Child Maintenance Service must be less ‘tentative’

May 2, 2017 39 comments

fostering and adoption

The Child Maintenance Service (CMS) is too “tentative” in its approach to enforcement and must take a stronger approach to enforcement, MPs have insisted. The CMS was launched in 2012 as a replacement for the Child Support Agency (CSA). The idea was to encourage parents to deal directly with each other following a separation rather…

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Probate fee increase dropped ahead of election

April 21, 2017 0 comments

family law

A proposed increase in administration fees for probate cases has been dropped ahead of this summer’s snap general election. The Ministry of Justice claims that there is not enough time for this legislation to make its way through Parliament before its dissolution in May. That was originally supposed to be the month that these changes…

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‘Free childcare’: 50,000 could miss out

April 19, 2017 1 comment

family law

As many as 50,000 children could miss out on a place on the government’s upcoming free childcare scheme. From September parents of three and four year-olds will be eligible for 30 hours’ worth of childcare each week at no charge. The Department for Education estimates that around 390,000 children will qualify for a place on…

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Government to slash bereavement benefits

March 17, 2017 0 comments

family law

Bereaved families could find themselves up to £12,000 worse off following government cuts to benefit payments. This week the House of Commons voted in favour of the new Bereavement Support Payment Regulations. Under these rules, parents who have lost their partner will only be entitled to support for 18 months. Currently, when a parent is…

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A difficult decision, an expensive row, and more

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March 10, 2017 0 comments

family law

A week in family law The government has dropped controversial plans to allow councils to apply for exemptions from children’s social care law, the Department for Education has confirmed. The plans would have allowed local authorities to seek exemptions from statutory duties on child protection for up to six years, to allow them to test…

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Government ‘ignoring’ free childcare concerns

March 10, 2017 0 comments

family law

The head of a major nursery organisation has criticised Chancellor Philip Hammond for failing to mention concerns over government funding in yesterday’s budget. From September the parents of young children will become entitled to 30 hours of free childcare per week, but many ‘early years’ providers claim the funding on offer from the government will…

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Government policies are ‘failing children’

March 9, 2017 3 comments

family law

The government’s “short-term, inconsistent and untrustworthy” policies are failing children throughout the country, a former Commissioner claims. Speaking before he was scheduled to give a keynote address at the annual conference of charity What About The Children? (WATCh?), Sir Albert Aynsley-Green said a “wholesale cultural change of attitude” towards child policy was required. Professor Aynsley-Green…

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What exactly will ‘legal support’ mean?

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March 8, 2017 1 comment

family law

It’s a subtle change in terminology, but it could contain huge meaning, and serious implications for many thousands of people who find themselves embroiled in the justice system every year. Previously we have had ‘legal aid’, which essentially meant a full legal service, involving not just advice but also representation at court. We also had…

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A stealth tax on bereaved families

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March 8, 2017 0 comments

family law

This week the government announced that from May 2017 they will be reforming their fees for all Grant of Probate applications despite receiving a majority opposition to their proposals. Indeed many have criticised their plans as a ‘stealth tax on bereaved families’ and it is interesting to note that whilst there has been much focus…

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