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Posted 20 February 2017
by Aimee Aspinall

Family Law update: Divorce, Civil Partnerships and Finances

Inheritance claims where there is no Will

Divorce Rate Continues to Fall

In 2014 there were 111,169 divorces in England and Wales. Compared to 2013 figures this is a marked decrease of 3.1%.

Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill fails

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) Bill has failed its second reading in the House of Commons. The Bill, if enacted, would have amended the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to provide that opposite sex couples may enter into a civil partnership.

An opposite sex couple also lost their claim for judicial review of the ban on civil partnerships for opposite sex couples. The decision has been appealed to the Court of Appeal and judgment is awaited.

DWP research into Child Maintenance Arrangements

The Department for Work & Pensions has published research as part of a 30 month long review showing that the majority of separated parents using the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) are managing payments themselves.

The research shows that:

  •  68% of parents managing payments directly had their arrangements in place 3 months after their initial assessment.
  •  1 year after setting up their arrangement, 62% using Direct Pay were still using the arrangement and 19% had made other arrangements.
  •  56% of parents who made an enquiry but did not proceed with an application, or closed an application, said they intended starting different arrangements.
  •  9 out of 10 were financial arrangements and 86% were described as effective.

Certain family court cases to be made public

The Guardian recently reported that the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, is to continue reforms to promote greater transparency in the family law system this year by launching a trial in which certain types of family hearings are held in Public.

For further information and advice on any matter relating to Family Law please contact our specialist team of solicitors: 01392 207020 or email:


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About the author

Aimee Aspinall

Chartered Legal Executive

Chartered Legal Executive in the Exeter family team