News article published on: 18th June 2014
The Government is keen on parents resolving disputes concerning their children without recourse to the Courts – or even the lawyers.
This applies both to shared parenting issues and child maintenance. We can see this from the changes to Legal Aid and the CSA. Also from the fact that it is likely that it will become a requirement that parents attend a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (MIAM) – this is in Clause 10 of the Children & Families Bill 2013. The Bill also proposes changes to the terminology used in Children proceedings in the courts: to do away with the terms ‘residence’ and ‘contact.’ Plus there is now a family law hub to assist parents no longer eligible for Legal Aid.
I previously produced a short video on changes in family law click here to view this.
In July 2013 the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby,requested the formation of a Working Group to review private children law arrangements, as part of the Family Justice reform programme. Mr Justice Cobb was invited to chair The Private Law Working Group.
The Group has now reported. Its Report recommends the replacement of the Private Law Programme with an entirely new Child Arrangements Programme. The Report is out for consultation but suffice to say, much change is afoot. The Working Group has produced draft documents which can be found athttp://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications-and-reports/FamilyCourtGuide.
Family Lawyers are encouraged to comment.
The Group has also recommended the excellent Parenting Plan prepared by Cafcass. We all need to keep abreast of these changes – the President himself describes this as a “ massive programme of reform” – which has to be in place by April 2014.
Lisa is an experienced family lawyer specialising in all aspects of family law.
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