The Practical Lawyer


Section 8 orders – new application form

Applications for orders under the Children Act 1989 s8 should now be made on Form C100 – which replaces the C1 for such applications.

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Contact – non-compliance with order

A contact activity direction or contact activity condition may be enforced by an order for unpaid work by way of an enforcement order. The court must be satisfied that it is necessary to secure compliance with the contact order and that its likely effect is proportionate to the seriousness of the breach. The welfare of the child must be taken into account. Breach of an enforcement order must be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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Practice Direction – residence and contact orders

The Practice Direction issued on 9 May 2008 (‘Residence and contact orders: domestic violence and harm’) is re-issued to reflect the decision of the House of Lords in Re B (Children) [2008] UKHL 35, in which Baroness Hale confirmed (at [76]) that a fact-finding hearing is part of the process of trying a case and is not a separate exercise, and that where the case is then adjourned for further hearing it remains part heard.

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Post-nuptial agreements – enforceable

This interesting case concerns an American couple married for 10 years, with five children of that marriage, who lived on the Isle of Man. They signed their pre-nuptial agreement on the day of their wedding.

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Financial dispute resolution – court cannot revisit dispute

Rule 2.61E of the Family Proceedings Rules provides that:

‘(2) The district judge or judge hearing the [financial dispute resolution] appointment must have no further involvement with the application, other than to conduct any further [such] appointment or to make a consent order or a further directions order’.
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Setting aside decree nisi – procedure

What is the procedure for seeking to get a decree nisi and decree absolute set aside where the respondent says he was never served and the petitioner misled the court in securing an order for service to be dispensed with?

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S91(14) – exceptional use

Section 91(14) Children Act 1989 provides that:

‘On disposing of any application for an order under this Act, the court may (whether or not it makes any other order in response to the application) order that no application for an order under this Act of any specific kind may be made with respect to the child concerned by any person named in the order without leave of the court.’
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Procedure – fact-finding hearing

In family proceedings, the court has a discretion whether to hear evidence in relation to disputed matters of fact with a view to determining them.

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Judicial guidance – parents

The Midland Region of Family Judges and Magistrates has issued guidelines for all parents thinking of asking for a court order. It provides practical advice and suggestions on how to deal with children when parents break-up.

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Bankruptcy – matrimonial home

The only asset in the husband’s bankruptcy was the matrimonial home. The trustee in bankruptcy sought a possession order against the husband, the wife, and the three children.

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