Death and divorce – where does the money go?

October 22, 2008 10 comments

Every so often, something dreadfully unexpected happens in a divorce case: one of the parties dies. The chances of this are slim but when it happens, everything is thrown into turmoil. What happens to the couple’s assets? Regardless of any will that has – or hasn’t – been made, the court has power under Section…

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Family law, pre-nups and Sir Mark Potter

October 21, 2008 0 comments

Sir Mark Potter’s appointment in April 2005 to head the Family Division came as a surprise. He arrived apparently almost new to family law, having specialised in commercial law, and his appointment as head of the entire Family Court system was viewed by many commentators as unexpected – to put it mildly. While there were…

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The credit crunch divorce: do you get what you pay for?

October 2, 2008 2 comments

The effects of the economic turbulence are laid out for all to see. This weekend I attended one of Yorkshire’s big charity balls. Last year there were no spare tables, and guests overflowed into additional halls. The ladies present were immaculately groomed and decked with twinkling jewels. Money streamed across the “casino” tables and glasses…

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Clients and bankruptcy: a cautionary tale

August 27, 2008 0 comments

The judge found that the solicitors were not responsible for their former client’s financial loss. Recently I was consulted by a client who was angry with her well known and expensive solicitors. She handed me a court order dated 2001. She had nursed a sense of outrage against them before, during and since the very…

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The FT and Pre-nups: Till Divorce Us Do Part

August 19, 2008 0 comments

It appears that I’m not the only one with strong views about pre-nuptial agreements. The FT Weekend Magazine interviewed me for its lengthy cover story on this controversial subject, published this weekend. The spoils of war By Richard Tomkins Pre-nuptial agreements may lack romance, but at least they make divorce a less messy business. That’s the theory,…

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“Prenuptial agreements: a rethink required”

August 14, 2008 0 comments

I was interested to read an excellent article called Pre-nuptial agreements – a rethink required in this month’s Family Law journal. By Christopher Sharp QC of St John’s Chambers in Bristol, it contains an interesting review of the law in that area. He begins with the famous case of Hyman v Hyman in 1929, where…

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