This week saw another high profile celebrity couple announce their separation and divorce. The Twitter feeds were full of the news that Gwen Stephani and Gavin Rossdale are to divorce after 13 years of marriage. At MyMediation we were pleased to read, in their jointly released statement, that while they "have come to the mutual decision that we will no longer be partners in marriage, we remain partners in parenthood and are committed to jointly raising our three sons in a happy and healthy environment".
Everyone seems to be talking about what gems they've got hidden away in their vinyl collection. In 2014 one million vinyl albums were sold for the first time in almost two decades. Classic releases such as Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and David Bowie are all amongst the current top 10 vinyl chart. For those of a certain age, the merging of music collections at the start of a relationship was always a turning point. Discussions tended to include how the collection should be organised, should it be according to surname or genre? The digital age has perhaps simplified this relationship stage.
Here at MyMediation and Winston Solicitors we are avid watchers of Coronation Street and we were fascinated to watch a dramatised family mediation take place on a recent show.
Family solicitors in Leeds witnessed a live ‘mock’ family mediation presented by solicitor mediators, Sally Clark and Laura Clapton. Sally heads up the family mediation service MyMediation providing services to both private and legally aided individuals, under the umbrella of Winston Solicitors LLP.
April 22nd 2014 brought with it the new Single Family Court and a number of sweeping changes to the family justice system including compulsory MIAMS, different tiers of judges sitting alongside each other in the same Court building, changes to documentation used in divorce proceedings and the new Child Arrangements Programme to name but a few.
Section 10(1) of the Children and Families Act 2014 makes key changes to how applications to Court for private children issues and for financial remedy following divorce/civil partnership breakdown should be dealt with.
The Government has formally recognised that the adversarial court process is not always best suited to the resolution of family related issues, be those relating to children and/or financial provision following relationship breakdown.
From midnight last night (12.03.14) same sex partners who married abroad can register their union of marriage in England and Wales. Furthermore from today same sex partners can register their intention to marry and the first same sex marriages can take place in England and Wales from 29 March this year.
The passage of the draft legislation proved to be highly contentious amongst religious groups in particular and there are exemptions allowing some institutions to opt out of permitting marriages to same sex partners taking place on their premises.
The law commission has finally published it's report on matrimonial agreements and has recommended that the Government enact legislation to put pre nuptial agreements on a more formal legal footing.
Family Courts up and down the country are gearing up to deal with the proposed new changes to the law and also the procedure of private family children applications. It is envisaged that from 1st April this year (2014) Residence and Contact orders will no longer exist and instead arrangements for the care of children will be made under new Child Arrangements Orders. The intention is that this will assist parties to recognise that each parent should play an active role in their children's lives (save for circumstances where there are serious welfare concerns).