A High Court awarded ex wife £453 million, one of the biggest ever divorce settlements in the UK. This reaffirms the high bar that has to be met to justify assets not being split equally.
A 28 day limit on police bail has come into force in England and Wales following criticism of people being kept on police bail for months without charge as a result of the Policing and Crime Act 2017.
The case of Owens v Owens 2017 has highlighted the pitfalls of the fact of unreasonable behaviour in divorce proceedings. The Court refused to grant Mrs Owens a decree of divorce. The Petition was issued on the ground that the marriage had broken down irretrievably due to the fact of Mr Owen's behaviour. The Court did not accept the Petition applying the law as it stands. Until there is reform by introducing no fault divorce, there is no choice but to apply the current law. Petitions, therefore need to be completed carefully!
The Government will remove a time limit for evidence for domestic violence. The time limit has already been increased from 2 years to 5 years and this will now be removed completely. Also the types of evidence that can be accepted will be "significantly broadened. This will make it easier for victims of domestic abuse to obtain Legal Aid.
The Ministry of Justice has issued a new Practice Direction PD 36D, as an addition to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 launching a divorce pilot scheme for certain applications to be filed via an online process.
Family Courts are to introduce reforms which will end the presumption of "contact at all costs" when there is evidence of domestic abuse which would put the child or mother at risk.
The Court of Appeal has overturned a financial order after finding "procedural errors". The husband has been excused attendance at an interim hearing but the wife made submissions based on a letter that contained no statement of truth nor was she sworn to give evidence. Sir Ernest Ryder said "had the Court made directions to abide the event of the husband's continuing absence, they could and should have included a warning that inferences of fact might be drawn from his absence". The judge made no reference to the husband's documents and made no analysis of them. He failed to give a formal judgment . The consequence was that the final hearing was "procedurally unfair" and the order was set aside.
The Court made it clear that there must be good and clear grounds to justify a recommendation that there be no contact with a parent.
A year after introducing the "opt out" for organ donation, only 6% have opted out. Therefore there is an increase in lives saved as more organs are available for transplant.
Did you know that if one party qualifies for Legal Aid in Mediation, the other party will have their MIAM and first mediation session paid for by the Legal Aid Agency. To qualify for Legal Aid for mediation, you do not need to provide evidence of domestic abuse but must satisfy the income and capital eligibility.