Inheritance Act: Planning ahead

Anna Heenan looks at changes to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 and the potential use of nuptial agreements ‘Nuptial agreements cannot exclude the jurisdiction of the court in Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 claims but they do have the potential to play a role in pre-empting and defending …
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Capacity: Open justice?

In the conclusion to a two-part analysis, Debbie Stringer discusses the more paternalistic approach that may be taken by the courts when considering a child’s capacity ‘Doctors and hospitals do not have, nor can they obtain, parental responsibility – it is for the court to determine whether or not treatment, and what sort of treatment, …
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Dispute Resolution: Primal needs

Andrew Baines considers the principles that underpin the choice between litigation and non-court dispute resolution methods ‘When looking at the court process today, we can see that the principle on which it is based remains the same – all the work up to judgment is based on the judge deciding who wins and who loses.’Court …
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Financial Provision: Sharing the wealth

Richard Adams examines the factors that may justify an unequal division of assets ‘A special contribution should only be taken into account if there was such a disparity in the parties’ respective contributions to the welfare of the family that it would be inequitable to disregard.’ Practitioners will be familiar with the strong feelings that …
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Lump Sum Orders: Dual purpose

In the first of a two-part back-to-basics guide Jane Booth explores the types of lump sum order that may be made, together with drafting tips and practice points ‘The distinction between multiple lump sum payments and a single sum payable by instalments is relevant if the need for variation arises.’ On divorce, dissolution, nullity or …
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Conduct: The blame game

Rachel Wilmott highlights the courts’ approach when dealing with financial conduct and litigation conduct ‘There is no formulaic or accurate weighing mechanism for determining how the respective misconduct of the parties should be reflected in any order for costs.’ The decision in US v SR [2014] addresses at length the law on notional reattribution and …
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Schedule 1: Missed opportunities

James Brown suggests that Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 is underused and looks at the courts’ approach ‘Schedule 1 can be applied to small/medium-asset cases even if the result is that the absent parent will have to sell their property in order to house the applicant and the child.’ Family law practitioners are …
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