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26 April 2017

In a recent case - T (A Child) [2017] EWFC 19 – Mr Justice Holman highlighted the previously unrecognised value of Facebook as a tool for tracing birth parents. The case involved the adoption application of a young boy; his birth father was aware of the proceedings and present in court, but the child's birth mother had not been made aware of the proceedings as she's a foreign national and was believed to be living abroad somewhere.

However, the birth mother was traced just a few days prior to the hearing by way of a very simple search of profiles on Facebook. The birth father's partner was able to identify the profile as belonging to the birth mother and duly called her and informed her of the proceedings; the birth mother was of the belief that the child had actually already been adopted.

25 April 2017

New punishments introduced this week for drivers caught speeding in England and Wales have provoked a mixed reaction among police, press, speeding fine solicitors, motorists, and road safety groups

Although road safety groups have welcomed the new guidelines, some police officers and press commentators have expressed concern that the new regime will only increase the burden on the courts system.

24 April 2017

The recent case of Briers v Briers [2017] EWCA Civ 15 concerned a woman who was successful in obtaining a share of the wealth her former husband had accrued after their divorce.

Although the couple had been divorced for many years and agreed an informal settlement at the time, no financial consent order or other formal and legally binding agreement or court order was obtained at the time. This then meant that Mrs Briers could apply to the Family Court for a financial order some 10 years after the divorce was finalised.

21 April 2017

The Ministry of Justice has confirmed today (21/4/17) that the proposals for increasing the application fee for a Grant of Probate have been shelved.

Following the announcement of a snap election for June 8 2017, the lack of parliamentary time left to deal with outstanding matters before dissolving in early May means the introduction of the controversial fees will be halted.

11 April 2017

An aspect of separation and divorce that is rarely talked about with any level of seriousness is what happens to the family pets? As anyone with a cat, dog, turtle, axolotl or miniature elephant will know, pets are more than secondary to a family life, in fact they form part of a family's dynamics and may even be viewed as another family member. For children, pets can be constant and anchoring presences who keep confidences while offering unconditional love and affection at a time when they may question their parents' love for them. In short, family pets may offer comfort and companionship during a tumultuous time in a way that no human can.

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