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Family Law News

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Fee for Converting Civil Partnership to Marriage Temporarily Waived

Same sex couples in civil partnerships who wish to convert to marriage will be able to do so without a fee for a year from December. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid laid draft regulations before Parliament confirming that the fee for converting from a civil partnership relationship to a marriage relationship will be waived for a limited one year period.

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Launch of New Child Maintenance System Ensures Fairness and Encourages Co-operation

The new child Maintenance system, launched 30 June 2014, is designed to encourage families to work together whilst maintaining a subsidised service for those who need it most.

The previous system under the Child Support agency will be phased out over the next 3 years as its current cases gradually close. Parents will now be able to choose between making arrangements for child maintenance amongst themselves or using the new Child Maintenance service.

A one-off £20 application fee to use the Child Maintenance Service has been introduced, as well as enforcement charges of up to £300 for parents who have to be pursued for Child Maintenance.

Parents who chose to use the Direct Pay service to set up direct payments between the parents will pay no ongoing fees. The Department for Work and Pensions released figures which show that, already, 39% of parents within the Child Maintenance Service are using Direct Pay. The alternative is having the state collect and pay maintenance on their behalf - for which there will be an ongoing fee to be introduced in August this year.

The aim of the ongoing charges for parents who want the state to collect and pay maintenance on their behalf is to encourage parents to work together to make their own arrangements, freeing up the Child Maintenance Service to concentrate on the most challenging cases and get the money flowing where it hasn’t in the past.

Contact Our Specialist Family Law Solicitors

If you need specialist advice on child maintenance or any family law matter then call us on 0151 909 5811 or click here to make an online enquiry.

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Calls for Same-sex Marriage in Jersey

As part of its campaign to ensure that anyone who wants a wedding is able to have one, the TUC has written to Jersey’s chief minister to ask him to support the introduction of equal marriage on the island.

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Forced Marriage is now a Crime

Forcing someone to marry against their will is now a criminal offence in England and Wales, the Government has announced.

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Latest Figures from Cafcass

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has recently released figures on its case work for the month of May.

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Silence on Domestic Violence Leaves Women at Risk

A coalition of organisations campaigning for changes in the law to protect women from domestic violence has criticised the Government for failing to include the issue in the Queen’s speech.

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Calls for More Foster Carers in England

A fostering charity is calling on people across England to think about whether they could become foster carers.

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Law Society Intervenes in Court of Appeal Case

The Court of Appeal has recently decided that the Legal Aid Agency - formally the Legal Service Commission (LSC) - was wrong to refuse to pay in full from the legal aid budget for an expert witness report ordered for a child by the family court.

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Guidance to Help Prosecutors Spot Signs of Domestic Violence

The Crown Prosecution Service has produced new draft guidance  explaining the potential impact of domestic abuse on different groups, to help prosecutors adopt a tailored approach that takes into account each particular group’s support needs.

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Stepfamilies in England and Wales

A recent release from the Office for National Statistics has revealed the number of stepfamilies in England and Wales, and given an interesting insight into their composition.

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Half of domestic violence victims experience financial abuse

Recently released figures have revealed the high levels of financial, sexual, and emotional abuse that women experience as part of domestic violence.

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Single Family Court becomes a reality

The 22nd of April saw the introduction of a number of major reforms to the family justice system.

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Government to issue divorce guidance

The Government is to act on one of the recommendations made in the Law Commission’s ‘Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements’ report, and produce new guidelines for divorcing couples on what they should expect when property and income is distributed by the courts.

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Busiest divorce courts revealed

Courts in Birmingham, Weston-super-mare and Coventry are the top three busiest divorce courts in England and Wales, according to new Government figures. Next on the list are courts in Romford, Leicester and Bristol as well as Norwich, Leeds, Chelmsford and Manchester.

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Rainbow flag to be flown for first same sex weddings

The rainbow flag will fly above the Cabinet Office and Scotland Office this weekend as the first same sex weddings take place in Britain.

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Children and Families Act 2014 gains royal assent

The new Children and Families Act has received royal assent and will introduce changes to the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children, better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities, and help for parents to balance work and family life.

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Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme rolled out nationally

The 8th of March this year marked International Women's Day and saw the start of the national roll out of Clare's Law, also known as the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, which allows police to disclose details of an abusive partner.

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New rules for social workers following adoption reform

Newly published guidance will help social workers navigate the reformed adoption system when considering adoption for vulnerable children, says the Government.

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Making it easier for separating couples

When married couples or civil partners separate, the courts have a wide discretion to make financial orders. One important element of those orders is to ensure that the financial needs of both partners are met.

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Women’s Aid challenges ONS statistics on domestic violence

The national domestic violence charity Women’s Aid has challenged statistics released by the ONS which suggest men and women are equally affected by domestic violence.

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