Putting the cart before the horse

About 20 years ago, I received a telephone call one Thursday afternoon. The caller explained that he was getting married in two days’ time, but there was a problem. He wasn’t divorced yet. I am pleased to say that he … read more

No fault divorce and extending civil partnerships are a good idea, but further reforms are needed

These are heady times for family lawyers. No sooner had the government announced that it was in favour of introducing no-fault divorce, then hard on its heels came the announcement from the equalities minister, Penny Mordaunt MP, that the government … read more

Disappointment for Mrs Owens

The Supreme Court has now handed down its decision in the case of Owens v Owens. The appellant, Tini Owens has been told that her appeal has failed and therefore she cannot obtain a divorce against her husband on the … read more

The pedant’s guide to The Split

Many family lawyers have been glued to their TV screens recently watching The Split on BBC1. However, this is nothing to do with the gripping drama involved or the acting by the cast. It is because lawyers love nothing more … read more

Why magistrates are environmentally unfriendly

One of the banes of a family lawyer’s life is Practice Direction 27A (PD27A) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. This part of the court rules sets out in enormous detail a family lawyer’s obligation to provide the court with … read more

Divorce is no laughing matter -or is it?

I usually take the view that humour can be found almost anywhere. In fact, I may suffer from what John Oliver has described (about himself) as a sociopathic need to make a joke whenever I think of one. Thankfully, I … read more

Equality cannot be achieved by abolishing civil partnerships

The days may be numbered for the strange anomaly that allows gay couples to marry or enter into a civil partnership, but which prohibits straight couples from having a civil partnerships. A private members bill introduced by Conservative MP, Tim … read more

Cohabitation Awareness Week #abetterway

The family solicitors’ body Resolution is running its annual campaign this week. In past years this has focused on alternatives to court, such as collaborative law, mediation or arbitration. This year, they have set their sights on the hopelessly inadequate … read more

Spreadsheet Phil, tax and divorce

Wednesday’s budget contained a small surprise for divorce lawyers. The 3% stamp duty surcharge for second homes will no longer apply if the second home is bought by a divorcee who is retaining an interest in the family home occupied … read more

The time has come for no-fault divorce

                     The Times has thrown its weight behind calls for the reform of our current fault-based divorce laws so that they are replaced by modern no-fault divorce. Their support for this is to be welcomed, although I don’t agree with … read more