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Family courts in England and Wales are increasingly dealing with international family law cases – much more so than even just a few years ago – indeed there is every likelihood that Brexit will increase the amount of litigation in England and Wales.
Resolution held a roundtable discussion to consider the possible implications for family law practitioners of the UK exiting from the EU without a deal.
Marital agreements are becoming an everyday part of many family lawyers’ workload and it is in recognition of this increasing role that this guidance note on dealing with them has been revised. If these agreements are not a mainstay of your practice then it is important for you to consider instructing specialist counsel to provide an opinion on the content of the proposed agreement, review the advice you have given or draft the agreement itself.
There is a fundamental principle that full and frank financial disclosure is needed in order for any consensus to be capable of forming a binding agreement, arbitral award and/or court order, irrespective of the process used to get there. This principle has been established for many years, although tested from time to time in the courts – sometimes with unexpected results. The law continues to develop.
The object of all dispute resolution is to clarify facts and narrow issues. The use of experts may be considered in child-related situations, including proceedings. Those involved in assisting parties, including the court, may be helped by an expert’s findings in relation to injuries or medical complaints, psychological problems including attachments, or even how children have reacted in a supervised contact centre.
The Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) came into force on 6 April 2011 and made a number of changes to the way in which familiar documents need to be presented.
This practice guide is not intended to set out all of the forms that are in place; the list of forms is extensive and we recommend that you make yourself aware of them. The purpose of this guide is to highlight the key points in relation to the requirements when finalising and submitting documents in relation to family proceedings. All references are to the FPR 2010, unless otherwise stated.
This guide is intended to assist practitioners in advising clients on when expert evidence is required, and instructing the expert in such a way as will be of maximum benefit to the client in assisting them, or the court, in reaching a resolution of a matter in dispute between the parties.
It was heartening to see Sir Andrew McFarlane, the new President of the Family Division, and Sir James Munby, the former President, open their discussion at the PSU ‘Future of the Family Division’ event in October by talking about the importance of wellbeing for family law professionals.
Resolution members have increasingly found they must work with litigants in person (LiPs).
In this article we address some key questions you may have when working with litigants in person and provide some top tips for communicating with your client when a litigant in person is involved.
In this podcast, Nicola Wallace and Catherine Wood QC discuss advocacy in family law.
In this podcast, Denise Ingamells, Head of London SPIPs at RCJ Advice, and Marc Etherington from Resolution’s Parenting After Parting Committee, discuss how the Separated Parents Information Programme works.
In this audio recording of their workshop, Gillian Bishop and Felicity Shedden, explore how parenting co-ordination supports parents in high conflict to implement final child arrangements orders or parenting agreements.
The procedure for financial dispute resolution appointments (FDRs) is set out in Part 9.17 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR) and Practice Direction 9A (PD 9A). They are meetings “held for the purposes of discussion and negotiation”, "to reduce the tension which inevitably arises in family disputes and facilitating settlement of those disputes" (para 6.1 PD 9A).
Issues regarding fertility law have increased significantly in the last few years and members are now likely to encounter such issues on a more frequent basis. There are family lawyers who have a particular specialism in fertility law but it is an area in which we should all be able to give advice and assistance when requested. This guide aims to assist our members on best practice in this area.
Non-married cohabiting relationships look set to continue to increase year on year, so advising clients embarking on cohabitation, those already living together wanting to understand their ‘rights’ and those whose cohabiting relationship has broken down, will form an increasing part of the workload of family lawyers. This guide aims to assist Resolution members and their conveyancing lawyer colleagues to manage these cases effectively, in accordance with our Code of Practice.
It is very common, particularly once court proceedings have commenced, for one or both parties to struggle to meet ongoing legal fees. The parties are usually already struggling to adapt to financially supporting two separate households and may be unable to release funds from assets held in joint names, for example.
One of the most important aspects of a family lawyer's job is to draft documents on behalf of clients. The documentation can take many different forms and it is often these documents that are pivotal in resolving disputes between parties, whether at a court hearing or in negotiations.
This practice guide provides an overview of working within the Codes of Practice when faced with complex and sensitive issues involving Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). It does not seek to be a ‘how to guide’, as there are many publications available for you to refer to.
Social media can be a useful resource for family solicitors to connect with the public and other professionals, publicise campaigns, raise the profile of members and communicate about the work we do. As it can potentially reach a very wide audience, we must be careful about how our use of social media impacts on our client-related work.
Client care is an essential part of a lawyer’s role and is the very first topic dealt with in the SRA Code of Conduct. It is subject to regulatory control due to the importance of the relationship for the client, who may not have had any reason to consult a lawyer in the past.
Service of documents is a particularly sensitive area. It is sometimes essential that documents are served upon the other party personally, but this could inflame the situation and be counterproductive to the aims and ethos of the Resolution Code of Practice.
This guide looks at the issues and ways in which service of documents can be achieved in a constructive way, in order to avoid increasing the acrimony between the parties.
Family lawyers all over the country are seeing an increase in cases involving international aspects. This guide looks at the specific code of practice issues arising in international cases and gives guidance on how international cases can be dealt with in a code-compliant way.