Latest News

Mother Placed Under Improper Judicial Pressure to Consent to Care Orders

The quality of British justice is respected around the world – but there are inevitably occasions when judges overstep the mark. In a family case on point, a mother had her two young children taken into care after a judge dismissed out of hand...

International Dimension Makes Child Travel Risky

The welfare of children is always top of the list of priorities of the Family Court when making arrangements following the break-up of a family. This can be especially difficult where the parents are from different countries, as shown by a recent case in...

Litigation friends

There are particular issues which arise if you want to issue divorce proceedings but are concerned that your spouse might not have capacity. A person lacks capacity if they are unable to make a decision in relation to the matter because of an impairment of,...

High Court Decision Underlines the Finality of Divorce Arbitration Awards

Divorcing couples can sometimes achieve savings of both time and money by opting for arbitration, rather than court proceedings, as a means of resolving any financial disputes. However, as a guideline High Court case underlined , arbitration has its...

Sharing Principle - Court of Appeal Gives Guidance

The application of the 'sharing principle' to big money divorces is more than a matter of simple mathematics, and what family judges aim to achieve is a broadly fair outcome for both sides. That was certainly so in one case in which the Court of...

Commercial Surrogacies Abroad Are Not Illegal - Court of Appeal Ruling

Although commercial surrogacy businesses have long been banned in the UK, the Court of Appeal recently ruled that a clinical negligence victim would not be breaking the law were she to enter into such an arrangement in California, where a more liberal...

Procedural Unfairness Stops Council Care Action

When the mother of a teenage daughter who had been taken into care in 2016 with her agreement had another child, the local council's social services department became involved. The woman's daughter had been removed from home as a result of her...

UK Fairness Test Mitigates Italian Pre-Nuptial Agreement

The law relating to the division of family assets on divorce varies widely across the world and the UK is generally regarded as one of the fairer jurisdictions for such financial arrangements in that the assets tend to be divided more equally than in many...

Misled Mother to Lose Home

It may sound overcautious to say so, but it is always worth taking legal advice before entering into any significant arrangement, even when it is with a trusted member of the family. Failing to do so has proved to be an expensive lesson for a woman who has...

Recalcitrant Husband Banned From Paying His Lawyers Until Arrears Cleared

It is commonplace for one spouse to control the family finances and, while relations are amicable, this usually causes few issues. However, if the relationship falls apart and separation or divorce is in train, this is often no longer the case. When a...

Vaccinations Protect Child's Welfare

There has been a massive amount of disinformation put about over the years (and, apparently, recently promoted by the Russian security services) regarding the effects of various vaccinations on children. One result is that some parents are deeply wary of...

Child Contact Disputes Can Be Defused by Mediation - But Take Advice Soon

If parents engaged in child contact disputes take up entrenched positions, it is very nearly always the child that suffers most. Such disputes can often be defused by taking legal advice at an early stage in order to promote dialogue and an amicable...

Wife Must Pay for Her Own Mistakes

The Supreme Court recently decided a case which made clear some of the limits that apply when financial issues were resolved within a consent order at the time of a divorce but where circumstances have changed over time and one spouse seeks to have the...

Long-Term Partner Wins Right to Stay in House

Those who doubt the legal advantages of getting married should take note of a case in which an elderly man was left facing homelessness after his partner's unexpected death and had to go to court to seek reasonable provision from her estate. The...

Specialist Family Solicitor joins Birkett Long in Colchester

Experienced solicitor, Karen Johnson, has joined the Divorce and Family team at leading Essex law firm Birkett Long LLP. Karen joins Birkett Long’s Colchester office from law firm Breeze and Wyles in Hertfordshire – where she was head of the...

Supreme Court Says No to Divorce Based on Weak Unreasonable Behaviour Claim

The Supreme Court judges' decision to prevent a wife from divorcing her husband , which was made 'without enthusiasm', is expected to lead to calls for a rapid change in the law. The case arose after a wife's application for a divorce was...