Child Contact

Belfast woman arrested after fleeing to Spain with daughter

Belfast woman arrested after fleeing to Spain with daughter

By Lenore Rice A Belfast woman who took her 5-year-old daughter to Spain without the father’s consent has been arrested pursuant to a European Arrest Warrant. The girl’s Senegalese born father reported... Read more

Parents warned about mobile phone videos in custody cases

By Lenore Rice Divorce solicitors are seeing an increase in the number of parents producing videos of their children taken on mobile devices and tablets to support their case for custody... Read more

Some useful divorce advice for the Brexit split

By Lenore Rice There is very little news in the UK at the moment that doesn't involve Brexit, or speculation on its repercussions on different aspects of our daily life. The... Read more

New figures reveal extent of unpaid child maintenance backlog

By Lenore Rice Approximately 1.2million people in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are owed child maintenance payments according to new figures revealed by the Victoria Derbyshire programme. The figures... Read more

Deliberate parent alienation after divorce is a form of abuse says Cafcass

By Lenore Rice Parents who deliberately manipulate their children against the other parent following a divorce are guilty of "abuse", says Anthony Douglas of the Children and Family Court Advisory and... Read more

Woman who spent divorce payout to be maintained for life

By Lenore Rice A woman has successfully requested an increase in the monthly maintenance payments she receives from the man she divorced 15 years ago, after spending the £230,000 lump sum... Read more

Divorce among over 55s increases as overall rate falls

By Lenore Rice Women over the age of 55 are the only group to see an increase in the divorce rate in the past ten years, according to new figures from... Read more

Caution for parents who left 1yr old in car in 25C heat

Two parents, aged 24 and 28, have been fined by police and told to work with social services after they left their one-year-old son in their car at a retail... Read more

Relate charity concern at report on distressed relationships

By Lenore Rice The charity that provides counseling services for couples in the UK, Relate, have described the findings of a report suggesting 18 per cent of couples in the UK... Read more

Figures reveal high dependency on NI courts to resolve child custody issues

By Lenore Rice There were over 10,000 child contact and residence orders submitted to Northern Ireland Courts over the past 3 judicial years, prompting calls for increased promotion of mediation for... Read more

95 per cent of divorcing couples opt for court over mediation

By Lenore Rice The government's attempt to make divorcing couples attend mediation before going to court in England and Wales has been labelled a failure, after new figures revealed that only... Read more

Judge allows 'significant figure for wine' in child maintenance payments

By Lenore Rice A family law judge criticised a woman's request for child maintenance to cover the cost of wine when entertaining her child's friends parents, but disagreed only with her... Read more

Divorcing parents encouraged to give a voice to their children

By Lenore Rice Divorce solicitors and charities are encouraging separating parents to improve how they communicate with and involve their children in the divorce process. Family law solicitors are already beginning to... Read more

Survey reveals children's attitudes to their parents divorce

By Lenore Rice A survey by the family law organisation Resolution reveals some interesting views about divorce by the children of separated parents. Perhaps surprisingly, 82 per cent of children aged between... Read more

Advice for separated parents planning their first Christmas apart

By Lenore Rice The holiday season can take a lot of careful planning at the best of times - getting the right gifts, dedicating equal time around two families in the... Read more

Maintenance arrangements agreed by parents increased in 2015

By Lenore Rice More children are benefiting from maintenance arrangements agreed directly between the parents according to new figures released by the Department for Work & Pensions. There were 34,000 effective Family... Read more

Number of children in care in Northern Ireland at record high

By Lenore Rice The number of children in care in Northern Ireland is at its highest level since records began 20 years ago. There are currently 2,875 children in the care system... Read more

Man gave false DNA sample to avoid child maintenance payments

By Lenore Rice A man has been handed a suspended jail sentence and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, after it was discovered that he provided a fake... Read more

Father withdraws case against runaway mum Rebecca Minnock

By Lenore Rice Rebecca Minnock, who ran away with her son after losing a two year long custody battle has been told by a judge that she "owes her liberty" to... Read more

Judge criticises runaway mother for custody battle publicity stunt

By Lenore Rice Rebecca Minnock, who ran away with her 3 year old son, Ethan, after losing a custody battle with his father Roger Williams, has appeared in court after handing... Read more

Mother still on the run after custody decision goes against her

By Lenore Rice A woman who was involved in a custody battle with her ex-partner over their son remains in hiding with her 3 year-old after the court ruled that the... Read more

