Category

the family courts

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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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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CAFCASS – changing times

By | Children, the family courts | No Comments

This week we are looking at the role of the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service (‘CAFCASS ‘) in family cases and how this may change in the future.  By way of reminder, a while ago we wrote about the role of CAFCASS in our ‘who or what is CAFCASS’ blog. Recent guidance issued by CAFCASS suggests their involvement with families and the court system will change. With effect from 1 July, CAFCASS issued specific guidance, with the approval of the President of the Family Division, on the use of their professional time to benefit children.  The overall aim…

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Equity vs equality – the sharing principle and fairness in short marriages

By | divorce, financial, News, the family courts | No Comments

This week we thought we’d look at the application of the ‘sharing principle’ following an interesting development in the law in the reported decision of Mr and Mrs Sharp. The case involves a couple in their mid-40s, worth around £6.9M. They did not have any children. The wealth was largely generated through substantial bonuses paid to the wife during the marriage. At the outset of their relationship the couple earned relatively similar amounts (c.£100k p.a.) and later, the wife received bonuses totalling c.£10.5M over the course of their 6 year marriage (including 18 months of pre-marital cohabitation). As is commonly…

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