by Lucy Greenwood / 14 Dec, 2017

By Lucy Greenwood and Richard Kwan

The husband, his wife and his sex worker: sharing the marital pot

by David Hodson OBE MCIArb / 30 Nov, 2017

In the context of the present discussion about reform of cohabitation law, a case decided by the Australian Court of Appeal provides a salutary lesson of problems which can arise.

Unregistered marriages – time to register calls for law reform?

by Fatimah Basama / 29 Nov, 2017

Planning a dream wedding can be hugely stressful at the best of times. At the worst of times, however, the dream can turn to a nightmare for some Muslim women who may later realise that their marriage is not recognised as valid under English law.

Creation of new international child abduction lawyers association in Italy

by Helen Blackburn / 27 Nov, 2017

Partner Helen Blackburn reports on the inaugural conference in Rome. ICALI, the newly established organisation for International Child Abduction Lawyers in Italy, held its inaugural conference in Rome on 23 November 2017.

Domestic Abuse: Protecting Children in the Family Court

by Emma Nash / 14 Nov, 2017

On 2 October 2017, an amended practice direction came into force in the family courts: Practice Direction 12J Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm (PD12J).

Are covert recordings starting to ‘bug’ the Court?

by Helen Blackburn / 01 Nov, 2017

Covert recordings are now an increasingly common feature of family law proceedings.