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Chapter

Cover Family Law

9. Children’s Rights and Welfare  

This chapter moves on from the previous chapter to ask: Do adults always know best? That is an important assumption that needs to be addressed in this area of family law. To what extent, and under what circumstances, do the opinions of children count? This chapter considers the legal principle upon which most cases relating to children are decided. That is, the welfare principle. The chapter considers whether this principle is compatible with an approach that respects children's rights. The chapter begins by defining what is meant by the welfare principle and considers in what cases the welfare principle applies and, conversely, in what cases the welfare principle does not apply. The spectrum of issues here might seem quite narrow but in fact they are much broader than might be first imagined. There are multiple considerations, theories, and contradictions at play.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

11. Child Protection: State Support for Children  

This chapter considers how the Children Act 1989 provided a legal framework within which the state can support children to remain with their families through difficult situations and intervene to protect them when they face unacceptable risks. The chapter starts by giving a brief history of child protection law. The chapter then looks at the inherent tension in protecting children while aspiring to support their life with their families, before considering local authorities' powers and duties, resources, and the ever-increasing numbers of children who are involved with social services, whether as c hildren in need, looked after children, or as subjects of child protection investigations or applications.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

6. Financial Support for Children  

It is undeniable that anyone who is legally classified as a parent has an obligation to maintain their child. This chapter considers three areas of financial support for children: child maintenance as a percentage of gross weekly income of the non-resident parent, the financial outcomes of divorce as guided by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 or the Civil Partnership Act 2004, and Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. The chapter starts with a brief history of financial support for children in the UK.

Book

Cover Hayes & Williams' Family Law

Stephen Gilmore and Lisa Glennon

Gilmore and Glennon’s Hayes and Williams’ Family Law, now in its seventh edition, provides critical engagement with key areas of family law, with detailed, yet accessible, expositions of case law, key legislation, and debates affecting adults and children. The volume includes ‘talking points’ and focused ‘discussion questions’ throughout each chapter which highlight areas of debate or controversy. A section entitled ‘New to this Edition’ provides a detailed account of developments since the last edition.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

10. The Legal Position of Children  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter charts the changing legal position of children. It starts by considering the former importance of the status of legitimacy and its near complete abolition. It then discusses the changing nature of the parent–child relationship and the development of the law from paternal authority to shared parental responsibility. Finally the chapter considers the developing notion of children’s autonomy and independent rights which has both limited the scope of legitimate parental authority and emphasised that the interests of children are a matter of public, as well as private, concern. This latter point is well illustrated by the growing importance of the role of the Children’s Commissioner.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

15. Children’s Participation in Family Proceedings  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter considers the increasingly important question of children’s participation in proceedings concerning them. It evaluates children’s right to participate in proceedings both as a matter of domestic and international law. It then assesses the complex law as to how children’s views are ascertained and the circumstances in which children will be represented both in private and public law. It then turns to children’s direct participation in family proceedings including children’s ability to initiate proceedings.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

12. What is Parental Responsibility?  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter considers the meaning and function of parental responsibility. It examines the content and limits of parental responsibility including in areas such as: education; medical treatment; corporal punishment; religious upbringing; and naming the child.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

12. Human Rights, Children’s Rights, and Family Law  

Helen Stalford, Seamus Byrne, and Nazia Yaqub

This chapter explores children’s rights in the context of family law and family life. It aims to look at family law through the lens of the human rights of children and the associated theoretical, doctrinal, and empirical scholarship. It begins with a brief overview of the international children’s rights framework underpinning this area, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the European Convention on Human Rights. It then points to some of the cultural, legal, and practical obstacles to the protection of children’s rights in the context of family law. The updated chapter responds to changes in the law arising as a result of Brexit and the recent legislative changes on corporal punishment across the different UK jurisdictions.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

16. Private Law Proceedings Concerning Children  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter considers the courts’ powers under Part II of the Children Act 1989 to resolve family disputes concerning the upbringing of children. These disputes, commonly labelled ‘private law disputes’, are normally between the parents following divorce or separation but can involve other family members. It first discusses the original scheme of Part II; changes made by the Children and Adoption Act 2006; and changes made by the Children and Families Act 2014. It then considers section 8 orders; family assistance orders; and section 37 directions.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

