Top Christmas Tips For Separated And Blended Families

The year in child law: our top stories from 2014

The end of December is a time to look back on the year that has passed and reflect on what’s changed. With that in mind we’re going to take another look at some of our most popular articles relating to children and the law in 2014.

There’s no doubt that the modern family has changed: no longer can mum, dad and 2.4 children be regarded as the norm. Modern families might have two mums, two dads, one mum or dad and any combination of children, step children and other family members at home. Insurance company Aviva’s Family Finance Report showed that 1 in 3 UK families now includes a step child.

Click here to read: One in three families has a stepchild, study shows

Another survey showed that childcare costs are now outstripping mortgage costs for families in the UK.

Click here to read: Childcare costs more than an average UK mortgage

Springtime saw a great many changes in family law. We took a look at the new Children and Families Bill which received Royal Assent in March.

Click here to read: Children and Families Bill given Royal Assent

Once the Children and Families Act came into operation towards the end of April we began seeking Child Arrangements Orders for our clients rather than Residence Orders and Contact Orders. In this article we explained what the new CAOs involve and what they mean for parents.

Take a look at: New Child Arrangements Orders – What do they mean for you?

As recently as October parts of the Act were coming into the force, the most recent being the Presumption of Parental Involvement. There were concerns though that the presumption could be misinterpreted as a preference for joint and equal contact with a child.

Find out more about the presumption and how it should be used by the Courts: Presumption of Parental Involvement now in force

Further changes are on the way in terms of child maintenance as the Child Support Agency begins to wind down. Parents will be encouraged to settle new cases between themselves using an online child maintenance calculator with those who cannot do so being helped by the Child Maintenance Service instead of the CSA.

Find out more about the changes and how they affect you here: CSA closure: what next for parents?

In November a Court took the unusual step of allowing a mother to change her sons’ names on a permanent basis against their father’s wishes.

Learn more about the case here: Mother allowed to changes sons’ surname permanently

And to finish with, some good news for parents in the forthcoming year. The Chancellor announced in his autumn statement that flight taxes for children are to be abolished. Take a look at this guest post from Sara Zadeh for more information.

Click here to read: Tax on children’s flights to be abolished

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