Family Law

Judges and Lawyers are Sadly Not Exempt from Murphy’s Law

Judges and Lawyers are Sadly Not Exempt from Murphy’s Law

As Murphy’s law gloomily states, anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Lawyers and judges are certainly not immune from making basic mistakes but, as a High Court ruling in a divorce case showed, they can usually be put right. The case concerned a couple who were married for almost 29 years and had three children prior to their divorce. Their financial differences were settled by a court order which, amongst other things, required the husband to pay the wife maintenance on a monthly basis. It was agreed that that obligation would come to an end if either of …

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COVID-19 - Troubled Mother Permitted Skin-to-Skin Contact with Her Baby

COVID-19 – Troubled Mother Permitted Skin-to-Skin Contact with Her Baby

Contact arrangements between children in care and their parents often raise vexed issues, but all the more so during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a case concerning a mother who was denied skin-to-skin contact with her newborn baby, however, the High Court bent every sinew to achieve a just and practical resolution. The mother suffered from an emotionally unstable personality disorder and accepted that she was not currently able to care for her daughter, who was born at the height of the pandemic. The child was made the subject of an emergency protection order when she was two days old and …

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Cross-Border Child Abduction and Habitual Residence - Guideline Ruling

Cross-Border Child Abduction and Habitual Residence – Guideline Ruling

A parent who wishes to move from one country to another with his or her child must first obtain the consent of the parent left behind. That principle of international law is easily stated but, as a guideline Court of Appeal ruling showed, applying it in a way that protects the child’s welfare is often a much more complicated matter. The case concerned two children, aged six and eight, who were born in Germany, where they spent the first years of their lives. Both their parents were also born in Germany. After the parents’ marriage came to an end, the …

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