30 May 2016

New Developments in Family Law

Children & Family Relationships Act 2015

The Children and Family Relationships Act represents the most significant reform of child and family law in recent years.

The Act seeks to put children at the heart of family law, provide legal clarity around various family types and address discrimination faced by children in non-marital families.

The Children and Family Relationships Act 2015 has significantly remedied the situation as follows:

  1. It gives a pathway to parenthood to same sex couples, and
  2. It provides for the needs of dependent children in the dissolution of civil partnership process

Civil Partnership

In the context of civil partnership the following are the main provisions:

  1. i. The civil partner of the mother of child born through donor assisted human reproduction will also be a parent (provisions not yet commenced).
  2. ii. A civil partner of a parent can apply to
  3. Court for an order appointing them a guardian (commenced 18 January 2016).
  4. iii. A couple who are civilly partnered can adopt as a couple and both be parents (not yet commenced).
  5. iv. A step-parent can apply for guardianship/custody.
  6. It is hoped the Act will address the current legal vacuum while reducing the numbers going to court.