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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Divorce: A matter of trust

Oliver Auld gives the lowdown on what happens to trusts in the event of a divorce ‘Trustees need to be aware of not only the range of orders the family courts can make in relation to trust assets, but also the strategies they should potentially be adopting in the best interest of their beneficiaries, both …
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Conduct: Balancing the scales

Elizabeth Simos looks at issues of conduct and non-disclosure, and the impact where adverse inferences are drawn in needs cases ‘Arguments as to add-backs essentially come down to issues of conduct, namely conduct that it would, in the opinion of the court, be inequitable to disregard.’ Much to the dismay of ‘wronged’ spouses in England …
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Special contribution: A rare bird

Catherine Doherty asks whether case law has effectively restricted stellar performance arguments to financial contributions only ‘In XW v XH Baker J acknowledged the need to exercise caution with respect to the domestic contribution of the wife, as homemaker, to the welfare of the family.’ Since Cowan v Cowan [2001] was decided by the Court …
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