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Family Law Aberdeen Latest News

Calls for change of law to allow adult adoption

Campaigners urging for the law in Scotland to be changed to allow for adult adoption have taken their case to MSPs in Holyrood to argue their case. Nathan Sparling, 28, gave evidence in front of the Scottish Parliament’s public petitions committee to fight for his want to be adopted by his step-dad at the age of 27.

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Increase in Family Law Civil Cases

The latest civil justice statistics published today by Scotland's Chief Statistician Roger Halliday, shows the number of family law cases heard in the Sheriff's Court and the Court of Session is up slightly by around 3% in 2016-17 compared to that of the previous year. In 2016-17, there were 13,250 family procedure cases initiated, compared to 12,892 in 2015-16.

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Research identifies ten questions to ask for martial success

A study conducted by researchers at the University of Exeter identified ten key questions partners should ask each other before getting married, in order to minimise the possibility of future separation.

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Relationship Quality can Impact on Wellbeing

Newly released data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has suggested that people who are separated, divorced, widowed or single are more likely to report poorer personal wellbeing than those who are married or in civil partnerships. 

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Figures Reveal Drop in Number of Marriages in Scotland

Newly published provisional figures from National Records of Scotland have revealed that 3,462 marriages took place in Scotland in total in the first quarter of 2018. This is apparently 116 fewer than during the first quarter of 2017 (a fall of 3.2%). 

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Research Finds Evidence of Greater Gender Equality in the Divorce Court

New research from the United States has revealed that family courts are adopting a more gender neutral approach to the payment of financial maintenance in divorce cases

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Many Couples Keep Financial Secrets from Each Other

Many couples are not totally honest with each other about their finances, new research has revealed. 

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Joint Review of Surrogacy Laws

The Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales have begun their joint review of the laws on surrogacy

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Should Access Rights to Children Include Grandparents?

The Court of Justice of the European Union has recently been asked to consider whether rights of access to children should also sometimes include grandparents. 

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New initiative to Better Protect Domestic Abuse Victims

The Scottish Government has announced the expansion across Scotland of an initiative designed to increase the safety of domestic abuse victims by reducing the risk of domestic abusers reoffending. 

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Should Scotland Allow Adult Adoption?

Earlier this month an interesting story was reported by several media outlets that concerned adoption in Scotland and whether it should be possible for adults to be adopted. 

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Report Reveals Increasing Complexity of Child Protection in Scotland

The Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration (SCRA) has recently published the findings of research it undertook to try and establish whether child protection in Scotland has become more complex over time, and if so, in what way. 

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Pre Nups for Pets: Do They Exist?

A recent study has revealed that prenuptial agreements for pets are few and far between in Scotland with eight out of ten people thought to not have considered what happens to their pet.

Despite animal care being one of the aspect that is often argued about, a mere 4% of Scottish couples have put in place a prenuptial agreement that states who would get custody of the pet in the event of a relationship breakdown. According to the study, a prenup to just include pets would be more common for young people.

Although only 4% of the couples involved in the survey had a pet prenuptial agreement, 16% of all those surveyed stated that they would care about who got to care for the pet if they separated. Many of those surveyed also stated that they would worry that their pet could be used as a bargaining chip when negotiating any sort of settlement.

Tracey Maloney, Head of Private Family at The Co-operative Legal Services, who conducted the study said: “Pets are increasingly being seen as part of the family, and when relationships break down, it’s only at that point that couples begin to think about who will gain custody of their pet.

"A prenup agreement can help couples make these important decisions in advance, so that if the worst does happen, both parties are clear on who will gain custody of their pet.”

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Property Tycoon Facing UK’s Largest Divorce Settlement

A property tycoon who sits on the board of Formula One team Lotus is facing one of the largest divorce settlements seen in the UK after it was announced that he was splitting from his wife after 18 years.

Andy Ruhan, who is estimated to be worth more than £200 million began divorce proceedings last year ending almost 20 years of marriage. However, according to the Sunday Times a divorce settlement may be delayed due to a disagreement with business partners. Mr Ruhan is being sued by his former business partners for a share of the profits from the sale of 37 Thistle hotels in the mid-2000s, but the case is not due to be heard at the High Court until next year.

