Paul Hunt

Adoption is not forever?

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

An Adoption Order is one of the most significant and final orders that can be made in relation to a child’s future. In effect this presses the reset button on parentage so that the birth family, in a legal sense, ceases to exist. The order is intended to provide security and stability for the future of a child; it is in no sense regarded as a temporary or a holding position whilst the birth family address their issues!

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The Government has initiated a consultation regarding the widespread increase of court fees. While most attention will undoubtedly be given to the huge increases for civil claims, those involved in divorce proceedings will also feel the impact.

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Taking Things into Your Own Hands

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

The recent case of the runaway mother Rebecca Minnock, sparked a media storm when she vanished with her son at the height of a bitter custody battle. Whilst she has escaped the prospect of a prison sentence, the case itself brings to question the actions of disappearing parents when the prospect of losing contact with their child becomes a reality. This story stems from the transfer of residence that appears to have been ordered following lengthy court proceedings involving the father’s application for contact with his son.

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Legal Aid – Not Holding My Breath

By Paul Hunt at 18:00

At the point I am writing this we are poised on the brink of polling day, an event which seems to have been hovering before us like a mirage for what seems an eternity. The coalition Government abolished legal aid for most family law cases in April 2013 but even now people are only just discovering this. In these times of austerity can we expect a new Government, whatever shape it might take, to make any changes regarding family legal aid?

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Due to new Legislation children who are in the care of the Local Authority in Scotland can now be supported until they reach the age of 21 whether they are living with foster parents or in a residential care home. In 2014, similar changes were introduced in England and Wales that would allow the continuation of Local Authority support (including financial support) to continue up to 21, however this only applies for foster placements and not for residential care homes.

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