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Family law has been undergoing huge changes in recent years and is one area of law that is constantly evolving and developing. It is directly affected by societal changes, government policy as well as landmark judgments and the legal framework.
We now live in a society where same sex relationships are far more common and are widely accepted to the point where the government is in the process of introducing new laws as a result of pressure being placed on authorities . In the same way, cohabitation is now far more common than it ever has been and, again, there has been pressure put on the government to consider whether those who cohabit should be afforded the same rights as those who are married.
Add to this the government decision to withdraw legal aid which means we are now facing more and more litigants in person which, in itself, presents a new challenge. This also presents you, the individual, with a difficult decision about how to proceed if finances are limited.
There is also the notion that London is seen as the ‘divorce capital of the world’ with more and more big money cases being heard there and those cases with an international element. This has led to a landmark decision in the Supreme Court, here in England, which upheld the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement despite such agreements not being legally binding in this country but which has now raised a debate about whether or not the law should be changed on this issue.
Who would have thought that the global economic recession would have a direct impact on the average high street law firm and on your relationships, but it has, and in particular it has meant there has been a decrease in the amount of couples separating and divorcing due to lack of financial resources available despite the fact that the relationship may have come to an end. Surely that cannot be best for the couple and certainly is not in the best interests of any children of the marriage.
Those stories which hit the national headlines about children in care and those of domestic violence all have a direct impact on us family solicitors. As do the on-going austerity measures with funding being withdrawn from agencies which, historically, have helped to ‘plug the gap’ in terms of offering advice and assistance without involving a solicitor.
Changes to the court system mean that soon mediation will become compulsory for all and, again, this is a new way of working which we will need to adapt to.
So you see, this really is one area of law which is directly linked to you and to our ever changing society.
If you need family law advice, we are here to help you. To get in touch with us call our free Family Helpline on 08000 147720, email firstname.lastname@example.org or text LAW to 67777 to book a free 30 minute information session with one of our family solicitors at any of our nine offices across West Yorkshire.