Next in our series of ebriefings on the Government’s Green Paper: Transforming public procurement; looking at the Chapter 4 proposal to change the basis of contract awards.
I have just finished watching the lovely Christopher Eccleston on BBC iPlayer’s Come Home (#spoileralert in case you haven’t seen it yet). It’s about a family where, rather unusually, the mother leaves the marriage, her home and most shockingly, her children. Over the three episodes, you come to realise the truth is less clear-cut. Having squarely taken the father’s side at the outset, I watched the facts unfold. There are overtones of coercive control, domestic violence and just plain unfulfilled dreams. The father tricked the mother into having a third child by failing to attend the agreed vasectomy appointment.
After she leaves, they both make some understandable but, as it turns out, unwise decisions. With the benefit of hindsight, they weren’t to know that the very detail of their lives would be played out in family court when they fight for ‘custody’ of the children. A few drinks and a smoke of one spliff makes her a drunken drug addict for the father’s counsel. A too hasty introduction by the father of his younger model girlfriend puts them at risk and makes him a poor protector for the mother’s lawyer.
By the time it comes to court they are miles apart, full of anger and regret. But they still flashback to the happier times, wondering where it all went wrong. The mother ‘wins’, and she is awarded care of the children. It’s a binary decision that’s devastating for the father. His shoulders sag, and he goes to walk away. But the mother asks to talk to him. She says ‘we don’t have to do what the judge says’. With the wisdom of Solomon, she offers to share care equally. In these circumstances, best for all concerned, particularly the children whom they fiercely love in equal measure. The family move on and leave the lawyers behind.
We’ll never know if there was a happy ever after. We certainly hope so. It made me reflect on the day job. Issues of child custody and access (called ‘child arrangements’ these days) are better determined out of court by the parents who know them best. Of course, relationship breakdown and divorce can make us all behave badly, but the ultimate wellbeing of our children means we should wrestle to decide these things together.
At Anthony Collins Solicitors we strive for a non-combative and conciliatory approach to child arrangements on family breakdown. We have the largest team of lawyer mediators in the West Midlands, and all our lawyers are trained to put children first. If you would like to discuss this article or seek advice on your own situation, please contact Elizabeth Wyatt, Chris Lloyd-Smith, Maria Ramon, Elisabeth Howe or Kadie Bennett. You can also find out more about the work we do here.
The Academies Financial Handbook is updated annually by the Department for Education and the Education and Skills Funding Agency; it contains a number of governance requirements for academy trusts.
Supreme Court publishes key decision for those working in the UK’s gig economy.
The 'Chocolate Snowman Appeal' is an amazing initiative that Anthony Collins Solicitors' (ACS) employees take part in every year.
The Building Safety Bill (the Bill) is said to be the most significant and wide-ranging change to the regulatory environment for higher risk building (HRBs) for over 45 years.
On 4 November 2020, the Restriction of Public Exit Payments Regulations 2020 (the Regulations) came into force; exit payments for the public sector were capped at £95,000.
The case was brought by the Official Receiver who sought disqualification orders under section 6 of the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986 (CDDA 1986) against the seven trustees of Kids Company and its CEO. It illustrates well the tension between the role of a fulltime paid CEO of a large charity and the role of its board as voluntary trustees/directors.
At the end of 2020, The Charity Governance Code was updated or 'refreshed' as it is termed on its website.
Anthony Collins Solicitors is today (Thursday 11 February) revealing the scale of its social impact during 2020.
In their first podcast of this series, current and future trainees will discuss their journey and route to securing a training contract at Anthony Collins Solicitors.
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