Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Alison Schmidt looks at the arguments for and against mediators drafting financial consent orders

In November 2016, the Family Mediation Council (FMC) issued a member consultation to ascertain views on the following questions:

Claire Molyneux summarises the courts’ approach to delay in making a financial remedy application, and how the principles in Wyatt v Vince are being applied

What is the impact on entitlement to financial remedies if there is a material delay between separation/divorce and the financial remedy application itself? This issue was notably considered by the Supreme Court decision of Wyatt v Vince [2015], in which it was decided that the wife had a legally recognisable claim that should be considered by the court, even where there had been a period of 31 years since the parties’ short marriage broke down.

Che Meakins assesses the difference between costs already incurred and those required to fund future litigation on an application for a legal services payment order

In BC v DE [2016], the applicant mother made an application for the respondent father to pay her outstanding and prospective legal costs, neither of which were considered disproportionate or unreasonable at the preliminary hearings. The issues before the court were whether a claim for historic costs could be made on an application for a legal services payment order (LSPO), such order by its nature being considered where there are prospective costs rather than retrospective, and further whether the applicant’s application was in effect being utilised as a method of circumventing the rules under Pt 44, Civil Procedure Rules 1998 concerning cost awards.

Abigail Lowther reviews the right to privacy in proceedings before the Court of Appeal

In Norman v Norman [2017], the Court of Appeal dismissed the wife’s applications for anonymity in respect of an appeal relating to financial remedy proceedings. The leading judgment was given by Gloster LJ, supported by Lewison and King LJJ, and found that only exceptional circumstances would justify a departure from the normal principle that matters in the Court of Appeal are heard in open court and are not subject to anonymity directions. The court found that this case did not include any such exceptional circumstances.

Ellen Walker considers proposals for family cases to be dealt with online, and developments to date

In the Autumn Statement 2015, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that radical and unprecedented court reforms were intended to be implemented by 2020. In total, a £700m budget will be dedicated to investment in the court ‘modernisation programme’ that will update and digitise all courts in England and Wales, moving from an outdated paper-based system to one that is in step with the internet society and the growing expectation that services will be delivered digitally.

Philippa Davies and Anna Shadbolt navigate the more problematic aspects of divorce procedure and provide a reminder of the remedies available

Divorce law and procedure can appear easy to navigate, yet for the new (or even seasoned) practitioner there are oddities along the way that require careful consideration. This article explores some of the more unusual elements of divorce law and procedure. With the assistance of key case law, we work through the process from service of a petition to decree absolute, summarising the principal stages and highlighting particular considerations that are sometimes easy to miss. Particular attention is paid to any international considerations that are all too important when advising in today’s increasingly global society. This article highlights the alarm bells that should be ringing where, for example, a respondent avoids acknowledging service, or if there is a dispute as to whether a decree should be granted or rescinded, and provides insight as to how such issues can be dealt with both on a practical and a legal level.

Nicola Caffery analyses the evidence required for a non-molestation or occupation order, and guidance on the duration of such orders

The decision in PF v CF [2016] concerned an application by a husband for permission to appeal non-molestation and occupation orders and includes an interesting discussion as to the relevant law. An occupation order (which more often than not goes hand in hand with its non-molestation sibling) remains arguably the most draconian order available to the family courts. To override proprietary rights and exclude a person from their home on the civil standard of balance of probabilities can be punitive and harsh, particularly if the order is made on a without notice (ex parte) basis. The judgment in PF v CF sets out the relevant law to be considered, and examines the issues facing judges at first instance.

Camilla Thornton examines case law post-Radmacher where a party has sought to overturn the terms of a nuptial agreement

It has been five years since the Supreme Court held in Radmacher v Granatino [2010] that the court should give effect to a nuptial agreement that is: