The Practical Lawyer


Adoption, placement and contact – judicial guidance

The judgment of LJ Wall in P (A Child) will be of great interest to child care lawyers. He examines three tricky issues:

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Ancillary relief – pensions guide

Bradshaw Dixon Moore have produced a Pensions in Divorce Guide, which can be downloaded at no charge from their website at

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Ancillary relief – Barder event?

Five years after the substantive ancillary relief proceedings, it emerged that the amount that a foundation set up by H owed to HMRC was much lower than had been estimated at the time of the proceedings.

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Cohabitees – presumption of joint ownership

Mr Barron and Miss Fowler bought a home in joint names. Mr Barron paid the deposit, the joint mortgage and the bills. No declaration of trust was completed. When their relationship of over 23 years came to an end, Mr Barron argued that the property had only been put in joint names as he wanted it to pass to Miss Fowler on his death.

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Children – court should hear all the evidence

It is clear that there is no place in public law for a submission of no case to answer.

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Ancillary relief – setting aside order

In ancillary relief proceedings, H and W reached an agreement at the FDR and the court approved the terms of the agreement. Three months later, W found out that H had been in negotiations for a new job at the time of the FDR and had taken a new job shortly after the making of the order. W issued an application to set aside the financial order on the ground of non-disclosure.

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Mental capacity – regulations

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides for the deprivation of liberty of people lacking the capacity to consent to the arrangements made for their care or treatment, who are receiving care or treatment in care homes and hospitals, where authorisation under section 4A of and Schedule A1 to the Act exists.

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Community care – new resource

Garden Court Chambers has recently started a new Community Care Legal Update on their website, outlining the latest changes in legislation, case law and government policy.

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Paternity testing – accredited bodies

The courts have a statutory power to direct a scientific test to ascertain the parentage of a child under section 20 of the Family Law Reform Act 1969. The Ministry of Justice has published a list of currently accredited bodies that may carry out scientific tests for parentage pursuant to an s20 direction.

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Bundles – sanctions

Fed up with being presented with bundles that are regularly late, badly indexed, contain material that should have been weeded out after previous hearings or do not provide a skeleton argument, Munby J has reiterated the sanctions available for failure to comply with the 2006 Practice Direction.

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