News

News articles by Graham Simm

Christmas contact arrangements

The festive period can be difficult for separated parents, and unless the contact arrangements for the children have been previously arranged, either through agreement or by Court Order, then you will need to try and make arrangements between yourselves. This is not always easy, so here are a few tips that may help. The subject of Christmas contact needs to be approached as early as possible. If you are unable…

How do I protect my financial position if I cohabit without getting married?

A coalition of legal organisations and family charities, including the bar Council, the law society, resolution, and relate, have urged the government to provide legal protection to millions of cohabiting couples as evidence continues to emerge of the increase in the number of civil partnerships and deathbed marriages being entered into.Couples choosing not to marry, or enter into a civil partnership (currently available only to same sex couples-although the…

Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce

In its 2014 report the Law Commission identified concerning evidence of significant regional differences in the levels of needs-based support likely to be awarded in different courts, and a lack of transparency in this area of law.The report recommended that the Family Justice Council should provide guidance for the Courts with a view to achieving greater clarity and consistency of approach across the jurisdiction in such cases. In April 2016 the…

Online Divorce Applications Rolled Out Nationally

About a year ago HMCTS developed an online divorce service which has been pilot tested in certain parts of the country. At the beginning of May this was rolled out nationally, so now, all members of the public are able to issue their divorce petition online. At present, the same is not available to legal professionals, although HMCTS say that they will begin working with the profession in the summer…

Queen approves appointment of new President of the Family Division

HM The Queen has approved the appointment of The Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlene as the President of the Family Division, who is to take over the role from 28th July 2018 when the current President, Sir James Munby, retires. The President of the Family Division is the head of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice, and head of Family Justice. The Family Division was created in 1971, it…

Financial Remedies Court - The ongoing process of reform

In recent years there has been much reform in the processes and procedures in the family justice system, and these continue at a pace. The latest area to come under the microscope is the sorting out of finances on divorce, better known in the legal world as "financial remedies".The Law Commission, in a report in 2014 , "Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements" identified some of the current systems failings, and it…

DWP announce Child Maintenance Consultation

The Government have today issued a press release asking for opinions on the options to give the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) stronger collection and enforcement powers to ensure that absent parents meet their financial responsibilities towards their children.The proposals include things such as 1) the power to remove the passport of the none paying party who persistently does not pay for up to two years, or banning them from either…

New Practice Direction in Child Arrangement cases where domestic abuse is alleged

With effect from October 2nd 2017 there is a new Practice Direction 12J (Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm) which supplements the Family Procedure Rules 2010 part 12. The Practice Direction sets out what the court is required to do in any case in which it is alleged, or admitted, or there is reason to believe, that a child or party to the case has experienced domestic abuse perpetrated by…

Going on holiday? Are the children coming too?

IT IS HOLIDAY SEASON. The Children are off school, and it seems that everyone is away. But, if you are taking a holiday with a child/ren and intend to travel abroad (i.e outside of England or Wales), do you have the permission of the children's parents, or from all persons who hold parental responsibility, or a Court Order allowing you to do so? If not, then you run…

Supreme Court Grants Tini Owens permission to Appeal

Tini Owens, who failed in her appeal to the Court of Appeal in February of this year, has been given permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Mrs Owens petitioned against her husband for divorce in 2015, following 37 years of marriage. The basis of Mrs Owen's petition was that her husband's behaviour had been such that she could not be reasonably expected to continue living with him. Mr Owens contested, and…