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Family Law Journal: December 2011/January 2012

Graeme Fraser examines the complexities of running a claim for financial remedies on divorce where there is a risk of personal and corporate insolvency

In these difficult economic times, many people who divorce find that the stresses and strains of their life are further aggravated by stretched credit and squeezed assets in respect of both their personal and business affairs. With this the spectre of insolvency looms. The risks of insolvency add complexity to the process and outcome of a claim for financial remedies on divorce.

BDO LLP

Dawn Register and Fiona Fernie outline tax investigation issues relevant to family cases

Often in the midst of a divorce case it can come to light (eg when preparing a statement of worldwide assets) that one party has not paid sufficient tax on funds held offshore. We are often asked to advise as to what options the client has at this stage.

In the first of a two-part analysis Huw Miles looks at the courts’ approach to compensation

What does ‘compensation’ mean? The Oxford Dictionary suggests it means: ‘Something, typically money, awarded to someone in recognition of loss, suffering or injury.’ Roget’s Thesaurus provides many synonyms, including: ‘advantage’, ‘bonuses, ‘premium’, and ‘reprisal’ among many others. Typing ‘compensation’ into Google gives 235 million results. While not having carried out a complete check, the first 50 pages are largely promises of financial reward on a ‘no win no fee’ basis.

Caitlin Jenkins asks the question ‘does non-disclosure pay?’

The case of Hutchings-Whelan v Hutchings [2011] serves as a reminder to practitioners of the difficulties of dealing with non-disclosure particularly when the non-discloser is a litigant in person. The case comes at a time when the eighth annual matrimonial survey from Grant Thornton shows that 48% of family lawyers believe that individuals are likely to conceal assets during divorce proceedings following the Imerman v Tchenguiz [2010] ruling. It also comes at a time when many more litigants in person are appearing in the family courts.

Farrer & Co

Annmarie Gosling and Alvaro Iraizoz Reclusa consider international aspects of pre-marriage financial planning

Pre-nuptial agreements are a topic on which one might think there is little left to be said. As we all know, pre-nuptial agreements have been a particularly hot topic since the Supreme Court’s judgment in Radmacher v Granatino [2010] that parties will be held to the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement if those terms are deemed to be ‘fair’ by the court.

Catherine Paget sets out the courts’ approach to competing claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

The following fictitious scenario, rather than a soap opera storyline, is perfectly possible under the current law. A husband has been married for many years. He is diagnosed with a terminal illness and given no more than a year to live. He has been conducting a clandestine affair with another party for several years and, on receiving the diagnosis, he confesses the affair to his wife and asks her for a divorce as he wishes to spend his final months with his new partner.

Pannone LLP

Vicki McLynn summarises the protracted history in G v A and considers lessons to be learnt

The history of G v A [2011] does not make comfortable reading for a family lawyer. It demonstrates a complete failure of the system to achieve the objective for which it was designed, which is of course to provide for the welfare of families and in particular children.