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New funding to support separated couples

The government has recently announced that it will be supporting ten new projects to help separated couples resolve grievances and agree financial and parenting arrangements in their children's best interests.

Leave to Remove and the Payne Discipline – Breaking the Impasse

In this two-part article Richard Gregorian and Gavin Emerson of Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors explain the difficulties they perceive with the arguments relied on by critics of Payne v Payne and why the focus in defending these critically important proceedings should be on ensuring due process. The second part of the article will appear next week.

Leave to Remove – Improving Due Process

Richard Gregorian and Gavin Emerson of Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors argue that the focus in defending leav to remove proceedings should be on ensuring due process.

S (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 454: Leave to remove/international relocation

Showing how unique the circumstances can be in these types of cases, the leave to remove application was by the father in this instance and related to 2 children aged 16 ½ and 12. At 1st instance, the father was granted permission to relocate with the children even though mother had residence and was the primary carer and he only had the stereotypical alternate weekend and one day midweek contact. Both children expressed a wish to relocate to Canada with their father. Indeed after the permission was granted the eldest left so the application was essentially whether the youngest should also be allowed to relocate. That depended upon an assessment of the youngest child's needs quite separate from the understandable driver of keeping both siblings together. On that basis it was held that the child the subject of the appeal (“C”) should remain in England.

Re D (Children) [2010] EWCA Civ 50: Leave to Remove/International Relocation

Re AR (A Child: Relocation) [2010] EWHC 1346

This is often quoted as the case which confirms judicial unhappiness with the current Payne V Payne discipline in deciding leave to remove cases.

Re (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 1137: Leave to Remove/International Relocation

This was a full appeal hearing by a father who had been unsuccessful in opposing the applicant mother's relocation application to Australia. This case is important because it looks at the effect of whether due process evidentially had been respected. There had been no CAFCASS report and the father alleged the mothers mental health had not been so serious as to persuade him from making an application to remove the child from mother’s care.

W (Children) [2011] EWCA Civ 345: leave to remove

This case is important important for a number of reasons.

The case of R & another v A [2011] EWHC 1158 - Leave to Remove/International Relocation of Children

Following a recent intensity in the number of leave to remove cases, the case of R & another v A was decided by Sir Nicholas Wall, The President of the Family Division.

Implications for testing in London Borough of Richmond v B and Others

Proving "Alcoholism" (Alcohol Dependence Syndrome) in Family Law: the Implications for testing in London Borough of Richmond v B and Others [2010] EWHC 2903 (Fam) (Mr Justice Moylan)

C (A Child) [2011] EWCA Civ 72 – Leave to Remove/International Relocation

This case is another illustration of the fact that if judges have concerns about granting permission for relocation-in this case on the grounds of the applicant mother's negative feelings towards the father then it will balance out the maternal distress argument in order to allow the unique features of that case.  This case was a permission to appeal case which meant that the applicant mother did not even get off the blocks in seeking to reverse the trial judges refusal to permit the child concerned to relocate in order that she could live with her English born husband who had lived in Australia for 23 years.

Instructing mental health experts in family court proceedings

In order to best instruct and interact with a court-appointed expert psychiatrist or psychological strategist in family law proceedings, your legal adviser must not only have sufficient expertise to understand how those professionals approach their task but also how the subject matter of their assessment (be it one or both of the spouses, cohabitees or parents) may also approach what is essentially a high-stakes, involuntary assessment of their mental state/personality. 

Separation rates in married and cohabiting couples

A recent analysis of Office for National Statistics data has led pro-marriage think tank the Marriage Foundation to conclude that unmarried couples are set to overtake married couples as the main source of family breakdown by the end of 2013. This is despite the fact that unmarried couples only account for only one in five parents.

Lack of awareness of non-court based divorce solutions

There is “patchy understanding” and “ill-founded scepticism” about alternatives to going to court during break-ups according to a new poll commissioned by family law body Resolution.

Majority of fathers keep in touch with non-resident children

New research has revealed the welcome news that 87% of fathers who don’t live with their children continue to have regular contact with them.

New standards aim to promote quality expert evidence

The Government has announced that vulnerable children will receive additional help through the introduction of new national standards, which will raise the quality of expert evidence in family courts and end unnecessary delays.

Cafcass transfer to the Ministry of Justice

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is to transfer to the Ministry of Justice in April 2014. According to Family Justice Minister Lord McNally, the move will allow the welfare of children and families to be brought to the heart of the court system.

Charity tentatively welcomes victims’ code

Women’s Aid has welcomed the news that domestic violence will be considered ‘one of the most serious crimes’ under the newly released Victims’ Code, but warns that police responses to domestic violence are still failing women in many areas.

Lack of awareness of legal aid for family mediation

The impact on courts and families of legal aid reforms implemented in April 2013 are already becoming evident, says umbrella body National Family Mediation (NFM), with an increased number of court applications and a drop in the number of referrals to mediation.

Charities call on Lords to ensure homes for care leavers

Forty charities, other organisations and academics have joined together to call on the House of Lords to support a once-a-generation chance to change the law so that fostered young people in England can stay with their foster carers until the age of 21.

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