2.5 million children live with alcoholic parents

February 16, 2017 3 comments

family law

As many as 2.5 million children live with alcoholic parents in the UK, MPs and peers have claimed. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Children of Alcoholics insists that such youngsters are more likely to consider suicide, develop eating disorders or develop alcohol problems of their own.  This week, the group launched a manifesto in the…

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23 Tories back relationship lessons in school

February 12, 2017 14 comments

family law

Twenty-three Conservative MPs have backed a measure to introduce mandatory sex and relationship lessons in secondary schools. The group, which includes five former cabinet ministers, have reportedly expressed their support for ‘relationship education’ to be added to the National Curriculum. Education Secretary Justine Greening is among the MPs who are pushing for this change. She…

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Children’s rights, Cafcass figures and more

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January 13, 2017 0 comments

family law

A week in family law Perhaps it has something to do with the time of year, but there haven’t been an awful lot of family law stories of importance this week. Still, I have come up with the following. The continuing saga of the problem of alleged perpetrators of domestic violence cross-examining their alleged victims…

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The future of civil partnerships?

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January 13, 2017 1 comment

relationships, family life

On Friday 13 January, Conservative MP Tim Loughton stood up in the House of Commons and quoted some comments I recently gave Solicitors Journal. The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham told the House: “Last week, there was a very supportive article in the Solicitors Journal, which referred to the current anomaly as “discriminatory”. Marilyn Stowe,…

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MPs to examine Sharia courts

October 31, 2016 2 comments

London, family law

A committee of MPs will begin an inquiry into the role of Sharia courts this week. On Tuesday, the first day of evidence gathering will be held by the House of Commons Home Affairs Select Committee in the Thatcher Room of Portcullis House. The MPs hope to gain a better understanding of how Sharia courts…

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‘No fault divorce’ briefing paper published

October 1, 2016 6 comments

family law

The House of Commons has published a briefing paper which explains the arguments for and against ‘no fault divorce’. It was written by a researcher at the Commons Library, a government information service that provides impartial analysis to Members of Parliament. The paper included information about divorce law in England and Wales. Author Catherine Fairbairn…

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Child maintenance system under scrutiny

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July 28, 2016 5 comments

family law

One would have hoped that, 25 years since its inception, the child support/maintenance system would at last have evolved into something that worked smoothly and did not require constant monitoring. Sadly, the history of the system has shown it staggering from one crisis to another, despite the almost continual tinkering by successive governments, desperate to…

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MP claims UK law separates families

March 15, 2016 58 comments

family law

A “discriminatory” British immigration law is responsible for splitting up loving families, a Welsh politician has claimed. This week Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts said that the wage requirement for Britons to bring their foreign spouses to the country “prejudices against” those who are less well off. Under rules introduced in 2012, a British citizen…

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Common law marriage – the myth that won’t go away

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February 16, 2016 2 comments

family law

The general public may (quite understandably) hold many misconceptions about the law. However, there can surely be few misconceptions that are so widely held and repeated than the myth of the “common law marriage”. Accordingly, anything that helps to dispel that myth must be welcomed. The latest such thing is a House of Commons briefing…

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Call for end to divorce ‘charade’

October 13, 2015 0 comments

divorce, decree absolute, wedding ring

The “charade” some couples are forced to perpetrate in order to secure a divorce must end, Resolution has declared. Of the 118,000 divorces in England and Wales every year, 57 per cent involve one partner accusing the other of unreasonable behaviour or adultery. In current English law, these are two of the five possible ways…

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