The current family law in England and Wales states that the only grounds for divorce is that the marriage has broken down ‘irretrievably’, meaning that there has to be some element of blame in order for a divorce application to proceed. The marriage breaking down can be proved in a number of different ways including adultery or the conduct of one or both of the parties, however; this is not always the case. According to Resolution’s poll results, a quarter of all divorcing couples have been forced to falsify blame in order to complete the application. For those separated for more than two years, the option to proceed without blame is available, however; financial and children arrangements often cannot be put on hold for two years.Read More
The Pathways to Law scheme is currently available to students in years 12 and 13 who are from ‘non-privileged homes’ yet have the academic potential to pursue a career in law. The Sutton Trust have announced that this programme will be extended to include pupils in years 10 and 11, giving them access to four years of support including help with writing CV’s, applying for training contracts and looking for work experience. This is possible due to the £1m funding by those in the legal profession including the Legal Education Foundation, Law Society, Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Ashurst.Read More
Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Services (Cafcass) is an independent organisation that aim to represent children in family court cases, ensuring decisions are made in the children’s best interests. Between April 2014 and March 2015, Cafcass received a total of 11,159 care applications, indicating a 5% increase on same period the previous year. The number of applications continued to rise with the latest statistics totaling 12,758 applications between April 2015 and March 2016. The 28% increase indicates an expanding category of potentially vulnerable children being taken into care.Read More
The following case, heard in Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ court, involved the family of a teenager who was under the protection of a forced marriage protection order and consequently, breached the order by taking her to Pakistan. A forced marriage protection order can be issued for those threatened with forced marriage or already in a forced marriage. The conditions of the order will depend on the circumstances of the individual; a common example is the prevention of them being taken out of the country.Read More
A mother of three was stopped at Birmingham Airport before boarding a plane to Munich in order to travel to Turkey, where arrangements were made to enter Syria. The family were under observation due to their suspected links with the Islamic State, who were funding her travel arrangements.
After a search of their nine cases at the airport, her phone was found to have Islamic state pictures and despite her claim that they were going on a family holiday to Munich; an itinerary was found revealing her true intentions alongside a list of terrorist’s telephone numbers found inside a painkiller pack.Read More
Resolution, a body of family law professionals, campaign for better laws, facilities and support for those involved in family court procedures.
In a commission on access to justice, Resolution voices concern regarding the failure of current laws as well as providing practical solutions to the problems many face when enduring family changes. A main proposal is to introduce a no fault divorce system, replacing the need for one party to place blame on the other. This is said to often cause conflicts and can make coming to an amicable decision about family and financial arrangements difficult therefore, delaying proceedings.Read More
Resolution ‘is an organisation of 6,500 family lawyers and other professionals in England and Wales, who believe in a constructive, non-confrontational approach to family law matters’. The toolkit that they have published is designed to assist members in identifying victims and how to approach the sensitive subject of female genital mutilation.
Despite FGM being a criminal offence in England and Wales, in April 2015 research published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre estimated that 137,000 women and girls were impacted. In order to help professionals tackle the problem, the toolkit includes advice on opening up the discussion, questions that can be asked and what warning signs flag up a potential victim.Read More
The education committee have published a report entitled ‘Mental health and well-being of looked after children’ that has highlighted the need for local authorities and health services to recognise when children in care are suffering with mental health issues.
In 2015 statutory guidance was published by the Department for Education and the Department of Health on ‘Promoting the health and well-being of looked-after children’. This recognised that almost half of children in care have a diagnosable mental health disorder.Read More