The Practical Lawyer


Financial remedies – non-matrimonial assets

Assets held in a Mauritian trust (the Chinese Tigers South African Trust) were not a resource of either spouse for the purposes of s25 MCA.

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Children – wards of court

Practitioners need to note the recent amendment to FPR Practice Direction 12D (Interviewing Wards of Court), issued by Sir James Munby. The amendment follows a ruling he gave on 4 May 2017, and concerns whether police officers and security service officers may interview a ward of court without prior approval of the wardship judge.

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Children – adoption; jurisdiction

Jurisdictional issues may arise where prospective adopters in England and Wales seek to adopt a Scottish child. Useful judicial guidance has now been given regarding jurisdiction and applications for adoption in this situation.

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Procedure – de-linking financial and divorce proceedings

The new process of administratively de-linking financial proceedings from divorce proceedings has commenced, with the aim of improving how financial applications are dealt with. Financial remedies proceedings and divorce proceedings are now being run separately.

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Children – Hague Convention

A mother blatantly instigated an entirely premeditated and flagrant abduction of the children from the United States, and was ordered to return them.

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Children – guardians

A Law Society practice note gives useful guidance for practitioners appointed by the court to represent children in proceedings in the case of delays between the order appointing a children’s guardian in specified proceedings, and the allocation of a children’s guardian. The guidance is aimed at all solicitors representing children in public family law proceedings.

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Abduction – return order

M sought the return of her two very young children from Madagascar where they were living with F after he wrongfully removed them from the UK. The children are UK citizens and have UK passports and are entitled to Madagascan citizenship. F is a UK and Madagascan citizen and was living in the UK when the parties married in 2012, and M is an Indian citizen who came to the UK on a student visa in 2011.

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Financial remedies – settlements

W made her acceptance of the terms of a financial settlement conditional on H having made full and frank disclosure of all his assets at the time, the Court of Appeal has ruled. H’s failure to provide full and frank disclosure meant the settlement could be reopened.

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Children – surrogacy

The difficulties that can particularly arise where same-sex couples choose to become parents are illustrated in a recent case. The background to this case is somewhat complex. Two men in a civil partnership had twins born in 2013 to a surrogate. A is the biological father, and he and B wanted another child using the gametes of the woman who donated the eggs for the twins’ conception.

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