In December 2015, a significant change in law was introduced making it a criminal offence to engage in controlling/coercive behaviour in an intimate/family relationship.

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The Government has announced a 34% increase in the Court fee to issue a divorce petition, which will come into effect from Monday 21st March. This will see the fee rise from from £410 to £550. This is not a matter of a few pounds but a very significant impact upon the budget of a client who is seeking to start divorce proceedings.

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In July 2015 it was announced that there would be a consultation regarding the proposed closures of 91 courts in England and Wales. That consultation has now come to an end and the result was published on the 11th February 2016. Unfortunately, the outcome is that 86 of the proposed 91 courts are to close. Following the consultation - five courts in the Merseyside and Cheshire area will close.

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A heterosexual couple has been unsuccessful in their attempts to take the Government to Court regarding the making of civil partnerships available for straight couples. Their argument has been that they do not wish to be married as they take the view that marriage has too many historical and out of date connotations for the roles that men and women play.

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Domestic Abuse - A new 'drive' to aid prevention

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

The Government recently announced that a pilot scheme will be tried for an intensive programme called 'Drive', an initiative directed at those who are perceived to be the most serious domestic violence offenders.

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