Mon06262017

Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Suzanne Kingston, Mark Haranzo and Delphine Eskenazi review the approaches to pre-nuptial agreements, privacy and alternative dispute resolution in England and Wales, France and the US

Nowadays it is quite common to deal with clients who have international lives – perhaps they have different nationalities, or they travel for work and are not necessarily based in one particular country. We are used to speaking to our colleagues around the world to ask for their help in different situations. Often, we need to inform clients who have a choice as to jurisdiction for divorce where the best place would be for them to divorce. Each country has rules regarding jurisdictional requirements and there can be vastly different outcomes in relation to finances on divorce. As a consequence, making the right decision early on is crucial.

Francesca Norris highlights the implications of the decision in Goyal v Goyal as to orders that may be made in relation to foreign pensions

The High Court ruling in Goyal v Goyal [2016] concerned an application for a pension sharing order within financial remedy proceedings following a divorce, and raised the question of what jurisdiction, if any, the family courts may have to make an order transferring or assigning a spouse’s interest in a pension annuity policy to the other spouse, outside of the statutory scheme established by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973).

Andrew Baines considers dispute resolution in the post-truth era and how mediation can help parties find the right ‘truth’ for them

When people are looking to sort out their lives following a relationship breakdown, they often look to some kind of outside service to help them. As they make their enquiries both the legal process and mediation appear to be services that can be of help. Historically the legal process – solicitors – had been the first port of call. That is now starting to change as people become more aware of what mediation can achieve for them. In discussions, mediation is often brought up by way of comparison to the legal procedure. They each appear to have the same goal in mind: the resolution of a problem. Mostly they are compared on the basis of what actually happens if you get involved with them: mediation is user friendly, whereas the court’s process takes priority over its participants; in mediation you reach an agreement, courts order what is just and equitable; in mediation the outcome is decided by the participants, in court the outcome is decided by the judge; mediation is cheap, the legal process expensive. So why is mediation more Mary Berry than Brian Cox?

Spencer Clarke and Max Myers outline the recommendations of the Law Commission’s report on the enforcement of family financial orders

On 15 December 2016, the Law Commission published its report on the enforcement of family financial orders. This follows the publication of the consultation paper in March 2015, to which we accepted responses until 31 July 2015. The proposals made in the consultation paper were previously outlined in Family Law Journal (‘Quicker and cheaper’, FLJ147, June 2015, p9).

Rachel Nicholl revisits the impact of Vince v Wyatt and guidance on applications to strike out in family proceedings

An application to strike out a statement of case remains rare in family proceedings. Such applications are far more common and widely used in civil cases under the Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR 1998). The family courts have the power to strike out a statement of case pursuant to r4.4, Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010). When the FPR 2010 came into force on 6 April 2011, this was just one of the new case management powers adopted from the CPR 1998. This article will address the key provisions of the FPR 2010 as to strike out applications, what to consider when making an application under r4.4, FPR 2010, and case law examples of how the family courts have approached their powers of strike out.

Lara Myers highlights the implications of Brexit and the potential impact on jurisdiction issues in family proceedings

Given the increasingly international nature of families, the implications of the leave vote in the EU referendum in June 2016 are particularly relevant within the realms of family law. This article examines the potential impact of the UK’s decision to leave the EU on issuing divorce proceedings, child abduction and maintenance enforcement.

Lottie Tyler reviews how an adult child’s conduct can affect a claim brought under the Inheritance Act (Provision for Family and Dependants) 1975

The successful claims brought by independent, adult children under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (I(PFD)A 1975) can provoke strong reactions. It can be argued that a person should be free to leave their estate to whomever they choose, and if they have taken the time to make a will setting out their wishes it is unfair for those wishes to be undermined. Claims from independent, adult children under I(PFD)A 1975 attract further controversy as the applicant will not generally be in the position of losing an income or a home as a result of being excluded from the will, as is the case for an applicant who was financially dependent on the deceased. Equally, if an adult child was estranged from, or had an acrimonious relationship with, the deceased parent, it is objectively difficult to understand their sense of entitlement to a share of the estate. But, to quote Niccolo Machiavelli, sometimes it may be the case that:

Rita Ku and Philippa Hewitt outline family law in China, and cross-border issues with Hong Kong, in the context of the rapid growth in Chinese high-net-worth divorces

The papers are buzzing with the news of the latest divorce settlement among the ultra-rich in China. This time it is the country’s most affluent couple under the age of 40 who, according to the Hurun report, which tracks wealth among the country’s super rich, have shared assets of 23bn yuan (£2.6bn). According to the Shanghai Securities News (which is run by the official Xinhua News Agency) this could be the country’s most expensive divorce case as the value of the equity transfer will reach 7bn yuan.