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12 January 2018Catherine Dow Family Law
Marked rise in Litigant’s in Person (LiP’s) are a key challenge for family lawyers The rise in the number of LiPs in the Family Court since the 2013 legal aid reforms has topped a poll of the causes of discontent and concern among family law practitioners for the fifth year running. The annual matrimonial survey by Grant Thornton found one in five of the family lawyers it consulted named the rise of LiPs as being the biggest single issue facing their legal practice. Other central issues were overburdening of the family courts, delays resulting from court closures and courts not…
03 November 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
Are family courts reaching crisis point? Concerns are increasing as a result of the latest Government figures which highlight the rising number of private law cases and litigants in person. This all adds to recent warnings from the legal profession about the family justice system. Ministry of Justice figures show 13,029 new private law applications were made between April and June this year, a 3% increase on the same period last year. Neither the applicant nor respondent were represented in 36% of cases, compared with 34% in the previous year. It is said that 'even a little' publicly funded advice…
19 September 2017Jeannette Redway Family Mediation
Increasingly, Family Mediation is becoming the preferred method to resolve and prevent family disputes, especially where children are involved. Agreements that have been freely negotiated can help restore communication, understanding and trust. Financial settlements can be achieved in a fraction of the time taken by using other methods and a fraction of the cost. For this reason, we at Breakthrough Family Law are now able to offer Family Mediation with a highly experienced accredited mediator. Find out more about Family Mediation.
06 September 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
As the headline implies, the Civil Partnership fight we reported on our Website in March will continue to the highest Court in the UK - The Supreme Court - following permission being granted to Rebecca Steinfield and Charles Keidan. This is viewed as a significant step in the journey to achieve equality in Civil Partnerships for all, regardless of sexual orientation.
04 August 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
Don’t be fooled into thinking you do not need legal advice on the new Divorce Petition On 7th August 2017, a new form of Divorce Petition is to be used, and will be available on the Government website to download. The impression given is that the new Petition is designed with a view to an individual being able to complete and submit the Petition to the court themselves. At first sight, it might look straightforward as it contains ‘helpful’ notes for guidance next to each section of the document. However, these notes do not tell the whole story and they…
02 August 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
You may have seen the recent report of a senior Judge from the Liverpool Family Court who has been very critical of some lawyers who 'double book' cases coming before the Court. Court listings departments all over the Country may sometimes, without realising, schedule more than one case at the same time on the same day in separate court rooms, where one firm of solicitors happens to be acting in all, or more than one, of the matters. It has been the policy of some firms to simply send one legal representative to court to cover all the cases, which…
22 May 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
There is currently a movement to ensure that all Litigants’ surnames, in family cases, are put on to the daily Court lists. At present, in the lower level divorce Courts, such as the Central Family Court in London, or Family Courts in the Counties, the surnames of those appearing on any one day are published and put up in the Court’s public spaces for all to see. However, in the Family Division of the High Court, which deals with the cases of the wealthy, only the case numbers are published on the daily lists. This is seen to lead to…
31 March 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
A Court of Appeal ruling appears to agree with the views expressed in Breakthrough’s earlier blog, prompting renewed calls for ‘outdated’ divorce procedure to be looked at. On 24 March 2017, the Court of Appeal acknowledged that a wife who lost her appeal to overturn the Central Family Court’s refusal to grant her a divorce will be left in a ‘very unhappy situation’. This has led to renewed calls for ‘outdated’ divorce law to be reformed. Giving judgment in the case of Tini Owens v Hugh John Owens, the Family Division President Sir James Munby said the court could not…
06 March 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
Are you a heterosexual couple wanting to become Civil Partners? Then read on:- Many heterosexual couples feel they do not wish to be married to each other. However, there are so many known risks and dangers for cohabiting couples in terms of the lack of legal protection afforded to them (whether they remain together or separate), which will lead to the vulnerability of at least one party to the relationship, that there is now a movement aimed at recognising the ‘rights’ of heterosexual couples. This position has been highlighted in February 2017 by a couple called Rebecca Steinfield and Charles…
28 February 2017Catherine Dow Family Law
Are you unable to locate your Husband or Wife? Don’t be put off trying to end your marriage simply because you are unable to find your Husband or Wife. Laws surrounding marriage breakdown do allow for marriages to be brought to an end in circumstances where one or other party to a marriage has ‘disappeared’ or gone to ground. At Breakthrough, we can guide you through the procedure involved and assist you to achieve a Decree Absolute, which is the final decree of divorce. It is also possible to obtain a final order in relation to the financial aspects of…

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