Surge in calls to male domestic violence charity

By | News | No Comments

Appeals for help to a charity for male victims of domestic violence jumped by 60 per cent during lockdown, according to new figures. The Respect Men’s Advice Line received 13,812 phone calls and emails between April and July, compared to only 8,648 in the same period last year. Contact via email almost doubled in June alone, from 372 in 2019 to 728 in 2020. Over the quarter, Respect received an average of average of 92 phone calls and 22 emails per day. Ippo Panteloudakis founded the helpline and is now the charity’s Head of Services. He explained that callers: “…were…

Read More

Law Commission considers greater choice in wedding venues

By | News | No Comments

The Law Commission has launched a consultation on possible reforms to marriage law which would allow couples a greater choice of venues and ceremonies. Announcing the consultation, the Commission explained: “The main law which governs marriage is from 1836 and has failed to keep pace with modern life. How and where marriages can take place is tightly regulated, and differs depending on the type of wedding. At present, couples have to make a choice between a religious or a civil ceremony, with no option for a ceremony reflecting other beliefs. Couples having an Anglican wedding can give notice to the…

Read More

Three year-old can remain in the UK, Court of Appeal rules

By | News | No Comments

The Court of Appeal has overruled the High Court and set aside an order for the return of a three year-old boy to the Balkan country Bosnia and Herzegovina. In B (A Child), the parents were both Bosnian, although the mother had been resident in England since 1995 after arriving as asylum seeker in 1995 when she was just 14 years of age. She had been fleeing the Bosnian war with her own mother and these early experiences left her with lasting mental health problems, including obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression. B’s father, meanwhile, was a Bosnian citizen who…

Read More

What is a cohabitation agreement?

By | News | No Comments

Cohabitation has become an increasingly popular choice in recent decades. According to recent data from the Office for National Statistics, a startling 88 per cent of opposite sex couples now live together before tying the knot, an increase of 19 per cent in a little over 20 years. For some couples cohabitation means postponing that walk down the aisle or trip to the registry office – for others it means avoiding marriage altogether. Quite why so many contemporary couples now delay or shy away from traditional marriage is a complex topic. Social attitudes and priorities have certainly changed and widespread…

Read More

Senior Judge endorses family court transparency

By | News | No Comments

The media should be allowed greater access to the family courts, a senior judge has declared.x` In a statement accompanying the publication of a new report on the topic, Sir Andrew McFarlane declared: “The present system in the Family Courts whereby a journalist may attend any hearing but may not always report what they observe, is not sustainable. I have reached the conclusion that there needs to be a major shift in culture and process to increase the transparency.” As President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir Andrew McFarlane is the most senior family law judge in…

Read More

Court limits children’s contact with their mother

By | News | No Comments

The children of a Russian father will have only supervised contact with their mother after the High Court accepted findings that she had alienated them from their father. In Re A and B (Parental Alienation), the father was a Russian was a Russian citizen and the mother from Armenia. They married in Moscow and moved to London the following year, shortly after the birth of the first of their two children. Six years later the couple separated. In 2014, during the subsequent divorce proceedings, a shared care order was made by the new retired family court judge Mrs Justice Pauffley. This…

Read More

Divorcing wife loses maintenance claim over jurisdiction

By | News | No Comments

The British wife of a French airline pilot has lost a claim for maintenance made in the English courts. In TMB v PLB, the couple had met in 2003 and live together for a number of years, initially in France. Both parties are now in their 50s. After a decade together the couple moved to Hong Kong, and married there the following year. They later relocated to the Philippines and it was there that the marriage eventually broke down. The husband moved back to Hong Kong while the wife continued to live in the Philippines on a tourist visa. In…

Read More

More than 40 per cent of divorcees now borrow from friends & family

By | News | No Comments

A full 41 per cent of people aged under 55 now borrow from friends and family to finance their divorce, according to a recently published report. By contrast just 11 per cent of divorcees aged 55 or over reported having done so. According to Divorce in the UK – can we improve the process?, this stark difference is likely due to the fact that older divorcees were more likely to have been eligible for legal aid at the time their marriages ended. Eligibility for legal aid was drastically curtailed in 2013. Younger people have also embraced online divorce. While two…

Read More

Senior Judges say thank you to family law professionals

By | the family courts | No Comments

Two of the most senior family law judges in England and Wales have thanked legal professionals for their efforts in maintaining the legal system during the current covid-19 pandemic. Lady Justice King and Mrs Justice Theis issued a message on behalf of Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division, who is currently recuperating from heart surgery. They wrote: “It would not be an exaggeration to say that this year more than any other has been extraordinary. Even in these unprecedented times each one of you has played your part to keep our heavily burdened system functioning.” The swift…

Read More