10. Public Law Protection  

Penelope Russell

Public law protection of children challenges one of the fundamental principles of England and Wales that children are best brought up by their parents. Unlimited state intervention in the family is not permitted and the courts have to strike a balance between maintaining stability for children within their family, and protecting them from harm. This chapter considers the statutory duties of the local authority towards children as well as emergency action to protect a child. It examines what has to be proven to obtain a care order and the evidential difficulties connected with this; in particular, the difficulties posed for the courts where harm is caused to a child by an unknown perpetrator. The chapter ends by exploring the options available to the court at the welfare assessment once the threshold criteria have been met.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

14. The Welfare Principle  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

This chapter is concerned with the foundational principle of child law: the welfare principle. It discusses the contested meaning of ‘welfare’ in s 1 of the Children Act 1989, particularly through evaluation of the terms outlined in the welfare checklist. This includes consideration of matters such as the weight to be given to children’s wishes and feelings. The meaning of ‘paramountcy’ is then discussed, including assessment of the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998 and an explanation of the circumstances in which welfare is not paramount. The chapter then turns to the impact of the presumption of parental involvement, ‘no order’ principle and the need to avoid undue delay on the assessment of a child’s welfare.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

18. Care and Supervision  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

The Children Act 1989 places considerable importance on local authorities working in partnership with families and the avoidance wherever possible of court proceedings. However, the Act also makes provision, in the form of care and supervision orders, for compulsory measures to be taken to safeguard and promote children’s welfare. This chapter focuses on care and supervision orders. It covers the initiation of proceedings; the threshold criteria, which refers to conditions set out by s 31(2) that must be satisfied before a care or supervision order may be made; the ‘welfare stage’, where the court must, pursuant to s 1(1), regard the welfare of the child as the paramount consideration; tackling delay in care proceedings; court orders; appeals; and discharge of care orders and discharge and variation of supervision orders. The chapter ends by discussing the position of children in local authority care, focusing on the critical issue of contact with children in care.

Chapter

Cover Bromley's Family Law

21. The 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children  

N V Lowe, G Douglas, E Hitchings, and R Taylor

Many relationships are now transnational ones between parties from different cultures and countries. The breakdown of these relationships means that increasing numbers of children are caught up in cross-border disputes. Such disputes raise a variety of issues, including which court should hear any question concerning the children’s upbringing, what happens if each parent brings separate proceedings at the same time, and about the enforceability of orders, for example that a parent living in one country should see their child in another country. Now that the UK has left the European Union the key international instrument for dealing with these issues is the 1996 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children which provides basic rules of jurisdiction for hearing cases concerning children and a consequential system of recognition and enforcement of decisions concerning parental responsibility. This chapter discusses the following aspects of the 1996 Convention: its aims, scope, the jurisdictional rules, applicable law with regard to parental responsibility, recognition and enforcement, the placement of children abroad and safeguarding rights of access.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Family Law

9. The Law Relating to Children: Children’s Rights and Private Law  

The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam and assignment questions. Each book includes key debates, typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and tips to gain extra marks. This chapter considers children’s rights and private law relating to children. The first essay question focuses on the rights of the child to make his or her own decisions and to participate in private law proceedings, whilst the second examines how the law ensures that children have a relationship with both parents after separation. The third question is a problem scenario that requires discussion of orders under s. 8 of the Children Act 1989, the welfare principle, and the welfare checklist. The final problem question concerns inherent jurisdiction and the right of a child to refuse medical treatment.

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Cover Family Law

13. International Family Law  

Ruth Lamont

This chapter examines the legal framework governing family law with an international dimension. Given the migration of people and families between countries and legal systems, the management of family law disputes between these systems is an important issue. The chapter examines the sources of international family law, and how we connect people to particular legal systems to govern their dispute. It then considers the law in England and Wales on the recognition of marriage, jurisdiction over divorce, and disputes over children including international child abduction.

