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Family Law news

Vardags Family Law News is a one-stop shop for all family law content. It’s aimed at everyone: lawyers and non-lawyers alike, because family law touches so many people’s lives. We aim to be the go-to guide for those moments and a helpful resource and thought-provoker. Vardags News also likes to see the bigger picture. We’ll tackle issues that inform modern relationships and the ways in which these things interplay with society as a whole, with the international outlook for which Vardags is known.

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Editors picks

Has marriage lost its health benefits in the modern world?

Contrary to comprehensive research demonstrating that marriage is good for your health, a US study... Read More

Children missing out on maintenance payments owing to CMS loopholes

Gingerbread, the UK charity for single parent families, has published a damning report on the Child... Read More

Transgender father to appeal for direct contact with ultra-orthodox...

A transgender father of five has been granted permission to appeal a High Court decision which... Read More

Latest family law news

White gave us equality, Radmacher, autonomy Ayesha Vardag's lecture on the biggest ever family law cases

White gave us equality, Radmacher, autonomy: Ayesha Vardag's lecture on the biggest ever family law cases

It was a tragic case. There were two sex workers, both with young babies. One died in a tragic cot death, and the mother, in paroxysms of grief, went in the night to the other woman’s bedside. She took the other’s gurgling, sleeping baby and left in its place, her own dead child. When it went to the authorities (and this was before DNA testing) the judgment was this. Cut the child in half and give one to each mother. The woman who refused her half - “keep him, just... Read More

Cohabitation exposing the myth of the common law marriage and distinguishing fact from fiction

Cohabitation: exposing the myth of the ‘common law marriage’ and distinguishing fact from fiction

The way we were: historically there was respectable marriage which conferred financial dependence and security on women. Outside, a world of defiance of convention and no rights except minimal support for the child. The way we are: cohabitation has lost stigma and become a parallel life choice. In 2016 there were 3.3 million cohabiting couples making it officially the fastest growing family type, more than doubling from 1.5 million just 20 years ago. The trend is not confined to younger... Read More

One Nest or Two

One Nest or Two?

There is a lot to think about when you make the life-changing decision to get divorced including, most immediately, the arrangements for the care and long term welfare of children of the family. One size most definitely does not fit all when it comes to the division of time spent by the children with each parent. The court will not have an input unless there are intractable difficulties and no agreement can be reached. This allows parents the freedom to really consider their children’s needs,... Read More

Heterosexual couples to be allowed to enter into civil partnerships

Heterosexual couples to be allowed to enter into civil partnerships

Today’s announcement gives opposite-sex couples the same choices which are available to same-sex couples as to how, if at all, they formalise their partnerships. Unmarried couples do not have the same legal protection as those who marry in particular when that relationship breaks down or on the death of one party. They also miss out on financial benefits in particular in relation to tax. Heterosexual couples wanting to ensure they have this financial and legal protection currently have... Read More

Divorce rates over the century

Divorce rates over the century

The 20th century was a century of decline for marriage. Legal changes in the thirties and then the seventies allowed people to divorce far more easily and changing attitudes began to sweep away the stigma that went with it. Since the 1970s it has become far more common for couples to live together and have children without getting married at all. As per the most recent ONS figures, cohabitees are now the fastest-growing family type. Divorce rates rose decade-on-decade, as traditionalists... Read More

Drop in controversial forced adoption cases

Drop in controversial forced adoption cases

A number of stories appear on the media on forced adoption in the UK, setting out the highly emotional stories of the children being placed for adoption, against the will of loving relatives. In practice, forced adoption is the last resort step that is applied in an extreme situation, where there is no safe way for the child to stay with the family, despite the extremely devastating effect it has on the family. The figures The statistics published by the Department for Education demonstrate... Read More

Who is the new president of the Family Division

Who is the new president of the Family Division?

The Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane has been appointed by Her Majesty The Queen as the President of the Family Division. Sir Andrew McFarlane will become president from 28 July 2017 following the retirement of Sir James Munby. In 1977 Sir Andrew McFarlane was called to the Bar by the Gray’s Inn. He became Queen’s Counsel in 1998. In 1995 he was appointed a Recorder, a Deputy High Court Judge in 2000. He became a High Court Judge in the Family Division in 2005. Sir Andrew was co-writer of... Read More

Owens v Owens - the Supreme Court Judgment explained

Owens v Owens - the Supreme Court Judgment explained

The Supreme Court has unanimously dismissed Tini Owens' appeal in a case that has attacted much media attention, as it raises the question: can you be granted a divorce when you are just unhappy in your marriage? The answer, on current legislation, is no. As the law currently stands in England and Wales, a marriage is dissolved by a decree of divorce pronounced after one party has filed a divorce petition, which asserts the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage proved by one of five grounds... Read More

Why it only makes sense for straight couples to get civil partnerships

Why it only makes sense for straight couples to get civil partnerships

Under the Civil Partnership Act 2004, only two people of the same sex can enter into a civil partnership. The ever changing and many alternative forms of family life that are recognised in society today beg the question as to whether civil partnership should be extended to couples of the opposite sex. There are some couples who may say that they simply do not wish to enter into the institution of marriage, due to ideological objections based on what they consider to be its patriarchal nature.... Read More