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    Family Court Fees to Rise

    The Family Court fees are expected to rise soon, as a result of the Government’s proposal that court fees should increase by up to 10% in 2024. It is anticipated that these changes will happen in April 2024.
    The Ministry of Justice has stated that ‘implementing increases to court and tribunal fees is vital to our ongoing work to protect access to the courts for all those who seek justice.’
    The aim is to ensure that the courts can be properly resourced, as the increases will generate between £34 million and £42 million a year.
    Court fees have not increased since 2021, and the incoming change is to ensure that the courts can keep pace with increased costs, as well as improving service and reduce the taxpayer’s costs. The increased income will also support in subsidising the cost of the free services offered by the family courts.
    Prospective changes will include changes to the cost of getting a divorce or civil partnership dissolution, as well as price increases for child arrangements orders, financial orders that are not by consent, and applications for parental orders.
    Below we break down the changes.
    When the changes come in, the cost of a divorce/civil partnership dissolution application is set to rise from £593 to £652.
    Child arrangements orders will also see an increase in cost, rising from £232 to £255. Child arrangements orders are put in place by the court to set out responsibilities regarding children, including their living arrangements and their contact with both parents.
    Other children issues will also see the same cost increase, including orders such as Specific Issue Orders, Prohibited Steps Orders and Special Guardianship Orders, as well as applications for parental orders.
    The cost of an application for adoption, or permission to apply for adoption will rise from £183 to £201.
    A financial order application, not by consent, will see a cost rise from £275 to £303.
    In addition, financial consent orders are set to rise from £53 to £58.
    The Government website has a full breakdown of all the fee changes. More

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    A Guide to Prohibited Steps Orders

    The breakup of a family can be a time of heightened emotions and in some cases, it may be necessary for the family court to enforce legal structures to prevent problems in relation to child arrangements.
    One example of this is a Prohibited Steps Order (PSO), which is sometimes used in acrimonious cases where the welfare of the separated couple’s child may be at risk.
    Stowe Family Law Paralegal, Becka Headley explores what they are, how they work, and how best to navigate them.
    What is a Prohibited Steps Order?
    A Prohibited Steps Order is a legally binding order that prohibits someone from exercising some elements of their parental responsibility. Where a Prohibited Steps Order has been put in place, the person against whom the order has been made must have the court’s permission before doing something set out in the order that would usually be done by a parent.
    They are usually used in cases where parents have separated, although the order does not have to be made against a parent, just someone with parental responsibility.
    Who can apply for a PSO?
    The following people have an automatic right to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order in relation to a child:

    Any parent, guardian or special guardian of the child
    Anyone who is named in a Child Arrangements Order which is in force in respect to that child, which states that the child is to live with them
    Anyone else who holds parental responsibility for the child.

    Any other party who wishes to apply for a Prohibited Steps Order will firstly need to apply for permission from the court before doing so.
    How can I apply for a PSO?
    You can make an application to the court for a Prohibited Steps Order by completing Form C100 and submitting this to the Family Court local to where the child lives. There is a fee of £232 for submitting this application to the court. Your application will then be issued by the court and listed for a hearing to consider application.
    If you do not have automatic permission to apply for the Prohibited Steps Order, you will firstly need to make an application for permission. This can be done on Form C100 also, with a cost of £232, to the Family Court local to where the child lives. A hearing may be required for the court to determine if permission is granted. If and when the court grant you permission to apply for the order, you can then proceed to apply for the Prohibited Steps Order as above.
    It is possible to apply for an Emergency PSO. These are often made in a ‘without notice’ hearing, where the other party is not aware of the application. There does need to be evidence that an emergency order is needed and that the welfare of the child is at risk.
    What can a Prohibited Steps Order cover?
    Prohibited Steps Orders can cover a wide range of prohibited actions, which prevents someone from carrying out an action which they would usually be allowed to do as a parent. For example:

    Changing or removing the child from school
    Changing the child’s surname
    Changing the child’s GP
    Consenting to the child undergoing a medical treatment
    Relocating a child within the UK or overseas
    Prohibiting the child from seeing a specific person

