Articles

Wealthy Father Under No Obligation to Maintain His Healthy Adult Daughters

Parents generally owe no legal duty financially to maintain their adult children. That principle proved decisive in the case of a businessman who was worth almost £2.2 million when he died, but who left not a penny to his daughters. Having enjoyed a...

Restrictions on Property Use Can Be Limited by Human Lifespans

Restrictions on the use to which properties can be put often lurk in old title deeds. As one case showed , however, some of them only endure as long as a human lifetime whilst others have no such shelf life and continue to have effect indefinitely. The...

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...

'Both' or 'Each'? - One Mistranscribed Word Triggers £6.4 Million Will Dispute

Will drafting is an exact science, requiring years of professional training, and a single mischosen or out-of-place word can have very serious consequences. Exactly that happened in a High Court case concerning the mistaken use of the word 'both' –...

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...

This Is What Happens If You Wait Until Sickness Strikes Before Making a Will

Making a will when you are close to death and without professional assistance is an effective means of fostering dispute between your loved ones after you are gone. As a High Court case strikingly showed , that is particularly so if you intend to leave your...

Neighbours Planning a Garden Development? You Are Not Powerless

Domestic gardens, which many people view as the glory of British suburbia, present a tempting prospect to builders amidst burgeoning housing demand. As one case showed, however, objectors to such developments are by no means powerless. The owners of 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...

Making a Will? Don't Forget Those Entitled to Look to You for Support

When making your will, it is vital to remember those who have a right to look to you for financial support. As a High Court case showed, a failure to meet your duties to your dependants is highly likely to trigger a costly dispute – and ultimately...

Joint Tenancy or Tenancy in Common? This is Why It Really Matters

If you are purchasing a property with a partner, friend, family member or anyone else, your solicitor is bound to ask you whether you intend to own it as joint tenants or tenants in common. A High Court case showed why that is likely to be one of the most...

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...

This is Why You Shouldn't Put Off Making a Will Until Advanced Old Age

You are never too old to make a will, but failing to consult a solicitor before you reach advanced old age can be a positive invitation to dispute amongst your loved ones after you are gone. That was certainly so in the case of a woman who was 94 when she...

Good Quality Conveyancing is Vital to the Avoidance of Neighbour Disputes

Poor quality property conveyancing is a sadly common source of neighbour disputes and that is why it is so crucial to engage specialist solicitors to do the job. A case on point concerned a poorly demarcated boundary which went unnoticed for years before...

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...

British Child's Inheritance of Italian Property Creates Legal Quandary

Where a British child inherits foreign property, tricky legal issues can arise. However, as one case showed, English judges are well able to deal with such difficulties by applying the overriding principle that the child's welfare is always paramount. The...

Husband in £64 Million Divorce Case Claims COVID-19 Hardship

COVID-19 has without doubt drastically affected the fortunes of some very wealthy people. As a High Court ruling in a big money divorce case showed , however, the pandemic does not by itself amount to a good reason for failing to meet legal and financial...

Confronting Mortality - Professional Advice Helps Produce Order from Chaos

Confronting mortality is never easy and many people put off making decisions critical to their own future, and that of their loved ones, until after the onset of serious illness or old age. Such a course involves serious legal risks but, as a High Court...

Creating a Family Trust? Are You Sure It Reflects Your True Intentions?

Rather than giving money to your children directly, you may choose for a variety of good reasons to provide for them by way of a discretionary trust. Such a step is a serious matter, however, and as a High Court case underlined , it is extremely difficult...

Sensible Divorcees Put Personal Animosity Aside - Court of Appeal Ruling

Any good lawyer will tell you that it is far better for divorcing couples to agree how their assets should be divided, rather than fighting it out in court. A Court of Appeal case showed , however, that, where personal animosity persists, it is only too...

In Dispute with Your Neighbour? A Lawyer Will Help to Restore Peace

Disputes between neighbours frequently inflict enormous emotional and financial harm on all involved. A High Court dispute concerning use of a shared driveway showed why any lawyer would advise sensible negotiation as a far better alternative to...
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