The Impact of the Second Lockdown on the Family Courts. The Lord Chief Justice and Senior President of Tribunals issued a message of support and encouragement on November1st2020, in light of the government’s announcement of a second nationwide lock down commencing on Thursday 5th of November 2020.Due to the essential nature of the courts and tribunals their work will be exempt from the lockdown measures. The message stated, “courts and tribunals could continue to function including, after a short pause, by carrying on with trials in both the Magistrates’ Courts and the Crown Court. In none of our jurisdictions did work grind to a halt.”They described the legal profession, the parties, jurors, witnesses, judges, magistrates and court staff as key workers, vital to the continued running of the courts and tribunals in this proposed period of renewed significant restrictions. We’re here for you, whatever your situation. Start the process of making life better today by booking your free telephone consultation to see how we can help.
Families Struggle with Remote Hearings. The president of the Family Division Sir Andrew McFarlane ordered a report to be conducted by Nuffield Justice Observatory into the use of remote hearings in family courts. The research drew on a survey of over 1,300 people, including more than 1,100 legal professionals and 132 parents and family members.The report showed many families are discontent with how remote hearing are being conducted. The report revealed four out of 10 parents did not understand what was going on in virtual family court hearings. Many also struggled joining online proceedings from home due to a lack of often adequate technology or support.
Most parents joined by phone rather than video link, as a result those who needed an interpreter or who had disabilities faced particularly severe challenges. In some of the most distressing cases new mothers are having their babies taken into care during remote video and phone hearings from hospital. The House of Commons Advice for Separated Parents. On October15th 2020, The House of Commons Library published a paper providing advice and answers to key questions advising parents and guardians on maintenance arrangements and access to children.
In line with the recent introduction of the United Kingdom’s three tier coronavirus restriction measures the paper’s main message is, local restrictions should also be consulted. However, there is an exception to the restrictions on meeting family where the gathering is necessary “for the purposes of arrangements for access to, and contact between, parents and children where the children do not live in the same household as their parents or one of their parents.” The President of the Family Division of the High Court (England and Wales)noted that the guidance does not mean that children must move between homes, the decision being one for parents to take after assessing their circumstances. United Kingdom Joins the 2007 Child Support Convention. From January 1st 2021, when the United Kingdom’s (UK) transition period from the European Union (EU) ends, the UK will adopt the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance ( 2007 Child Support Convention).
The UK is currently bound by the 2007 Child Support Convention by virtue of the approval of the European Union as are 40 States including European Union members, with the exception of Denmark. The 2007 Child Support Convention was established to ensure a modern, efficient and accessible international system for the cross-border recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance.
It aims to do this by improving the co-operation among States for the international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance. Bored and Broken Children. Following the March 2020 lockdown there was a significant increase in homelessness due to the rise in redundancy and cuts in Universal Credit which meant that families were evicted from their homes and forced to stay in B&B’s.
Reports show that up to 1,100 families may have spent part of lockdown in B&Bs exceeding the lawful 6 week limit, forcing them to relocate from hotel to hotel. The Conditions According to the Children Commissioner’s report the B&B’s would be extremely cramped in which children would have to do their school work and spend most of their days. There were some instances where children would have to be loaned laptops from their schools, however due to their stay at the B&B this meant extra expenses on top for parents to utilise the premises’ Wi-Fi.
Not only was school work effected, but they would encounter anti-social, threatening people within the premises such as drunk residents or be subjected to a domestic violence situation. Story of Michael Recommendations. Weddings Reformedfor All. The Law Commission has launched a consultation into England and Wales marriage laws, after labelling the current laws that regulate how and where couples marry as unsuitable for modern times. The intention of the Law Commission’s proposals is to bring marriage laws formed in 1836 into the 21 century and allow couples greater freedom over where and how they get married. At present marriage laws state: Marriages must take form in a civil or a religious ceremony, with no option for a ceremony reflecting other beliefs.To be legally married weddings have to take place in a registered building –place of worship or a licensed secular venue. The new proposals will allow: Weddings to occur in a wider variety of place such as, outdoors, on beaches, in parks, in private gardens, private homes, on cruise ships and remotely.Non-religious belief organisations (such as Humanists) and/or independent celebrants to conduct legally binding weddings.Flexibility over the form of wedding ceremonies.
