DNA Testing at the Family Court

Family court judges in England are now able to order DNA tests to determine a child’s parentage. This follows two pilot schemes in Taunton and Bristol which were set up following anecdotal evidence that courtroom arguments led to delays in divorce cases, particularly where parentage was in question.


Partner William Donnelly said, “The aim behind this initiative is that all cases involving children should be resolved quickly and wherever possible outside court”.


Findings from the pilots suggest the tests mean judges can be more confident when making decisions about children and, most importantly, parents would be more likely to follow the court’s orders.
The funding for DNA testing in private family law cases follows the introduction last year of a series of reforms designed to place children at the heart of every case and government agencies have reported that this has resulted in a cut to 29 weeks the time which care cases are taking.

The reforms have included:

  • The introduction of the new Family Court in England and Wales with a simpler single system and a network of single application points.
  • New child arrangements orders which are designed to encourage parents to focus on the child’s needs rather than what they see as their own ‘rights’.
  • Compulsory family mediation information meetings so separating couples must consider alternatives to harmful and stressful court battles when they are resolving financial matters and arrangements for child contact.
  • A free mediation session for all couples where one of them is eligible for legal aid.

William, comments “It is hoped that the recent reforms, together with the new rules on DNA testing, will help to end acrimonious and embarrassing court battles.”.

If you would like assistance on a family matter call William on 023 9260 3400 for further information.

 

August 2017

 

Wills and Planning for the future

Research just published underlines how ill-prepared most people are in terms of their end of life planning.

More Info

Around-the-clock care set to double by 2035, according to study

According to a recent study published by The Lancet, it is estimated that in the next twenty years, the number of over-85s requiring around-the-clock care is set to double. 

More Info

Treatment for vulnerable offenders

Vulnerable offenders with mental health, alcohol and substance abuse issues are addressing the underlying cause of their offending, as part of a pioneering new government backed scheme.

More Info

Robbers have their sentences increased

In a sign that the courts are taking the vulnerability of victims more into account when assessing punishments for the guilty, a gang of robbers have recently had their sentences increased.

More Info

We’re proud to be associated with

  • The Law Society, Conveyancing Quality Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Children Law Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Criminal Litigation Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Family Law Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Family Law Advanced Accredited logo
  • The Law Society, Lexcel Accredited logo
  • Solicitors For The Elderly Accredited logo
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners logo
  • Dementia Friends logo
  • Resolution logo