Article Category: Family Law – Insight & Opinion

Implacable hostility to child contact

In a recent case Lord Justice MacFarlane has set out the approach to be taken by courts in cases when parents, usually mothers, are totally opposed to child contact taking place. The description given to such parents is ‘implacably hostile’. The approach taken by the courts is as follows: Where it is in the best… Read more »

Spousal maintenance is for life…or maybe not?

On divorce, a spouse can be ordered to pay spousal maintenance if their partner is dependent on their income. But how secure is your maintenance order and can it be changed? Courts can make maintenance orders limited in time for example, maintenance for five years to enable you to re-train and secure full time employment…. Read more »

Separating parents: putting your children’s needs first

It was recently announced that Manchester-based actor and comedian John Thomson is separating from his wife after 10 years of marriage. The ex-couple who have two children have declared their intentions to remain friends and co-parent their daughters. Publicly declaring such intentions is a good start to any future care arrangements for your children. However, in… Read more »

Cohabitation Rights Bill: will it pass?

The Cohabitation Rights Bills is currently being debated in the House of Lords. On a recent survey carried out by YouGov of more than 2000 adults 51% of women think they share all the same rights as married couples when cohabiting compared with 42% of men. Cohabitation between couples is increasing, according to the Office… Read more »

Hands off my Steinway!

This week in the high court Justice Holman, a judge in the family division, heard a battle between American lawyer Richard Fields, 59 and his fifth wife Ekaterina Parfenova, the former 42 year old beauty queen. They have been married 10 years and are arguing over his multi-million pound assets, in particular his Steinway baby… Read more »

Are cohabitees in a weak position?

More couples are living together than ever before. It is estimated that there are nearly three million cohabiting households in Britain. Unfortunately, the law for cohabitees is outdated and on some occasions unfair. The law desperately needs changing and the Co-habitation Rights Bill introduced by Lord Marks, has recently had its second reading in the… Read more »

Mediation: can it really be free?

The Ministry Of Justice has recently announced that some mediation sessions will be funded by the government, but all that is on offer is that separating couples will be offered one free session if one of them is already in receipt of legal aid for help with mediation. In reality though, few cases are resolved… Read more »

Children to be seen and heard

Simon Hughes, the Justice Minister has recently indicated that any child over the age of ten, in respect of whose family Judges are making decisions, will have the opportunity to speak to the Judge to make their views and feelings known. Many people will think that this is a change to the law and separated… Read more »

Abduction of your children: How do you get them back?

Over the years there have been numerous cases regarding the abduction of children. Most of the cases have involved a parent taking a child or children back to the country from where the parent originates. Historically, the courts have followed the letter of the law and have considered the evidence to work out where the… Read more »

Can parental responsibility ever be terminated?

For several years now, if a father’s name is on a child’s birth certificate he is automatically granted parental responsibility. If for some reason, a father’s name is not included on the child’s birth certificate then an application can be made for the birth certificate to be amended, or alternatively, the parents can agree that… Read more »