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No Such Thing as Gay Adultery in The UK

A woman has been unable to divorce her husband on the grounds of adultery because he did not commit adultery as he only had an affair with men.

Rather than citing adultery from her husband of 20 years, the woman was forced to cite unreasonable behaviour as the reason for the divorce. The man had affairs with at least ten different men throughout their marriage, and despite denying everything, the woman began divorce proceedings.

The matter, which came to light following a BBC Radio 4 phone in has since received national attention. According to the woman, she assumed that two of the grounds for divorce would be open to her in adultery and unreasonable behaviour, however, she was informed by her lawyer that adultery was not an option.

Although the woman citing for divorce could still obtain a separation through citing unreasonable behaviour as grounds, and that the issue did not affect the financial settlement, she told the BBC that she was in the minority of people in her situation who "care hugely about the betrayal and want to know that somebody somewhere has recognised that"

"It completely cuts underneath your sense of yourself, your sense of your marriage and you wonder why you were married to this person in the first place, did they ever love you?"

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Ex-Wife Wins All Husbands Assets in Landmark Case

In a landmark case in the UK, an ex-wife has been awarded all of her husband’s assets and his entire £550,000 fortune.

Dr Essam Aly, a hospital consultant, lost his entire fortune to his ex-wife Enas Aly after allegedly stating that he “washed his hands” of his family. Despite appealing that the ruling was unfair, the judge ruled that the initial settlement was fitting as he had neglected his family.

Dr Aly took the decision to the Appeals Court, but the judge stated in the appeal that the consultant did not deserve a penny of his fortune after abandoning his family. Dr Aly had not been paying child support to his ex-wife leading to his wife winning his assets. In total, Enas Aly was awarded the lump sum from the sale of a house as well as £310,000 from her former husband's bank account. Dr Aly had left the UK and stopped paying child support.

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MPs Raise Concern Regarding Government Adoption Focus

A group of MPs have stated that they are concerned regarding the government's stance on adoption arguing that adoption should be one of a range of options” rather than the “gold standard” for children in care.

The news comes following the second reading of the Education and Adoption Bill, which encourages adoption of children in care. The bill will see adoption agencies encouraged to merge their services into regional agencies, and will allow the government to force such action if needed.

The criticism from the government’s proposals has been met with enthusiasm among some family groups and charities such as Tact, with the charity stating that the government’s focus on adoption was “unhelpful”

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Double Divorces on the Rise in the UK

The number of “double divorces” in the UK has more than doubled in the last year with a higher amount of coverage in the mainstream press being one of the main factors, according to experts.

A high number of disgruntled partners have returned to court to try and obtain more capital or settlements despite the divorce already going through. Official figures from the High Court showed that the number of cases rose from 14,690 in 2013 to 29,060 in 2014 in England and Wales.

Divorce lawyers and experts state that some high profile and widely discussed cases were the main reason for the stark rise in the amount of cases seen by the High Court.  The case of millionaire Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, in particular, was cited as one of the main reasons for a rise. The millionaire's wife Kathleen Wyatt was given permission by the Supreme Court to seek a payout 30 years after divorce proceedings had been finished.

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Fostering Children Moving Too Often Report Finds

A report from the Fostering Network has stated that too many children are moving too often in care, with almost 50% of foster children with their third foster family.

The survey carried out by the Fostering Network found that over 30% of children between the age of 5-10 were living with their third foster family. Furthermore, 8% of all foster children living with their tenth or more foster family.

According to the foster network over 5,500 foster children, currently live with around 4,400 foster families in Scotland.

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How Can You Protect Your Assets Without A Prenuptial Agreement

Prenuptial agreements can be one of the most effective ways to protect your assets if you get married or are in a partnership and you end up divorcing or separating. While some feel that prenuptial agreements should not be needed, divorce and separation are sadly a part of modern day life. Therefore it is perfectly acceptable to plan ahead if the event occurs.

In the unlikely event that you will need a prenuptial agreement, you are ensuring your assets are protected, however, many do not wish to plan for the breakdown of a relationship. What can you do rather than arrange a prenuptial agreement that protects your assets?

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