Periodical Payments: Perfectly imperfect

Che Meakins reports on the courts’ discretion when considering the parties’ circumstances as a whole, and the importance of understanding the intention behind an order ‘In Mutch, the summary recital to the consent order was a crucial fact in understanding how and why the court had made its decision in November 2012.’In Mutch v Mutch …
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Private Client: Careful planning

Mark Pawlowski highlights some of the pitfalls associated with mutual wills that may have consequences on relationship breakdown ‘If the parties’ property (for example, the family home) is held on a joint tenancy, does the execution of mutual wills automatically sever the joint tenancy, or is it necessary for such a joint tenancy to be …
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Variation: Challenging odds

Daniel Sanders considers the courts’ approach to variation applications and the limited circumstances in which such an application is likely to succeed ‘A clear and highly compelling change in circumstances must have arisen in order to justify variation of the terms of the original maintenance order, whether as to quantum or term.’For many clients a …
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Surrogacy: Lessons from abroad

Anne-Marie Hamer investigates the potential reform of surrogacy law, and how such reforms may be guided by experiences in other countries ‘Californian law makes it possible for the commissioning parents to a surrogacy arrangement, regardless of marital status and/or sexual orientation, to establish legal parental rights prior to the birth of the child.’The gap between …
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Parentage: Modern times

Richard Adams looks at recent developments regarding birth registration and declarations of parentage ‘A declaration of parentage can only be made in respect of biological parentage or parentage by operation of law.’Birth registration performs many functions, from providing evidence of the history and identity of children, to providing parents with rights and responsibilities arising from …
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Enforcement: Burden of proof

Naomi Rainey compares the different judicial approaches to the evidential burden on an application for a judgment summons ‘In the absence of a case to answer being demonstrated, the respondent is entitled to have the application for a judgment summons dismissed.’The decision in Migliaccio v Migliaccio [2016] follows a stream of Court of Appeal and …
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Financial Provision: An open door

Vanessa McMurtrie examines the lessons to be learnt from the outcome in the long-running case of Wyatt v Vince ‘Good practice means we should always be looking for, and encouraging our clients to consider, the possibility of compromise.’If ever there was a good example of why divorcees of modest means should agree a clean-break dismissal …
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