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The last of a series of radical changes to the child maintenance system came into effect on 11th August 2014.


Around 47% of women and 48% of men who are currently aged 20 will never get married, according to new research from The Marriage Foundation.


A new report from America has given an interesting insight into some general characteristics of families that take the decision to adopt a child.


A country-wide campaign to tackle the problem of domestic violence during the festive period has been launched by Police Scotland.


A large majority (80%) of “grey divorcees”, people who divorced at the age of 50 or older, say they will delay their retirement because they need to work longer than planned, and more than half (62%) say their post-divorce savings and investments will no longer be adequate to fund their retirement, according to new research from Investors Group.


A number of voluntary adoption agencies have jointly launched a new scheme, ‘It’s All About Me’, to encourage more people in England to adopt ‘harder to place’ children.


Councils must protect vital money for children in the poorest families – by keeping child maintenance out of council tax support calculations, single-parent charity Gingerbread has said.


Academics have, for the first time, found firm evidence of a link between domestic violence and ‘Old Firm’ football matches.


A recently published report has revealed a startling rise in the number of divorces and separations taking place in Ireland.


The Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Intercountry Adoption Convention) has celebrated its 20th anniversary.


A ground-breaking new programme that promises to transform the lives of children in care has been launched by the Fostering Network.


A recent study by researchers at Cambridge University has examined the wellbeing of adoptive families headed by same-sex couples.


Around 59% of divorce attorneys in America have seen an increase in the number of cases using evidence taken from dating websites during the past three years, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML).


The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a bulletin giving annual statistics on the number of families by type, people in families by family type and children in families by type in 1996 and 2012.


The launch of Scotland’s first national parenting strategy will mean that parents will benefit from easier and better access to information and support, claims the Scottish Government.


A new study from Australia has found that many non-resident fathers would like to have more contact and involvement with their children.

The research, by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, found that of fathers who have some contact with their child who lives all or part of their time with the child’s mother, 47% would like to be a lot more involved with their child. Another 28% would like to be a little more involved.

The study also found that perspectives differed about the extent to which fathers provide financial or other in-kind contributions. Australian Institute of Family Studies Researcher, Dr Jennifer Baxter, said:

“Quite often these studies rely on one parent’s perspective but we know that each parent has their own perspective and it’s interesting to look at this issue of parental involvement from both points of view,

A recent poll of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has found that 51% reported seeing an increase in the use of postnuptial agreements during the past three years.


The Scottish Government has published its Programme for Government 2012–13, in which it has announced its intention to introduce the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill. The Bill will allow same sex couples to marry and allow civil partnerships to be registered through a religious ceremony.


Divorce and relationship breakdown is leading 25 people to seek help with unmanageable debt each day, according to recent figures from debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).

A total of 9,099 people counselled by CCCS during 2011 cited divorce or separation as the main cause of their debt problem, with women outnumbering men two-to-one.

Relationship breakdown costs the UK an estimated £44bn a year and divorce and separation ranks as the fourth largest cause of problem debt among CCCS clients, behind unemployment, reduced income and budgeting problems, with two thirds (66%) of those affected being women.

A Scottish Parliamentary Committee is to investigate how decisions are made about whether children should be removed from their family homes and placed in care.

Launching the inquiry, Education and Culture Committee Convener Stewart Maxwell MSP said:

"This inquiry is not about rushing to make judgements about the systems currently in place. It is about asking the difficult questions to make sure that these systems really are working for children and their families.

"Our committee will examine the processes involved in deciding whether to remove a child from the family home and consider whether these are consistent across the country. Only by doing this can we really be sure that we are making the best decisions for children who may be abused or neglected."

As part of the inquiry, the Committee has launched a call for evidence, seeking views on key questions:

  • Are decisions made on the basis of a clear, fully developed and agreed evidence base that demonstrates what is most effective for children and their families?
  • Is there consistency in decision-making across the country?
  • Can general assumptions ever be made about fitness to parent or must each situation be fully assessed on its individual circumstances?
  • What evidence is available to demonstrate that children who are removed from the family home, whether temporarily or permanently, enjoy better outcomes than they otherwise would have had?
  • How are decisions made on whether a child, once removed from the family home, should be returned to that home, or removed permanently? Is the speed of decision making appropriate?
  • Where a child has been returned to the family home, what type of support is most effective in ensuring that the child will enjoy greater stability and security?

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