Legal aid cuts could result in unsafe child contact arrangements

By Lenore Rice A new study looking at contact applications lodged by parents after a divorce or separation raises concerns that legal aid cuts have removed the option of going to... Read more

More grandparents seek legal advice on access to grandchildren

An increasing number of grandparents are seeking legal advice on how to get access to spend time with their grandchildren following a divorce or family feud, according to new figures. The... Read more

Divorce should take longer says most senior female judge

By Lenore Rice The most senior female judge in the United Kindgom, Baroness Hale of Richmond, has suggested several reforms to divorce laws, including that it should take longer for couples... Read more

Man sues ex-wife after learning ex-boyfriend was father of their son

The Central London County Court is hearing a damages claim from a man who says his ex-wife admitted that he was not the father of their son, and that it... Read more

Grandparents encouraged to mediate for contact with grandchildren

By Lenore Rice Grandparents who are trying to get contact with their grandchildren after a divorce should turn to mediation rather than the courts, says Jane Robey, CEO of National Family... Read more

Court rejects Will request to keep children from father

By Lenore Rice The children of an English woman who died from cancer will be returned to their father in Australia despite her Will stating that she considered it would be... Read more

Divorced father must take children to mass as part of contact order

By Lenore Rice A child contact order issued by a judge following a divorce case requires the father to take his kids to mass when he has custody of them, even... Read more

Legal help to fulfill your New Year's resolutions

A new year is upon us, and according to surveys and polls, over half of us have made some kind of resolution for 2015. As ever, health and finances top... Read more

Mum told 6 children she was popping out and then flew to Australia

By Lenore Rice Parents often query at what age they can leave their children at home alone in order to do some errands, or go out for the evening, but one... Read more

Divorce study highlights need for a managed separation

By Lenore Rice A new study into the impact of divorce on children by the the association of family law solicitors, Resolution, highlights the need to manage the separation as carefully... Read more

Mother loses appeal against decision to remove daughter

By Lenore Rice The Appeal Court in Belfast has upheld a decision to remove a teenage daughter from her mother and place her in a care centre in Dublin. We reported the... Read more

Lack of support for children who witness domestic violence

By Lenore Rice It is estimated that 25 per cent of children in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK will witness domestic violence before they reach the age of... Read more

New NSPCC office in Belfast to tackle under-reporting

By Lenore Rice The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is opening a call centre in Belfast, which it hopes will help deal with a problem with... Read more

Divorce tourism accused of clogging up UK family courts

By Lenore Rice Yet another international couple are involved in a dispute to see if their divorce should be handled in the courts in UK, which is generally a favoured option... Read more

Northern Ireland court removes child from mother

By Lenore Rice The High Court in Northern Ireland has approved the removal of a child from her mother, and for the 13-year-old girl to be housed at a centre in... Read more

Marriage tax break might cause parents to resist divorce

By Lenore Rice In April next year married couples will be able to benefit from a £1,000 tax break, but the policy has come under criticism from a number of quarters,... Read more

Study says Facebook use is a predictor of divorce rate

By Lenore Rice A new study says that people who use social media are 32 per cent more likely to consider divorce, and that the use of sites such as Facebook... Read more

Children of divorce cut contact with father to please mother

By Lenore Rice Children of a divorce will say they don't want contact with their father in order to please their mother, says child psychologist Penelope Leach in her book Family... Read more

Parents of obese child arrested on suspicion of neglect

By Lenore Rice The parents of a 11-year-old boy that weighs 15-stone were arrested on suspicion of neglect and cruelty. It is understood that teachers at the school the boy attends raised... Read more

Mother in custody battle caught drink driving with kids

By Gary Adair A woman who is involved in a custody battle with the father of her children has been caught drink driving with her three young kids in the car... Read more

Mother loses child residency because of lifestyle

By Lenore Rice A court has ruled that a mother should no longer have residency rights in respect of her daughter because of her "degrading lifestyle" which was considered to be... Read more

Planning a holiday abroad - some legal issues to consider

By Lenore Rice The summer holidays will soon be upon us and it is increasingly common for families to go abroad, but there are certain legal issues to consider before packing... Read more

Belfast court decision on abducted boy overturned

By Lenore Rice The UK Supreme Court has overruled a decision by the Belfast Court of Appeal in respect of a Lithuanian woman living in Northern Ireland who was alleged to... Read more

