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Kate Stovold looks at why it is important to understand how property is owned in this country, especially if you own jointly and then separate or divorce.

Last year, the former wife of an oil and gas trader was awarded £453million in one of the largest divorce settlements ever ordered by a UK Court. Whilst the couple in the case was not identified, their extravagant lifestyle...[CONT]

Call for Family Law reform – Top judges back Family Matters campaign

Family Matters, the campaign which was launched a week ago by The Times and the Marriage Foundation charity, has gained further momentum as Britain’s most senior judge lends her support. Baroness Hale of Richmond, the president of the Supreme Court, is backing the campaign for the law to be changed to end fault-based divor...[CONT]

Family Law Myth 2 – Let’s be clear - Cohabiting couples do not have same rights as married couples

When you hear something enough times, it is difficult to believe it is not true.

This is what has happened with the term “common law wife”. To be gender equal we should of course be saying “common law spouse” but in this case it is almost always the female of the species who is duped by terminology that trips off the tongue, and believes that after a certain amount of time of cohabitation (7 years is often the mystical number) you can be termed a “commo...[CONT]

Myths Update – Report by Nuffield Foundation backs calls for reform to remove “fault”

In a previous legal update post, Family Law Myth 1 – The “no fault” divorce we explored the “myths” around the current, yet anachronistic, triggers to initiate a divorce which had been highlight by the Owens v Owens case.

Published today is Finding Fault, the report of an empirical study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, and the first full-scale...[CONT]

Birch v Birch [2017] UKSC 53 – The Supreme Court allows wife’s appeal to vary undertakings contained in a consent order

Case comment by Ella Welsby

26 July 2017 - The Supreme Court, by a majority of 4:1, has allowed the wife’s appeal to apply to be released from undertakings given to her husband as part of a consent order approved by the court on 26 July 2010.

The 2010 order included undertakings whereby the wife promised to use her best endeavours to discharge the husband’s liability under the mortgage on the former matrimonial home ‘FMH’ or in the event that she wa...[CONT]

Sharp v Sharp: short marriage shakes 50/50 principle

The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of City trader Julie Sharp, reducing the £2.74m award made to her husband Robin Sharp in 2015 to £2m.   This is a significant “sea change” in terms of matrimonial law in that it challenges the principle, established in White v White [2001] 1 AC 596  that the matrimonial assets of a divorcing couple should normally be shared between them on an equal basis.  Shaking what was widely regarded as a ri...[CONT]

"Special contribution" denied in one of biggest divorce payment awarded by a UK court

A 61-year-old, Russian-born oil and gas trader has been told to hand over £453 million, equating to 41.5% of the "total marital assets", to his 44 year old estranged wife. The award, which followed a private hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, could be the one of the biggest divorce payment awarded by a UK court. The significant payment also reinforces London’s reputation for  being 'the divorce capital of the world', with timely proc...[CONT]

Family Law Myth 1 – The “no fault” divorce

In the next few weeks, we would like to highlight some of the misconceptions surrounding divorce and family law. We start with the issue of the “no fault” divorce as this has been discussed at length in the media as a result of the Owens v Owens case.

This “no fault” divorce myth encompasses a number of misconceptions; the clarity is in the detail rather than just the meaning of the words themselves.

“No fault&rd...[CONT]

Family Law Update November - Alice Quirk comments on two recent cases

Re: W (Minors) [2016] EWHC 2226 (Fam) – Read full judgment here
Re: B (Litigant in Person: timely service of documents) [2016] EWHC 2365 (Fam) Read full judgment here

Re: W (Minors) [2016] EWHC 2226 (Fam) Judgment of Mr Justice Mostyn in which he makes a number of orders, the most significant of which relates to an ex...[CONT]

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