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

 

Is a worker employed or self-employed?

June 2018

Following a recent high profile Court case, partner Andrew Bryan poses the Question “When is a worker an employee rather than a self-employed contractor?”

More Info

Upskirting Law moves a step closer

June 2018

After the recent private members bill on ‘upskirting’ was so spectacularly and publicly blocked in parliament recently, the Government has finally stepped in to take action.

More Info

Commonhold – a different option for owning property

June 2018

Partner, Liz Moger, comments that the Law Commission is asking flat owners, housebuilders, mortgage lenders and lawyers to help shape a law which could help people own their flats outright.

More Info

High Court Rules that female cohabitee is entitled to share of deceased partner’s estate

May 2018

Solicitor Gemma Nolan comments on a recent landmark ruling where the High Court has found in favour of a 79 year old woman, after her partner of 42 years left her out of his will.

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