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Clare’s Law to be rolled out nationally

Clare's Law – a scheme allowing police to disclose details of an abusive partners’ past – is to be rolled out across England and Wales.

The future of civil partnerships

The Government is currently carrying out a consultation exercise over the operation and future of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 in England and Wales. The consultation is seeking views on civil partnership and its continuing role when all couples – whether they are of the same sex or opposite sex – are now able to marry.

Matrimonial property, needs and agreements

The Law Commission has published a report in which it makes recommendations regarding important aspects of the law relating to the financial aspects of divorce and of the dissolution of civil partnership.

Family court statistics

The Ministry of Justice has published statistics on cases that are received and processed through the court system of England and Wales in the second quarter of 2013 (July to September).

Mediation is better - couples told as divorce rate rises

Thousands of couples who separate each year have been urged to spurn confrontational court battles and instead to try mediation to sort out disputes over finances and children – as new figures show divorce rates increased last year.

Divorce statistics for England and Wales

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published annual statistics on divorces that took place in England and Wales in 2012, following court orders. The statistics do not include divorces to couples usually resident in England and Wales which took place abroad.

Current trends in family law and divorce

The latest matrimonial survey from Grant Thornton has given some interesting insights into recent trends in divorce and other areas of family law across the UK.

Courts take ‘child-centred’ approach in international relocation cases

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court has made the judgment that a child’s ‘state of mind’ is relevant when making assessments in cases where there is dispute over which country a child should live.

Judgment on family arbitration award

Family law organisation Resolution has welcomed the recent judgment from Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, in the case of S v S, in which he upholds the decision (award) made through a private arbitration. This award was made under the scheme established in England and Wales by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators (IFLA).

New law to promote mediation for separating couples

Separating parents and couples will be helped to avoid stressful court battles under a new law being introduced by the government.

Incidences of parental abduction double

Figures released recently by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and charity Reunite have revealed that the number of parental child abduction and custody cases has more than doubled over the past ten years, with almost two children being abducted abroad each day.

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.

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