K J Smith Solicitors

Our Blog

Court rule changes regarding child contact for violent fathers

Published: 30 January 2017

Senior UK judges are taking steps to ensure that fathers with a history of domestic violence will not be automatically entitled to have contact with their child. In cases where the father has been proven to have a history of domestic violence, the safety of the child and mother would be considered and the father would not be granted access to their child. The aim is to endthe general presumption that a father must be given contact with their child, even if their history poses a risk to both mother and child.

Ministry of Justice report on the implementation of Law Commission proposals

Published: 19 January 2017

A report has been published by the Ministry of Justice that highlights the implementation of proposals made by the Law Commission.

Justice Secretary calls for an end to victims being cross-examined by their abusers

Published: 13 January 2017

The Justice Secretary Liz Truss has called for the family courts to follow the criminal courts inbanning the cross-examination of victims by ex-partners who have previously been violent to them.

Family court to hold court hearings in public for the first time

Published: 7 January 2017

In a radical trial that is being pursued by England and Wales’ leading family judge, court hearings are set to be held in the public eye for the first time. In a bid to continue to provide more transparency, the president of the family division of the high court, Sir James Munby, has stated that certain types of hearings would be held publicly. Although correct measures are expected to remain in place to protect identities, a separate plan is being considered to grant the media access to documents that may have been kept secret in previous hearings.

Research shows parents are working together to manage child support through Child Maintenance Service

Published: 29 December 2016

The Department for Work and Pensions has released new research that shows many separated parents that use the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) are able to manage child support payments between themselves. The new system allows parents to come to an arrangement regarding the payments and the results of the research show that with most cases that include Direct Pay, the arrangement is still in place a year later.

Claim by Trustee in Bankruptcy against deceased’s ex-wife dismissed in court

Published: 20 December 2016

A recent judgement has been published involving the dismissal of a claim by the trustee in bankruptcy under Sections 23 and 24 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, where the bankrupt was deceased.

Latest ONS figures show continued decline in divorce rates

Published: 12 December 2016

The latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics on 5 December 2016 show that the number of divorces throughout England and Wales in 2014 was 111,169 – which is 3.1% less than in 2013.

Government rejects suggestions for the divorce fee rise to be rescinded

Published: 30 November 2016

The House of Commons Justice Committee has had their recommendation of rescinding the increase of the divorce petition fee to £550 rejected by the Government.

Court of Appeal make landmark judgement about witnesses’ rights to appeal in family law proceedings

Published: 22 November 2016

A landmark judgement regarding the rights of witnesses to challenge adverse judicial findings in family related proceedings has been made by the Court of Appeal.

Cohabitation remains the UK’s fastest growing family type

Published: 14 November 2016

Cohabiting couples continue to be the UK’s fastest growing family type of 2016, after new figures were released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the 4th November 2016.

Brexit risk forces Ministry of Justice into EU family law proposal

Published: 7 November 2016

Following the EU Referendum result with the UK voting to leave the European Union, the government has opted into a European Commission proposal on cross-border family matters.

McKenzie friend jailed for perverting the course of justice in a family court

Published: 27 October 2016

A paid 'McKenzie Friend' has received a 12-month prison sentence for perverting the course of justice in a family court. David Bright – who ran an organisation that provides help and support in family law cases called The Parents Voice – received a 12 month jail sentence at Wood Green Crown Court for submitting a false psychology report.

Lawyer criticised for late service of documents on LiP

Published: 24 October 2016

A lawyer has been reprimanded after serving documents on an unrepresented mother in a child abduction case where they were representing the father. As Mr Justice Peter Jackson explained, Litigants in Person are ‘unfortunately not an unusual occurrence’ in child abduction cases.

Post-Brexit inquiry launched into the justice system by the Justice Committee

Published: 20 October 2016

Following this summer's unexpected EU referendum result, The House of Commons Justice Committee have launched an inquiry into what implications Brexit will have forthe justice system.

The House of Commons Library publishes ‘no fault divorce’ briefing paper

Published: 7 October 2016

A briefing paper outlining the current state of the divorce process in the UK and the arguments for and against the introduction of the 'no fault divorce' has been published by the House of Commons.

High Court Judge clears Ex-BBC actress of abducting her child

Published: 3 October 2016

A former BBC actress, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has recently been cleared by a High Court judge of abducting her own child. After agreeing to begin a new life with the father in Sydney, she subsequently left the country with their child, leading the father to file a case of abduction against her with the Family division of the High Court.

College of Policing Pilot Scheme aims to tackle Coercive Control

Published: 30 September 2016

The College of Policing is running a new pilot scheme designed to aid the police in being able to recognise when somebody is being controlled by their partner.

BBC Radio Drama 'The Archers' Puts Legal Aid Eligibility Under the Spotlight

Published: 23 September 2016

Characters from BBC Radio 4 soap opera 'The Archers' have put legal aid eligibility under the spotlight, with the Law Society highlighting that the rules for determining who receives legal aid in the family courts are unfair.

Number of civil partnership registrations falls by 49% since same sex marriages were introduced

Published: 13 September 2016

The Office for National Statistics has revealed figures highlighting the impact that Same Sex Marriages have had on Civil Partnership registrations in England and Wales.

Islamic Divorces should be issued through British courts says Sharia Law expert

Published: 12 September 2016

A leading expert in Sharia Law has spoken out about the Islamic divorce process, arguing that the courts in Britain should have the power to issue Islamic divorces - sparking an inquiry in the House of Commons.

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