Law news

Radical Divorce Bill Awaits Approval

By | divorce, Law news | No Comments

The radical Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament this week and is now awaiting Royal Assent, the final stage in the creation of new legislation. The key change introduced by the legislation will be the removal of the current requirement to cite one of five ‘facts’ or reasons when applying for a divorce. These are: Adultery Unreasonable behaviour Desertion Two years’ separation by agreement Five years’ separation without agreement The requirement to cite these facts has been a bone of contention for decades, with lawyers and campaigners arguing that attributing fault in four…

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Court of Appeal upholds decision to register transman as ‘mother’ on birth certificate

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The Court of Appeal has refused a bid by a trans man to be registered as the father of a child he gave birth to. The case concerned a journalist who legally and medically transitioned to life as a male during his 20s, receiving a gender recognition certificate, under the Gender Recognition Act, in 2017. Nevertheless, the man retained the capacity to have children and eventually conceived via in vitro fertilisation the following year. But when the journalist attempted to officially register the boy’s birth, the registrar insisted that he would have to be listed on the birth certificate as…

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Report into remote hearings during lockdown published

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A ‘rapid consultation’ into the effectiveness of remote hearings in the family courts has been published by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory. Remote hearings via video conferencing software or telephone became the default after social distancing measures began in March. Over 1,000 respondents submitted their views and experiences over two weeks in April, including legal and social work professionals, parents and carers. Many said they were concerned about the fairness of remote hearings. Amongst the issues cited were maintaining privacy, the absence of facial expressions and body language during audio hearings, and potential disadvantage to people with disabilities or who…

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Family Division President rules out remote hearing in complex family case

By | Children, Law news, the family courts | No Comments

The case against a mother suspected of abusing her child must be held in person, the President of the Family Division has declared. Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 32 concerned a mother suspected by her local authority of fabricating or inducing illness in the child, a practice known as ‘Munchhausen Syndrome by Proxy’ or more formally, ‘Factitious Disorder Imposed on Another’. She disputes the allegations. The local authority launched proceedings against the mother in April last year, following lengthy previous disputes with other members of the child’s family. The seven year-old was sent to live with a friend…

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