    The time for which the Prohibited Steps Order lasts can vary from case to case. It will usually remain in force until further notice, although it will automatically end on the child’s 18th birthday.  The court will impose a duration which they feel is in the best interests of the child, which can range from one month to several years.
    Can a Prohibited Steps Order be overturned or lifted?
    A Prohibited Steps Order can be over-turned; however the court will not do so if removing the order may negatively effect the child. The court’s first priority is the wellbeing of the child.
    A Prohibited Steps Order can be lifted if the parties reach an agreement that it should be. In these circumstances, the person who initially made the application for the Prohibited Steps Order can request that the court lift the order. Before lifting the order, the court will consider whether this is in the child’s best interests.
    What happens if a Prohibited Steps Order is breached?
    A Prohibited Steps Order is a legally binding and enforceable court order. Therefore, if a person breaks the order, they will be in contempt of court. This offence is punishable by imprisonment, fines and/or unpaid work.
    If breach of the order is found to be justified as it was in the best interests of the child, the court may reduce the penalty for the breach, or there may be no penalty at all.
    Useful Links
    What the family court expects from parents
    Can my ex stop me moving away with the children?
    My ex and I can’t agree on our child’s school
    Supporting children through divorce: Listen on Spotify
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    What do you say to a friend whose marriage is ending?

    Sometimes, when people admit that their marriage is unsustainable, for whatever reason, the reaction of family, friends, even strangers on the internet can be judgmental or pitying. However, what someone in this situation needs are words and actions of support and comfort, as well as professional and legal guidance.
    We are joined on the blog by Divorce Coach Rebecca Spittles, who explores her own experience of the initial stages of separation, and what to say to a friend whose marriage is ending.
    ‘“It’s a shame you couldn’t have just tried a bit harder…”
    Nothing hits harder when you have made the decision to leave. When will people understand that getting divorced is an absolute last resort?
    Contrary to popular belief, and in my experience both personally and professionally, no one actually wants to get divorced. Reaching the point of separation, especially when there are children in the mix, is the most gut wrenching, stomach turning, vomit-inducing feeling you could ever imagine if you’ve not been there.
    I don’t wish divorce on anyone. When I took my vows I took them for life, like my parents, my grandparents and all that surrounded me. I wanted that security and comfort that everyone seeks from marriage. Even simple things I was excited about, for example to have the same surname as my husband and then of my child. It was so, so important.
    Just imagine how it felt when I knew that no matter how hard I tried, the union I was in was not meant to be?
    My parents were amazing. On several occasions I came close to uttering the words separation and every time they would come up with some kind words and injected a bit more strength into me to keep going. Marriage isn’t easy.
    My sister was the best. Constantly encouraging me, being a sounding board but never once suggesting being apart was an option.
    The toughest part of my situation was that, in order for our relationship to be harmonious, one or both of us had to completely stifle their key personality traits. Not sustainable.
    Our opinions on every single little thing were different and it ended with one or both of us feeling sad or resentful or angry as there wasn’t space for compromise.
    Compromise. The word bandied around all the time when it comes to being in a relationship. What if compromise actually meant giving in? Taking on the view of the other person so that life could just about be normal? What if compromise was only one sided and the only way for the other person to ever be happy was to always do what they wanted?
    I made several huge changes. Gave up my brilliant job so I could be at home. Gave up financial independence and poured every penny into the joint account. I started asking to do things and to buy things and slowly I disappeared. But still there was no happiness.
    After 2 long years following the birth of our daughter I asked for a separation. The answer was ‘No’. Clearly, I ‘didn’t care about my marriage’. I did. I wanted it more than I have ever wanted anything in my life to work but I was empty. Nothing left.
    In the end, two days after New Years Eve, I left after a huge row (something I learned is never the best way to leave).
    I picked up our daughter and stepped out of the front door and I will always remember the feeling of this being ‘it’. We were completely over. I drove to my parents with a sleeping toddler, arrived and cried. I cried and cried.
    Eventually he moved out to his Mum’s temporarily so that I could come home with our daughter and work, and she could have contact with her Dad.
    I am writing this so that next time someone utters the words ‘I want to leave my husband/wife’ just listen. Ask why, not so you can tell her why they should stay but so that you can understand quite how far they have come to be able to say this out loud.
    If you’ve been through it, please, please offer comfort, what they don’t need is the gore of your breakup or divorce. There is plenty of time for that later!
    Share your emotion and empathise because you more than many truly know where they are at.
    Finally, for all of us sat with the friend who says their relationship is over, just help. They will be a wreck for a while to come, from being so strong to being a crying mess on the floor. An angry confused teenager-esque stage will rear its ugly head at some point along with bitterness and probably a fair bit of drunkenness.
    Just be there for them. They will come out the other side. They will never be the same again, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.’
    Rebecca Spittles is a Divorce Coach providing personalised emotional and practical support and coaching to help individuals navigate their divorce or separation.
     You can find out more about Rebecca on her website or via her LinkedIn. 
    Useful links
    My partner’s a good person but I’m not happy
    When ‘I do’ becomes ‘I don’t’: Navigating the path to divorce and what to do next
    What to do if you think your marriage is over

