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The Review Issue 206

With the outbreak of Covid-19 many of you will not be at your offices to receive your printed copy of The Review but help is at hand. For every issue we will be publishing the articles here in the Knowledge and Resources section of our website as well as the pdf of the printed version.

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What family lawyers need to know about criminal law: Introduction

As with most areas of contentious law, having to instruct a criminal or family lawyer is seldom a happy process for the client. Unfortunately, the nature of relationship breakdown means that all too often family proceedings result in the need for criminal advice. On occasion, it is the criminal proceedings that lead to family law problems. Corker Binning, specialists in Criminal, Fraud and Regulatory Law provide expert advice for family lawyers whose clients and cases may be impacted by criminal proceedings.

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Establishing a healthy client relationship in an online environment

Adele Ballantyne, Director of Eleda Consultancy and Marcie Shaoul Director of Rolling Stone Coaching have come together to talk about how to effectively build online relationships with clients. Both Adele and Marcie have extensive experience of working with clients online and their work depends on quickly building a trusting mutual relationship to allow forward movement for their clients. Here they share some simple, effective strategies for working from home so that you can get the best from your meetings and more importantly build easy and solid rapport with your clients in a virtual way.

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Grandparents within private children proceedings

As demographic and social change mean more grandparents getting involved in active parenting, what are their rights and what issues should family lawyers be looking out for?

Anyone reading the headlines of a number of broadsheet newspapers over the past couple of years could be forgiven for thinking that there is an imminent change of law to give grandparents greater rights in relation to their grandchildren. The truth is that no such change is expected in the near future, despite pressure from interested groups.

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Resolution Mediation Handbook

Good practice guidance for mediator members of Resolution. The handbook explains the principles of mediation, the requirements of the Family Mediation Council’s (FMC) Code of Practice and sets a framework for the conduct of consistent and high-quality mediation practice.

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Guidance Note on Religion and Family Law

It goes without saying we all want to practice law and dispute resolution in a non-discriminatory and culturally sensitive way. Beliefs, values and institutions are often specific to ethnic, racial and religious groups. Being culturally competent is part of our professionalism. Without this awareness we are amateurs and risk being ineffective in meeting the needs of our clients and securing the solutions that are required long term.

The aim of this Guidance Note is to explore different values and practices, and in doing so, to help you improve the experience of your clients in whatever process you practice, in respect of their faith, culture and belief.

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Guidance Note on Modern Families

The family is not just heteronormative (straight couples) and likely never was. The existence of alternative families is more mainstream and accounts for more than 5% of the population and there will be locations in the UK e.g. Brighton, Manchester and London where that percentage is much higher. This Guidance Note is a resource for members to help increase the understanding of these issues.

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Experience of a Collaborative Client and a Collaborative Practitioner

Ruth Hare, Director of Reach Psychology Ltd and Associate Member of Resolution reveals how her personal experience of collaborative divorce led to an interest in lawyer well-being, revealed a new community of practice and led her career in an unexpected direction.

Nick Wyn-Williams, Partner at Rees Page who represented Ruth’s ex-husband, reflects on being part of ‘team Hare’, and his insights from having a mirror held up to the collaborative process by a psychologist.

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Family Consultants and Psychologists in Collaborative Practice

As dispute resolution practitioners, we constantly find ourselves navigating private aspects of human relationships and emotions. An experienced family lawyer and mediator confided in me that she did not feel competent in handling the emotional aspects of disputes. As a psychologist, I often feel equally inadequate in dealing with the legal elements of family disputes. Our individual experiences with collaborative practice revealed how an integrated and interdisciplinary approach to dispute resolution can be mutually beneficial to our practice while also improving the quality of service for our clients.

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Unfunded Public Sector Schemes – useful information for Pension Sharing

Public Sector Pensions have changed over the years, meaning that we now have a number of different sections within each scheme. This can make it confusing when it comes to trying to negotiate a settlement for Pension Sharing.

For example, it is not always obvious at what age a pension credit will be paid and if there are a number of sections to a scheme, will one Annex share them all?

In this article, we take a closer look at the Unfunded Public Sector Schemes – these are the ones that do not have a pot of money behind them, so a Pension Sharing ex-spouse is offered internal membership, rather than an external transfer out.

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CGT and separation

Draft legislation has been released which will impact divorcing or separating couples who are disposing of their main residence and/or transferring ownership to their former spouse or civil partner.

In this article for The Review Alison Palmer examines how the new rules will in most cases result in additional capital gains tax (CGT) by reducing the reliefs available. Some practical examples illustrate how the timing of transactions can have a significant impact on the resulting tax liability. As always, timing and detail are all-important in maximising the relief available, so professional tax-planning advice can be exceptionally valuable in such cases.

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Substitution of basic state pension on divorce

The ability to benefit from an ex-spouse’s superior national insurance (NI) contribution history on divorce, at no cost to either party, is one of the least-understood areas of pensions on divorce. Yet it can literally be life-changing for lower earners, and it takes only a matter of minutes to explain to clients. This article for The Review explores the issues of this topic.

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