In a recent ruling, the Courts gave a woman permission to look at the court files on her late father’s adoption so that she could identify her grandmother. Toby Netting of local law firm Banner Jones Solicitors said, “The Family division’s ruling is ground breaking and sets a precedent for future cases to reveal family secrets”.
New laws have come into force which give greater protection to children; providing better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities and help for parents to balance work and family life.
The government is encouraging divorcing couples to settle the issues surrounding their separation using mediation rather than by going to court under new rules that have just come into force.
Elizabeth Bilton, Head of Mediation said, “These reforms mark a significant moment for the family justice system and are aimed at reducing both the potential for conflict and also the time taken to settle the divorce”.
November saw the introduction of a new child protection regime for children from the UK who live beyond the EU’s borders, following the adoption of the 1996 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, otherwise known as the ‘Hague Abduction Convention’. Previously, children of EU member states were only protected within the EU.
Any child who moves to a country outside the EU that is a signatory to the Convention will now be covered by the requirement for that country to enforce any child protection order made by a UK court. Non-EU signatories to the Convention include Albania, Australia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Morocco, Switzerland and Uruguay.