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    Stowe Talks How To: Part 2

    Stowe Talks How To
    Our next instalment of our Stowe Talks How To videos are now freely available to watch.
    To recap, these videos are guides for some of the key aspects of the divorce process, so you can be taken through step-by-step accompanied by our expert lawyers.
    We know that divorce can be overwhelming and stressful at times, which is why we have produced these practical videos and accompanying guides for you to download for free.
    Videos
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    Guides
    The supporting guides can be found here.
    A full playlist of all the Stowe Talks How To videos can be found here.
    Other Useful Links
    Introducing Stowe Talks How To
    Stowe Support – a huge range of free resources (blogs, guides, podcasts etc) covering all matters family law including divorce, child arrangements, unmarried couples, finances, and much more besides. More

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    Platonic Co-Parenting – Can I really have a baby with my friend?

    In recent months, the idea of platonic co-parenting has gained traction. A recent article in The Guardian on the topic was written by a woman who, after much back and forth, decided to have a baby with her gay best friend. The friends were both happily single, but wanted a child and were concerned about the social and financial implications of raising a child as a single parent.
    Platonic co-parenting can take a variety of different forms and can be entered into for a whole host of different reasons. It can be between an opposite sex ‘couple’, same sex, or even as three parents where the couple are unable to have children so bring in a friend who not only can be a donor but can be present as another parental figure.
    In essence, platonic co-parenting is when a child is raised by two or more people who are not, and have not in the past been, in a romantic relationship (although there may be a romantically involved same-sex couple as part of a three+ parental group). The child might be conceived by treatments like IVF, intracervical insemination (ICI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). The prospective parents may choose to go down the surrogacy route or adopt a child.
    What does platonic co-parenting look like?
    Platonic co-parenting looks different for every set of parents. The reasons behind platonic co-parenting are as varied as how it can look in practise, but some reasons might be:

    Two happily single individuals each want to have a baby,
    Financial constraints mean an individual cannot afford to be a single parent,
    A same-sex couple want to have a child with a donor and the donor wants a relationship with the child.

