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Chapter

Cover Family Law

1. Introduction  

Family law is more often than not associated in people's minds with negative times in their lives such as relationship breakdowns, childcare disputes, and financial problems relating to family life. However, from a legal perspective, family law is a fascinating area of law as no two cases are ever the same. There are so many issues that need to be considered: Who does family law protect? Who does family law fail to protect? What human rights affect family law? How far should rules extend into people's intimate relationships? This chapter asks all of these questions and presents the focus of the chapters to come.

Chapter

Cover Family Law

5. Cohabitants and Remedies Not Dependent on Marriage  

Marriage is not the only way that couples can live together. The term for living together without marriage or civil partnership is cohabiting. The numbers for people cohabiting rather than living in marriage or civil partnership is increasing. The acceptance of cohabitation across all age groups has risen also. Irrespective of the nature and duration of the cohabitation, there exist in the law a vast difference between the position of cohabitants and those of married couples when a relationship breaks down and in terms of law and legal rights. This chapter looks at what the differences are and what remedies are available to cohabiting partners who suffer a relationship breakdown. Unfortunately, the government appears to have no plans to reform this area of law.

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.

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 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

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

4. The Family Home  

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

This chapter discusses the legal treatment of the family home. It considers the rules governing ownership and the application of the concepts of resulting and constructive trusts and proprietary estoppel to determining entitlement to and shares in the property. It then discusses occupation of the family home, statutory home rights and other forms of protected occupation. It concludes with a discussion of reform proposals including the introduction of a discretionary remedial regime for cohabiting couples.

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.

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.

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Cover Bromley's Family Law

17. Public Law Proceedings Concerning Children  

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

This is the first of two chapters discussing child protection issues—what is often called the public law concerning children. Chapter 17 begins with a consideration of the basic dilemmas of child protection followed by an overview of the development of local authority powers. It explains the current basic legal framework and provisions for local authorities to provide services for families; specific duties and powers; accommodating children in need; and secure accommodation. The chapter ends by focusing on the local authorities’ investigative powers and duties. It covers the general duty of investigation under s 47 of the Children Act 1989; co-operating with other agencies to discharge investigative duties; emergency protection orders; child assessment orders; and police protection.

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 Bromley's Family Law

22. International Parental Child Abduction  

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

This chapter concerns parental child abduction, that is, where one parent takes the child to another place or jurisdiction without the other’s consent. The chapter discusses the issue both where the abduction is within the UK and where the child is taken to a foreign jurisdiction. The chapter begins by looking at the mechanisms to prevent abduction. It then considers the inter-UK position under the Family Law Act 1986 followed by an examination of the international position first with regard to abductions to and from ‘non-Convention countries’ and then with regard to those governed principally by the 1980 Hague Abduction Convention. In the latter regard it discusses the concepts of rights of custody, wrongful removal and wrongful retention and habitual residence. It then examines the making and refusing to make orders for the child’s return and ends with a discussion about the position with regard to 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.

Chapter

Cover Concentrate Questions and Answers Family Law

2. The Formation and Recognition of Adult Relationships: Marriage, Civil Partnerships, and Cohabitation  

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 the formation and recognition of adult relationships, i.e. marriage, same-sex marriage, civil partnerships, and cohabitation. The questions included in this chapter cover: the right to marry contained in article 12 of the European Convention on Human Rights; forced marriage; the difference between opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, and civil partnerships, and the difference between marriage and cohabitation.

Chapter

Cover Family Law Concentrate

7. Children—public law  

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. This chapter, which focuses on public law matters concerning children under the Children Act 1989, first explains the powers and duties of local authorities, as well as those of the police, to protect children in need. It then considers emergency protection orders, which may be granted where a child is in need of immediate protection, along with interim orders and child assessment orders. The chapter also examines the ‘threshold criteria’ in section 31(2) of the Children Act 1989, which allows the court to make a care or supervision order, before concluding with an assessment of the Human Rights Act 1998 and its impact on the law in relation to care proceedings.

Chapter

Cover Family Law Concentrate

8. Adoption  

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. This chapter focuses on adoption as a means to terminate the legal relationship between a child and their birth parents. It considers the human rights aspects of adoption and different types of adoption and discusses adoption proceedings in England and Wales under the Adoption and Children Act 2002. The chapter then explains the role of local authorities and adoption agencies under section 2 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, and placement for adoption, parental responsibility, and parental consent. It also highlights the welfare of children as considered by an adoption agency or a court when making a decision affecting the child. Finally, the chapter examines alternative orders: child arrangements order, parental responsibility, special guardianship order, and no order. This edition now includes reference to the Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016.