Fear over 'child court crisis'

Judge Graham Cliffe, a senior family judge based in York has warned of an 'alarming deterioration' in the protection of vulnerable children in court proceedings, primarily those involved in care proceedings.

Full post: Pannone Family Blog

Family Futures Conference 2010

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure of going to The Guardian’s Family Futures Conference, which the newspaper organised with a view to putting family at the top of the political agenda in the run up to the General Election.

Full post: Divorce Manual

Letters of request: will other countries co-operate?

Some recent, and surprising, court decisions from offshore jurisdictions, namely Bermuda and Jersey, demonstrate the fluctuating levels of cooperation that the English family courts can expect to receive in divorce cases.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

The consequences of the adversarial process

I have just read the judgment of Lord Justice Munby in H v H. I do not propose to comment upon the body of the judgment (I'm not sure, in any event, that it tells us much that is new), but rather upon Lord Justice Munby's preliminary observations.

Full post: Family Lore

Who is manipulating the divorce rate

The rate of divorce has gone down and is presently at its lowest for many years. That is well known and well publicised. But, we have been busier than ever and have recruited 5 specialist divorce lawyers in the last 10 months. How can this be?

Full post: Family Law Blog

Delay the Bill

An article in The Times today highlights the increasing concerns of those involved in the family justice system at the proposals to further open up the family courts to the media, contained in the Children, Schools and Families Bill.

Full post: Family Lore

Rethinking Reforms on Reporting Restrictions

Since April last year, the media have had their foot in the door of proceedings in the family court.

Full post: Wigless

Annuities: Insurance contracts against living longer than our savings

Most people, I’m sure, wouldn’t know where to begin if put on the spot and asked to describe an annuity. That, by the way, probably includes most of the people who work in financial services too. Annuities are hard to understand. So, what is an annuity when it’s at home?

Full post: The Ancillary Actuary

Maintenance payments and a new partner: bad news for cohabitees? (Part 2)

In my previous post I set the scene in a hotly disputed area of law: maintenance payments and the ex-husband who resents paying after his former partner begins living with another man.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Who Is Telling The Truth?

Allegations of domestic violence are the basis of quite a few trials these days, and I chaired one a few months ago.

Full post: The Magistrate's Blog

Maintenance payments and a new partner – what happens next? (Part 1)

Your ex-wife has moved on and is now happily living with a new partner. They are in a stable, supportive relationship and he doesn’t seem short of cash. So why are you still paying her regular maintenance?

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Divorce and tax avoidance schemes – by guest blogger Frank Arndt

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs can now close tax loopholes retrospectively and claw back unpaid taxes from trusts which have benefited.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

DIY Divorce: Do away with the lawyers?

I posted the other day about divorce reform, putting the case for no-fault divorce. How about no-lawyer divorce?

Full post: Family Lore

When opponent spouses become the Black Knights of divorce

The Black Knight is one of the most famous characters in Monty Python and the Holy Grail ... In many ways this character reminds me of opponent spouses we come across only rarely; the spouses of clients who are determined to prevent the divorce from proceeding smoothly unless it all goes their way.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Who Needs a Lawyer Anyway?

Not social workers apparently. At least so says the British Association of Social Workers which offers representation from non-lawyers as a perk of its membership.

Full post: Pink Tape

Fun and games ahead for family legal aid

This week Legal Aid Minister Willy Bach announced that the government will tighten the rules for civil legal aid, with the aim of ensuring "that fraudsters are uncovered at an early stage".

Full post: Family Lore

Grounds for Divorce - Time for a change!

As I work with separating and divorcing clients who frequently just want to maintain their self respect and dignity, secure a fair financial settlement, do what is best for their children in the circumstances, amicably resolve differences with their partner and move on with their lives, a divorce process that is fault based can be unnecessarily confrontational and out of step with the direction clients are moving towards.

Full post: Family Law Collaborative Divorce

Why a Living Together Agreement or Pre-Nuptial Agreement would have avoided Walsh v Singh

In Walsh v Singh 2009, Miss Walsh claimed a beneficial interest in a property purchased in her partner Mr Singh’s sole name under a constructive trust or proprietary estoppel when the couple, who were engaged and had been living together, separated.

Full post: Family Law at Lawson West LLP

The Long Road to Recovery

When undergoing the trauma of marriage or relationship breakdown counselling is often a sensible option to help cope with the trauma and its effect on one’s emotional well-being.

Full post: Judith's Divorce Blog

Prenuptial agreements and collaborative law – a marriage made in heaven?

I read in the legal press recently that Family solicitors have reported a rise in the number of prenuptial agreements being drawn up using the collaborative law process.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Will this country ever have a modern divorce law?

The calls for reform of our divorce law are going out again, but there is little to suggest that they will be any less futile than previous recent attempts to stir the Government into action in this important but fraught area.

Full post: Family Lore

Berlusconi and wife trade allegations of "cheating" in their divorce

Various media reports have claimed that the Italian Prime Minister and his wife, Veronica Lario, have been trading allegations of adultery in the context of their divorce.

Full post: Pannone Family Blog

Grandparents rights to maintenance from their children

Grandparents rights is a hot topic right now. But normally in relation to grandparents rights to have contact (often called "access") to their grandchildren in the event of a divorce of their parents.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Juggling marriage, motherhood and a career: can you do it?

Women are still encouraged to “have it all”, juggling motherhood, marriage and high-powered careers without dropping any of the balls. So what gives?

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Is media access to the family courts endangering children?

Ministry of Justice research published this week found that since access by the media to the family courts was widened last April, relatively few journalists had taken the opportunity to attend hearings.

Full post: Law Society Gazette News Blog

J v J: A summary ...and a suggestion

I have been working my way through the mammoth (484 paragraphs plus chronology) judgment of Mr Justice Charles in J v J [2009] EWHC 2654 (Fam).

Full post: Family Lore