The Practical Lawyer


Arbitration – appeal

The High Court upheld a financial award made in an arbitration involving matrimonial assets valued at around £1.1m. There were factual issues involved in the case, together with the ‘novel’ question as to the effect that should be given to an arbitration award made when the parties agree to arbitrate disputes arising in proceedings for financial remedies following a divorce. 
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Paternity – best interests

What’s the court’s approach to paternity cases when the issue arises years after the child’s birth, and in circumstances where both child and F always believed F was the biological father, but he wasn’t? These are, as the court acknowledges, acutely difficult cases. 
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Evidence – social media posts

This Supreme Court ruling was not a family case per se, rather a defamation case brought by one spouse against the other, but the outcome is highly relevant for family practitioners. 
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Care proceedings – fresh evidence

The family court has statutory powers under s31F(6) MFPA 1984 to review its findings of fact. However, it would usually be more appropriate for the significance of further evidence to be considered by the trial court and not on appeal.
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Care proceedings – placement orders

 A successful appeal was made against the DJ’s making of a care order in relation to a one-year-old girl followed by a placement order to facilitate a care plan for her adoption. 
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Financial remedies – pensions

The Pension Advisory Group (PAG) has published its much-anticipated guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce. It provides important guidance for family practitioners, family judges and pension experts on encouraging fairer settlements where pensions are involved.
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Procedure – judicial comment

 A judge made inappropriate comments at an issues resolution hearing (IRH) which caused M to change her position. Her appeal against a care and placement order made in respect of her young child was allowed.
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Children – adoption

The ruling in this case reads, in part, as a lesson for family judges in how not to reach a conclusion on an application for a placement order for adoption. The CA found that the judge was wrong in the inferences drawn from the evidence and the adequacy of the reasons given. 
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Procedure – appeals

Case management decisions should only be interfered with by an appellate court if the judge was in serious error, ie if the case management judge has ‘gone plainly wrong’. 
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Wardship – foreign proceedings

Permission was granted for a 12-year-old boy (X) to travel to give evidence at M’s criminal trial in India. He and his younger brother had been wards of court since 2016 when F was killed. M was charged in India with his murder.
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Rectification of title – what is ‘exceptional’?
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The HC has considered whether or not to correct a mistake on a registered title. Under Sch 4 LRA 2002 the court can order rectification but no order may be made without the proprietor’s consent in... Read more...
Paternity – best interests
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Religious beliefs – not always protected
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