The Practical Lawyer


Divorce – nuptial agreements

The law on prenuptial agreements has changed enormously in recent years, say the authors of this useful article in which they overview some key family cases in recent months – on this and other issues.

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Family – Official Solicitor appointments

The Official Solicitor has issued a practice note, Official Solicitor Appointment in Family Proceedings, on the Official Solicitor’s appointment in family proceedings and proceedings under the inherent jurisdiction in relation to adults.

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Financial remedies – special contribution

The court has set the threshold inordinately high for parties seeking to deviate from equality, says the author of this article following a recent High Court ruling. Here, H wanted the court to depart from the sharing principle on the basis of his extreme success (as founder of ASOS, the online fashion giant).

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Financial remedies – non-disclosure

An original award was set aside on the basis of H’s material non-disclosure. In this case, H and W divorced in 2010 and, following a settlement agreement, a final order was made in relation to disclosed assets totalling around £16m. In 2015, W successfully applied for that order to be set aside on the basis of H’s non-disclosure of his interest in two trusts valued in 2010 at £96m and £414m.

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Family – statutory charge

In this useful article, the author considers the ‘parallel charges’ – the legal aid statutory charge and the private charge under s73 Solicitors Act 1974 that can be applied to a property as guarantee for legal advisers. The legal aid statutory charge arises less frequently for obvious reasons, but it can still apply where property or money is received by a legally aided client in court proceedings.

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Marriage – prenuptial agreements

Do your clients understand the implications of entering into a prenuptial agreement? With prenups on the rise, the author of this helpful article highlights the need for the parties to fully discuss finances as early as possible, and to understand when the court will upheld the terms of a prenup.

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Divorce – pensions

The author considers recent cases concerning the sharing of foreign pensions on divorce, and asks how a significant change from established practice will affect the court’s power to rule on foreign pensions.

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Financial remedies – guidance

Guidance from the Family Justice Council on financial needs on divorce will be widely welcomed by divorce practitioners. Guidance on ‘Financial Needs’ on Divorce has also been distributed to the judiciary as a useful tool for the judiciary in relation to making orders to meet financial needs following divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships.

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Financial remedies – non-matrimonial property

The lack of a legal definition of ‘non-matrimonial’ property is an issue in many financial remedies cases. In this article, the author discusses the current approach of the courts as to the treatment of non-matrimonial property.

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Wardship – legal aid

The Legal Aid Agency was not allowed to claw back costs from wardship proceedings following a damages award in a Human Rights Act 1998 claim. A statutory charge in favour of the legal aid board was void.

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