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Archive | Family Opinion
More support pledged to adoptive parents as the number of babies available for adoption drops

Recent years have seen visible campaigns to drive more individuals and couples wishing to become parents to consider the adoption route.

From the beginning of May 2015, the £19.3 million Adoption Support Fund became available nationwide however, it has been reported that the number of babies made subject to special guardianships, and therefore placed with extended family members, friends or foster parents rather than adopters, has tripled.

Adoption has changed. As same sex couples gain the right to marry, and England and Wales allowing single people to adopt, there are more prospective adopters waiting to start or grow their family.

Landmark ruling may open floodgates to historical financial claims decades post-divorce

The Supreme Court has recently allowed an appeal which could make a lot of divorcees very nervous about their financial position, even if their divorce was finalised decades previously.

The highest court in England and Wales ruled in March 2015 that a former wife could bring a claim for financial provision against her ex-husband despite the couple having been divorced some 20 years earlier.

Should grandparents have to fight to see their grandchildren when couples choose to part ways?

According to the Justice Minister as many as seven grandparents a day apply for court orders simply to gain the right to see their grandchildren when the parents have divorced or separated.

This is sad news as the reality is that more and more frequently, grandparents are finding themselves taking responsibility for more of the childcare as the number of parents working full time increases.

Forced marriage and the law – how individuals can protect themselves

Panorama recently highlighted the real issue of forced marriage which sadly, is still commonplace in some communities in the UK and the programme followed the plight of 19 year old ‘Sana’.

A British Asian, Sana was taken to Pakistan under the guise by her parents of attending university there however, while there, she overheard them discussing her being married to a man she hadn’t even met.

Silent Witness – was it fair to depict social worker Louise Marsh as the villain?

The recent two part episode of Silent Witness created a bit of a storm on social media with social workers, and other viewers alike, complaining about what we agree was an unfair portrayal of social workers.

The crime drama focused its latest episode on child protection and social services with the estranged stepfather of a teenager, whose care social worker Louise Marsh managed, was found dead in his car.

Report shows that children of divorcing couples suffer at exam time

A recent report from Resolution, the 6,500 strong association of family lawyers, has highlighted that the stress of divorce can lead to children of separating couples achieving poor exam results.

The survey, involving 500 children and young people aged between 14 and 22, found that almost two thirds of those whose parents divorced said that the break-up affected their exams. In the UK around 100,000 under 16s experienced the emotional turmoil of divorcing parents each year.

Cultural disputes increase in child care proceedings as migration to the UK rises

The number of people migrating to the UK is on the increase according to figures from the Office of National Statistics which estimated that 243,000 moved to the UK during the year up to the end of March 2014, a significant increase from 175,000 in the previous 12 months.

As the social landscape changes, with a notable rise in people coming from Eastern European countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, cultural disputes in child care proceedings are becoming more prevalent.

High Court judge puts financial dampner on new romances during divorce proceedings

A recent ruling by a High Court judge has sent a clear message to women undergoing divorce proceedings: stay single.

Mr Justice Mostyn warned wives against starting a new relationship before their divorce is finalised as family judges would take into account any new relationship when calculating a fair financial settlement on the assumption that they would, in time, cohabit with their new partner.

The ruling was made during divorce proceedings involving a couple who had an adopted child together, the mother worked as a journalist while the father didn’t work but had inherited millions ensuing a long legal battle over how assets would be split following the breakdown of their marriage.

Estranged partners could benefit more than children under new rules if the deceased doesn’t leave a Will

Changes to the intestacy rules, which govern how an estate is divided if an individual dies without a valid Will, came into effect on 1st October. The changes highlight the importance of having a Will in place to protect assets and valuables for those who have separated from their partner but are yet to formalise a divorce.

Without a Will in place in these circumstances, estranged partners will now inherit more than the children and if the partnership didn’t produce any children, the estranged spouse or civil partner will inherit the deceased’s whole estate.

As child abuse cases increasingly hit the headlines, how do you spot the signs of a vulnerable child?

It was sad to read the story in the press recently about a young lady in Bradford who had suffered years of sexual abuse at the hands of her own father. It was quoted that she had been raped more than 1,000 times for seven years from the age of 10.

This shocking story came to light after a £160,000 compensation payout was won against Bradford City Council as the local authority admitted a ‘breach of duty’ in not removing her from the family home.

Will children of separating couples become increasingly vulnerable as more parents opt for a DIY divorce?

A recent drop in private family law cases could mean that more separating parents are taking the law into their own hands when it comes to childcare arrangements.

Recently published statistics by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service reveal a 36% year-on-year drop in the number of family cases involving children. These figures follow a report from the HM Courts and Tribunals Service released earlier this year which found a sharp increase in the number of people representing themselves in the family courts in the UK.

Feature – ‘til retirement do us part

Divorce in later life is sadly a modern day reality with recent official statistics showing a rise in marriage breakdowns in the over 60s.

Societal changes can be partly blamed for this as in previous generations, financial dependency formed some of the glue which arguably kept some couples together but this is no longer the case with men and women now enjoying relatively equal independence and opportunities.

Religion and Divorce

There were reports in the press last week that a British woman tried unsuccessfully to sue her former solicitors for negligence due to the fact that they failed to advise her that finalising her divorce would inevitably cause her marriage to end. The response from the general public on Twitter and other online channels seems…

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