Divorce Takes Longer. What has happened? The time taken for paper-based divorces to be processed in the UK has increased significantly in comparison to last year. What does this mean? On averagein 2020 a paper-based divorce took 66.5 weeks to finalize, this is a 7 week increase in comparison to 2019, during which paper-based divorces took 59.6 weeks to process. This significant increase has occurred as a result of the United Kingdom’s (UK) lock down; the closure of the courts resulted in a severe back log. This may account for the recent rise in the number of digital divorces, which now accounts for 40% of divorce applications.
How does this impact the legal sector? The impact of the lockdown has been felt hardest by the Family Court. The Divorce Dissolution Bill is expected to come into action in 2021 and will introduce the benefit of a no-fault divorce. The growing importance of post-nuptial agreements. What has happened? During the era of COVID-19 life is full of uncertainty as a result, for many married couple’s post-nuptial agreements are becoming more important than ever. With 40% of marriages ending in divorce and many speculating this figure is set to rise due to the impact of lockdown measures, post-nuptial agreements can aid in providing some form of certainty in such unprecedented and unpredictable times. What does this mean? A post-nuptial agreement is, a signed agreement between married couples that regulates the finical and other consequences of a divorce.
It is not a legally binding contract in England and Wales. Post-nuptial agreements are becoming increasingly attractive for many married couples because, various forms of instability have arisen due to the current pandemic. Looking for your children to live with you? How does this impact the legal sector? Courts determine to what extent post-nuptial agreements are abided by. The implications of Depp v Heard. After many years of being accused of being an abuser, by popular opinion (considering overwhelming evidence presented in court) Johnny Depp was the true victim of his ex-wife Amber Heard. The implications of being falsely accused of domestic violence lead to Johnny Depp having to sacrifice his career opportunities, being struck off movies and until this day he fighting off libel claims- it makes one think, how did we fail him?
Cultural Stigma of only women being vulnerable The society that we reside in still uphold the notion of men being stronger and more able than women, which leads to harmful implications of men’s issues in terms of domestic violence being overlooked because in our minds it is perceived as nearly impossible for a female to be the abuser. This could be seen in the Amber Heard v Johnny Depp case whereby he was arguably falsely accused of domestic violence to the extent she filed for divorce on this basis.
What can be done? What is changing? Do you need help? Divorce on Pause. What has happened? A recent survey conducted by You Gov revealed that 34% of British married couples are less likely to begin divorce proceedings during the coronavirus pandemic. What does this mean? In the current context of the pandemic, the cost of divorce has resulted in many couples considering other options. The average cost of divorce including legal fees,the division of assets and childmaintenance paymentis atleast £22,000. For this reason, 52% of those who have thought about divorce did not think they could afford it.There are a number of financial costs couples wanting to divorce must consider.
As a result of the financial cost and loss many couples would incur by getting divorced other options are being explored. 41% of those exploring the traditional route of divorce are resorting to friends and family to borrow money from to fund their divorce.20% of those surveyed are getting a divorce online from the gov.uk website for the price of £550. News - Stalwart Solicitors. Book Your Consultation - Stalwart Solicitors. Contact us for Divorce, Finance, Child Custody, Cohabitation and DISSOLUTION. Pricing - Stalwart Solicitors.
PRE & POSTNUPTIAL AGREEMENTS in London and Hertfordshire. Protective Orders Physical and Verbal Abuse | Psychological Sexual and Financial Abuse. Custody of Children Hertfordshire | Mother stopping seeing children London. If you and your partner are unable to agree the arrangements for the children save in specific circumstances, you have to first consider mediation or attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) before you can make an application to the Court. The Court will make an Order deciding what is in the best interests of your children. Here are some of the Orders you can apply for: a) Child Arrangements Order – This is a Court Order that can set out where the children shall live and time spent with the non resident parent. b) Specific Issue Order – This is a Court Order that can be applied for to determine any issue that is disputed between the parties.
This could include change of a child’s surname or relocation within or outside the UK. Child Support and Maintenance London | Custody of Children Hertfordshire. Cohabitation Agreement for Unmarried Partners in London. Best Divorce Lawyer in North London and Hertfordshire. Free Legal Advice Online on Family Law Solicitors North London and Hertfordshire. Best Divorce Law Firms and Solicitors in London and Hertfordshire.