Divorce and children: how “conciliation hearings” can heal disagreements – by guest blogger Stephen Hopwood

January 22, 2010 1 comment

Conciliation hearings

Divorce cases that involve disagreements about children are often described as “difficult”. Emotions run high; at a local level the judiciary may have to fall upon its own judgement when asked to choose one suitable option above others. Bitterness, heartache and large legal bills can result. Is there another way? I think so. The majority…

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New legal rights for grandparents?

October 27, 2009 15 comments

Many grandparents are surprised to discover that they do not have automatic rights of residence or contact with their grandchildren. But could their rights be about to improve? This week it is my turn not to criticise, but to praise the Conservative Party. Newspapers have reported that the Conservatives, if they win the next election,…

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Divorce and its Effects on Children

August 17, 2009 2 comments

Dirk Lindner’s edgy portrait of Jean-Christophe Novelli and Novelli’s daughter Christina caught my eye as I was scanning The Sunday Times Magazine yesterday. I began to read the interview and I was soon hooked. It was a cracking piece, featuring the well-known chef and his 22-year-old daughter, an aspiring singer-songwriter. Novelli married young, had little…

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Divorce and Grandparents’ Rights

August 14, 2009 2 comments

The Mature Times asked me to write about divorce and grandparents’ rights. My article also offers advice to grandparents who are caught up in such a situation and are concerned that they may lose contact with their grandchildren. On family breakdown the bulk of attention will, of course, focus upon the couple and their children….

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Why I am horrified by the Centre for Social Justice’s proposals

July 16, 2009 11 comments

Every Family Matters, a report prepared for the Conservative Party by Iain Duncan Smith’s ‘Centre for Social Justice’ think tank, received a good deal of press attention at the weekend. The report recommends a compulsory, three-month “cooling off” period for couples who were set upon divorce. It proposes the founding of “family relationship hubs”: a…

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