The Practical Lawyer


Financial remedies – short marriage

Departing from the equal sharing principle to achieve overall fairness between the parties was justified, given the combination of factors including a short marriage (of about five-and-a-half years), no children, dual incomes and separate finances.

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Children – radicalisation

Islamist extremism and radicalism exist as a brutal and pernicious fact in our society, but it is important that the court holds fast to ‘the cardinal precepts of fairness, impartiality and due process that underpin the rule of law in our liberal democracy’. This requires that the court is satisfied to the requisite standard of proof on the basis of evidence, before making findings adverse to an individual.

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Procedure – deputies

The OPG has issued practice guidance for solicitors and public deputies in relation to claiming travel costs. The practice note explains the OPG’s interpretation of the Court of Protection’s recently updated practice direction on fixed costs (which introduces a new provision allowing public authorities and other third sector deputies to claim a fixed amount for travel costs).

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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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