Latest News

Settlement Conferences

Some designated Family Judge (DFJ) areas are piloting settlement conferences. A settlement conference involves a Judge from the family court taking on role of inquisitor in order to assist parties to cooperate with a view to reaching agreement in relation to...

McKenzie Friend

The recent Case of Re H (Children: exclusion of Mckenzie Friend) 2017 EWFCB31 saw a mother appeal against the decision by a District Judge that she would not be permitted to use her ongoing Mckenzie Friend in proceedings. In Family Proceedings it is common...

Enquiry into Child Maintenance Service

Enquiry into child maintenance An enquiry into the Child Maintenance Service was published today by the Work and Pensions Community Child Maintenance Service. The Child Maintenance Service was launched in July 2016 and replaced the old Child Support...

Impact of Divorce on Children

It is not surprising that when two parties decide to separate it has an impact on the children.  A recent study has shown that in fact a child’s physical health can be affected by their parents’ divorce.  This is perhaps not surprising...

Dispute Resolution, Mediation, Arbitration

Dispute Resolution At Townsend Family Law we aim to resolve matters without the need to attend court. Whilst it is recognised that making an application to court is often necessary. We endeavour to resolve disputes in relation to financial matters and...

Downward Trend for Heterosexual Marriage

Data recently published by the office of national statistics has shown a downward trend for heterosexual marriages despite a rise in 2014. The number of heterosexual marriages that have taken place this year are less than the number of marriages in 2011,...

Research on Divorce Law - Possible Reforms

A project currently led by Professor Liz Trinder of Exeter University is in progress aiming to explore how the current law and grounds for divorce and civil partnership operates in practice and to look at how the Law may be reformed in this area. The study...

Defended Divorce

In order to obtain a divorce in England and Wales it is necessary to show that a marriage has irretrievably broken down. The Law requires one of five statutory facts to be proved to evidence time.. Three of these facts rely on at least two years separation...

Transparency in Family Courts

It is important in Family Law for Judgments to be publicised to ensure that there is consistency in decisions made by Judges. It is clear that all Judgments should be confidential and the parties involved should not be named. Such Judgments can be anonymised...

Division of Matrimonial Assets on Divorce

The Court has a great deal of discretion and flexibility when deciding upon the appropriate division of matrimonial assets on divorce. The Court looks to section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 when the court is considering the financial order that...

Election

It is interesting to note that both Labour and Conservative Election Manifestos contained information relevant to Family Law.  The Labour Party pledged to introduce a no fault divorce procedure in their Manifesto.  No fault divorce is referred to...

Partner's exclusion from marital home

There is often an issue in respect of whether it is lawful to exclude a partner or former partner from their home.   There are various circumstances whereby a partner can be forced to leave and excluded from the property.  Generally speaking...

Special Contributions

Ryan Giggs has recently been in the newspaper in relation to his claim for special contributions during the marriage. It is extremely difficult for a party to claim special contributions.  Case law has shown that over time in order to be considered by...

Commons Library Paper on Applying for Child Arrangements Orders

Commons library paper on applying for Child Arrangements Orders The Commons Library has published a very useful summary of how to apply for Child Arrangement Orders: http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN03100/SN03100.pdf ...

Cross Examination of Vulnerable Witnesses

Theresa May has announced plans to alter the legal system in relation to domestic abuse. The Prime Minister has indicated that she does not feel that the law as it stands goes far enough to protect the victims of abuse. May has said that the approach to...

Theresa May plans to alter legal system in relation to domestic abuse

Theresa May has announced plans to alter the legal system in relation to domestic abuse. The Prime Minister has indicated that she does not feel that the law as it stands goes far enough to protect the victims of abuse. May has said that the approach to...

Cohabitation

Cohabitation The number of couples who choose to cohabit has increased in recent years with 40% of births being outside of marriage. There is a common misconception that cohabiting with a partner affords each party to the relationship the same rights as a...

Kids in the Middle

It is hard to cope with a divorce as an adult, but helping our children to cope is another challenge in itself. An online leaflet has been published by young people for young people, and it can be found here: ...

Sir/Madam

Following Freshfields announcement that they are to address all correspondence to Sir or Madam, we have decided to follow suit and join the 21 st century....

New Solicitor

We are extremely pleased to announce Bethany Richards joined our team on 6 September 2016 as an assistant solicitor.  Bethany's profile will be available on the website shortly....

Re A (Medical Treatment - Removal of Artificial Ventilation)

The recent case of Re: A (medical treatment – removal of artificial ventilation) involved the difficult case of a 19 month old child who choked on a piece of fruit at home causing him to fall unconscious. The child was being kept alive by artificial...

Child Maintenance TW v TM [2016] FAM LAW 15

Mostyn allowed the father’s appeal against an order made by a Deputy District Judge who ordered him to pay child support at nearly twice the level that he would be assessed as having to pay in accordance with the child maintenance service formula. This...

Standard of Living

In soon to be reported BD v FD Mostyn J reiterated the relevance of the marital standard of living. He stated that the needs of the wife are still to be assessed primarily by looking at the marital standard of living which should provide a bench mark or...

Controlling Behaviour Leads to Term of Imprisonment

The Courts have recently convicted a 21 year old man for engaging in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship. Adrian Lee, 21 was convicted to six months imprisonment and made the subject of a restraining order for two years after...

Brexit - The Effects of the possible British exit from the EU on English Family Law

It seems that the increasing uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum reaches all areas of the law. Certainly in the area of family law, just the prospect of a British exit is creating uncertainty for family law. It seems unlikely that a vote to leave...