Family Law Blogger in London
London family law blogger
Children and Families Bill to give more support to families
The Government has announced its intention to introduce legislation to speed up the family justice system and reduce delays in the adoption system.
The planned Children and Families Bill would also strengthen the powers of the Children’s Commissioner – to champion children’s rights and hold government to account for legislation and policy.
The key measures affecting the family justice system under the Bill include:
- Creating a time limit of six months by which care cases must be completed.
- Making it explicit that case management decisions should be made only after impacts on the child, their needs and timetable have been considered.
- Focussing the court on those issues which are essential to deciding whether to make a care order.
- Getting rid of unnecessary processes in family proceedings by removing the requirement for interim care and supervision orders to be renewed every month by the judge and instead allowing the judge to set the length and renewal requirements of interim orders for a period which he or she considers appropriate, up to the expected time limit.
- Requiring courts to have regard to the impact of delay on the child when commissioning expert evidence and whether the court can obtain information from parties already involved.
- Requiring parents in dispute to consider mediation as a means of settling that dispute rather than litigation by making attendance at a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting a statutory prerequisite to starting court proceedings.
- Freeing up judicial time by allowing legal advisers to process uncontested divorce applications.
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