As leading Family Law solicitors in the South West we here at The Family Law Company are required to keep a close eye on changes to the arena of family law, and to do so we keep our eyes focused on www.familylaw.co.uk, the website of family law specialists the Jordan Publishing Group.
Not only does the group publish many books which are essential in helping our Plymouth and Exeter solicitors stay informed, but it also shares articles about any family law news on its website.
So with 2014 behind us we thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the things which have changed in the past year, by listing the Family Law articles which analysed the news.
With a tidal wave of reforms being introduced in April and a constant trickle of working group reports, draft standard orders and guidance following it’s been a busy year…
The Children and Families Act 2014
Family Law published a series of essential updates to the Children and Families act which gave family law professionals a neat summary of many need-to-know points regarding the Children and Families Act 2014. The articles helped our solicitors prepare for the introduction of the Act on 22 April 2014.
The article linked above was the fourth in the series and outlines the changes to both public and private children proceedings, the ways in which the Children Act 1989 was amended, the implications on procedure and the initial must-read sections of the Act.
Supreme Court hands down judgment in Cheshire West 
Family Law published an article which provided excellent analysis of the Cheshire West case, in which the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a profoundly disabled man was deprived of his liberty by virtue of the complete and effective control exercised over his life by those looking after him.
Supreme Court judges rejected the decision and factors which were introduced by barristers when the case was heard by the Appeal Court and re-affirmed the original decision previously made in the Court of Protection.
This particular article provided the background to the case and subsequent appeals and also contained the full judgment of the Supreme Court verdict. It was unsurprisingly popular since the case had wide reaching consequences for practitioners dealing with potential deprivation of liberty matters across the UK. This is because the appeals have redefined the criteria for judging whether the living arrangements made for a mentally incapacitated person can amount to a deprivation of that person’s liberty.
The single Family Court
The article linked here was published just three working days before the single Family Court became a reality, and offered an in-depth summary of the key changes which were to take place on 22 April 2014.
The article explains everything any practitioner could need to know about the Family Court, i.e. what it was, where it was, who the judges were, case allocation, court powers, the shortened financial remedy procedure, changes to the Family Procedure Rules 2010, transitional provisions and much more.
Presumption of parental involvement to come into force on 22 October 2014
This article was responsible for actually breaking the news that the presumption of parental involvement at section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (which inserted new sections 1(2)A, 1(2)B, 1(6) and 1(7) into the Children Act 1989) was to come into force on 22 October 2014.
Since the article broke such important news it’s unsurprising it was among the most popular on Family Law. The article also contained a link to the commencement order and some thoughts on whether the section would serve to make any major changes to child arrangements.