Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Eugenie Taylor looks at whether it is possible to exonerate a party from their duty of disclosure

In Roocroft v Ball [2016], the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against an order summarily dismissing the appellant’s application to set aside a consent order made in financial remedy proceedings. The application was made on the grounds of non-disclosure. The respondent was the sister of the deceased, and represented the estate at the appeal hearing.

Joanne Green sets out the factors that will be taken into account by the court where a marriage is short, and looks to case law for the principles applied

Practitioners will often deal with cases where the parties have been married for a short length of time, and in some cases the majority of the assets may have been brought into the marriage by one of the parties. These cases are always difficult to assess since most of the relevant case law is not recent and there will be a number of different factors that could affect the outcome.

Suzanne Kingston reviews recent developments in the courts’ approach to marital agreements

If 2016 taught us anything it is that any relationship (however old, however established, however intrinsically bound the two parties seem to be together) can come to an end. I am not referring to Brad and Angelina but rather the UK and the EU. It seems to me that there is an analogy between the breakup, and breakdown, of that relationship, and any marriage. In the same way as our exit from the EU must be negotiated and considered, so too does the end of a marriage. One way to avoid the uncertainty and potential acrimony at the end of a marriage is to consider the implications of that end (although seemingly unthinkable at the time) before you get married. If the UK and EU had had the equivalent of a pre-nuptial agreement, things might be very different.

Corinne Iten considers when judicial review may be a potential remedy in family proceedings, and the restricted powers of the court even where an application is successful

In exercising their duties under Pt III, Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989), local authorities do (or do not do) a great many things with which parents, and sometimes the children subject to those actions or omissions, do not agree. What they can do about it is a different question. Public law family practitioners will be all too familiar with observations made by judges in the course of care proceedings along the lines of ‘I see that your client is unhappy, but what do you want me to do about it? I don’t have jurisdiction to deal with this point.’

Suzanne Kingston provides an updated guide to jurisdiction on marital agreements

Alice Couriel examines the issue of delay in the service of a petition, and the implications as to jurisdiction

In Thum v Thum [2016], the husband contended that the wife’s delay in serving the divorce petition on him was tactical, and on his application the court considered whether the wife’s petition should be stayed or dismissed. In his judgment Mostyn J usefully explored the relevant law, procedure and current requirements as to the service of a petition in family proceedings.

Vanessa McMurtrie looks at the challenges of dealing with unrepresented parties and offers guidance on the tricky area of court bundles

The right to a fair trial is fundamental to the rule of law and democracy itself and enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, Art 6. No wonder, therefore, that Peter Jackson J highlighted the risk of unfairness to litigants in person (LiPs) in Re B (Litigants in Person: Timely Service of Documents) [2016], and the need for the timely service of documents on LiPs.

Emily Watson analyses recent case law developments on deferring the decree absolute

This article looks at the High Court decision in Thakkar v Thakkar [2016], and the guidance provided as to the grounds on which it is possible to successfully apply to defer the grant of decree absolute. Most practitioners will be aware that it is difficult to prevent a decree absolute from being granted, even if your client is likely to suffer a financial disadvantage, yet given the average timeframes for both divorce and financial proceedings, this can potentially be an issue in the majority of our cases. So what is the law and how does Thakkar contribute to our understanding of the position?