For Richer, for paw(er)

A number of celebrity couples have also argued publically over their pets in their divorce proceedings, both in the states and in the UK; including former English rugby union player, Will Carling and his ex-wife Julia, who eventually came to an agreed settlement over their Labrador named ‘Biff’ and footballer George Best and his wife Alex, who were locked in dispute over their 2 Red Setters.


22 February 2012 saw the launch of the use of Arbitration to determine family law disputes. Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. It involves the parties to a dispute entering into a agreement under which they appoint a suitably qualified person to adjudicate on their dispute and to determine the award which the parties are then bound to. If necessary the parties can then apply to the Court to for an Order to give effect to the award of the arbitrator.

Mother’s implacable hostility and an Order for no direct contact: A (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1104

The Father appealed on the basis that the Court should not have accepted the daughter’s assertions that she wanted contact and the litigation to stop as being a true indication of her wishes and feelings, and that the court should not have abdicated its responsibility to make orders but should have placed the daughter’s welfare as its paramount consideration because she would plainly have benefited from paternal contact. The second limb of the appeal was based on the father’s assertion that the family justice system as a whole had failed to meet its duty to afford paramount consideration to the daughter’s welfare.

This case has spanned over 12 years and in that time there have been over 100 court hearings. At least 7 Judges have been involved in the case and over 10 CAFCASS Officers. The father was described as unimpeachable and no adverse findings of fact were made against him. The mother was labelled as implacably hostile to contact. The evidence indicated that the daughter’s contact with the father (when it had taken place) had been positive and that she loves her father so why was an order for no direct contact made?

Failure to Disclose Financial Information in Divorce UK

One of the recent trends from the senior Courts in this jurisdiction has been to curtail and/or remove the (arguably somewhat legally unorthodox) practices that have developed over time in family law in order to deal with a variety of different problems which regularly occur in family proceedings – including that of financial disclosure. In particular, the cases of Imerman and Prest, made it plain that the family courts need to play by the ‘same rules’ as their civil counterparts.