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Confidentiality of the Adoption Process Prevails in Parenthood Dispute

The confidentiality of the process by which an adopted child becomes part of a new, permanent and inviolable family unit is, for very good reasons, sacrosanct. A judge made that point in refusing a man's application for his biological parenthood of an...

Divorce - Intransigence and Dogmatism Will Only Increase Your Pain

An intransigent and dogmatic approach to divorce is an infallible way of making the process far more painful and costly. A man who insisted that his ex-wife's financial entitlements should be reduced to reflect the poor quality of their short, childless...

Exonerated Parents of Bruised Baby Boy Receive Judicial Apology

When children suffer unexplained injuries, few would quarrel with social workers and medical professionals taking a precautionary approach. However, as a family judge's ruling showed , the cloud of suspicion that often hangs over parents in such cases is...

What Is a 'Couple'? Landmark Adoption Ruling Answers the Question

A 'couple' is defined in law as two people living as partners in an enduring family relationship – but what exactly does that mean in a world that has witnessed a metamorphosis in human relationships during the last few decades? The High Court...

Family Judges Won't Let Children Be Used as Pawns in Divorce Proceedings

Concerns that children may be used as pawns amidst the cut and thrust of divorce proceedings are often expressed by one side or the other. However, a High Court ruling in the context of a big money case showed that family judges are aware of such risks and...

COVID-19 - Do Diving Asset Values Justify Unwinding Divorce Settlements?

The value of many assets has been devastated by COVID-19 – but is that a good enough reason for setting aside divorce settlements agreed before the pandemic struck? A family judge considered that issue in a guideline case . The case concerned a...

Family Judge Deeply Regrets Wealthy Ex-Couple's Inability to Compromise

Judges often plead with divorcing couples to bury the hatchet rather than subject themselves to the financial and emotional self-harm of litigation. As a High Court case showed , however, such good advice is sadly not always heeded. The case concerned a...

High Court Rejects Divorcee's Bid to Annul Ex-Husband's Bankruptcy

It is sadly true that bankruptcy proceedings are sometimes used by perfectly solvent individuals for purposes other than seeking to satisfy their creditors or manage their debts. However, as a High Court case showed, alleging such conduct is one thing and...

High Court Ponders Habitual Residence Test in Case of Orphaned Schoolgirl

The legal concept of habitual residence is a notoriously slippery one, but the ease of global travel has rendered it ever more important in the field of family law. The point was powerfully made by the case of an orphaned schoolgirl who was born in Britain...

Child Maintenance - Court Weighs Up Lifestyle Expectations and Resources

Sensible people accept that they have a moral responsibility financially to maintain their children, whether or not they are born in wedlock. As a High Court case showed , the extent of such responsibilities largely depends on needs, reasonable lifestyle...
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