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On Being ‘Published’

By | FAQ, Law news, News, the family courts | No Comments

Regular readers of our blog might well be aware that the legal system in England and Wales is based on both statute (laws passed by Parliament) and case law (decisions by the higher court judges which set ‘precedents’ to be followed in future cases), these precedent cases are published and available to all to read and consider. In England and Wales there is a principle that justice must not just be done, it must also be seen to be done. Family cases are often heard in private, and the privacy of the family court has been criticised for being an…

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Specialist family courts being piloted for financial matters

By | financial, Law news, News | No Comments

You may well have seen recent reports in the newspapers on plans to open specialist family courts to deal with the ‘super-wealthy’ battling over their finances following relationship breakdown. These headlines and articles have been somewhat misleading. It is true that the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, did circulate a statement on Friday 8th December, six months after declaring that the time had come to ‘de-link’ applications for divorce (decree nisi / decree absolute) from financial proceedings, indicating that there will be a pilot of a specialist court dealing solely with finances following the breakdown of a marriage….

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A round up of 2017

By | Law news, News | No Comments

It is CFLP tradition at this time, to do a little review of the year, recapping some of the developments we’ve seen during the last 12 months. As we start the New Year, we can look back on a year of major calls for changes to family law in England and Wales and on a small number of new developments. In January, we wrote about the Law Commission’s proposals for improvements to the court’s powers to enforce financial orders. These proposals focus on giving the courts more specific powers of enforcement, along with providing clearer Practice Directions, to ensure that…

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The Loss Cycle

By | divorce, FAQ, Mediation, News, the emotional side | No Comments

We’ve written previously about the emotional process of divorce or separation and at this time of year, it is worth revisiting how the loss of a relationship can affect you. For most people who experience it, the end of a committed relationship comes as a shock. Perhaps you have to go through a divorce or separation to understand how long shock can last: it is as often a long painful bewilderment as it is a clean cut catastrophe. For this reason, the process of getting through divorce/separation is often likened to the process of grieving over a death and parallels…

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Conflict, Alienation or Abuse?

By | Children, News, the family courts | No Comments

Followers of our blog might have recently spotted the Guardian’s front page article on 17 November  about a “ground-breaking” new trial that Cafcass were running, to tackle parental alienation. Parental alienation is the process, and the result of, psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. The Guardian article contained substantial quotes from Cafcass’s Principal Social Worker, Sarah Parsons. The headline was very striking: ‘Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner – Measures being trialled to prevent ‘parental alienation’ feature penalties including permanent loss of…

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Lack of rights for cohabitees is failing 3.3m families, Says Resolution

By | Law news, Living together/cohabitation, News | No Comments

This week we are fully supporting Resolution’s Cohabitation Awareness Raising Week. Resolution’s drive to generate greater awareness around cohabitation follows the recent release from the Office of National Statistics of its Families and Households in the UK 2017 report. The report reveals that there are now 3.3 million cohabiting families in the UK. With one in six couples currently cohabiting, this is the fastest growing family type of the study. The number of cohabiting couples has doubled over the last twenty years and is expected to rise to one in four over the next two decades. Resolution has responded to the ONS figures by…

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Make No Fault the Default

By | divorce, Divorce myths, Law news, News | No Comments

This week we are highlighting the campaign for ‘no fault’ divorce following the publication of a new report on this issue by Professor Liz Trinder, Finding Fault. Avid followers of this campaign will recall our “No More Fault” blog in October 2016. Finding Fault was published by the Nuffield Foundation and launched in Parliament at the end of last month and presents research into the current state of divorce law in England and Wales. The research took place over two years and heard from over a thousand divorcees, as well as family lawyers and judges. It highlights the inherent problems…

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Longer Life, Smaller Pension?

By | divorce, News | No Comments

Every year, as part of its annual Women and Retirement Report, Scottish Widows conducts research to establish the specific challenges facing women as they prepare for retirement. This year’s 13th annual report confirms what we have already known for a long time, that women fall behind men in terms of adequate pension savings. They are more likely to miss out on automatic enrolment (AE) contributions paid by their employers because they typically earn less, and they will miss out on contributions if they take time out of work to look after children. However, it is the second finding that concerns…

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An interview with….Natalie Sutherland

By | News | No Comments

We are delighted to announce Natalie Sutherland’s arrival at CFLP. Now that Natalie has her desk set up (a large hole punch was a must!) and has found her way around the office (and importantly now knows where we keep the chocolate) we thought we’d take the opportunity in this week’s blog to welcome Natalie Sutherland to our team with a little Q&A. Q: So, Natalie, you’ve been living in Cambridge since the middle of the summer. Welcome to Cambridge! How have you found the city since your arrival? It’s great. Cambridge is so beautiful and everyone is really friendly….

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All hail Lady Hale

By | Law news, News | No Comments

In this week’s blog, the incoming Supreme Court President, Lady Hale has caught our attention following her comments on diversity in the judiciary. Lady Hale, who replaces Lord Neuberger as Supreme Court President (being the first female appointment to the role) commented to a Belfast audience that the traditional solicitor / barrister divide in the profession was partly to blame for lack of females in the judiciary. Followers of our blog will be aware that we’ve previously highlighted Lady Hale’s role in challenging the diversity of the judiciary, not only from a gender perspective but also looking at the wider…

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