Seeking Contact with your Child at Christmas

'Tis the season for twinkling lights, family gatherings and that undeniable feeling of togetherness. But the Christmas holidays can leave many who are navigating a separation uncertain as to when they will see their children over the festive period.

Claire Edgar guest presenter at European Conference on Domestic Violence in Iceland

Our Family Law Partner Claire Edgar was a guest presenter at this year’s European Conference on Domestic Violence in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The Court Children's Officer

Article 4 of the Children (NI) Order 1995 allows for the Family Courts in Northern Ireland to arrange for a ‘suitably qualified person to report to the Court on such matters relating to the welfare of a child’.   This suitably qualified person is known as the Court Children’s Officer and they can play a significant part in promoting a just and compassionate and child-centred approach to legal proceedings involving children. 

Divorcing Couples Left in Limbo Over Public Sector Pensions

In March 2023, the HM Treasury suspended any calculation of a Cash Equivalent Transfer Value in respect of public sector Defined Benefit pension schemes and to date have not provided any firm details as to what will replace it. 

Non-Fatal Strangulation offence comes into force in Northern Ireland

From 26th June 2023, a standalone offence of ‘Non-Fatal Strangulation’ came into force in Northern Ireland.  

Father's Rights When Things Go Wrong

Father’s Day is a celebration of fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in our lives. It’s a day when children lavish daddy with cards, gifts, hugs and kisses and where fathers celebrate both the joys and rewards of having children. 

Fourth Judicial Review brings further clarity to procedure on Non-Molestation Orders

The High Court of Northern Ireland recently handed down Judgment in the Judicial Review case of JR231. The Judgment explores the legal test to be applied by the Domestic Courts in determining whether to grant an ex parte Non-Molestation Order under the Family Homes and Domestic Violence (NI) Order 1998.

Recent Coronation Street storyline shines light on Stalking

Coronation Street has addressed stalking behaviour and the impact it can have on victims in a recent storyline addressing the topic. 

Claire Edgar Guest Speaker at Domestic Abuse Conference

Our Family Law partner Claire Edgar was a guest speaker at the Bar Council for Northern Ireland’s Conference on domestic abuse which took place on 23rd February 2023.

Emergency protection available on Appeal in Non- Molestation Order applications

In October 2022, the High Court of Justice in NI considered the appeal process available to victims of domestic abuse if they are not granted emergency protection by the Domestic Proceedings Court.

Claire Edgar appointed Chair of Domestic Abuse Working Group

Our Family Law Partner, Claire Edgar is appointed Chair of the Protection and Justice Working Group of the Belfast Area Domestic & Sexual Violence and Abuse Partnership. 

The Family Courts Your Questions Answered

The Family Courts in Northern Ireland oversee and adjudicate upon cases which are brought by parents after relationship breakdown regarding care arrangements for their children. Here are some frequently asked questions about our Family Courts and how they work.

Social Services Involvement With Your Family

While Social Services play an important role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children in our community, it is natural for parents to feel anxious at the thought of Social Services becoming involved with their children.  We are regularly contacted by parents who are anxious at the thought of Social Services becoming involved with their family and we advise on the steps that can be taken to ensure that children remain in parental care.

Breaches of Non-Molestation Orders Frequently Asked Questions

In the period between April 2021 to March 2022, there were 642 reported incidents of breaches of Non-Molestation Orders in Northern Ireland.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day 2022 Highlighting Domestic Abuse of Older People

The United Nations designated 15th June as ‘Elder Abuse Awareness Day’ as an occasion to recognise and highlight the issue of elder abuse in the world and for each country to vocalise its opposition to the abuse and suffering inflicted upon some members of our older generations.

National Stalking Awareness Week 2022 - An Overview of the Law on Stalking in NI

Today marks the start of National Stalking Awareness Week 2022 which runs from Monday 25th April 2022 to Friday 29 April 2022.

Legal Aid Waiver available for victims of Domestic Abuse in Childrens Proceedings

In February 2022, the Legal Services Agency introduced a discretionary waiver which will now mean that victims of domestic abuse may be eligible to Legal Aid when defending certain Children (NI) Order proceedings even if their financial circumstances might otherwise mean that they are ineligible.

Claire Edgar presents domestic abuse training to The Voice of Migrant Women

Our Family Law Partner, Claire Edgar recently presented a talk on family law at an event organised by The Voices of Migrant Women. 

Protection from Stalking law Bill passes final stage at Stormont

On 22nd February 2022, the Protection from Stalking Bill passed its Final Stage at the Stormont Assembly.

Gaslighting term given legitimacy by Courts in recent High Court judgement

The High Court in England & Wales has for the first time used the term ‘gaslighting’ in a judgment to describe coercive behaviours.