A group of Anthony Collins Solicitors (ACS) experts from across our various client sectors have gazed into their crystal ball and given us a view on how 2021 is looking.
Any change to the law and procedure which encourages parents to focus on their children’s needs is a positive step and will be welcomed by all family lawyers. The current system of inviting courts to make 'residence' and 'contact' orders in respect of children encourages parents’ feelings of ownership - and promotes the ideaof winners and losers. The bill proposes the introduction of a 'Child Arrangements Order', which is child focused and moves away from the idea of parents’ 'rights'. The bill aims to promote the principle that both parents should be involved in their children’s lives where it is consistent with the child’s welfare.
The need for such an approach has been evident to us for some time. It is still the case that many clients come to us asking for 'custody' of their children. This phraseology has long gone as a legal concept and yet continues to be used by the general public. This demonstrates that whilethere may be changes in the law, it takes longer to change the mindset of families and parents.
The legal profession must do all it can to win hearts and minds to this new approach, and there are many to win - approximately 40% of marriages end in divorce, and though not all marriages include children, ending a relationship amicably reduces financial pressure and stress on both parties. Figures for divorce are also only the tip of the iceberg, given many separating couples with children are unmarried and cohabiting.
There must be a concerted effort by the legal profession to ensure parents focus on their children when their relationship breaks down and this is something that we have always emphasised. We focus on the children's needs, making clients aware that the children’sneeds are a priority and that they benefit from both parents remaining involvedin their lives. Parents working well together following their break up iskey to their children’s future welfare.
To reinforce this child focused less contentious approach, the bill promotes the use of mediation to resolve family issues as an alternative to the often costly and time consuming court process. Its provisions embed the requirement that before any court application can proceed, an applicant must attend a meeting to find out about and consider mediation as an alternative method of resolving their dispute.
Mediation is a voluntary impartial and confidential process, which helps couples to reach their own solutions to their problems whilst remaining child focused. Choosing a trained mediator who is alsoa qualified solicitor with extensive knowledge of family law will ensure that all matters are explored and any areas where additional advice is needed - such as on financial or asset sharing - are highlighted.
For more information
For further information, contact Elisabeth Howe on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 212 7413.
Luton Borough Council was prosecuted by the HSE late last year following an incident at a high school in which an assistant headteacher was attacked by a pupil and left with life-changing injuries.
This ebriefing looks at the proposal to set out 'public procurement principles' in the proposed procurement legislation.
Happy New Year - our first newsletter of 2021! Throughout this year we will continue to bring you news and developments relating to the charities sector.
Local authorities should be wary of reserving contracts for local suppliers, as recommended by Procurement Policy Note (PPN) 11/20. Other contracting authorities may want to maximise their use of this
Most housing practitioners have perhaps been waiting for this news since the latest lockdown was announced by the Prime Minister on 4 January 2021.
Climate change and biodiversity is an area where significantly faster changes are needed on a global and local basis.
Chris Lloyd Smith, Adrian Leonard and Lisa Whitehouse discuss the planning opportunities available to owners of businesses and how to prepare for unforeseen events.
In their 3rd podcast of the series, Chris Lloyd-Smith and Maria Ramon discuss a number of problems with and difficulties that can arise in mediation and the mechanisms they use to overcome them.
Our previous round-up began by sharing the news that two vaccines had shown very promising test results. Here we are, not even a month later, and the first vaccines have already been administered!
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