    With any number of reasons for wanting to platonically co-parent, how it can look practically is unique to the situation. However, by definition, platonic co-parenting means that each parent is involved in the upbringing of the child, whether they are biologically connected or not.
    Each set of parents will need to come to an agreement about how conception will work, and what the practicalities will be once the baby is born. For example, for the woman and her gay best friend mentioned above, they came to an agreement that they would try ICI first to get pregnant, and then IVF. They discussed finances and decided on a 50/50 split, potential baby names, the baby’s surname and where the child, and the parents, would live (for the first year the father would move in with the mother and baby).
    In some cases, there are more than two parents. The law only recognises two legal parents; however, platonic co-parenting opens up opportunities for more communal parenting responsibility.
    In some cases, a same-sex couple may ask a close friend to be a donor, or a surrogate mother, and this friend becomes part of the family. In other examples, a gay couple and a lesbian couple might ‘join forces’ to have a four-parent family.
    There are also matchmaking apps now that allow prospective parents to meet each other or meet sperm donors.
    Is it legal/How can I make it legal?
    Platonic co-parenting is entirely legal.
    Complications can arise with the difficulties in law around parental responsibility and each platonic co-parenting relationship will be unique. However, if a parent wants to have legal guardianship of a child, this must be registered.
    For example, if a heterosexual ‘couple’ have a child together, the father can be officially recognised as the child’s legal parent by being named on the birth certificate.
    The law only allows for two legal parents, so where a group of co-parents want to raise a child, only two can be recognised as such. The woman who carries the child will automatically be recognised as the child’s legal parent. However, the law allows for more than two people to have parental responsibility, for example as step-parents, or grandparents.
    For families where there are more than two parents, it is important to consider what other arrangements and agreements you may need to put in place to grant parental responsibility over the child. This can be done through a ‘parental responsibility agreement’.
    More legal information around platonic co-parenting can be found here.
    What are the benefits of platonic co-parenting?
    There are a variety of benefits of platonic co-parenting, and these do depend on your unique situation. However, here are a few:

    It allows happily single individuals to become parents without the pressure of solo parenting,
    Sperm donors can have a more active role in the child’s life,
    Potentially more people with parental responsibility – this can mean more support and love for the child,
    It is another way for the LGBTQIA+ community to become parents without requiring romantic relationships with the opposite sex.

    Are there any downsides?
    As with parenting generally, there can be conflict in co-parenting relationships, which is why it is important to discuss legal, social, environmental, and physical factors before embarking on the journey. These can be made into a Co-Parenting Agreement, more widely known as a Parenting Plan, which, whilst not legally binding, help define the expectations of each parent and what agreements have been made.
    Communication is key in all parenting and the more open and transparent you are with your other co-parents, the better. It is important to get all your thoughts out on the table and discuss what compromises may need to be reached.
    The law can be complicated in areas such as surrogacy, and fertility treatments, so you might need to seek legal advice around these matters, and around seeking parental responsibility.
    If disagreements do arise, mediation can often help resolve difficulties and help co-parents reach amicable solutions.
    Useful Links
    What is platonic co-parenting?
    Surrogacy and parental orders
    Travelling abroad with different surnames
    What is parental responsibility?

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    INTRODUCING Stowe talks: How to

    Ever wished you had step-by-step instructions to help guide you through typical divorce processes?
    We know that divorce and separation can feel like a minefield cluttered with complicated paperwork, legal jargon and complex processes.
    That’s why we’ve produced Stowe talks: How to a new range of free step-by-step videos and guides.
    What you can expect from Stowe talks: How to
    Each edition includes a video and accompanying guide available to download for free. The focus on offering practical, to-the-point information and guidance from a family lawyer on a specific topic related to divorce or separation, including:
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    Explore more Stowe talks: How to resources
    Watch Stowe talks: How to videos
    Download the accompanying guides More

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    What is in store for family law in 2024?

