Tag Archives: Family Law

The Reasonable Judicial Parent and Implacably Hostile Communities: The Presumption in Favour of Contact Remains Strong in Child Arrangements Orders

Our latest blog post discusses the intriguing case of Re M (Children) [2017] concluded in late 2017. These proceedings covered the topic of child arrangements orders in circumstances where a father had left his former religious community for his decision to live as a transgender woman, and initially ruled to only have indirect contact with his five children.
Re M (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 2164
The Court of Appeal has overturned a child arrangements order that there is to be no direct contact between five ultra-orthodox Jewish children, aged 3 to 13, and their father who had left the Charedi community to live openly as a transgender woman.
The mother, supported by the children’s guardian, contended that direct contact would be harmful for the children because they would be alienated by their religious community, who would not accept the fath…

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Getting the Most Out of Independent Reviewing Officers in Care Proceedings

Gabrielle Jan Posner, one of our specialist family law barristers and door tenants, recently had an article published on Family Law Week arguing for a more involved role for Independent Reviewing Officers in Care Proceedings. If you would like to read the complete article, you can find it on their website.
If you would like to receive dedicated legal advice and representation from Gabrielle and our other family law experts during care proceedings and other circumstances, get in touch with our helpful clerks today. Call us on 01245 605040 or email clerks@trinitychambers.com.

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Support or Substitution? A Local Authority’s Duties Towards Parents with Learning Disabilities

A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) [2017] EWFC B94
A recent judgment considered the correct approach in care cases where one or both of the parents suffer from learning disabilities.
The court was concerned with a girl aged 3 and a boy aged 19 months. The mother suffered from mild learning difficulties, with an IQ of 57 and partial deafness. The father was the mother’s registered carer but suffered himself from depression and stress.
His Honour Judge Dancey considered the authorities and derived the basic principles [at paragraph 35] that adults with learning difficulties can often be ‘good enough’ parents with sufficient support and that professionals and family law courts must focus on providing that support rather than removing children from their parents’ care.
The Judge warned against both direct and indirect …

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Financial Remedies Courts Coming to Chelmsford

In the 18th View from the President’s Chambers, the President of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales, Sir James Munby, has set out in some detail his plans for the new Financial Remedies Courts (‘FRCs’), including plans to pilot the scheme in the South-East as early as Easter 2018.
On 1st December 2017, the President announced plans to introduce specialist courts to deal with financial remedies, which will include claims under:
- The Matrimonial Causes Act 1973
- Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989
- Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984
- The Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
- The Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
We now know that the first three pilots of these new Financial Remedies Courts, in London, the West Midlands, and South-East Wales, are e…

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Inheritance (Provision for Family Dependents) Act 1975: A Caution Over Moral Claims

In the recent case of Ball v Ball 2017 EWHC 1750 Ch, the High Court rejected a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975 (IPFDA) made by three adult children against their mother’s estate.
The IPFDA allows the court to provide further financial provisions for family and dependents who have been left out of a will, been left with less than they thought due, or if no will had been written prior to death. This includes, but is not limited to, the spouse of the deceased, the deceased’s children, and dependants maintained by the deceased.
In this particular case, the mother had disinherited three of her children for reporting their father to the police for indecent assault offences, for which the father was later convicted. The mother, who was not the abuser, had a clear intention for the 20 years following the …

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Family Law FAQ: Child Custody

Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as ‘custody’ in English law anymore. This is an outdated term which has since been replaced by the concept of child arrangements orders and parental responsibility. The fact that many parents still understand the process of arranging their child’s living arrangements following separation or divorce as getting custody is a testament to the generally murky understanding of this area of family law.
Divorce and separation are emotionally taxing processes for all, especially any children involved. Naturally, parents wish to carry out the necessary arrangements with as a little disruption to their child’s life as possible. We’ve gathered a series of common questions our barristers have been posed by parents and devised answers to them, to make sure your understanding of child arrangements orders is…

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New Article by Gabrielle Jan Posner Published on Family Law Week

In her latest article for Family Law Week, Gabrielle, one of our family law experts, highlights that within private law children’s proceedings, Child Contact Interventions can be an extremely effective tool in resolving disputes about contact arrangements. She argues that more use should be made of them and shares her top tips for achieving a successful outcome.
To read the full article on Family Law Week, click here: bit.ly/GJPChildContactInterventions.

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Family Law Jargon Buster

Divorce or separation is said to be the second most stressful event in a person’s life after the death of a spouse. If you and your ex husband/wife/partner cannot agree about the arrangements for your child(ren) and/or are not able to agree about your finances, the prospect of having to go to court to sort it out may seem very daunting and is probably adding to your stress levels.
This is why there are initiatives designed to resolve divorce and other family law proceedings without having to go to court, such as mediation and arbitration.
Recently, there has been a real effort to make court proceedings more accessible and to use plain language. In one case last year, when the judgment was to be read by a young person, an esteemed High Court Judge spoke in simple sentences and put in emojis. Family judges have come a long way from the cantank…

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Christmas Time and Child Arrangements Orders

Christmas is a time for family, and for most parents being with your children to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year is a given. But sometimes, no matter how hard we try, being together as a family simply isn’t workable. When you are going through a separation or are divorced, it can often be a happier solution for everyone involved for parents to split the time they have with their children over the Christmas period.
It can be tempting to avoid making these arrangements for as long as possible to prevent a dispute, but the further in advance these decisions are made, the less stressful it will be for all parties – especially the children. Expectations can be set and everyone can enjoy their Christmas knowing exactly what it will involve.
Understandably, there can be conflict between parents over what they think is best for the c…

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