Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Family Law Journal: December 2015/January 2016

Charlotte Conner summarises the diverging approaches of the judiciary to media access and privacy and the implications for the parties

Restrictions on the reporting of financial remedy proceedings by the press have recently been in focus. Mostyn J has been particularly vocal, having delivered two recent judgments on this issue, and his decision in Appleton v News Group Newspapers Ltd [2015] came hot on the heels of his earlier decision in DL v SL [2015].

Seamus Burns

In the first of a two-part analysis, Seamus Burns questions whether a recent decision of the president of the Family Division is a damning indictment on the infertility industry

The decision in In the matter of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Cases A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H) [2015] simultaneously provides both justice and some degree of judicial vindication to the couples concerned who were desperate to have children and had followed (they genuinely believed) the critical rules regarding consent in infertility treatment, only to discover that due to ‘the administrative incompetence of various fertility clinics’ that this was not the case. Because of the errors, doubts had arisen regarding the parentage of the couples’ IVF children, and the case raises huge concerns about the administrative competence of those licensed fertility clinics to demonstrably comply with crucial regulatory provisions governing infertility treatments. Does this case represent the tip of a non-compliant, and administratively incompetent, fertility clinic iceberg?

Charlotte Palin examines whether children are sufficiently considered in family proceedings and non-court dispute resolution

Children have been included within the mediation process for a number of years via direct child consultation, otherwise known as child-inclusive mediation. This method of mediation has, however, always required the consent of both parties. Will recent government announcements indicating an increase in the volume of the voice of the child really impact significantly on the role of the child in mediation, or in reality will very little change?

Carmel Brown considers a decision of the Court of Appeal in which the court was concerned with the interaction between EU and UK law

In R v R [2015] the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal by a Russian citizen against a UK court order requiring him to pay interim maintenance into his UK-resident former wife’s Russian bank account. While the facts, and regulations involved, are relatively unusual, the case provides an interesting example of the powers available to the family courts even where assets are in another jurisdiction and there are restrictions on the movement of those assets.


Toby Hales analyses whether the Supreme Court decisions in Gohil and Sharland will finally cheat-proof family justice

There were more than a few raised eyebrows when the Court of Appeal delivered its decisions in Gohil v Gohil [2014] and Sharland v Sharland [2014]. Mr Gohil, who had been convicted and imprisoned on charges of fraud and money laundering, and Mr Sharland, who had been found to have ‘deliberately and dishonestly’ concealed the true value of his company, had strolled off into the wild blue yonder with their misbehaviour, if not approved of by the court, at least having gone unpunished. The fate of their former wives was somewhat different: Mrs Sharland would have to make do with the original £10m plus a deferred lump sum from shares, and Mrs Gohil, in contrast, was left with her original lump sum of £270,000, having had little further assistance from her former husband.

Hart Brown

Kate Smith looks at a Barder appeal based on the arrangements for the children of the family

Hot on the heels of the consideration of Barder appeals in ‘Finding closure’ by Beth Mason and Georgia Day (FLJ149, p5) came the decision in Nasim v Nasim [2015]. In this case the husband successfully applied for permission to appeal out of time the terms of an order made in financial remedy proceedings, which once more saw the court consider and apply the four principles established in Barder v Calouri [1988]. The judge in Nasim also impressed on the parties the importance of using non-court dispute resolution methods to resolve their differences by agreement and went so far as to order them to do so.

Fiona Turner sets out the steps to be taken when enforcing financial remedy orders in the EU

Enforcing an order is never entirely straightforward, and endeavouring to do so when the defaulting party and/or their assets and/or income are abroad is even less so. In this article, I will set out the options, routes and major considerations for family practitioners seeking to enforce an order made in England and Wales in another EU member state, ie an ‘outgoing order’.