Latest Updates

Family Law Journal [2019] 1259

March 17, 2020

Case update: O’Dwyer v O’Dwyer [2019] EWHC 1838 (Fam)

Waggott rules OK – Facts Decision on appeal – Commentary

An appeal before Francis J from a first instance financial remedy decision of His Honour Judge O’Dwyer which follows the approach required following Waggott v Waggott [2018] 2 FLR 406, that a spouse’s future income capacity or potential post-divorce is off limits to the sharing principle unless need or compensation require otherwise and provides a welcome working example of the extent of capital amortisation necessary in the exercise of assessing the weaker financial spouse’s income to meet needs.

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Family Law Journal [2019] 721

March 17, 2020

The Financial Pilot Scheme needs a communication platform

When Sir James Munby became President in 2013 he was crystal clear in his message that he wanted a modernised Family Law Court system, which was envied worldwide. Few Presidents have since done more to match their words with actions. One of his last acts was the extended roll out of the Financial Court Pilot Scheme (President’s Circular: Financial Remedies Court Pilot Phase 2 – July 2018), which at last creates in nine regions, a specialised financial judge system of courts. 

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Family Flyer 81

March 17, 2020

One Swallow Does Not Make A Summer

An analysis of XW v XH [2019] EWCA Civ 2262

Introduction:

In White (2000) Lord Nicholls powerfully emphasised “one principle of universal application“, namely that: 

  • In seeking to achieve a fair outcome, there is no place for discrimination between the husband and the wife and their respective roles“, at p.605 B/C; and
  •  “..whatever the division of labour chosen by the husband and wife, or forced upon them by circumstances, fairness requires that this should not prejudice or advantage either party when considering” their respective contributions, at p. 605 D; and 

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Family Flyer 80

March 17, 2020

The Financial Remedy Courts (‘FRC’) 

Good Practice Protocol (Nov 2019) – Summarised

Introduction:

The following is my summarised version of the recently published Best Practice Protocol, which practitioners can expect will be increasingly applied by the Family Remedy Court locally – with little, if any, exception – it is crucial that we all are familiar with the basic requirements covered – I have asterisked * commentary on those requirements which need particular attention….

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Family Flyer 79

March 17, 2020

Women in the Law – Time to Arise

Introduction:1. Having spent more than 45 years in practice as a barrister mainly in family law and much of that in divorce financial remedy cases, the author has witnessed at first hand in that time the working out of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973,which had then just come on to the statute book. 

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Family Flyer 78

March 17, 2020

Waggott Rules OK

O’Dwyer v O’Dwyer [2019] EWHC 1838 (Fam)

1. An appeal before Francis J from a first instance financial remedy decision of His Honour Judge O’Dwyerwhich reveals the  approach required following Waggott v Waggott[2018] 2FLR 406, that a spouse’s future income post divorce is off limits to the sharing principle unless need or compensation require otherwise and the extent of capital amortisation necessary in the exercise of assessing the weaker financial spouse’s income to meet needs.

To view the full flyer please click here.

Family Flyer 77

March 17, 2020

The Pilot Scheme and Dialogue 

1. One of the former President’s last acts was the extended roll out of the Financial Court Pilot Scheme (President’s Circular: Financial Remedies Court Pilot Phase 2 -July 2018), which at last creates in 9 regions, a specialised financial judge system of courts. The intention is this initiative along with the Family Court generally becomes fully digitised in due course. The centralisation of such expertise, it is hoped, will be its own driver for excellence and consistency of delivery – which is not only required in this area of law but others too.

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Family Flyer 76

March 17, 2020

FOR THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING’ – THE PRIVATE FDR

Introduction:

1. In February this year I was invited to the offices family lawyers firm, O’Sullivan Davies in Perth, Australia. Having delivered a seminar on ‘The History of and Present Approach to Prenuptials in England and Wales’ to an invited audience of law firms there earlier, I took the opportunity to dine out with James Claringbold, a partner of the firm and who himself had had secondment experience as an overseas lawyer only a few years ago in specialist family Chambers in London. 

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Family Flyer 75

March 17, 2020

Extension of term – how exceptional should the gateway to extension be?

Introduction:

1. In a recent speech by Mr Justice Mostyn to the Devon and Somerset Law Society on 16 October 2018 ‘SPOUSAL MAINTENANCE – Where did it come from, where is it now, and where is it going?’, His Lordship has suggested that his guidelines in relation to claims for maintenance as set out in his judgment in SS v SN (Spousal Maintenance) [2014]EWHC 4183 (Fam) had prevailed in tact since:

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Family Law Journal [2018] Fam Law 1548

December 9, 2018

The width of the court’s discretion under s 31(1), MCA 1973 – for width read uncertainty: Mills v Mills

As is now well rehearsed, the Supreme Court had granted leave to appeal to H on a narrow basis, being ‘whether, in light of the fact that provision had already been made for W’s housing needs in the capital settlement, the Court of Appeal was entitled to interfere with the judge’s decision not to increase the periodical payments so as to cover all of the wife’s current rental costs’.

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