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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Family Lawyers Wishaw

The culture within the care system has become too risk averse and is preventing foster carers from helping children in their care to have a full experience of family life, according to the Fostering Network.

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The failure to allow foster carers in Scotland to make day-to-day decisions for the children in their care is denying these children a full and proper experience of childhood, the Fostering Network has warned.

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Adoption UK has welcomed a recent ruling from the High Court, which has declared it was unlawful to prevent unmarried couples from adopting in Northern Ireland.

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A survey of counseling professionals from YourTango.com has offered some insights into why marriages fail. It found that the leading cause of divorce was communication problems, followed by sexual infidelity and "not spending enough time together/not mutually prioritising the marriage."

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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.

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Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People has published his response to the Scottish Government's consultation on the proposed Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill.

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A recent study from Portugal has found that men and women choose to separate or get divorced for different reasons, reports the Portugal News.

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Scotland's Chief Statistician has recently published the results of a survey into the composition of households across Scotland.

As part of the survey, just under 13,000 adults were selected to take part in a 'random adult' interview. Around 52% of these adults were female and 48% were male. Those aged 16-24 represented 15% of adults. Those aged 45 to 59 made up a quarter (25%) of all adults, while those 75 or over represented just under one-tenth (9%) of adults.

Of these random adults, the survey found that:

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A recent publication by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has given details on the work of the Child Support Agency.

DWP is responsible for the child maintenance system in Great Britain. It funds information and support for separating parents and runs the statutory child maintenance schemes, currently operated through the CSA.

DWP assumed responsibility for the CSA from the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission on the 1st  August 2012, following an announcement on 14th October 2010 that the Commission would become an executive agency of DWP as part of the Public Bodies Reform.

The main findings of the data include:

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A researcher at Kansas State University has carried out a study into whether the type of relationship a woman has with her ex-partner is a factor in how the couple shares custody of children.

Assistant professor Mindy Markham's study of 20 divorced or separated mothers sharing physical custody of their children with their former partners found there were three main patterns of co-parenting -- continuously contentious, always amicable and bad to better.

Nine mothers had continuously contentious co-parenting relationships with their ex-partners from the time of separation to the present.

Four mothers in the study had amicable co-parenting relationships, where they reported always getting along with their ex-partners from separation to the present.

Seven of the mothers in the study had bad-to-better co-parenting relationships, where co-parenting was contentious at the time of separation, but greatly improved over time.

Communication with the ex-partner also played a role in the co-parenting relationship. In the always amicable and bad-to-better relationships, mothers were able to communicate well with ex-partners. These mothers said this made discussing differences in parenting styles easier.

But for women in continuously contentious relationships, lack of communication was a big issue, Markham said. These mothers limited direct in-person or phone communication with their ex, preferring alternative methods like texting or email. They also avoided seeing their ex in person when it came time to exchange children by having them picked up at day care or school.

Markham said she was surprised by the level of animosity that accompanies shared custody, at least from some mothers' perceptions.

"Nearly half of the mothers in this study continue to have conflicted relationships with their ex-partners, and conversations with these women negate the notion that shared physical custody ensures cooperative, less conflicted relationships," she said. "This study can be important for helping professionals recognize that shared physical custody is not a panacea for postdivorce problems -- and that in some cases it exacerbates them."

A wealthy banker from Scotland and his ex-wife have brought an end to their ten year marriage with what has been described as the 'happiest divorce ever', reports the Scotsman.

Roger Jenkins made his money as a tax expert in the banking sector, and is thought to be worth around £300 million. He separated from his ex-wife three years ago, but the couple remained good friends and have agreed the terms of their divorce amicably, without needing to go to court.

His ex-wife, Diana Jenkins, is a successful businesswoman in her own right, and, according to the Scotsman, will receive a settlement of around £150 million under the terms of the divorce.

The Scottish Government has announced that it intends to introduce legislation to allow same sex marriage.

Announcing the decision, Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:

"The Scottish Government understands and respects the fact that there are very deeply held views in Scotland both for and against same sex marriage and, in coming to our decision, we have had to carefully consider a number of different factors.

"We are committed to a Scotland that is fair and equal and that is why we intend to proceed with plans to allow same sex marriage and religious ceremonies for civil partnerships. We believe that this is the right thing to do.

"We are also mindful of the fact that the leaders of all of the other parties represented in parliament support same sex marriage and that there is significant parliamentary support for legislation.

"However, we are also deeply committed to freedom of speech and religion. The concerns of those who do not favour same sex marriage require to be properly addressed. It is therefore right that the next step in this process will be to consult stakeholders on any provisions that may be required, in either statute or guidance, to protect these important principles and address specific concerns that have been expressed.

"The Scottish Government has already made clear that no religious body will be compelled to conduct same sex marriages and we reiterate that today. Such protection is provided for under existing equality laws.

"However, our view is that to give certainty on protection for individual celebrants taking a different view from a religious body that does agree to conduct same sex marriages, an amendment will be required to the UK Equality Act. We will work with the UK Government to secure agreement to such an amendment before the formal introduction of a Bill to Parliament, with a view to it being in place before the legislation comes into force.

