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Same-sex marriage moves a step closer

The government has begun a consultation exercise, seeking views on how to lift the ban on same-sex couples marrying in a civil ceremony.

Fathers should be made to meet child maintenance responsibilities

A new report by think tank Policy Exchange has claimed that non-resident fathers on benefits should be made to work if they refuse to take financial responsibility for their children.

Charities voice concerns that legal changes will harm children

Six major children’s charities have joined together to voice concerns that children will be denied access to justice in proposed changes to legal aid.

Police given new guidance to disclose a history of violence

The home secretary has announced that police forces in Greater Manchester, Gwent, Nottinghamshire and Wiltshire are to pilot a new domestic violence disclosure scheme (DVDS).

Marriages and civil partnerships in England and Wales 2010

The Office for National Statistics has recently published a bulletin giving provisional annual statistics on marriages and civil partnerships that took place in England and Wales in 2010.

Authorities must tackle delays in adoption

Ofsted has warned local authorities that, under new adoption inspection arrangements, they will only be able to achieve an ‘outstanding’ judgement if they ensure all children identified for adoption are placed within twelve months. These new arrangements will be implemented in April this year.

IFLA launches family arbitration scheme

A new arbitration scheme has been launched to enable family disputes to be resolved without going through a formal court process.

Divorce is easier to cope with at an older age

A recent study by researchers at Michigan State University have found that divorce at a younger age hurts people’s health more than divorce later in life. According to Hui Liu, the author of the study, the findings suggest older people have more coping skills to deal with the stress of divorce.

More needs to be done to protect children from divorce

A recent research project in America has found that a 'good divorce' is almost impossible to achieve, in terms of the impact divorce has on children, reports the Daily Mail.

Concerns over government response to the Family Justice Review

Nagalro, the professional association for court guardians, has welcomed the government’s commitment to reducing delay in the family justice system, but has raised concerns that the proposals may harm children’s interests.

Commission to clarify the law on financial provision

The Law Commission has announced that it is to carry out a review of two aspects of the law that entitles married couples and civil partners to claim financial provision from one another on divorce or dissolution of their partnership.

Ministers outline proposals to reform family justice system

The government has published its response to the recommendations of the family justice review panel, in which it outlines proposed reforms to tackle delays, streamline processes and rebuild trust.

ILR - Leave to Remove-Form over Substance is what’s important

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

Leave to remove / international relocation - A Lawyer’s (all too personal) view

A commercial litigator presents a highly personal view of some perceived procedural and evidential flaws in leave to remove / international relocation cases, borne out by his own experiences in successfully defending an application through the family courts.

Where do children live when international relationships breakdown?

An article by Richard Gregorian, principal of Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors (www.gelaw.co.uk) and Gavin Emerson, Brief Strategic Therapist.

Family Law - Why be an expert only part of the time?

Following his article in Family Law Week (1) in which he argued for the greater use of non-legal skills in the family justice system, Richard Gregorian, family law solicitor, explains in more detail the practice model which enables psychiatrists, psychological strategists and other mental health care experts to have a far greater influence in determining the outcome of disputes involving children following marital or relationship breakdown whilst broadening their practice.

Call for mental health professionals to be more involved in the family justice system

Richard Gregorian, family law solicitor, explains the practice model which he advocates for enabling psychiatrists, psychological strategists and other mental health experts to have a far greater influence in determining the outcome of disputes involving children following marital or relationship breakdown whilst broadening their practice.

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) One of the more common reasons for the instruction of experts in family law cases is in the "proving" of alcoholism (alcohol dependence syndrome), harmful or problem drinking, or alcohol abuse (an issue which warrants a separate article). In extreme cases where the alcohol-related behaviour creates physical risk for the child (the stereotypical example being given of dropping the baby into hot bathwater), the facts may speak for themselves and the court able to protect the welfare of the child, through its range of available orders without requiring a formal diagnosis.Consistent with the abuse of alcohol in society, and the fact that physical manifestations of alcohol-related behaviour simply represent the tip of an iceberg, the main body of which is comprised of the emotional and psychological problems underlying such destructive behaviour, there are many more cases of seemingly otherwise "normal" working and middle class families where alcohol abuse is a concern expressed by one of the parents but where the children have not been directly impacted by its use.

Hope Given to Fathers in Family Law Cases where Mum Applies to Emigrate with the Kids

It is estimated that family breakdown directly affects approximately one-third of the UK population*. Many parents who find themselves in this situation dread the English family law courts, according to Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors (http://www.gelaw.co.uk ), a specialist in matrimonial and family law cases. Fears about the way the system works are particularly acute in cases where the primary carer – usually the mother – wants to emigrate overseas with the child (‘leave to remove cases’), against the wishes of the father. But the outcome of such cases may not be the foregone conclusion that most assume.

Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors announce alliance with the SCF group of companies

Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors is pleased to announce an exclusive alliance with the prestigious SCF group of international legal and financial services companies, based in Imperial Wharf, Fulham, London (www.scfgroup.com). The alliance will be known as SCF Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors.

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