    2024 has the potential to see the conclusion of a number of UK government legislation amendments and consultations. Each carefully considered change will have a far-reaching impact on family law and those dealing with the personal impact of family law matters. So, as we begin the new year, we look at important changes on the horizon and suggest what may be in store for family law in 2024.
    Financial Remedies Court reporting pilot
    The spotlight on ‘transparency in the Family Court’ continues in 2024. Following on from last year’s introduction of measures to increase understanding and scrutiny of the system, a new pilot scheme is set to start on January 29th.
    The Financial Remedies Court (FRC) reporting pilot will allow accredited journalists and bloggers to report on financial remedies proceedings. These include financial issues arising from divorce and civil partnership dissolution, and child support cases.
    The FRC pilot will initially cover three trial courts: the Central Family Court, Birmingham, and Leeds. Notably, certain hearings, like Financial Dispute Resolution, will maintain confidentiality, preserving the privacy of those involved.
    Proposed amendment to Victims and Prisoners Bill affecting parental responsibility
    In January 2024 the Ministry of Justice’s proposed amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill moves to the next stage. The proposal announced in 2022 seeks to automatically remove parental responsibility for parents convicted of the murder or voluntary manslaughter of their co-parent.
    The legislation change emerged after the death of Jade Ward, whose partner and father of her child murdered her in 2021. He was found guilty and sentenced to a minimum of 25 years in jail. Since then, Jade’s family have lobbied for a change in the law to automatically remove parental responsibility so that convicted offenders can no longer seek information about their children or make key decisions about their lives.
    The Ministry of Justice have confirmed that there will be exemptions in cases involving domestic abuse.
    Possible outline of future financial remedies reform
    In 2023 the Law Commission of England and Wales launched a comprehensive review of financial remedy orders. The review examines how finances are divided among couples post-divorce or civil partnership dissolution, currently governed by the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Civil Partnership Act 2004.
    The aim of the review is to evaluate the effectiveness of current laws and ensure fairness for divorcing couples. Among other factors, the review set out to analyse discretionary powers of judges, explore wider powers for orders involving children over the age of eighteen, assess pension-related orders, review the mechanics and structure of post-divorce financial payments.
    The findings, anticipated in a scoping report in September 2024, may pave the way for significant reforms in future financial remedies legislation.
    Family court fees to rise
    Last month the UK Government completed a consultation which looks to increase court fees by up to 10% in 2024.
    The Ministry for Justice wants to increase revenue generated by the courts to ensure that they remain ‘sufficiently resourced’ to protect access to the courts for all those who seek justice.
    Users of His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS), including the family court, contribute to the cost of the justice process by paying fees. Court fees generated £727 million of the total £2.3 billion cost to run HMCTS in 2022/23, with the remainder funded by the taxpayer.
    By increasing court fees by 10% the UK government is expected to generate up to £42 million per year. The key objectives of the price increase are to keep pace with increased costs, improve service delivery, subsidise the cost of free services, and reduce the overall cost to the taxpayer.
    Key 2024 family court fee increases include:

    Application for a divorce, or civil partnership dissolution – fees will rise from £593 to £652
    Application for a parental order – fees will rise from £232 to £255
    Application/permission to apply for adoption – fees will rise from £183 to £201
    Application for a financial order (other than consent order) – fees will rise from £275 to £303.

    Resolving family matters out of court
    In 2024 we’ll see a continuing emphasis on encouraging parties to seek resolution of their disputes outside of the court system. Last year the UK government carried out a consultation ‘Supporting earlier resolution of private family law arrangements’ to review mediation in family law.
    As a result, in 2024 we could see mandatory mediation for all suitable low-level family court cases (excluding those which include allegations or a history of domestic violence). The aim is to divert family disputes away from stretched courts and protect children from the impact of acrimonious and long-running court cases.
    It’s hoped the proposals will mean more people can make decisions and achieve resolutions with the support of a qualified mediator, rather than placing the decision with the family court.
    General election
    While the date of the next UK general election is still to be announced, it’s widely anticipated that the current Conservative government will call for an election in 2024.
    The latest voting intention polls suggest that Labour may win the next election, meaning a change in government. Whilst no parties have yet released their election manifestos, and the exact nature of any proposed changes to family law is yet unknown, we can expect to see some impact. More

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    2023 In Review – Reflections on the Year in Family Law

