Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Martin Terrell and Louise Mathias-Williams set out the lessons from the Public Guardian’s recent decision over severance applications

Practitioners involved with the ever-increasing demand for lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) may struggle to find judicial guidance on the finer points of drafting and practice. Details of cases are often hidden away in footnotes of textbooks or in obscure corners of the government website. It is therefore quite an event when 17 applications made by the Public Guardian have been dealt with in a single case, heard by District Judge Eldergill in April 2017. His impressive judgment was reported on 19 June 2017 in the case of The Public Guardian’s Severance Applications [2017].

Joanna Pratt and Kirstie Law consider procedure and case law on defended divorce and whether reform is long overdue

Family lawyers will be familiar with providing reassurance to their clients about the rarity of defended divorces. Most follow the good practice of sending a draft of the proposed divorce petition to the respondent in advance of issuing so that any particular objections can be dealt with, and the petition amended if appropriate. In a behaviour petition it is also good practice to limit the particulars to four/five brief sentences, taking care to make them as anodyne as possible, without being so anodyne that the petition will be rejected entirely. The latter is subjective with some district judges arguably having a more blasé attitude than others.

Kirstie Law outlines the background in Prest v Prest and the issues before the recent appeal in the Supreme Court

Family lawyers are awaiting with interest the decision of the Supreme Court in Prest v Prest, following the hearing on the 5 and 6 March – made all the more interesting by the live televising of the hearing. This article summarises the earlier decisions in Prest [2011] and [2012], the relevant case law and the wife’s submissions to the Supreme Court.

Helen Waite and Victoria Ward outline issues of jurisdiction and options when dealing with a divorce with an international element

Increasing employment opportunities abroad are attracting married couples to leave England and Wales, and establish new roots overseas. The courts of England and Wales have a reputation for protecting the financially weaker party in a divorce: since White v White [2000] the courts have not discriminated between financial and non-financial contributions to the marriage. Some may assume that when relocating abroad, the laws of England and Wales will remain applicable but financial proceedings may only be dealt with in this jurisdiction if the requirements of the EU Council Regulation on Jurisdiction and the Recognition of Enforcement of Judgements in Matrimonial Matters of Parental Responsibility (EC No 2201/2003) (Brussells II Bis) are met.

Barbara Wright and Rosalind Bennett discuss the potential pitfalls of domestic violence protection orders

The government has announced plans, via the Crime and Security Act 2010, to pilot a scheme to give the police powers to remove alleged abusers from home in order to protect their victim in the immediate aftermath of an incident. The pilot will begin this summer in the police force areas of Greater Manchester, Wiltshire and West Mercia.