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Family Law Journal: October 2013

Brian Dempsey compares legislation on marriage for same-sex couples in England with that in Scotland

The UK and Scottish governments have acted to allow same-sex couples to marry. This has been achieved for England and Wales by way of the recent Marriage (Same Sex) Couples Act 2013 (M(SS)CA 2013) and for Scotland, will be achieved by the recently introduced Marriage and Civil Partnership (Scotland) Bill (CP(S)B). Exploring the key provisions of these two measures, in the context of the political pressures for and against reform, throws light on the appropriateness of the reforms that family lawyers will be required to implement.

In the first of a two-part article Duncan Ranton discusses changes ahead for fostering and its inter-relationship with adoption

All too often, fostering is treated as adoption’s poor relation. In the current political climate, you’d be forgiven for thinking the latter is the gold standard, and the only solution capable of meeting the needs of children who cannot grow up in the care of their birth parents. However, there are a number of recent developments unique to foster care, and those who provide it, that accord to give fostering more of the prominence it deserves. This two-part article will look at some of those, including the government’s ‘Fostering to Adopt’ scheme and fostering allowances.

Frances Bailey considers the courts’ approach where a party’s conduct during proceedings is in issue

As ever, the law reports are seemingly full of cases where one party’s approach to the proceedings has been characterised by particularly bad behaviour, such as failure to provide disclosure, to engage at all in proceedings, excessive expenditure and attempts to move assets out of the reach of the courts.

In the first of a two-part analysis, Margaret Heathcote sets out the changes to expert evidence introduced earlier this year and the impact seen to date

Laurence J Peter, best known for the formulation of the ‘Peter Principle’, once famously said:

Paula Butterworth analyses the impact of the Supreme Court decision Prest in a cohabitant case

The Court of Appeal decision in Smith v Bottomley [2013] concerned proceedings under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 between former cohabitants and related to three properties registered in the name of the husband’s company and one property that had been owned in joint names but since sold and the profit divided.

Pannone LLP

Vicki McLynn explains why the Court of Appeal’s decision in Tattershall is a reassuring reminder on needs

Reported decisions in financial remedy cases very often involve substantial and complex assets that can make it hard to apply the principles to the more usual family law cases. The recently reported decision of the Court of Appeal in Tattershall v Tattershall [2013] is therefore particularly worthy of consideration, as the capital available for distribution was less than £250,000.

Anna Heenan looks at the circumstances in which a decree nisi may be set aside and the interaction with jurisdiction issues

The decision in Saward v Saward [2013] concerned a wife’s application for permission to appeal a decision to set aside a decree nisi. The husband had succeeded in having the decree nisi set aside in October 2012 on the basis that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain divorce proceedings.