Quan v Bray to unsettle trust planning, charity law and family law

Judgments of the Family Courts are often dismissed as the preserve of warring couples or parents in dispute and seen as having little relevance to other spheres of life. However the Court of Appeal is today considering legal issues concerning Trusts and Settlements that could have pivotal impact on a whole spectrum of legal advice in the wealth planning sector including Trusts Law, Charities Law and Matrimonial Law. Continue reading

A delicate balance – children’s privacy vs public interest in the family courts

Part one of this blog dealt with the decision in Re J, a very difficult case concerning a 7 year old boy (‘J’) whose mother had alleged that he was gender dysphoric and wanted to live as a girl. At a final hearing in July (2016), a judge found that the mother had imposed this belief upon J and, in doing so, had caused significant emotional harm to J, and that J’s interests were better served by living with his father. Continue reading

Gender identity – how the courts approach children’s right to choose

Re J is a very difficult case concerning a 7 year old boy (‘J’). His parents had separated acrimoniously and his mother was refusing to allow J to spend time with his father. This was largely because (she said) the father was uncomfortable with the fact that J identified more strongly with being a girl than a boy. Continue reading

A single approach to abductions?

The 2015 case of Re C (internal relocation) appeared at the time to dramatically alter, and simultaneously clarify, the approach to be taken by the courts in relocation cases. Re C seemed to state that whether a relocation is internal or international, the same principles will be applied by the court in determining whether the move is to be permitted. This therefore provided clarity to a line of case law providing variable interpretations as to the weight to be placed on such factors as the intentions of the relocating parent. Continue reading

What type of parent is Rob Titchener?

Being a family lawyer can be a disadvantage when trying to enjoy a television or radio drama. Family law is easily misunderstood and its realities can get in the way of a good storyline; nobody really wants to watch reasonable and calm lawyers helping parties negotiate sensible solutions in an amicable way. Continue reading

Trust issues

When it comes to family trusts, it is usually the beneficiaries of the trust who get all the attention, but it is the role of the trustees that interest me.

Trustees have a somewhat strange and difficult job – they own the assets held on trust but they hold them for the benefit of beneficiaries, and so have a duty to act in those beneficiaries’ best interests.  The trustees can control and manage the assets but only within the parameters of the trust.

Continue reading

The dawn of a new era for resolving disputes in relation to children

We have a lot to celebrate with the recent launch of the new Children Law Arbitration Scheme. Thanks to the introduction of this new form of dispute resolution, arbitration can be used in children cases to find fast, effective and flexible solutions. Continue reading