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Family Law Journal: February 2012

Ellie Foster summarises the Supreme Court decision in Jones v Kernott and considers its impact

The Supreme Court has been tasked with an unusually high amount of family work in recent years, with the decision in Jones v Kernott [2011] the latest in a line of family cases to receive the justices’ consideration. The decision has been hotly anticipated by practitioners, with much commentary ensuing, but is it a truly landmark case?

James Carroll and Hannah Minty set out best practice when drafting cohabitation agreements

Family practitioners throughout the country breathed a collective sigh of relief on behalf of Patricia Jones when the Supreme Court ruled that the first instance decision of HHJ Dedman should be restored, awarding Ms Jones a 90% interest in the jointly-owned property for which she had been financially responsible during her 14-year period of separation from Mr Kernott.

Luke Barnes highlights the cohabitant cases that fall outside of the judgment in Jones v Kernott and the applicable case law

A detailed analysis of the decision in Jones v Kernott [2011] appears elsewhere in this issue (see ‘Clear intentions’ by Ellie Foster). I do not intend to touch upon the definitions of, and interplay between, the judicial exercises of inference and imputation. Rather, I will deal with two significant issues in the post- Jones landscape:

Wayne Lynn and Margaret Simpson analyse the impact of FG v MBW and whether a non-resident parent’s capital is now at risk for funding periodical payments in Schedule 1 cases

Unlike the plethora of reported judgments that assist family practitioners in dealing with financial claims upon divorce, there are far fewer authorities on Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989) cases. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the Child Support Agency (CSA) and C-MEC have jurisdiction to settle child maintenance disputes in all but a small minority of cases. Of the reported cases, the majority involve ‘top-up cases’, ie cases involving non-resident parents whose net incomes exceed the CSA ceiling of £2,000 per week. It is these cases where the wealth of the payer is often more than matched by the capital available to them, which may be called upon to fund lump sums and transfer or settlement of property orders.

David Allison sets out the case against the government’s plans to reform legal aid

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill (LASPO) has been one of the more contentious bills of the current parliamentary session, which is no small achievement. It aims to help the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) find £350 million of the £2 billion savings it has to make by dramatically reducing the scope of civil legal aid, so that it no longer covers most (and in some cases, all) clinical negligence, social welfare and private family law.

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

In this article we will consider case law that followed the decision in Charman v Charman [2007] and summarise the issues arising from the various cases in which compensation has been considered and the principles that can be drawn from them as to the courts’ approach.


Philip Cooper and Joanna Kay look at when the courts consider it appropriate to make a Hadkinson order

A Hadkinson order can be made where there is no other adequate remedy to secure a party’s compliance with an order. We have had recent experience of the High Court’s views on such orders and in this article canter through some of the useful case law.