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A consultation paper on children's separate legal representation was published on 1 September 2006. Separate Representation of Children (CP 20/06) proposes that children be made individual parties in proceedings where appropriate and sets out new guidelines. The recommendation draws on academic research that suggests separate representation of a child in cases settling contact or residence orders can refocus those involved on the welfare of the child. The paper also points out that in other circumstances separate representation can actually add to the stress and pressure felt by a child involved in a family court case. The paper proposes, in addition, that children are provided with reliable information on family court proceedings in a format appropriate to their age, a proposal intended to avoid unnecessary anxiety and uncertainty. The Separate Representation of Children is available on the DCA website at www.dca.gov.uk/consult/separate_representation/cp2006.htm and the consultation closes on 8 December 2006. See October  Fam Law for the full news article.
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