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Government to consult on ‘no-fault’ divorce

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

In recent months, the government launched a consultation on ‘no-fault divorce’, calling for the existing fault-based system of establishing marriage breakdown to be abolished. This follows the highly publicised Supreme Court decision in Owens v Owens [2018] UKSC 41, where a wife of 40 years was refused a divorce due to ‘flimsy and exaggerated’ examples of unreasonable behaviour. At present, a person can only petition for divorce on the basis that their marriage has irretrievably broken down, and this must be supported by one of five ‘facts’: Unreasonable behaviour by the other party Adultery by the other party Desertion by…

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Bereavement Benefits for Unmarried Partners

By | Law news, Living together/cohabitation, News, the emotional side, the family courts | No Comments

Co-habitation has once again come under the spotlight with the recent Supreme Court decision that denying bereavement benefits to unmarried, cohabiting partners with children is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). The case – An application by Siobhan McLaughlin for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2018] UKSC 48 – centred around the widowed parent’s allowance (‘WPA’) – a contributory, non-means-tested benefit payable to men and women with dependent children who were widowed before March 2017. Ms McLaughlin’s partner, John Adams, died on 28 January 2014. They had lived together for 23 years and had four children. In accordance…

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Habitual residence and child abduction – where are the boundaries?

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

When a child is taken by one parent to a foreign country away from their other parent, emotions will always run high and the law will often be complex. Recently the BBC attempted to explore the legal minefield that is international child abduction law by covering the story of Tracy, whose daughter had been taken by her father, a Czech citizen, from Bradford to the Czech Republic. In the programme the BBC suggested that: ‘Under the Hague Convention, which governs cases of child custody waged across international borders, a child’s base is considered to be the country in which he…

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Vulnerable witnesses

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

Our new partner, Jeremy Ford, brings to Cambridge Family Law Practice his experience in international family law. Earlier this year, Jeremy, at short notice, represented the children in a fact finding hearing in the High Court which tested the jurisdictional capacity of English law and which considered the best interests of four siblings who had been brought up in different jurisdictions. This case was reported as M v F & Ors [2018] EWHC 1720 (Fam) (16 February 2018) and is a good example of how the court addressed the issue of a litigant in person, who was an alleged perpetrator,…

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