All hail Lady Hale

By | Law news, News | No Comments

In this week’s blog, the incoming Supreme Court President, Lady Hale has caught our attention following her comments on diversity in the judiciary. Lady Hale, who replaces Lord Neuberger as Supreme Court President (being the first female appointment to the role) commented to a Belfast audience that the traditional solicitor / barrister divide in the profession was partly to blame for lack of females in the judiciary. Followers of our blog will be aware that we’ve previously highlighted Lady Hale’s role in challenging the diversity of the judiciary, not only from a gender perspective but also looking at the wider…

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Out with the old and in with the new!

By | divorce, News | No Comments

This week we are taking a look at recent changes introduced by Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (‘HMCTS’) to the application form (petition) for divorce, dissolution or judicial separation.  The new form was published on 7th August and will replace the old form for all new applications from 4th September 2017. Practitioners and the public do need to ensure the new form is used from 4th September or run the risk of their application being returned. So, what has changed in the form? In short, the new application form is far more user friendly and informative than the old…

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Natalie Sutherland to join CFLP as Partner

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Cambridge Family Law Practice is thrilled to announce that Natalie Sutherland has agreed to become a partner in September 2017. Natalie comes to CFLP from her senior position at a London based specialist family law firm, Levison Meltzer Pigott, where she practised as a specialist family lawyer since 2008.    Natalie brings a wealth of experience in representing and advising clients on the whole spectrum of family law issues, including financial disputes for married or unmarried couples, complex children matters, international and domestic relocation disputes, pre and post-nuptial agreements and proceedings relating to domestic abuse or occupation of the family home….

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CAFCASS – changing times

By | Children, the family courts | No Comments

This week we are looking at the role of the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (‘CAFCASS ‘) in family cases and how this may change in the future.  By way of reminder, a while ago we wrote about the role of CAFCASS in our ‘who or what is CAFCASS’ blog. Recent guidance issued by CAFCASS suggests their involvement with families and the court system will change. With effect from 1 July, CAFCASS issued specific guidance, with the approval of the President of the Family Division, on the use of their professional time to benefit children.  The overall aim…

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Equity vs equality – the sharing principle and fairness in short marriages

By | divorce, financial, News, the family courts | No Comments

This week we thought we’d look at the application of the ‘sharing principle’ following an interesting development in the law in the reported decision of Mr and Mrs Sharp. The case involves a couple in their mid-40s, worth around £6.9M. They did not have any children. The wealth was largely generated through substantial bonuses paid to the wife during the marriage. At the outset of their relationship the couple earned relatively similar amounts (c.£100k p.a.) and later, the wife received bonuses totalling c.£10.5M over the course of their 6 year marriage (including 18 months of pre-marital cohabitation). As is commonly…

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My spouse owns a business – what is it worth?

By | collaborative law, financial | No Comments

When looking at an overall division of finances on divorce, the first step is to understand what resources there are. One of the issues faced by separating couples is how and when a business owned by either of them comes into play.  We at CFLP are experts in assessing the importance of business interests on divorce. Working out how much a business is worth, if it is worth anything at all, can be especially challenging for those who are not involved in running the business. First and foremost, it is crucial to understand the nature of the business. Is it:…

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International Divorce Arbitration – a new scheme

By | divorce | No Comments

As followers of our blog will know, we’re big fans of out-of-court dispute resolution at CFLP. Where we can help families keep their dispute away from court, we try to do that using our skills as collaborative practitioners, mediators and negotiators.  We offer advice during arbitration and Simon Bethel acts as a qualified arbitrator for children matters (link to our announcement here).  The launch of a new arbitration scheme for international divorce has recently caught our attention. Many international families find at a time of relationship breakdown that two or more countries can deal with issues regarding their family. Whilst…

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Attending court on my own – what do I do?

By | Children, the family courts | No Comments

Today we are looking at how to help those representing themselves in court proceedings. As members of Resolution we take an amicable and non-confrontational approach and try to keep families out of litigation if at all possible. However, for some families, turning to the court is the only way to make real progress on certain issues, particularly where out-of-court dispute resolution options have been tried unsuccessfully. Moving towards court proceedings does not have to mean all-out battle with your former partner. It is entirely possible to conduct court proceedings in a measured, constructive and non-combative manner, and that is what…

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Protection from violence

By | Law news | No Comments

This week and last have been quite quiet ones in family law terms, other than some kerfuffle about another multi-million pound divorce that’s been reported in the papers because of the massive figures involved, but for which the judgment isn’t out yet, so we don’t really know the reasoning. Instead we thought we’d look at a few strands relating to violence within the context of relationships, as a supplement to Adam’s white ribbon post of last month. The first thing to come out, thanks to The Independent, was the disparity between the increase in reports of domestic abuse incidents and the…

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Maintenance matters

By | financial, Law news | No Comments

This week, we thought we’d focus on a difference of opinion on a matter of family law that has come to light between a couple of our elder statespeople in family law. On one side, we have Baroness Deech, a former barrister and crossbench peer in the House of Lords who led the second reading of her new Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill at the end of January this year, and on the other we have Lord Wilson of Culworth, a Justice of the Supreme Court and author of some of the most notable legal decisions in family law over the…

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