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Family Law Blog : December 2011

Comment on divorce & family law 

Paperless office a step too far for some law firms

It’s a legal challenge that is not altogether unexpected but still one that I hoped I wouldn’t see. It seems 30 of the country’s largest criminal defence firms are refusing to engage with a Crown Prosecution Service plan to go paperless by April next year. And in so doing they have again highlighted just how 19th Century the thinking of some firms remains well into the 21st Century.The target is part of a programme...

Mean age for divorce rising

Recent figures have confirmed the mean age for divorce continues to rise. We have spoken in the past (Divorce and the over 50s) about the rising rate for those over 50, but it seems that the trend is now being observed in those over the age of 60. So “silver separations”, as they have been dubbed, are on the up – as is the number of divorces generally.The Office of National Statistics says the number of divorces in England...

Third of children lose contact with father in divorce

As an experienced family solicitor, I have long been aware of the devastating impact divorce and separation can have on children, yet I was still particularly horrified to read recently the statistics from a poll undertaken on behalf of another firm of solicitors.Most alarming to me was the revelation that “one in three children whose parents separated or divorced over the last 20 years disclosed that they had lost contact permanently with their father”. Equally concerning was the...

Grandparents still on back foot in divorce

There was disappointment when the recent Family Justice Review pulled back from giving additional rights to grandparents. Initial drafts had proposed that one of the barriers to them applying to the courts for greater access to their grandchildren if their own children separate from their partner and they are struggling to maintain a relationship, be removed. However, the final report suggested no such change.In reality it would have been a very minor victor only but it would have perhaps...

Divorce rates falling. Time for a Merry Christmas?

I watched an interesting piece on BBC Breakfast news again this morning. The new figures for divorce are due out later and it is apparently anticipated that divorce rates will have fallen to the lowest levels since 1974.There was a debate about the possible reasons for this – some saying that less people are getting married, or waiting until they are older to get married so they are more mature and sure that they have the right person.Other suggestions...

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