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Family

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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Ancillary relief – criminal sanctions for seizing documents

What criminal sanctions might apply when a spouse secretly copies, seizes or attempts to access digital documents for use in ancillary relief proceedings? The unauthorised access to computer material is an offence under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. Under s1 of the Act a person is guilty of an offence if:

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Divorce proceedings – use of documents by solicitors

Chef Marco Pierre White sued his former wife’s solicitors, Withers, for either acquiescing in her interception of confidential documents belonging to him or for encouraging her by their advice to intercept or retain such documents.

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Internal relocation – shared residence order in place

Where there is a residence order in place, the courts will not, other than in exceptional circumstances, impose conditions, including one restricting the right of residence to a specific place, on the residence order where the primary carer is providing entirely appropriate care for the child. But what is the position where there is a shared residence order in place?

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Intercountry adoption – meaning of ‘home’ in s84(4)

An important decision of the Court of Appeal has addressed a major hurdle for prospective adopters living overseas – usually relatives of the child in question – in satisfying the requirement in s84 Adoption and Children Act 2002 of having lived with the child for at least ten weeks in the UK.

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Adoption – orders could not be set aside

The biological parents sought permission to apply to set aside the care, freeing for adoption and adoption orders made in the county court in relation to their three oldest children, known in the proceedings as A, B and C.

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Paternity testing – procedure

In a paternity dispute, an application can be made to the High Court for a declaration of paternity under s55A Family Law Act 1986. Without an admission of paternity such applications are needed if there is any suspicion as to whether father and child are biological relatives.

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Domestic violence – fact-finding hearing

The Practice Direction issued in May 2008 ([2008] All ER (D) 132 (May)) has been re-issued to reflect the decision in Re B (children) (sexual abuse: standard of proof) [2008] 4 All ER 1, that (in both private and public law family cases) a fact-finding hearing is part of the process of trying a case, not a separate exercise, and that where the case is then adjourned for a further hearing it remains part heard.

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Most-read articles

Constructive trusts – property
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The author gives a helpful analysis of a ruling following a claim to establish a constructive trust or proprietary estoppel in respect of a domestic property. The deceased died intestate while living... Read more...
Professional negligence – adjudication
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Professional Negligence Adjudication Scheme is run by the Professional Negligence Bar Association. It offers a voluntary ADR procedure, modelled on the adjudication system in construction... Read more...
Waste – L’s liability
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Ls should be aware of the environmental enforcement obligations that may be incurred as a result of T’s activities. Read more...
Part 36 – late acceptance
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
If a Part 36 offer is accepted out of time (ie outside the 21 day period) in a low value protocol case, then what are the costs consequences? In particular, does late acceptance mean a liability to... Read more...
HMOs – new rules
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The definition of house in multiple occupation (HMO) changes on 1 October 2018. The new definition covers properties occupied by five or more people, comprising two or more separate households. Read more...
Energy efficiency – reassessment by T?
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Energy Efficiency (MEES) Regs mean it is no longer possible to grant new leases to properties with an EPC of F or G. Moreover, existing lettings of F and G properties will become unlawful from... Read more...
Knotweed – nuisance
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Last year, we had county court claims in Cardiff and Truro in which it was held that the encroachment of Japanese knotweed would be actionable as a ‘private nuisance’. The Cardiff cases have now... Read more...
Procedure – expert witnesses
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
Expert witnesses must comply with court rules and related guidance appropriate to their area of expertise. New guidance for paediatric expert witnesses in family proceedings has now been issued. Read more...
Self-employed – or worker?
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
The Pimlico Plumbers case was seen as a victory for workers in the gig economy, with the Supreme Court looking at the reality of the relationship (rather than the legal labels attached). So, what... Read more...
Offences – mens rea
Wednesday, 12 September 2018
This was a pre-trial appeal of a ruling at a preparatory hearing. The two appellants (A) faced charges under s17 Terrorism Act 2000 of sending money overseas, or arranging to do so, knowing or having... Read more...

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