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Procedure – settlement conferences

New MoJ information and guidance for practitioners on the ongoing settlement conferences pilot and evaluation has been published. The aim of the pilot, supported by the President of the Family division, is to see if an inquisitorial approach can lead to appropriate outcomes for children and families.  

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Procedure – children

Various provisions under the Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2017 are in force from 31 October 2017. Important amendments to legislation are made under Regulation 2 as follows:  

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Financial remedies – variation of periodical payments

In this case, H was ordered to pay annual spousal periodical payments of £120,000 on a joint lives basis to W, to run from 1 November 2014. Three months after the order was made, H applied to vary the order. He also sought permission to appeal the final order, falling into arrears in the meantime. W filed an application for enforcement.  

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Procedure – Ofsted

It is appropriate for judges to speak to Ofsted inspectors when discussing the ‘quality of the preparation of public law cases that the local authority brings before the family court’.

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Child maintenance – fee guidance

The government has updated its guidance on Child maintenance application fee: exemptions for victims of domestic violence. Under the revised guidance, a victim witnessing their child being abused by a partner (or former partner or family member) is also now treated as a form of domestic violence.

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Children – settlement conferences

Settlement conferences are being piloted by various designated family judges who adopt an inquisitorial approach to encourage co-operation between the parties. This collaborative approach is aimed at helping the parties reach an agreement that is in the children’s best interests.

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Children – disposal of body

The high-profile ruling concerning the right of a 14-year-old to be cryogenically frozen followed a disagreement between her parents about their daughter’s wishes. In this case, the girl died from cancer before the ruling became public. She had made known her wishes to be frozen cryogenically, having researched the issue in detail.

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Procedure – wards of court

FPR Practice Direction 12D, Interviewing Wards of Court, has been amended by the President following his recent judgment as to whether police/security service officers can interview a ward of court without prior approval of the wardship judge.

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Jurisdiction – arbitration

A new international family law arbitration scheme to help families involved in multinational family disputes is live from 4 September 2017. An online questionnaire will first be completed by the parties so that all relevant facts for forum dispute can be obtained.

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Care proceedings – leaving care plan

It was of critical importance that ‘leaving care’ planning for a very vulnerable 17-year-old girl should begin immediately. This was the fifth judgment of the President in various proceedings involving the girl. He endorsed the LA care plan for her, emphasising that she is entitled to enjoy all the benefits accruing to her as a ‘looked after’ child – both now and after she reaches 18.

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Page 8 of 84

Most-read articles

Trustees – duty to beneficiaries
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Trustees cannot simply ignore beneficiaries’ request for information about a trust, the High Court has held. In this case, the trust property was a farm outside Cardiff. Read more...
Conveyancing searches – disbursements?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Should electronic property searches be treated as disbursements for VAT purposes? Alternatively, are they part of the legal service provided, and so subject to VAT? Read more...
Professional – update
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
From December 2018 there will be new rules requiring firms to publish prices for conveyancing, probate, motoring offences and immigration, as well as the price for bringing ET claims.  Read more...
Service mistake – discretion?
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
To what extent do you have a duty to point out the other side’s procedural errors (as part of your obligation to comply with the ‘overriding objective’)? Read more...
Exiting the Portal – reasonable
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Insurers should be very careful about making allegations (for instance, at Stage 2 of the EL/PL Protocol), especially if they could be interpreted as allegations of ‘dishonesty’. Read more...
Airbnb – breach of lease
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
It now seems clear that an Airbnb short let will be in breach of a typical long lease. Read more...
GDPR – data rooms
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
If L is planning to sell a property subject to leases, then almost certainly a data room will be set up containing all relevant documents. Read more...
Rights of way – public
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
There are four categories of public rights of way: Read more...
Financial remedies – company assets
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
A recent ruling illustrates when a court can treat a company-owned asset as as a matrimonial asset. Read more...
GDPR – references
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
GDPR impacts on the giving of references: Read more...

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