Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Alice Couriel considers the long-running proceedings in three jurisdictions in Lachaux v Lachaux and the issues addressed by the court

The judgment in Lachaux v Lachaux [2017] addressed a number of interesting issues, including the status and recognition of a Dubai divorce and the jurisdictional basis for an application under the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989).

Emma Doughty explores the practical challenges when dealing with the ongoing duty to provide full and frank disclosure in financial proceedings

The decision in Goddard-Watts v Goddard-Watts [2016] illustrates the courts’ approach to a rehearing where a previous final order was set aside for material non-disclosure. This article will consider the lessons that can be learned from Goddard-Watts, and suggest ways in which practitioners can seek to prevent applications to set aside a financial order.

In the first of a two-part analysis, Seamus Burns examines the potential for exploitation, together with ethical issues, in relation to egg sharing within IVF treatment

A recent press investigation (Daily Mail, May 2017) alleged that several licensed fertility clinics were exploiting women desperate to have their own children by in vitro fertilisation (IVF) by asking them to donate some of their eggs in exchange for free, or reduced price, treatment, or even for cash, and further that some fertility clinics were allegedly giving women ‘false hope by exaggerating their success rates with frozen eggs’. This flags up the reality that 60% of infertility treatments are privately funded, that clinics that charge patients directly for fertility treatments are businesses, and the necessity of both rigorous control and regulation of the infertility business. This situation should also serve to concentrate the minds of government, the NHS and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) to address the controversial and iniquitous shortcomings of the current NHS IVF postcode lottery that effectively drives a lot of patients into the private sector, or to seek IVF in another (less regulated and safe) country, or indeed, for many, to the personally devastating option of remaining childless.

Moji Sobowale looks at the approach to short marriage cases, in particular as to needs in the context of standard of living

Although marriage is a contract, it is not a purely financial contract with remedies that can be easily quantified when breached. The family courts have a wide discretion when considering the division of assets upon marital breakdown, to be exercised by the careful application of the legislated factors embodied at s25, Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973). As set out in White v White [2000], the court’s objective must be to achieve a fair outcome, but the question is what is deemed ‘fair’?

Ellen Walker sets out the principles applied where a party seeks to protect their interest against a trustee in bankruptcy using equitable principles

The equity of exoneration arises where property is jointly owned by parties A and B, and B incurs a debt that is charged against the whole property. In such cases A is or may be entitled to a charge over B’s share of the property to the extent that B’s indebtedness can be paid out of A’s share. In practice this means, in the event of a sale, that the secured creditor will be paid out of B’s share in the first instance and will only have recourse to A’s share once B’s share has been exhausted. This is likely to arise where:

Lehna Hewitt reviews cases where a special contribution argument has been successful, and the outcome in Work v Gray

It is possible to depart from equality in the division of matrimonial assets on divorce where one party can demonstrate that they have made a special contribution to the marriage. Section 25(2)(f), Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 requires the court to have regard to the contribution that each party has made, or is likely to make in the foreseeable future, to the welfare of the family. A special contribution is usually argued where one party has earned and amassed exceptional wealth by their acumen and drive, which they say is unmatched by the contributions made to the welfare of the family by the other party. If successfully argued, this will impact on the division of the assets and result in a departure from equality in that party’s favour. In practice, these cases are extremely rare. There are just a handful of reported cases where a special contribution has been successfully argued. Further, the courts have shied away from any prescriptive rules and, as is so often the case in family law, this area of law has been subject to a huge amount of judicial discretion. There is no definition of a special contribution in statute, and arguably no clear definition in case law.

Ayesha Vardag and John Oxley analyse the latest judgment in Chai v Peng, and the court’s approach to the law in a connected jurisdiction

The decision in Chai v Peng [2017] has confirmed that the vision of an ancillary relief judge should not wander to the laws of other jurisdictions, save in the rarest of circumstances. In Chai, Bodey J upheld the English approach to ancillary relief and showed that the courts in England and Wales will not bend to the potentially unfair practices of other jurisdictions.

Jennifer Moore provides a reminder of the requirements for prohibited steps and specific issue orders and an update on recent case law

There have been a number of cases recently that have considered the approach to be taken on an application for a specific issue or prohibited steps order, but first this article will revisit the remit of these broad-reaching orders and how they may be used in a variety of situations and scenarios. It is important to remember that such orders are useful tools for practitioners, and not just methods to prevent a parent removing a child from their existing place of residence or to seek permission to remove a child from their existing place of residence.

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