A recent study by psychologists at UCLA has found that people on low incomes hold more traditional values toward marriage and divorce than people with moderate and higher incomes.

According to Benjamin Karney, a UCLA professor of psychology and senior author of the study, low-income people hold much more traditional attitudes about divorce and are less likely to see divorce as a reasonable solution to an unhappy marriage. One area where low-income groups are less traditional, he said, is on the acceptability of single parenting.
 
According to the authors, these findings raise an obvious question: If poor people hold traditional values about marriage and divorce, why are their marriage rates lower and their out-of-wedlock births much higher than those of higher incomes? The answer, Karney said, is that values often do not predict behaviour, and they don’t in these areas. He noted that most people do not consider lying to be a good value, yet large numbers of people lie nevertheless.
 
"Why are low-income women postponing marriage but having babies?" Karney asked. "Because they don’t want to get divorced. They think if they marry their current partner, they are likely to get divorced — and couples that have financial strain are much more likely to have marital difficulties. It’s like these women have been reading the scientific journals about marriage; their intuition is absolutely correct."
 
He said many of these low-income women have no models for a successful marriage, and the marriages they see are in trouble. Also, they do not trust their financial and family future with the men they know. "However, they know they can raise a child," he said. "They may have been raised by a single mother, and people all around them were raised by single mothers. They see single-parent families that succeed, and they see the role of mother is valued."
 
The study examined the reasons why low-income women are willing to have babies before they are willing to get married.  "It’s not because they don’t care about marriage," Karney said. "They care about marriage so much that they are unwilling to do it the wrong way. In their communities, motherhood and marriage are two separate things. Girls who think they have somewhere to go in life don’t get pregnant; girls who think they have nowhere to go are less careful about contraception."

A recent survey has found that adopted children and their families are not getting sufficient support throughout the adoption process, and this lack of support can discourage people from considering adopting from care.

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Recent statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau have revealed that monthly child support payments averaged $430 per month in 2010.

Other highlights include:

  • Child support payments averaged $5,150 annually, or $430 per month.
  • About 85% of child support providers were male and 15% were female.
  • Annual child support payments averaged $5,450 from male providers and $3,500 from female providers.
  • About three of every four child support providers had some type of an agreement or court order for support.
  • About six-in-ten child support providers paid support for one child, three-in-ten supported two children, and the remaining one-in-ten supported three or more children.
  • About 2.1 million providers supported people other than their children younger than 21, with 32% of these providing support for their parents.


The U.S. Census Bureau has also revealed that in 2010, there were 22.0 million shared households in the United States, an 11.4% increase from 2007. This total of shared households accounted for 18.7% of all households, up from 17% in 2007.

A shared household is defined as a household with at least one “additional

Research by the Scottish Youth Parliament and LGBT Youth Scotland has shown over three-quarters of young people are in favour of equal marriage.

The Scottish Youth Parliament, and LGBT Youth are now both calling on the Scottish Government to announce plans to bring Equal Marriage to Scotland and create the truly equal Scotland its young people want to live in.  

Analysis by the two organisations of an Ipsos-Mori opinion poll has found 78% of young people aged between 18-24 are in favour of the statement: “Same-sex couples should have the right to get married

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Some of Scotland’s most vulnerable children continue to fall behind in education despite measures being put in place to support them, according to a report published by the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee.

The report shows that levels of attainment for many looked after children, in terms of their exam results, are very low in comparison with other children. Around 56% of school leavers gained five or more qualifications, however only 4.7% of children looked after away from home and 0.5% of children looked after at home achieved the same results.

The committee made several detailed recommendations to address this complex issue including:

  • to hold a further, detailed inquiry into the issue;
  • the particular needs of looked after children should be considered in the Scottish Government’s early years strategy and its national parenting strategy;
  • there should be a nationwide effort to ensure that volunteers can play a greater role in supporting looked after children, complementing the work of trained professionals;
  • there should be a nationwide means of recording looked after children’s wider educational achievements, rather than focussing solely on their exam results; and
  • better training on the particular needs of looked after children should be provided to all relevant children’s services professionals.

A recent survey has found that having a successful marriage and raising children are the most important life goals for the younger generation, reports the Telegraph. This contradicts the commonly held view that younger people are more interested in material possessions and career development.

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Shelter Scotland has reported a sharp rise in the number of visits to its website from women looking for help and advice on domestic abuse following its recent Facebook advertising campaign.

The campaign was launched to coincide with the weekend’s Old Firm football match which Strathclyde Police says is often the catalyst for a spike in reported incidents of domestic abuse. The charity saw a 600% increase in visits around the match compared with previous weekends when the same adverts had been running.

Alison Watson, Head of Services at Shelter Scotland, said: “These figures show that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people across Scotland, mainly women, went online last weekend to find advice and help on issues related to domestic abuse. And they weren’t just browsing. The average length of visit to our advice pages increased to several minutes.

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