Cohabitation: what has Australia got that England hasn’t?

A blog reader enquired recently about the cohabitation legislation in Australia, asking: “Are you familiar with it and its effects and what is your opinion?”

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

S (A child): Children orders must use statutory language

The case of S (A Child) [2010] EWCA Civ 705, recently reported on Family Law Week, involved a technical point of language.

Full post: Family Lore

In Loco Parentis

The independent think-tank Demos has today published its report on the care system, In Loco Parentis, commissioned by Barnardo's.

Full post: Family Lore

Neither mediation nor collaboration is a panacea

It seems that the proponents of mediation and collaborative law are very passionate about their subjects, but are they in danger of misleading the public as to just what mediation and collaboration can achieve?

Full post: Family Lore

ContactPoint Unscrapped

In May 2010 the Coalition Government published The Coalition: our programme for government, under the heading Civil Liberties that document states: “We will scrap the ID card scheme, the National Identity register and the ContactPoint database”.

Full post: WALL

Facebook and Adoption

The Guardian has a long and thoughtful article about the effect of social networking sites on adoption and the questions which the new media communication facilities are asking of adopters, of biological parents, of professionals and most of all of adopted children and young people.

Full post: WALL

Legal Aid under Threat

As anticipated the government has announced its review of legal aid.

Full post: LAG News Blog

Dads-to-be excluded from ultrasound scans

Rob Williams writes in the Guardian about the practice at Basildon hospital of excluding fathers to be from ultrasound scans. He suspect[s] that the policy to exclude men from the scanning room is rooted in a belief that men are not important to the process of bringing a baby into the world.

Full post: Pink Tape

Residence order made in favour of grandparents despite appeal by mother

In D (Children), a mother appealed against a residence order in favour of her sons’ grandparents.

Full post: Family Law at Lawson-West LLP

Fathers’ rights and family law in 2010: could every day be Father’s Day?

In the case (AR (A Child: Relocation) [2010] EWHC 1346) Mr Justice Mostyn had to make a decision about whether or not a mother could remove her children from the jurisdiction of the Court, so that they could go and live in France.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Musings on new fangled equality

Just a thought. I’m not trying to be controversial or nuffing. But it did occur to me today that whilst the clamour for a presumption of equal parenting is all well and good (I agree its a solution that should be given serious consideration in most cases, but not that this should be elevated to a presumption) its something which is really completely novel as far as the history of the family is concerned.

Full post: Pink Tape

Legal Lookalikes

There are a growing number of quasi-legal services out there for litigants in person involved in family proceedings, and it is no surprise that many of them are advertised via the internet.

Full post: Pink Tape

“If you walk through the courtroom door, the outcome cannot be guaranteed”

I have been reading a judgement that has recently been handed down by brand new appointment to the High Court Bench, Mr Justice Mostyn.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Lesbian partner not liable to maintain child

If you have parental responsibility for a child then logic would suggest that you should be responsible for maintaining the child. Not so, said Mr Justice Moylan, according to this report in The Telegraph yesterday.

Full post: Family Lore

Are we nearly there yet...? Media representatives bored by experience of access to family courts

It is now just over a year since the family courts in England and Wales opened their doors to accredited members of the media.

Full post: Pannone Family Blog

Vetting and Barring comes to a Shuddering Halt

Theresa May has announced that the ISA (no – not a savings scheme but the Independent Safeguarding Authority – a QUANGO) is to be “put on hold” and “scaled back”.

Full post: WALL

Divorce rights or wrongs?

There are few absolute rights in life, though the Americans have done their best by creating a Bill of all the ones they could think of. So it is difficult to understand why people think they have cast-iron rights when it comes to divorce and separation.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Litigation funding: are brokers really “rescuers”?

I was interested to read in The Times that a barristers’ chambers in London has set up a company that will arrange funding in divorce cases.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

How to improve family law

There is much talk these days of reforming the family justice system. Well, here is my five-point plan.

Full post: Family Lore

Divorcing a bully – and seeking an Indemnity Costs order

Suppose that you are going through a very nasty financial case in the course of your divorce.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Are the family law courts letting children down?

In a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper the former president of the family law division and head of justice for England and Wales, Mark Potter, claimed that children are being put in danger because the family court service is facing an "acute situation of crisis".

Full post: Pannone Family Blog

Big Fish or JAWS

“Professor Eileen Munro is a big fish poised to plunge into the Tory tank”, so said C0mmunity Care in April. Well, now it’s the Coalition tank but Eileen is still there and her review of child protection in England has now been announced.

Full post: WALL

The Guardian’s Tale

When the Children’s Guardian system started in 1985 in England and Wales the ratio of practitioners to administrators was probably about 20:1.

Full post: WALL

Fathers' rights: Some good ideas, but also some bad eggs

Continuing the fathers' rights theme of my last two posts, Lucy Reed at Pink Tape has posted about the relaunch of Fathers 4 Justice, but asks how they, as the 'official campaign' should "deal with the splitters and splinter groups that persistently damage its reputation and undermine the progress it is striving to make".

Full post: Family Lore

Contact Activities – the big giveaway!

Contact Activity Directions – remember them? Yes, the little used Contact Activity provisions have received a bit of a boost as of 1 April: they are now provided free of charge to any parent ordered to attend such an activity.

Full post: Pink Tape

Family litigation & death: what happens next?

One of the saddest realities of family litigation is that a death is not necessarily the end of the arguments.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Collaborative law: is it just the "trend of the week"?

"Collaborative law" seems to be the buzzphrase of the moment in family law circles (certainly collaborative lawyers are always eager to sing its praises), but just how important is collaborative law, and what role is it likely to play in the future?

Full post: Family Lore

Kernott v Jones may have been the correct decision, but was it the RIGHT decision?

I reported briefly on Kernott v Jones in this post, shortly after the judgment was published... Now that I have had more time to consider, I thought that I would look at this important case in a little more detail, at least in relation to its implications.

Full post: Family Lore

New online resource

As national family week gets underway, Resolution is launching a new online advice centre with information on the legal aspects of splitting up, as well as advice on parenting apart, sorting out money and arranging child maintenance.

Full post: Judith's Divorce Blog