Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
The need for proportionality and the ‘Covid impact’
Simon Wilkinson, Parklane PlowdenThe Covid-19 pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Within the courts and tribunals service there has been a plethora of guidance since March 2020 which...
Local authority input into private law proceedings, part II
Mani Singh Basi, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingsLucy Logan Green, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingThis article considers the interplay between private and public law proceedings, focusing on the law relating...
Time for change (II)
Lisa Parkinson, Family mediation trainer, co-founder and a Vice-President of the Family Mediators AssociationThe family law community needs to respond to the urgent call for change from the...
How Can I Wed Thee? – Let Me Change the Ways: the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on ‘Weddings’ Law (2020)
Professor Chris Barton, A Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association, Academic Door Tenant, Regent Chambers, Stoke-on-TrentThis article considers the Paper's 91 Consultation Questions...
Consultation on the proposed transfer of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of costs to the Legal Aid Agency
The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the proposed transfer from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service to the Legal Aid Agency of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of...
View all articles

David Hodson on International Family Law: Practising for the Future

Sep 29, 2018, 17:38 PM
Slug : DavidHodson16122010
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Dec 16, 2010, 07:05 AM
Article ID : 93283

David Hodson is presently on holiday. Hannah Budd is a solicitor at The International Family Law Group. She acts in complex family law cases, often with an international element.

Hannah BuddThe overriding "first to issue" rule of Brussels II and the importance placed by some other jurisdictions worldwide who and where the divorce proceedings started, and the potential ramifications of getting that wrong, means that practising in international family law brings additional pressures over and above the already significant stresses and strains experienced by the domestic  family law practitioner.

Any family law practice that has been instructed in relation to an international case or are marketing themselves as international should give very careful consideration as to whether they are equipped to deal with the particular needs of such cases, both in terms of experience and  practically, and of international clients and the issues concerning their children.

The Law Society Family Law Protocol (2nd edn) picks up on the particular issues at paragraph 1.8.1 and the importance of practitioners keeping up to date with the latest developments in the area and feeling comfortable with dealing with cross border issues.

Fifteen years ago in M v M (Financial Provision after Foreign Divorce) [1994] 1 FLR 339 Thorpe J commented that "cases with an international dimension... require wisdom and experience that can only be gained from specialist practice in this comparatively limited field". That closed circle has fortunately now ended with the massive increase in the work.

In embarking on international cases firms should give particular consideration as to whether they have the practical support structures in place. These vary from their proximity to the court in order to issue a petition expeditiously (as in some jurisdiction races even the precise time of issue is  fundamental) to whether they have the appropriate text books, periodicals and precedents within the office.

Practices also need the capacity to deal with the work. This involves the physical time to do the work, (which often requires other case work to be dropped at short notice) and  the ability to work out of hours as these cases often require due to time differences and their urgency. Availability of staff at a number of levels is also important - partners, assistant solicitors, trainees and support staff all have their crucial roles in international cases - from initial instructions to drafting the documents and the inevitable wait to go before the District Judge of the day to have issue of the petition expedited.

Firms also need the necessary contacts in jurisdictions available at their fingertips - advice is needed almost immediately and waiting two or three days to respond to an email simply will not suffice.

International work is escalating and 2011 will bring more cases than 2010. The work is demanding - and also very interesting. For those in our early years in the family law profession, it is the future of our law, and our way of working. These are exciting times to develop a family law career.

Categories :
  • Articles
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from