Entries by cma-law

“The Long and the Short of it” – The short marriage conundrum

It is now established in England and Wales than when a couple divorce, the matrimonial assets should normally be divided between them equally, unless there is a good reason to depart from equality. In a large number of cases, especially where the matrimonial assets are limited or where there are children of the family to […]

“Little more than a charade” – The nonsense of modern divorce

The recent case of Owens v Owens highlighted the ongoing scandal afflicting thousands of couples who remain unable to divorce one another without one of them being blamed for the breakdown of the marriage. There is only one ground for divorce in England and Wales – the marriage must have broken down irretrievably. This is […]

Look beyond the headlines – the case of Re JS

The case of Re JS (Disposal of Body) garnered front page headlines in the mainstream media. Once the sensationalism is discarded, the case remains a fundamentally tragic one. It was based on both a foundation that the child bringing the case would not survive much beyond the decision of the court, and that her wider […]

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly – Pension freedoms and divorce

Over a year has passed since the introduction of ‘pension freedoms’ contained in the Taxation of Pensions Act 2014. The ability of the public to treat certain pension schemes as akin to bank accounts raises significant issues for parties who are either going through divorce, or are contemplating divorce. Perhaps the biggest impact of the […]

All is fair in love and war – The case of Liden v Burton

The recent case of Liden v Burton highlights the willingness of the court to uphold the old principles of equity when it comes to disputes between cohabiting couples. Mr Burton and Ms Liden began living together in Sweden in 1995. He was married but separated from his wife. The parties moved back to the UK […]

Divorce by Questionnaire – the paperless Family Court of the future?

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has given his enthusiastic backing towards the introduction of a fully digital and paperless Family Court by the middle part of 2020. In his recent speech at the Annual Dinner of the Family Law Bar Association, the President set out his hope that the ambitious Courts […]

Breaking the pattern of domestic abuse?

The Serious Crime Act 2015 came into force on 29 December 2015. The Act contains a new offence which is designed to provide greater protection for victims of sustained patterns of domestic abuse. The new offence is designed to target the perpetrators of coercive or controlling behaviour within an intimate or family relationship. It has […]

When is a parent not a parent?

Administrative errors are a common fact of life. All of us (lawyers included) are prone to mistake. Unfortunately, sometimes those mistakes can have quite significant consequences. The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, had to grapple with that problem when he heard the matter of HFEA 2008. The matter concerned the applications of […]

A Stranger to Charity? The case of Ilot v Mitson

The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 gives the court the power to make orders where the deceased individual failed to make reasonable financial provision to a dependant upon their death. Claims under the Inheritance Act are often made by children of the deceased, or by surviving spouses. In deciding the outcome of […]

A very modern family – The Case of Re A

Families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The recent case of Re A highlights the difficulties that the Family Court may encounter when dealing with family circumstances that are highly unusual. The case concerns Alice, a 9 year old girl. Her mother was Rachel. Her father was David, a known sperm donor who […]