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University Degree: Family Law

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 1
  1. Shared parenting after relationship breakdown is not in the best interests of children Discuss.

    "equal shared parental responsibility"6 so far that it is reasonably practical.7 'Parental responsibility' is defined by s 61B of the Act 8 as; "in relation to a child, means all the duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which, by law, parents have in relation to children." S 61C 9 provides that each parent has parental responsibility for that child subject to court orders, which means that the court can limit the extent of parental responsibility that a parent has. A parent will only be given as much parental responsibility as is appropriate for that child.

    • Word count: 4071
  2. Discuss, with reference to statutory provision and relevant case law, the extent to which, if at all, the courts achieve an effective balance between the right of the child to enjoy contact and the concerns (legitimate or otherwise) of the carer parent.

    In order to attain contact with their child the non carer parent can apply to the court for a contact order under S8 of the Children Act 1989. if the court enforces a contact order under S8 then the person with whom the child lives with is required to permit the child to visit or stay with the person named within the order or to allow contact between that person and the child. It is widely accepted that contact can have a highly positive effect on children, particularly in relation to their happiness and their growth as individuals.

    • Word count: 4169
  3. The present law governing cohabiting couples has been widely criticized; so much so that the Law Commission has characterised the existing rules as arbitrary, uncertain and unfair[1]. There have been many attempts and various consultations to change and r

    It was also revealed in the report that according to the British Social Attitudes Survey 2000 that the public opinion on cohabitation is positive, with 67 per cent of respondents agreeing that it is "alright for a couple to live together without intending to get married"5 Many cohabiting couples are under the perception that they will automatically succeed for some protection from the law if their relationship was terminated; but, as with gay couples (except civil partnership), their relationship is not recognised as having any legal significance, and they have no special status in the eyes of the English legal system6.

    • Word count: 3071
  4. What lessons can be learnt from the existing law of divorce which may be helpful in reforming this area of law?

    There is only one ground for divorce: irretrievable breakdown8 which must be evidenced by one of five facts9 as stated in Richards10. A petition can be dismissed during the many stages of scrutiny. The usual circumstances for dismissal are: inaccuracies on the face of the document for example the wrong form filed, insufficient evidence of adultery, failure to name to person the adultery had been with and parties still living at the same address. Providing that none of the above occurs the High Court declares a decree nisi and following no objection a decree absolute.

    • Word count: 3625
  5. Are cohabiting couples treated as if they were married? Critically review recent proposals to reform this area of law.

    However it is important to note that this definition is limited, as it does not acknowledge several other types of cohabiting couples, such as same-sex couples. There has been a significant increase in the rate of cohabiting couples in recent years; according to the 2001 Census, the number of cohabiting couples has increased by 67% in the last 10 years, and according to the Law Commission Report 307 (2007) cohabitation is "expected to become more prevalent in the future"2. It was also revealed in the report that according to the British Social Attitudes Survey 2000 that the public opinion on

    • Word count: 3003
  6. Surrogacy in New Zealand

    Commercial versus altruistic surrogacy Surrogate motherhood can be divided into two groups: commercial surrogacy where the surrogate mother is paid a sum of money to carry a baby for the commissioning parents; and altruistic surrogacy where a surrogate mother produces a baby without payment of money being sought or received. Prior to the introduction of the HART Act in New Zealand, it was possible to have both commercial and altruistic surrogacy arrangements. Commercial surrogacy is now illegal under s14(3) of the Act.

    • Word count: 4665
  7. Treatment of same-sex marriages in the UK

    and S 1(b) of the CPA 2004; to recognise same-sex marriages lawfully effected in other jurisdictions as valid in English law. They were essentially asking the court to ignore the general principles of English private international law governing marriages which require that the parties conform to the formalities of marriage as provided by the country where the marriage took place and that the couple has legal capacity to marry in their country of domicile. Alternatively the parties sought a declaration under the HRA 1998 s 4(2)

    • Word count: 3330
  8. 'Over the last 50 years, the way that the courts have defined family has changed dramatically. Following the criteria that the House of Lords set out in Fitzpatrick v Sterling Housing Association [2001] 1 A.C. 27, Polyamorous units and "families of choice

    It was held Mr Fitzpatrick fell under paragraph 3.Therefore this essay shall examine the discourses this question has to pose by reviewing how the courts have changed and whether 'polyamorous units' and 'Families of Choice' can be accepted under the above criteria's to now gain legal recognition. The slow progressive nature of the courts approach to the definition of family has come a long way changing from an ordinary man interpretation, to a moralistic stance, to recognition of societal changes.

