Law Reform: Quicker and cheaper

Spencer Clarke and Rebecca Huxford outline the aims and objectives of the Law Commission’s consultation on the enforcement of family financial orders ‘There is room for improvement, in our view, in the provision of both written and online information to litigants in person and the general public about the enforcement of family financial orders.’It is …
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Private Children: A broad church

Josh Green examines the courts’ approach to disagreements between parents as to religious upbringing ‘The welfare of the child will be the court’s primary concern, the aim being to arrive at a decision that is ultimately in the child’s best interests.’The prickly issue of religion and parenting was thrust into the full glare of the …
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Costs: Taking responsibility

Sarah Jane Lenihan suggests circumstances when it may be appropriate to seek a costs order against a non-party ‘The court has discretion to order a non-party to pay costs, where it believes it is just to do so, and the non-party is connected with the litigation.’ Most family lawyers will have a client at one …
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Domestic Abuse: Barriers to justice

Rebecca Harling considers the impact of the legal aid cuts, in particular on domestic abuse cases ‘There is a misconception that legal aid is unavailable across the board which means that some vulnerable clients are not seeking help at all.’In an attempt to cut the legal aid bill by £270m, the government withdrew funding for …
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Legal Aid: First hurdle

Shabina Begum highlights a recent challenge to the gateway requirements for legal aid in domestic abuse cases ‘The gateway evidence requirements are prejudicial against potential clients who may be too scared to face the perpetrator during the course of legal proceedings, but are unable to pay legal fees.’ As from 1 April 2013 civil legal …
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Financial Provision: Limited consequences?

Frances Bailey and Adrian Clossick look at the potential impact of the Supreme Court decision in Wyatt v Vince ‘Successful applications [for financial provision] after a lengthy period of separation are likely to be rare and in the authors’ view limited to cases where (per Rossi) “there has been a very good reason for the …
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Vulnerable Witnesses: Safety measures

Simon Heaney compares the provisions in place for vulnerable witnesses in the criminal justice system with those proposed for family cases It seems somewhat of a paradox that the court division charged with dealing with family law and all its inherent exposure to vulnerabilities in all manifestations has lagged woefully behind the criminal justice system …
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