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Adopting Scottish Children in England

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Home > Articles Lorraine Cavanagh, barrister of St Johns Buildings, explains the implications of a recent important judgment of the President concerning the English courts’ recognition of permanence orders of Scottish children. Lorraine Cavanagh, barrister, St Johns Buildings The President of the Family Division, The Right Honourable Sir James Munby, handed down a judgment on the 17 January 2017, Re A and Others (Children: Scottish Adoptions) [2017] EWHC 35 (Fam) concerning six Scottish children placed by Scottish adoption agencies with prospective adopters in England. Each child was subject to a permanence order with authority to adopt, made by a Sheriff [...]

Should We Make Divorce More Difficult?

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When you’ve been focusing on divorce as long as I have, you hear a lot – I mean a LOT – about how divorce has become too easy. “People don’t take marriage seriously any more; the first time they have an argument, somebody runs out and gets a divorce.” The latest salvo comes from the son of a Baptist preacher turned Texas legislator who has introduced legislation to do away with no-fault divorce. He’s part of a decades-long pattern of religiously-minded men who want to impose their faith practices on public policy. What we’re actually seeing undermines the easy assumption [...]

How Not to Revoke a Prenuptial Agreement

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This case is painful to read. Margaret Ann Harrison and Jerry Harrison were married for more than 25 years. He was almost certainly unfaithful to her. She presented evidence that, following one episode of his infidelity, she and he had agreed to cancel the prenuptial agreement they had signed the morning before their wedding as a prerequisite for her continuing in the marriage. Yet at divorce, he was able to enforce the prenuptial agreement. The case is Harrison v Harrison, DR 2150883 (Ala. Civ. App. January 20, 2017). The husband’s and wife’s testimony was contradictory, so it was left for [...]

Changing Child Custody After Divorce

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Courts allow one of the parties to a divorce to ask after a divorce for a change in the living arrangements for a child of the divorce, but most states require a significant change in circumstances to avoid disrupting the child’s life unnecessarily. In Alabama, that requirement is embodied in the case of Ex parte McLendon, 455 So.2d 863 (Ala. 1984). The now-famous “McLendon standard” states that a parent seeking to change sole physical custody previously granted to the other parent must prove that (1) he or she is a fit custodian; (2) material changes affecting the child’s welfare have [...]

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 [...]