The 1975 Act: Applying the principles

Amy Berry provides practical points on seeking to extend time under s4 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 It is of fundamental import to remember that the divorce fiction, to which the pre-acquired/non-matrimonial asset issue relates, is only one aspect of the s3 criteria that the court must weigh when considering …
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Financial remedies: A misspent youth?

Barbara Reeves reflects White v White, 21 years after this seminal judgment, and the development of the law since Financial outcomes for women on divorce tend to be worse than for men across the board and compensation might have been an ideal way to seek to remedy this position, but unfortunately, so far, it appears …
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Financial provision: Short but sweet

David Wilkinson looks at a decision of Mostyn J as to the approach to short marriages and the assertion that whether a marriage has produced children or not is immaterial as to the division of assets Mostyn J’s judgment is notable for its legal rather than zoological analysis of the ‘white leopard’, representing the rare …
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Non-matrimonial assets: To mingle or not to mingle?

Rebecca Viola summarises the approach taken to trust assets introduced into a marriage and the factors that will be taken into account by the court as to the nature of such assets Property or assets owned by a party which derive from a source outside the marriage will not per se be excluded from the …
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Special contributions: Consigned to history?

Lisa Churchill highlights how the approach to special contributions has changed over the years and how such contributions have been quantified by the courts The courts are seemingly now more cautious in departing from equality due to the special contribution of one party. Special contribution in a marriage has often been a difficult argument to …
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Pensions: Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Ellie Foster and Carmelita Ardren discuss an appeal in which the procedural aspects of dealing with pensions assets and their value was at the fore There will always be some delay between the date of a pension sharing order, that order taking effect and ultimately it being implemented, which can trigger a change in the …
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Business assets: A tangled web

Karen Holden examines cases involving complex business assets and the approach of the courts to such assets The court will have ultimate discretion when dividing assets on divorce and attributing weight to the values of assets, guided by fundamental principles of sharing, needs and fairness. The courts have various powers when dealing with company assets, …
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Financial provision: Not-so-special

Catherine Doherty examines the approach to stellar contributions and whether such arguments are now largely obsolete ‘The Court of Appeal felt that it could only determine that there was not such a disparity in the parties’ respective contributions that it would be inequitable to disregard them when deciding what award to make.’ The decision of …
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In practice: The winds of change

Suzanne Todd examines family law developments during the millennium so far and what the future holds ‘It is essential for family lawyers to have a bank of highly regarded therapists, counsellors and coaches to whom they can refer clients to ensure that they have the expert advice that they need.’ The 21st century has seen …
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Pensions: Equality or not?

James Copson looks at the recommendations in the Pension Advisory Group report and highlights the potential pitfalls when dealing with pension assets ‘It is much harder to achieve a fair outcome where there is a significant difference in the ages of the parties.’ An understanding of pensions is a must for every family lawyer working …
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