Man says he signed divorce document without his glasses

By Lenore Rice A High Court judge has been told by an unnamed 'rich Arab' that he was not wearing his glasses when he signed a divorce document that required him... Read more

Proposal to criminalise emotional cruelty to children

By Lenore Rice The government is considering reforming child neglect laws in England and Wales to criminalise emotional cruelty to children. The charity Action for Children has previously campaigned for a 'Cinderella... Read more

Paltrow-Martin divorce terminology sparks discussion

By Lenore Rice The divorce of a high profile celebrity couple such as actress Gwyneth Paltrow and singer Chris Martin was always going to attract a huge amount of mainstream media... Read more

High Court tells mother to return son to father in Spain

By Lenore Rice A woman who returned to England with her son in breach of an order by a Spanish court has been told that she must return the boy to... Read more

Guide for parents who are separating

By Lenore Rice After a separation a couple will sometimes find that they disagree on many things, but without exception, if there were children as a result of a relationship both... Read more

Child custody battle lost because of permissive parenting

By Lenore Rice A mother who was originally granted residential custody of her two children after a divorce has been criticised by the High Court for her 'permissive' style of parenting,... Read more

5 per cent of divorces end within first year

By Lenore Rice A new survey suggests that 5 per cent of divorces occur within the first year of marriage, with one of the main reasons for the quick-burn relationships being... Read more

Parent child abductions likely to increase over Christmas

By Lenore Rice Christmas is a difficult time for divorced parents and their children. Making arrangements that keep everyone happy isn't easy, and for many non-resident parents who don't get to... Read more

Deciding where children of a divorce spend Christmas

By Lenore Rice There is very little about a divorce that isn't difficult for the children involved, but the Christmas holidays are perhaps the most challenging time of the year. Some divorced... Read more

Divorcing couples offered free mediation service

By Lenore Rice Northern Ireland couples who are considering a divorce, but have not yet begun court proceedings, can avail of a free family mediation service which is being funded by... Read more

Child of divorce offers advice as charity ambassador

By Lenore Rice A 14 year old girl who watched her parents divorce at the age of 5 has become an ambassador for the charity 'Kids in the Middle', which helps... Read more

Stats suggest 7-yr itch has become 11-yr itch

By Lenore Rice Figures released from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggest that couples who eventually divorce are lasting in marriage longer before separating compared to 20 years ago. The infamous... Read more

Law Society criticises celebrity and DIY divorces

By Lenore Rice The Law Society has hit out at celebrity divorces for giving the public an unrealistic view of the process involved, and also warns against the dangers of DIY... Read more

Public prefers gov involvement in child maintenance

A new survey reveals that the majority of the British public believes the government should be more involved in setting the level of child maintenance payable and enforcing it, instead... Read more

'Thousands of fathers deprived of access to children'

Author Louis de Bernières has spoken out about what he calls a relentless attack by society on fathers, and says that thousands of fathers are deprived of access to their... Read more

Council fined for revealing adoptive parent details

Halton Borough Council in Cheshire has been fined £70,000 after an employee mistakenly sent the address details of adoptive parents to the child's birth mother. The birth mother passed the home... Read more

Ex-wife claims maintenance 20yrs after divorce

A former new age traveller who was penniless when he divorced his wife in 1992 is now facing a maintenance claim 20 years later, having now become a multi-millionaire. Dale Vince,... Read more

Figures show increase in domestic violence

New figures released by the Citizens Advice Bureaux indicate an 11 per cent increase in the number of people advising that they have suffered domestic violence. In the last three months... Read more

Figures reveal extent of unpaid child maintenance

New figures released by the Child Support Agency have revealed that unpaid child maintenance in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK totalled £3.837billion as of December 2012. In the... Read more

Billionaire's son regrets divorce war via Twitter

The divorce of Ben Goldsmith, aged 32, and Kate Rothschild, aged 30, has become the sample case of what can happen when an acrimonious divorce is mixed together with social... Read more

Half of divorces occur in first 10 yrs of marriage

A half of all divorces in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK involve couples who have been married ten years or less, according to a new study. After ten... Read more

Why do divorces increase after Christmas?

