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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

20 AUG 2014

Cuts to family legal aid have undermined government support for family breakdown

At the Relationships Alliance Summit, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a speech setting out the Government’s agenda for supporting British families.

Resolution welcomes the Government’s commitment to building stronger relationships across the spectrum of British society. However, more consideration needs to be given to support for families when they break down.

Resolution chair Jo Edwards says:

'We welcome the efforts being made to help families come together and stay together. But what was missing from the Prime Minister’s speech this morning was anything about the support families need when couples separate.

As the Prime Minister acknowledged, "there are some couples for whom splitting up is the right thing in the circumstances, however difficult the decision.” Where there are children involved, it is vitally important, in the majority of cases, that there continues to be a relationship with both parents.

In addition to helping families stay together, the Government needs to look at the support families need to manage family breakdown and separation in a way that minimises conflict and ensures that wherever possible fathers can maintain a relationship with their children – these people are still a family, even if they’re living apart.

The cuts to family legal aid have undermined such aims, in particular where one parent has lost contact with their children because they can’t access legal advice during separation. People are not getting the crucial support they need at this relationship ‘transition time’ and I would urge the Government to consider this more carefully in its drive to strengthen relationships in British society.'
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