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Family Law Journal: March 2013
Spring Law

Lucy Prichard Jones outlines the dangers and potential benefits of social media in family cases

Social media is a phenomenon that cannot be ignored. It pervades countless aspects of our lives today and those without an online presence are in the minority. Facebook is fast approaching the one billion user mark and, together with other social media sites such as Twitter and Myspace, the majority of adults worldwide now actively use social media.

Alex Davies considers the significance of the difference between a series of lump sums and a lump sum payable by instalments

In the days when school children wrote on paper, the cardinal rule of maths classes was to always ‘show your workings’. It was not enough for us to merely arrive at a conclusion; the teacher wanted to see how we had got there. So it is now with lump sum orders. When a divorcing couple is negotiating payment of a delayed lump sum, it is tempting to leave to the end discussion whether the order is a lump sum by instalments or a series of lump sums. It matters because the former is variable, while the latter is not.

Amy Harris summarises the case law on the factors to be considered when contact is an issue

The government has issued proposals to introduce a statutory presumption of shared parenting. The objective of the proposed reform is to ensure that both parents are actively involved in their children’s lives following separation. The government has confirmed that contact should only be promoted with both parents where a child will be safe and their best interests will be protected.

Graeme Fraser examines the complexities of applying strict proprietary principles to financial remedy cases when dealing with intervenors’ interests

As the outlook for future growth in the British economy continues to be very weak, many couples find that their resources become so stretched that they must look to wider family, including parents and siblings, to ensure that they can house themselves and their children. When the relationship breaks down, it is increasingly common for those members of the wider family to participate as intervenors in the financial remedies claim on divorce.

Camilla Thornton looks at the approach of the Court of Appeal in a case involving non-matrimonial assets and problematic evidence

The case of Davies v Davies [2012], which involved a hotelier in Bayswater and his Australian wife, attracted a considerable amount of press interest. The headlines read ‘Wife known as hotelier’s “second best receptionist” in fight for £2.7m divorce’ (MailOnline) and ‘Wives who divorce wealthy husbands can’t expect big payouts, judge warns’ (The Telegraph).

British Army

Captain Juliet McDermott highlights key factors and unique considerations when advising members of the armed forces and their spouses or civil partners.

Divorce rates for those serving in the armed forces are now double those in civilian life. Long periods of separation, long working hours and mental health issues following operational tours are just some of the factors that can take their toll on forces relationships.

Claire Glaister sets out the courts’ approach where parties disagree as to whether a concluded financial agreement has been reached

An agreement reached between two parties in compliance with certain requirements will carry significant weight when the court is considering a claim for financial relief. This article deals with the situation where one party claims there is a concluded agreement that should be upheld and enforced by the court pursuant to a notice to show cause application. Such instances of alleged concluded agreements tend to occur after round-table meetings, or discussions outside of the courtroom, and it is therefore important to be aware of when a client could potentially be held to the ‘bare bones’ of an agreement, even where they have not signed any terms. It is also useful to be familiar with the procedure to follow if your client believes an agreement has been reached that should be incorporated into a court order.