Each year in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK there is a noticeable increase in the number of divorces in the weeks following Christmas, but what is it... Read more

Majority of people say divorce is too easy

Ahead of the latest Office for National Statistics (ONS) report on divorce a separate survey suggests that the majority of adults believe it is too easy to get divorced, and... Read more

Plan to cut legal aid in NI civil cases

Justice Minister David Ford has outlined proposals to cut legal aid paid to barristers and solicitors in civil cases in Northern Ireland. Family law cases including divorce and child custody hearings... Read more

Mother told to allow child contact or lose them

The High Court in England and Wales has ruled that a mother intentionally prevented the father of her children from having regular contact with them, and has given her one... Read more

Equal amount of cohabiting and married parents

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the number of cohabiting couples with children has risen to equal the number of married couples with children for the... Read more

Half of couples target conflict-free divorce

A new survey by Resolution has revealed that 53% of couples would work to ensure their divorce passed with minimal conflict as a matter of priority, and revealed that financial... Read more

Law Society says shared parenting plans 'flawed'

The Law Society in England has said that the government's proposals to amend the Children Act 1989 legislation to promote cooperative parenting is "seriously flawed", though welcomes the intention behind... Read more

Research on role of technology in divorce

While some couples who divorce are using technology to improve their relationship with their ex-spouse, others are using it to continue their feud into new forums according to research by... Read more

Divorced parents blocking child access

Children's Minister Tim Loughton says too many divorced or separated parents are freezing out their ex-partners when it comes to child access, and is proposing tougher penalties for parents in... Read more

Child maintenance charges back on table

MPs have overturned the House of Lords defeat of a proposal to introduce charges for using the Child Support Agency to arrange child maintenance payments. A 142 majority in the House... Read more

Proposed right to child access for divorced parents

Government ministers are currently drafting new rules which would give divorced parents an automatic right to have contact with their children after their divorce. If adopted, the rules would mean that... Read more

Family law review criticised for views on child access

The family law review led by David Norgrove at the behest of the Conservative party has come under criticism for maintaining the stance of favouring mothers over fathers when it... Read more

New adoption guidance to stamp out stereotyping

New adoption guidance has been issued by the Department of Education with a view to tackling apparent discrimination among Councils when considering potential adopters. The guidance aims to stop Councils... Read more

Children removed from parents because of obesity

Statistics received under a Freedom of Information request have shown that four children in the UK have been removed from their parents because they were so obese. The four cases... Read more

Vulnerable failed by the adoption system

Yesterday saw the end of National Adoption week, a campaign designed to raise awareness and generally inform people about adoption in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. However,... Read more

Feuding parents should try mediation before court action

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has called on parents arguing over child custody to try independent mediation as a first option before just going straight to court to resolve a dispute.... Read more

Child abduction by a parent increases by 39 per cent

The Foreign office has warned that it anticipates that the child abductions by parents are likely to double as we enter the summer holiday season; the number of abductions having... Read more

Solicitor assures no legal aid problem in Northern Ireland

Lenore Rice of Wilson Nesbitt solicitors in Belfast, Northern Ireland, confirmed that there "is no legal aid resources problem in Northern Ireland" like that being faced in England and Wales. Clients... Read more

'Pretend schoolboy' jailed

A man who befriended a 13-year-old girl's brother by pretending to be a schoolboy has been jailed for two-and-a-half years after having sex with the girl.In news that might be... Read more

Children's rights conference begins

President McAleese has opened the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children (ENOC) conference in Dublin, Northern Ireland. The Irish Times reports that the annual event is to be attended by... Read more

Divorced parents 'need to consider the children'

Divorced couples should ensure they are able to put their differences aside for important family gatherings such as weddings and graduations, a family solicitor has said.Writing on her law blog,... Read more

Charity launches anti-domestic violence campaign

Anti-domestic abuse charity Refuge has launched a campaign intended to warn people about the early warning signs of domestic abuse.Research from Refuge has shown 87 per cent of women were... Read more

Abusive-partner killers 'not murderers'

People who are driven to killing their abusive partners are not the same as murderers, according to a domestic violence victim writing in the Belfast Telegraph.Nicola Henry told the newspaper... Read more

'Consider the implications of divorce'

Parents in Northern Ireland are being urged to consider the consequences of divorce on their children.Family solicitor and blogger Diane Benussi said on the Benussi blog that statistically, divorce can... Read more

Divorce book runs to second edition

A book explaining divorce law for those considering going through the process has proved so popular it is running to a second edition, it has been reported.The Coventry Telegraph explained... Read more

War 'causing divorce and domestic abuse'

Long deployments in war zones are causing disputes between partners and provoking domestic violence in the US, it has been claimed.According to divorce lawyers in the country, the phenomenon, which... Read more

