Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

In the first of a two-part analysis, Deborah Jeff questions whether the Privy Council decision in Scatliffe v Scatliffe has further developed the law on non-matrimonial assets

The judgment in Scatliffe v Scatliffe [2016] was concerned with an appeal against an order made by the Court of Appeal of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (British Virgin Islands (BVI)). The Privy Council was concerned with whether there had been a ‘serious misunderstanding’ as to the nature of non-matrimonial property.

Priya Palanivel and Shantel Burbridge examine the Court of Appeal’s decision in Sharp v Sharp, and the potential impact on the approach to short marriages

The duration of marriage has always been one of the more controversial factors under s25, Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) when it comes to determining how assets should be divided on divorce. Many would agree that fairness dictates there should be a distinction between how assets are divided in short, medium and long-term marriages. As such, it is not surprising that the decision in Sharp v Sharp [2017] has been widely reported in the media. This article considers the approach that has historically been taken by the courts in relation to the division of assets in short marriages, and the outcome in Sharp.

Victoria Ellis and Cordelia Williams outline common problems that arise when representing grandparents in public law proceedings.

Grandparents are often important figures in their grandchildren’s lives. This article discusses the position of grandparents when local authority involvement forces them to take a much more central role.

John Oxley considers the valuation of assets, where the formation of such assets predated the marriage, and the different approaches taken by the courts

In high-value matrimonial cases, the court is frequently asked to consider the value of companies founded prior to the marriage, which then grew and developed throughout the course of the marriage.

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’?