“Crying out for mediation”

A rehearing has just been ordered in divorce financial remedy proceedings. This is what’s known as a “small money” case; the matrimonial assets are just under £300,000, even though the parties’ collective costs are already £127,538. Ordering the rehearing on capital and periodical payments, the judge also said, “…this is a case that cries out for mediation. I would strongly recommend to both parties that they either arbitrate on their differences, or mediate”.

CAFCASS releases video about applying to the Family Court

If you’ve applied to the Family Court about your children, or if the other parent has made an application, a CAFCASS Family Court Adviser (FCA) will become involved in your case. CAFCASS have released a video explaining how FCAs work, and what you and your children can expect to happen. The video features actual service users and FCAs, rather than actors, and you can watch it free online here

The ‘welfare principle’

Clive Anderson’s ‘Unreliable Evidence’, on Radio 4, recently discussed ‘The Law and Parenthood’.

What was really interesting was the discussion around how the courts apply the ‘welfare principle’ (a term that comes from the Children Act, 1989) when making decisions about children. The panel pointed out that the court’s interpretation of the welfare principle focuses on children’s long-term outcomes, and not automatically on what the parent(s) might think is best. One of the main things that came across was how the welfare principle is held in principle, but interpreted flexibly to take account of individual circumstances.

Representing yourself in Family Court: a survival guide

The Family Justice Council recently launched another free online video. This one gives general guidance about what to expect if you’re representing yourself in Family Court in England and Wales. The video is just for guidance, and isn’t a substitute for specific legal advice, which you should always take if you can.

Filling in Form E in divorce proceedings

Filling in your Financial Statement (Form E) in divorce proceedings can be daunting, even if you don’t have a lot of money, or other assets. The Family Justice Council has just launched a new video to help you with this, available online on the Advice Now website, where there is also written guidance on how to fill in Form E.

The video is free to view, and gives lots of practical information about how to complete Form E. However, this help is not the same as legal advice. It’s always best to see a family solicitor if you’re divorcing, so that you can get specific advice about your individual circumstances.

Government launches pensions website

The Government has launched a free and impartial service to help you understand your new pension options. It’s explicitly non-advisory; although it can put you in touch with a guidance specialist, this is just to give out information rather than to give specific advice.

The number of solicitors continues to creep up

Recent figures from the SRA show that there are now over 130,000 solicitors in England and Wales — even though at the beginning of the last Parliament the number was already growing at four times the rate of the population.

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Spring is here, and it’s time for a new server

I’ve recently moved to WordPress.com as my server. Sorry for the absence of links and papers which I know previous visitors have used; over the course of the next few days, I’ll be reposting some information, and adding some new details, too. In the meantime, please feel free to get in touch, or follow me using the button on your right.