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Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Family Law Journal: July/August 2015

Lisa Bray summarises the current case law on joint lives periodical payments orders and considers whether there is an increasing trend towards term orders

Section 25A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) obliges the court, when exercising its power to make a periodical payments order in favour of a spouse, to:

Rachel Cook reviews the new Adoption Support Fund and the support available to adoptive families via the fund

On 1 May 2015 the Adoption Support Fund became available throughout England to resource essential therapy services for adoptive families. The Adoption Support Fund is a £19m reserve that the government has ring-fenced to enable local authorities to support adoptive families therapeutically, following an adoption order.

Che Meakins suggests that when dealing with a limited-means Schedule 1 claim, particular care should be taken to quantify means and needs

The number of unmarried cohabiting couples with dependent children is consistently on the rise in the UK. In Re P (A Child) [2003], the growing percentage of children born out of wedlock was commented on, with an estimated two in five children potentially falling within the Schedule 1 regime at that time. Data released by the Office for National Statistics earlier this year (see www.legalease.co.uk/dependent-children) revealed that in 2004 11% of children lived in opposite sex cohabiting couple families and this had risen to 14% by 2014.

Chrissie Cuming Walters explores the interrelationship between costs allowances and legal services orders

The terms ‘costs allowance order’ and ‘legal services order’ are often used interchangeably by family practitioners in a generic sense to refer to orders that provide for one party to pay the other party’s legal fees (but not to be confused with an order for costs). And though costs allowance orders and legal services orders are different, there is good reason to conceptually view them together. This approach is also being taken by the judiciary and, perhaps in matters where legal services orders are not the prescribed form, the reality of practice in the current climate is that where there is a need to ensure justice, that is achieved by stretching the respective tenets of the two orders to reach the required result.

Marjha Golding-Evans examines a recent decision on single-parent adoption and surrogacy and highlights a legal lacuna

The legal world often claps its hands, and rolls its eyes, when a judgment is passed down that the judge calls both ‘unique’ and ‘highly unusual’. But the factually complex case of B v C [2015] is just that and may raise more questions than it answers about surrogacy and adoption.

Helen Habershon looks at issues that may arise in expatriate divorces and the importance of considering potential areas of dispute at an early stage

Families and relationships are becoming increasingly international and many family lawyers have clients who are originally from the UK but currently live overseas. If expatriates wish to divorce in England and Wales, but are still living abroad, this can raise issues. For example, in some jurisdictions an expatriate may need a visa to remain there and if they are in that country on say a spousal visa, they may need to consider their options very swiftly; leaving the country on marriage breakdown may immediately affect their visa status. In non-EU countries in particular consideration may need to be given to local law.

Charlotte Conner outlines the challenges when dealing with cases involving trusts

The recent Court of Appeal decision in P v P [2015] brings into focus key issues that may arise in family proceedings when trusts are involved.