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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Family Law Solicitors Motherwell

Report into family conflict and violence

Posted by on in Family Law

National charity, 4Children, has published recent research which found that over half of parents with children experience serious or frequent conflict - which equates to about four million families with children in this country.

The report highlights that children are overwhelmingly the victims: 950,000 children are affected by domestic violence, either directly as victims of violence, or indirectly in terms of witnessing violence.

The main cause of conflict was money, with 21% of respondents reporting arguments relating to serious financial worries and debt.

When asked what happens during family conflicts, arguments (64%) and shouting (57%) were the top two answers followed by verbal insults (29%). But worryingly, 10% of parents said conflict in their families involved physical fighting - which represents physical violence in 700,000 homes in Britain. Almost one in ten parents also said that possessions had been destroyed during a family row.

4Children is calling on councils to wake-up to the true extent of conflict in families. Separate research by 4Children has revealed that almost half (46%) of local authorities do not have a domestic violence strategy which mentions violence committed by family members. One in ten (11%) don’t have a domestic violence strategy at all.

Like many problems that can lead to family breakdown, family conflict and violence can often remain hidden within families for years because of a reluctance to openly admit to the problem and seek help.

The Enemy Within is the third report published as part of 4Children’s Give Me Strength campaign calling for a new approach to strengthening support for the most vulnerable families to prevent crisis developing.

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Plans by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to reduce its spending are high risk, according to the National Audit Office.

There is already a £44 million shortfall in the £161 million reduction originally expected by 2014-15. The Commission is reliant on raising £71 million in fee income from parents as part of its planned savings. These estimates are very uncertain, increasing the risk that additional cuts might be needed late on in the Spending Review that could have an adverse effect on services.

According to the National Audit Office, the existing child maintenance schemes were problematic from the start and large backlogs of work built up. Efficiency has improved since 2006 and the cost of administering child maintenance has reduced. There are strong indications that costs remain high. Comparisons with Australia are difficult, but the fact that the Commission spends approximately 56 pence for each £1 it collects for parents, while Australia spent 35 pence raises questions about the relative efficiency of the Commission.

It is the opinion of the National Audit office that the Commission’s plans to reduce costs are high risk and not sufficiently developed to secure the savings needed. The Commission needs to consider alternative options for restructuring and introduce measures to improve productivity.

Tackling the problem of domestic violence

Posted by on in Family Law

The Scottish Government has recently announced the opening of a dedicated domestic abuse court in Edinburgh to provide further support for victims of domestic abuse and bring offenders to court quickly.

Welcoming the move, Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said:

“Domestic abuse is completely unacceptable and this government is committed, both financially and morally, to bringing an end to this disgraceful behaviour.

“This dedicated court in Edinburgh is a welcome step forward underlining that domestic violence will not be tolerated and the perpetrators will be dealt with swiftly and severely.

“I support tough penalties for any perpetrators of domestic abuse and last year we introduced a new offence of 'engaging in threatening or abusive behaviour’ to give greater protection to victims. We also introduced a ground breaking phone helpline for male victims of domestic abuse.

“Punishment is one element of a much broader response to tackling domestic abuse and supporting victims. I was particularly pleased to hear today how the judiciary, local authorities, local criminal justice organisations and support services plan to work together to support victims not only at court, but prior to and after their case. 

“We have dedicated £55 million towards preventing violence against women during 2008-12 and continue to work with our partners to bring about an end to this intolerable crime. We know the effects of domestic abuse can be devastating, including on children and young people, and we are determined to tackle it, wherever and whenever it occurs.”

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