A new single Family Court comes into being in England and Wales as ministers pledge to put the welfare of children at the centre of the justice system.
The reforms address a range of shortcomings. They include rules to ensure:
Care cases are normally completed within six months in a single Family Court, which replaces the current three-tier court system in family cases
Separating couples must attend a mediation awareness session before taking disputes over their finances or their children to court
Limits on the amount of expert evidence that can be used in cases involving children, only being permitted when it is necessary to resolve the case justly
There are also changes to the way in which children are dealt with in family cases, with the abolition of labels such as "residence" and "contact", which were thought to focus on the rights of parents rather than the needs of the child.
Read a detailed article on the BBC news website here.
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