conference

Are settlement conferences the future of family law?

Settlement conferences originated in Canada as an innovative and less adversarial model for reaching decisions in public and private family law cases. The Ministry of Justice has been running a two year pilot from 2016 to 2018, to understand how settlement conferences might successfully operate in the family courts of England and Wales. In August 2016, former President of the …

alienation

Parental alienation increase demands fresh guidance from CAFCASS

Cafcass – the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service – have released new guidance designed to help their welfare officers identify and appropriately assess cases which may feature “parental alienation”.  For many years now, those charged with looking after children’s welfare have been aware of parental alienation in family law proceedings, which has been supplemented by a growing …

varying

Varying a Child Arrangements Order

It is common to find separated parents in dispute over the terms of contact with the children following the end of half-term or other school holiday. Naturally, following informal discussions between the parents, it frequently leads to one parent to feel there is no alternative but to apply to court to vary the terms of an existing child arrangements order. …

contact

Applications for contact by unrepresented parties swell family court system

The number of parents being forced to represent themselves in court has more than doubled in the past six years, following the scything cuts in legal aid. The latest government data revealed in 2017, 23,881 parents had no legal representation when making their application in private law proceedings for a child arrangements order, such as contact with a child . Since 2011, this figure has …

grandparents

Improved rights for grandparents on the horizon

Grandparents estranged from their grandchildren following the separation of the parents have warmly welcomed the suggestion from Justice Minister, Lucy Frazer QC, that their standing in law will be reconsidered, with a view to providing them improved rights and protections to see their grandchildren. Whitehall has agreed to review the law surrounding contact between grandparents and the children of separating …

variation

Variation of arrangements for contact with a child

Many separated families find that agreed arrangements for contact and other child matters need constant review, often being tweaked and changed to reflect the changing dynamic of the separated family unit. Often these types of variation can be relatively small, such as the location or time for collection or drop off. However, there are occasions when a variation cannot be …

conflict

CAFCASS develop response to high conflict cases and those of parental alienation

For separating parents, deciding where the children live and how much time they spend with their ex is often their first concern, but ultimately, can be hard to agree. In circumstances of conflict and emotion, a child may not wish to see the non-resident other parent and there are sadly circumstances where this is encouraged or facilitated by the resident parent, …

cost

Cost of raising children laid bare by children’s charity CPAG

Child Poverty Action Group have released their latest report illustrating the cost of raising a child to the age of 18, based on a “minimum standard of living”. The report can be found here in full. The report works to the definition that the “… minimum standard of living in the United Kingdom today includes, but is more than just, …

grandchildren

Grandchildren and grandparent relationship to be enshrined in law in the near future?

This week,there has been wide ranging, media reports on the cross-party support to enshrine the right of a grandparent to see their grandchildren after a divorce or separation between parents. Changes to legislation would be required, as grandparents are currently required to obtain the court’s permission to make an application under section 8 of Children Act 1989 for contact, unless the …