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Family Law Journal: April 2013
Fauchon Levy

Monique Fauchon highlights how same-sex marriage proposals in Britain and France shine a spotlight on the need for consistency across different jurisdictions’ legal systems

The issue of same-sex marriage has been fiercely debated in the British Parliament and French National Assembly recently, resulting in a proposal to legalise same-sex marriage being passed in both countries. As the proposals begin their long journeys on to the statute books, they have shone a spotlight on couples’ rights on both sides of the channel and the surprising differences that exist between the two systems. These differences often cause issues for couples whose relationships cross borders, so any legislation introduced does not occur in a vacuum. Given that the global village is continually shrinking and marriages, civil partnerships, cohabiting relationships and personal arrangements (for example, property ownership and other shared assets in a relationship) increasingly cross borders, any change in domestic law is only one piece of the jigsaw. There is a compelling argument that, as the global village becomes the norm in today’s world, a singular system should govern family law in order to reflect this.

Max Lewis looks at the lessons to be learnt from Evans v Evans on managing expectations, contributions and add-back argument

Moylan J’s judgment in Evans v Evans [2013] breaks little new ground, but extends into a number of areas that practitioners will regularly encounter, serving as a useful example of four particular issues:

Kirstie Law outlines the background in Prest v Prest and the issues before the recent appeal in the Supreme Court

Family lawyers are awaiting with interest the decision of the Supreme Court in Prest v Prest, following the hearing on the 5 and 6 March – made all the more interesting by the live televising of the hearing. This article summarises the earlier decisions in Prest [2011] and [2012], the relevant case law and the wife’s submissions to the Supreme Court.

Helen Cort examines the nature of without prejudice communications, competing public interests and privilege in ADR

Family lawyers will be familiar with without prejudice communications, but how often is a query raised as to whether such communications should properly attract privilege? With the withdrawal of public funding from most private family law matters from April 2013 and the government’s push for parties to engage in forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as opposed to court-based litigation, it is becoming increasingly important for practitioners to fully comprehend the application of privilege in processes outside of traditional solicitor-led negotiation.

Rachel Cook sets out the radical changes in progress to improve adoption rates

At the end of January 2013, the government published its latest radical proposals for adoption reform. The Department for Education paper is entitled ‘Further Action on Adoption: Finding More Loving Homes’ and is aimed at tackling the national crisis in finding and recruiting prospective adopters.

Anna Hunter assesses the courts’ approach to problematic contact and potential enforcement options

When giving judgment in Re G (children) [2006], Baroness Hale said:

Jo Hall details best practice and recent case law on freezing order applications

An application for a without notice freezing order is a remedy of last resort to be most carefully applied. Practitioners should be wary of the potential consequences of non-compliance with requirements set out both in statute and case law. The law in this area is well-established in a legal landscape where third-party interests, offshore trusts and international assets are not uncommon issues in family cases.