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Family Law Journal: June 2012

Rachel Cook examines delays in adoption and best practice

In April 2012, OFSTED published its report entitled ‘Right on Time’. Exploring delays in adoption. On average, it takes two years and seven months before children are adopted after entering care and the average age at adoption standing at three years and ten months. The OFSTED report explored this delay, how delays for children were avoided and why delays occurred. Nine local authorities came under the spotlight: Knowsley Council, Norfolk County Council, North Somerset Council, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Shropshire County Council, Stockport Council, Trafford Council, West Berkshire Council and Wolverhampton City Council.

Withers LLP

Rupert Cowper-Coles outlines the circumstances in which media law may be relevant in family proceedings

It is common for Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) to be referred to as the Convention’s ‘right to privacy’. This description misses out some crucial words – especially in so far as family lawyers are concerned. What Article 8 in fact states is that:

Withers LLP

Peter Burgess and Kay Drage discuss the implications of the Court of Appeal decision in Lawrence v Gallagher

The Court of Appeal’s decision in Lawrence v Gallagher [2012] is another milestone towards equality for same-sex relationships following the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004).

In the first of a two-part analysis Hannah Minty and Sally Nash compare the differences in practice between financial provision in England and Wales and in Scotland

In recent months there has been much debate in the political arena and the media over the question of Scottish independence and what that might mean for the future of the UK. Independence has, of course, long been the norm for the Scottish legal system. A brief examination of the matrimonial regimes north and south of the border highlights how the operation of these two legal systems can produce markedly different outcomes.

Richard Shepherd looks at cases in which confiscation orders compete with financial provision claims

I must confess that I like the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA 2002) and the law relating to fraud. Now I’ve admitted that, it feels like a huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. Nevertheless, I must push on. There have been numerous articles, seminars and workshops about POCA 2002 dealing with the assumptions, calculation of assets, benefits figures and when a default term is triggered on non-payment. However, what has increasingly caused headaches for practitioners is the hybrid world of ancillary relief, POCA 2002 and the mixed ownership of property or assets. For family lawyers an important issue is: who gains precedence over assets subject to POCA 2002, the ‘innocent’ spouse or the Crown?

Pannone LLP

Claire Reid considers the varying approach of the courts in assessing periodical payments

While s3 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) grants the power to order periodical payments on divorce, it is silent on the purpose of such payments. The well-accepted statutory starting point for calculating the level of maintenance is to consider the factors set out at ss25(2)(a) and (b): to balance the incomes and earning capacities of the parties against their respective needs.