Archives: Family

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Remote hearings – fairness

July/August 2020 | Family

M appealed a ruling that a hearing would be adjourned to a date in June 2020 when she could appear in person. However, her leading counsel would be unable to appear in person as she is ‘shielding’ during the pandemic – a key reason for her appeal. Jackson LJ concluded that it is in the …

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No fault divorce – nearly here

July/August 2020 | Family

The case of the woman who was not able to divorce her husband on the basis that she was deeply unhappy has been widely reported on over the last couple of years. In 2018 the SC held that she had not established irretrievable breakdown of the marriage and ruled against Mrs Owens ‘with reluctance’. Mrs …

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Cohabitees – property

July/August 2020 | Family

The parties, now 53 and 50, had been in a relationship between 1995 and 2017 and have two children. At the time of the hearing, they still lived in the four-bedroomed property they had bought together, but now that their relationship had broken down, M was mostly living in an en suite bedroom in the …

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Financial remedies – short marriage

July/August 2020 | Family

‘Although a short marriage is no less to be regarded as a partnership of equals, and one must seek to avoid discrimination on divorce, there is an instinctive feeling that parties generally have less call on each other after a short marriage. Less time has elapsed for the non-working party to make a contribution, or …

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Financial remedies – freezing orders

July/August 2020 | Family

Complex issues frequently arise in high-value divorces, such as when either or both parties have (or claim to have) a beneficial interest in assets owned by a third party. In this case, the parties married in 1996 and ran a successful shipping business together, enabling them to enjoy an affluent lifestyle. However, they separated in …

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Special guardians – guidance

July/August 2020 | Family

When can a special guardianship order (SGO) be used? The president of the Family Division has issued detailed authoritative guidance on this in view of the changes and developments affecting the SGO role in recent years. SGOs are a significant order ensuring that children who cannot be cared for by their birth parents are instead …

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Procedure – revised forms

July/August 2020 | Family

Practitioners should note that from 6 July 2020, new standard orders will come into effect. These have been revised and agreed by the president and reflect the substitution of Family Procedure Rule 9.27. The new rules require the court to record in a recital to its order details of costs estimates/particulars filed; as well as …

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Procedure – summary dismissal

July/August 2020 | Family

The court had no separate power within care proceedings to summarily dismiss disputed findings outside of its case management powers. The appeal followed findings made in public law proceedings under Part IV of the CA 1989 involving two children born in 2018 and 2019 respectively. One of them suffered a head injury and the parents …

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Children – threshold level

July/August 2020 | Family

The threshold level under s31 Children Act had been reached in respect of a newborn baby. This appeal arose from care proceedings about a little boy, T, who was born in July 2019. At the age of around two weeks he was taken to hospital, where he was found to have bruising to his face …

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Adoption – revocation of order

July/August 2020 | Family

The birth father’s application to revoke an adoption order made in November 2019 was set aside. The application to revoke the order was made on the basis that he had not been made aware of the proceedings and was supported by the birth mother (who herself had opposed the adoption order). The High Court said …

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