Latest News

Court Returns Two-Year-Old to Land of Birth When Parents' Marriage Collapses

For a UK court to have jurisdiction over a family law case, it is necessary to show that at least one party to it has habitual residence in the UK. In a recent case, an Israeli woman divorcing her Israeli husband sought a declaration that their two-year-old...

Time of the Essence in Overturning Agreements Made Under Duress

We have often stressed the importance of obtaining high-quality legal advice in any dispute and starting any necessary legal action as soon as possible, and a recent divorce dispute illustrates why . It involved a couple who were divorced in 2015. The...

Court Appearance May Not Mean Public Disclosure

The principle of open courts is highly valued in the UK legal system. However, it is often a worry to people engaged in legal proceedings concerning family or marital issues that by going to court their family's private affairs will become public knowledge. ...

Essex Law firm announces promotion of family solicitor

Birkett Long is delighted to announce the promotion of solicitor, Muntech Kaur, to Associate. Muntech is a solicitor in the South Essex family team, based in the Basildon office. She joined Birkett Long in October 2016, having previously worked at a West...

Ignore Court Orders At Your Peril

A wealthy Omani man who failed to pay to his ex-wife the financial settlement ordered by the court, or to cooperate with disclosure orders, faces arrest if he attempts to return to the UK. When the couple's marriage broke up, they were divorced under Omani...

Absence of Evidence Dooms Unequal Shares Claim

The legal ownership of property is not always the same as the beneficial ownership and disputes can arise when no documentation is executed to show the two are different. Such was the case in a recent dispute which occurred after a couple who had two...

No Fault Divorce Legislation Promised in Next Parliamentary Session

The process of divorce in the UK has for many years been seen as rather long-winded and tending to produce more conflict than need be. One of the reasons for this is that the grounds which demonstrate an 'irretrievable breakdown' of a marriage – the...

New solicitor joins the family team

  Birkett Long is delighted to welcome solicitor, Lucy Birch, to its divorce and family team. Lucy’s role involves advising on all aspects of private family law, including divorce and separation, children matters, injunctive proceedings and...

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...