    • Word count: 4468
  9. Child law

    Occasionally, the children themselves may have direct access to the family court, especially if there is important evidence to be provided, which the child is accepting to give. However, in other circumstances, the access of children to the court is not sufficient, as not all children are alike, and the arrangements that might promote one child's welfare will not benefit another. Therefore, it is imperative that the court needs to consider the position of each child before it as an individual.

    • Word count: 5486
  10. Changes in Patterns of Marriages and Divorce may Reflect Changing Views of the Place of Marriage in Society. There seems to be A Growing Acceptance that Marriage is no longer necessary for couples

    among those aged 16-59, 25%of non-married men and 28%of non-married women were cohabiting. General statistics on cohabitation have been collected since 1979.Between 1979 and 2001 the proportion of 18-49 years old cohabiting has increased from 11%to 32%. There is steady rise in divorce rates in modern industrial societies through out the twentieth century. The divorce numbered has doubled between 1969-1992.We can see by these examples that society has changed in all aspects, and Marriage is no longer necessary, families don't live together, people prefer to live on their own. We also need to acknowledge how much families have changed.

    • Word count: 3266
  11. Compare the use of surrogacy with the institution of adoption. How well is adoption suited to present society?

    In light of this it is the surrogate mother who is considered the legal mother and, as will be seen later, the commissioning parents may only acquire legal status by taking further steps. Clearly, both adoption and surrogacy offer infertile couples the opportunity achieve parenthood. Indeed, for such purposes, surrogacy may be preferred as it permits, both or at least one of the commissioning parents to be genetically related to the child. Many consider such a genetic link, which is not possible with adoption, highly important.

    • Word count: 4663
  12. Family law.

    the International Year of the Family, there is still confusion as to precisely the nature of the institution that is being celebrated'9. In Fitzpatrick v Sterling10 Lord Clyde deliberated on the definition of family and found that the problem in this case was in determining 'what, short of blood or marriage, may evidence the common bond in a partnership of two adult persons which may entitle one to be in the common judgement of society, a member of the others family'11.

    • Word count: 5787
  13. With the very nature and fluidity of Family Law, many attempts at definitive meanings are met with a high degree of confusion even by the most learned minds.

    In the absence of any marriage particulars between them or indeed Alistair and Belle registering a parental responsibility agreement with any court, it would presently stand that Belle has PR for the three children and Alistair does not for any. Stepping over the question of Grant's paternity for the moment, and assuming that Callum being the father is domiciled in England or Wales at the date of his valid marriage to Belle. It is authority under the Legitimacy Act 1976 that both parents will have PR for any child of theirs born prior to marriage.5 As it would seem that

    • Word count: 4699
  14. There are many areas of law which have needed updating as changing times need changing views. The most recent need for change has been in family law in relation to transsexuals and cohabitants.

    It was held that there was a violation of Article 8 and 12 by the European Court which shows their more up to date attitude in relation to the treatment of transsexuals. Following this case, the Government commenced discussion about proposals for reform in order to allow ongoing amendment of civil status data. Transsexual people haven't been treated as being of their gender in law despite having lived in that gender for many years. They don't have access to rights and responsibilities confined to people of that gender.

    • Word count: 3838
  15. The aim of the Children Act 1989 was to simplify the law relating to children.

    So what happens when the parent with the residence order objects to allowing the absent parent contact with the child? Within divorce proceedings mothers who bring up problems related to domestic violence within that context are often construed as 'implacably hostile'. Judges have held this as acting against the child's best interests of maintaining contact with the father. The concept of implacable hostility has altered over time. Smart et al (1997) commented that the term was historically seen as a principle given to mothers who objected to contact.

    • Word count: 3935

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