The Practical Lawyer


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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Procedure – serious case reviews

New guidance on judicial co-operation with serious case reviews (SCR), applicable to judges sitting in the Family Division or the Family Court, has been issued by the President of the Family Division. SCRs may, for instance, follow the death of a child where the local authority has had contact with the child.

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Procedure – TOLATA

The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA) is not the preserve of the Chancery Court by any means, with trust law often arising in the family law context in a number of situations, including:

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