Step-parent adoption: Family ties

Lehna Gardiner outlines the statutory and procedural requirements on an application for an adoption order by a step-parent ‘The court must consider whether a child arrangements order, a parental responsibility order or a special guardianship order would be better for the child.’ Step-parents are a very common and established feature of modern family life. The …
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Costs: The need for clarity

Abigail Lowther reviews a civil decision on a claim for costs by a firm against their former client, and the circumstances in which a default judgment may be set aside ‘A failure to provide a respondent (whether a litigant in person or not) with a response pack is a technical error, however it is not …
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Trusts: Mixed messages

Mark Pawlowski examines the continuing role of the resulting trust in the context of investment and family property ‘Where property was purchased as an investment (as opposed to a family home), the presumption of joint ownership does not apply.’ Although the resulting trust has played a lessening role as an appropriate mechanism for determining beneficial …
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Private children: To the letter

Katherine Muldoon summarises the requirements in children proceedings involving domestic abuse, and the practice to be adopted as to fact-finding and cross-examination ‘There may be occasions when it is necessary and appropriate for the judge to conduct the questioning of a witness on behalf of the parties.’ In J (Children) [2018], the Court of Appeal …
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Procedure: The last word?

Elspeth Kinder and Clare Williams consider the approach to new evidence where there has been a finding of fact in financial remedy proceedings ‘The court is required to consider whether a rehearing of an issue will result in a different finding, beyond the fact that different judges will sometimes reach different decisions on the same …
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International focus: Cross-border complexities

Graeme Fraser and David Foster highlight the impact of future rule changes on divorce settlements through a practical case study ‘Before advising on the structure of the financial provision, international specialist tax advice should be sought as to the US/UK tax efficiency of the pre-nuptial agreement in view of forthcoming changes to US federal tax …
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Pre-nuptial agreements: A balancing act

James Ferguson and Katie Male look at the courts’ approach to the weight to be given to a pre-nuptial agreement freely entered into by the parties, and the need for overarching fairness ‘Roberts J had to address the question of what “needs” means in circumstances where a pre-nuptial agreement has been entered into, the purpose …
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