Book

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Family Law
The Concentrate Questions and Answers series offers the best preparation for tackling exam and assignment questions. Each book includes key debates, typical questions, diagram answer plans, suggested answers, author commentary, and tips to gain extra marks. Concentrate Q&A Family Law offers expert advice on what to expect from your family law exam, how best to prepare, and guidance on what examiners are really looking for. Written by an experienced examiner, it provides: clear commentary with each question and answer; diagram answer plans; tips to make your answer really stand out from the crowd; and further reading suggestions at the end of every chapter. The book should help you to: identify typical family law exam questions; structure a good answer; avoid common mistakes; show the examiner what you know; make your answer stand out; and find relevant further reading. After an introduction on exam skills for success in family law, chapters cover: marriage, civil partnerships, and cohabitation; void, voidable and non-marriage; divorce and judicial separation; domestic abuse; family property; financial remedies and child support; parenthood and parental responsibility; children’s rights and private law; international relocation and abduction; public law and adoption; mixed topic questions and skills for success in coursework assessments.

Book

Cover Family Law

Polly Morgan

Family Law illustrates the diverse applications of modern family law through real-world scenarios. It starts off by looking at marriage and civil partnership. It moves on to financial provision on divorce and cohabitants and remedies not dependent on divorce. It looks at financial support for children and the various protections in place for domestic abuse. Parenthood and parental responsibility are examined in detail. Children’s rights and welfare are also looked into. Finally, the book considers private law disputes and children and child protection in terms of state support and care, supervision, and adoption.

Book

Cover Family Law Concentrate
Each Concentrate revision guide is packed with essential information, key cases, revision tips, exam Q&As, and more. Concentrates show you what to expect in a law exam, what examiners are looking for, and how to achieve extra marks. Family Law Concentrate is supported by extensive online resources to take your learning further. It has been written by experts and covers all the key topics so that you can approach your exams with confidence. The clear, succinct coverage enables you to quickly grasp the fundamental principles of this area of law and helps you to succeed in exams. This guide has been rigorously reviewed and is endorsed by students and lecturers for level of coverage, accuracy, and exam advice. It is clear, concise, and easy to use, helping you get the most out of your revision. After an introduction, the book covers: families, civil partnerships, and cohabitation; nullity; divorce, dissolution, and judicial separation; domestic abuse; financial provision on divorce or dissolution; Children—private law; Children—public law; adoption; and child abduction. This, the fifth edition, has been fully updated in light of recent developments in the law, including the extension of civil partnerships to heterosexual couples, the Law Commission reviews of the law of surrogacy and marriage and proposals to reform the law of divorce and domestic abuse.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

8. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Children  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter, which focuses on alternative approaches to child-related disputes and their influence on English law, first considers the welfare principle and its central role in child law today. It addresses the problems and limitations of the principle, and then looks at alternatives to a welfare-orientated approach. The chapter examines children’s rights as an alternative or supplement to a welfare-orientated approach. It explores the different theoretical perspectives on the concept of children’s rights; the extent to which this approach has gained acceptance within domestic family law; and the importance of the ‘non-intervention’ principle and the possible tension between a commitment to maximizing children’s welfare whilst supporting only a minimalist role for the state, including promoting family dispute resolution in the private realm.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

8. Fundamental Principles in the Law Relating to Children  

All books in this flagship series contain carefully selected substantial extracts from key cases, legislation, and academic debate, providing able students with a stand-alone resource. This chapter, which focuses on alternative approaches to child-related disputes and their influence on English law, first considers the welfare principle and its central role in child law today. It addresses the problems and limitations of the principle, and then looks at alternatives to a welfare-orientated approach. The chapter examines children’s rights as an alternative or supplement to a welfare-orientated approach. It explores the different theoretical perspectives on the concept of children’s rights; the extent to which this approach has gained acceptance within domestic family law; and the importance of the ‘non-intervention’ principle and the possible tension between a commitment to maximizing children’s welfare whilst supporting only a minimalist role for the state, including promoting family dispute resolution in the private realm.