Domestic violence conference to be held

Worldwide experts on domestic violence are to come to a conference at Europe's first Family Justice Centre in Croydon.The conference will take place on July 24th and 25th and will... Read more

Family court 'concerns' revealed

The Times's campaign against 'secrecy' in family courts has provoked a reaction that illustrates this is a "vital debate", the newspaper has claimed.According to the newspaper, the rules, which ensure... Read more

Britain faces family court 'secrecy' investigation

Family courts in Great Britain and Northern Ireland are facing an investigation by Europe into secrecy in the system, the Times reports.Recent allegations have said reporting restrictions and controlled entry... Read more

Divorce 'does not have to be painful'

The process of getting divorced from a partner does not necessarily need to be painful, according to a family solicitor.Nicola Walker told the Birmingham Post that while divorces are popularly... Read more

Dads "driven to distraction" over custody rights

Fathers in the UK and Northern Ireland are too concerned about not getting enough time with their children after a divorce, a family lawyer has claimed.According to Diane Benussi, fathers... Read more

Consult solicitors in NI for civil partnership 'divorce'

The laws governing dissolution - or 'divorce' - in a civil partnership are not quite the same as those for married couples and as such it is essential to consult... Read more

Northern Ireland divorce rate 'hits new high'

The number of couples in Northern Ireland choosing to consult solicitors and divorce hit an all-time high in 2007.Statistics released by the government have shown that the number of couples... Read more

Parents 'need to communicate with children during divorce'

In the course of and after a divorce, parents and solicitors need to explain and communicate with any children, it has been claimed.Writing for Mondaq, solicitor Donal Quinn advised parents... Read more

Conservatives propose divorce counselling centres

The Conservative party has proposed the introduction of Australian-style family relationship centres to help counsel unhappy couples, it has been reported.According to the Times, David Cameron perceives the centres as... Read more

Assets splits 'biggest divorce issue'

Dividing up assets is the "significant issue" needed to define divorce law, it has been claimed.Writing in the Times, lawyer Joe Vaitilingham said that while examining the legal status of... Read more

MPs recommend education on domestic violence

The all-party home affairs select committee has recommended that children in both primary and secondary school be taught about domestic violence and forced marriage.According to their report, the committee said... Read more

Officers 'to focus on domestic violence'

Police officers in the Antrim area of Northern Ireland have revealed that one of their main priorities for the year will be cutting domestic violence, the Antrim Times reports.According to... Read more

UK 'divorce fair' for splitting couples

Couples from all over the UK, including Northern Ireland, who plan to divorce are being invited to the country's first 'divorce fair'.Solicitors, counsellors and financial advisors will all be on... Read more

'Increased confidence' for Northern Ireland's domestic violence sufferers

Domestic abuse sufferers in Northern Ireland are increasing in confidence and becoming more willing to come forward to the police, it has been claimed.Police domestic violence specialist Angela McBride told... Read more

Absentee parents owe £71m

Solicitors in Belfast and Northern Ireland have had to administrate record numbers of separations and divorces in the past year, and as such more maintenance payments for children have been... Read more

New child maintenance system looks promising

The latest figures released by the Department for Work and Pensions show early signs that the new system of securing child maintenance payments may be working.With an increase in population,... Read more

Children could benefit from cohabitee laws

Solicitors have said that children of unmarried couples who separate could benefit from proposed changes to the law, which would allow cohabitees in Britain and Northern Ireland similar legal status... Read more

Love not legally binding

With the trend for people in love to live together and even have children without being married increasing, it is vital that people get their financial arrangements sorted out through... Read more

Children should be in on proceedings

Lord Justice Wilson, a senior judge in family law who sits in the Court of Appeal, has said that children should be included in legal proceedings so they can understand... Read more

Father jailed for CSA breach

A solicitor has been imprisoned for failing to pay child support to his ex-wife for their three children, despite the fact that he looked after his sons half the time.Michael... Read more

DWP to enforce maintenance payments

With solicitors in Britain and Northern Ireland having to deal with an ever-increasing number of divorces, new legislation may mean that separated parents do not have to chase each other... Read more

Unmarried adoption bid quashed

The Lord Chief Justice has quashed a bid by an unmarried couple to overturn the law banning those who are not wed to adopt children, the Belfast Telegraph reports.At the... Read more

Improvements to custody service that is failing fathers

Judges are being given new powers to impose community service orders and fines when contact orders are breached by resident parents in custody cases.From October 2007 the new legislation will... Read more