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Alaska Orders Divorce Judges To Consider Pets’ Welfare

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It was just a few days ago that I posted about the status of pets in divorce. I said that family law has a rigid view of pets as property and that people in divorce just need to get accustomed to that. Now comes word that Alaska is making a liar of me. As of a week or so ago, Alaska is now the first state to require courts to “take into consideration the well being of the animal.” It also gives judges discretion to order joint custody of pets. Here’s the article about it in the Washington Post. My [...]

Three Ways Technology Can Haunt Your Divorce

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This is an article provided by the firm of Gillespie, Shields, Durrant & Goldfarb in Phoenix. I’m proud to share it with you. One woman confessed to murder on Facebook. Another fled to Mexico where she tweeted  “catch me if you can” along with her geolocation. A Hawaii resident uploaded a video of himself  drinking and driving. Of course, these “social media confessions” are blatantly obvious ways to  help out criminal prosecutors; but can social media also damage proceedings in family courts?  Yes. And at an increasingly rapid rate. Phoenix divorce attorney DeeAn Gillespie of Gillespie, Shields Durrant & Goldfarb [...]

Finance and Divorce Update, February 2017

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Home > Articles Sue Brookes, and Rose-Marie Drury, both Senior Associates with Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the news and case law relating to financial remedies and divorce during January 2017. Sue Brookes, and Rose-Marie Drury, both Senior Associates with Mills & Reeve LLP. As usual, this month's update is divided into two parts: A. News in brief and B. Case Law Update A. News in brief President's 16th View and a review of PD12J The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby has published his 16th View from the President's Chambers. He sets out in detail the efforts made [...]

DWP reports on progress with Child Support Agency case closure programme

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Home > News CSA caseload has reduced from 1.5 million to 1.1 million cases Following the DWP's launch of the Child Maintenance Service, which replaced the Child Support Agency (CSA), from June 2014 CSA clients are being told that their current CSA case will close. The DWP has published latest figures showing the progress of CSA case closure as at September 2016. The latest statistics show that: 84% of cases with a CSA liability have started the case closure process. 39% of selected cases have completed case closure. 487,000 cases (75% of cases selected) have had their CSA liability ended. [...]

Parental Alienation: Is It Going On In Your Divorce?

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WHEN THE OTHER PARENT COMMITS PARENTAL ALIENATION IN ILLINOIS by Nichole M. Waltz When parents come to the decision that living together and raising their children as a couple is not possible, the experience of divorce is usually emotionally stressful, not only for the couple but for the children, as well. But there are divorce cases in which the children involved begin to become negatively affected due to the actions of the other parent. This is known as Parental Alienation Syndrome. What is Parental Alienation? In the state of Illinois, parental alienation is recognized as a situation that is created when [...]

MPs ignore severe child protection warnings from large body of experts, says Together for Children

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Home > News Campaign group publishes synopsis of expert advice A new report, from Together for Children, says that a large body of experts has warned Members of Parliament of the grave danger of undoing decades of legal protection for vulnerable children and young people. This advice, the campaign group says, was ignored by the Committee of MPs debating the Children and Social Work Bill, which contains radical opt-out clauses allowing individual councils to be excused from child protection and welfare duties. The report is here. The Committee invited expert submissions before it voted on the clauses last month. Together [...]

Supreme Court judgment gives further recognition to rights of cohabiting partners

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The ever-developing law for cohabiting partners took another step forward after a landmark ruling in the Supreme Court allowed an unmarried woman’s appeal to receive a survivor’s pension from her deceased partner’s public sector pension scheme. The appellant, Ms Denies Brewster, resided with her partner Mr William Leonard McMullan at their jointly owned home in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, for some 10 years. The couple became engaged on Christmas Eve 2009 and tragically, only 2 days later, Mr McMullan died unexpectedly at the age of 43. Mr McMullan had no children and died intestate. For 15 years prior to his death, [...]

Domestic Violence and the Impact on Contact Re-examined

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Home > Articles Cris McCurley, Partner in Ben Hoare Bell LLP and advisory board member of Rights of Women and Women’s Aid, considers recent developments concerning contact where there has been evidence of domestic violence, and the events which have led to them. Cris McCurley, Partner, Ben Hoare Bell LLP In 2004 Women's Aid published a report which changed the face of child contact where there was evidence of domestic violence between the parties. The report – Twenty-nine child homicides: lessons still to be learnt on domestic violence and child protection (Saunders H. 2004 Women's Aid) – spanned a period [...]

Cohabiting partner wins pension fight in Supreme Court

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Home > News Nomination requirement added nothing to evidential hurdle concerning cohabiting relationship The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed an appeal by Denise Brewster and declared that the requirement in the Local Government Pension Scheme (Benefits, Membership and Contributions) Regulations 2009 that the appellant and her late partner, William McMullan, should have made a nomination to the pension scheme should be disapplied. As a consequence, Ms Brewster will be entitled to receive a survivor's pension under the scheme. In In the matter of an application by Denise Brewster for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2017] UKSC 8 Lord Kerr gave the [...]

Insurance boss queries blanket increase in small claims limit

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The campaign against blanket increases in the small claims limit for all personal injury claims gained an unexpected ally today.  Giving evidence to the House of Commons justice committee, Association of British Insurers director James Dalton said the increase to £5,000 should be implemented only for road traffic accident claims at this stage. The scope of the increase has been a major issue of contention in the debate around PI reforms, with claimant lawyers particularly concerned about the application to employer and public liability claims. The government appears unsure about the scope, saying the limit should apply to all personal [...]