    2023: A Year in Review
    Julian Hawkhead, Managing Partner, Reflects on the Year
    It has become something of a tradition for me to write a note as we draw towards the end of the year to reflect on what has happened over the past 12 months. Doesn’t the time fly by? This year I’m delighted to be joined by a few colleagues around the firm who have put down some thoughts on what has stood out for them over the course of 2023.
    At Stowe, it has been quite a year again! I’m trying to find some clever way of linking “Stowe” and “grow” together but have failed but yet again we have continued to cement our place as the most dominant family law practice in the country. We saw our colleague numbers increase to over 360 with a total of 178 lawyers serving 88 locations around the country. Yes, that’s right, we have 88 office locations, adding 22 new locations including those from Watson Thomas and Crisp & Co. this year. It has been an absolute pleasure to get to know our new colleagues from those two firms, to learn about their ways of working and what they have done to make themselves successful to continue improve our own Stowe Way of Working.
    Our client numbers also increased by 25% and by early December we had over 4,000 progressing matters underway as we continue to strive to support more and more people.
    Joanna Newton on The Rise of the Legal Age of Marriage
    In February this year, the legal age of marriage rose to 18. This has meant that 16- and 17-year-olds who were previously allowed to marry with parental consent are no longer allowed to marry or enter a civil partnership in England and Wales.
    As of 27th February, it is now a criminal offence to arrange a marriage for under 18-year-olds under any circumstances. The offence is now punishable by 7 years in prison.
    The idea behind this new law is to better protect children from being forced into underage marriages and protect them from abuse and coercion. The change is to crack down on forced marriages which can cause lasting psychological, and sometimes physical, damage on a child. It is also part of the government’s continuing commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.
    Prior to the Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Minimum Age) Act 2023, the law had been unchanged since 1949 and had legitimised child marriage with children aged 16 and 17 permitted to marry with their parents’ consent.
    The mechanism of parental consent which existed under that law, whilst meant to be a safeguard, has, in some cases, proved to be a vehicle for parental abuse.
    This change is a welcome relief and over the coming years we will hopefully see it having a considerable impact reducing the number of forced marriages and violence against girls in particular.
    Gemma Davison on Changes to Fertility Legislation
    Earlier this year, the government announced that there would be a change to fertility law which aims to reduce the discrimination that female same-sex couples face when they are looking to conceive via reciprocal IVF (where one woman provides her egg and the other carries the child). It will also encompass a change for same-sex couples where one or both partners have HIV but the viral load is undetectable.
    Female same-sex couples will no longer be required to have an additional screening for infectious diseases (including rubella, hepatitis B and C) which will remove this extra barrier not faced by heterosexual couples and reduce costs by up to £1000.
    For same-sex couples with undetectable HIV viral loads, the change in legislation will mean that the couple will have access to IVF treatment, including known sperm or egg cell donation to friends or relatives.
    These changes will hopefully work to reduce the inequality that exists between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples regarding fertility options and treatment. However, there is still a way to go.
    In August 2022 as part of the Women’s Health Strategy, the government committed to removing all financial barriers for same-sex couples that are not faced by heterosexual couples. We are still awaiting this change. I hope to see more progress in reducing discrimination in the fertility space and more support of this method of parenthood in 2024.
    Megan Brookfield on ‘Love bombing’ being Recognised as a Sign of Abuse by CPS
    In April this year, the Crown Prosecution Service updated their guidance on controlling and coercive behaviour to include the term ‘love bombing’. The guidance now advises prosecutors on the range of tactics perpetrators of abuse can use against their victim and discusses love bombing and what this entails. Love bombing is a phrase used to describe a scenario whereby the abuser will periodically carry out over-the-top loving acts in between other behaviour to confuse and control their victim. It is most commonly seen in the early stages of a relationship.
    The update is a positive step. It has highlighted the diverse ways in which perpetrators can exact control of their victim. Furthermore, it provides a degree of clarity on the role of love bombing and how it is a coercive tactic. It also gives family lawyers a legal framework with which to support clients and indeed when obtaining protective orders from the family court.
    There are still numerous challenges to face when proving coercive control. The updates in legal framework have certainly improved this, but it is clear that more work needs to be done to help and support survivors and their families, particularly for those seeking to leave their abusive relationship.
    Ashley Le Core on Child Arrangements in International Divorces
    Most of us will have seen something about the divorce of Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner earlier this year. Their divorce raised some very interesting points in the family law space, including which jurisdiction should accept the divorce proceedings and associated financial remedy proceedings. This is particularly important to consider, as different jurisdictions will provide two differing ways of handling assets, which could favour one party over the other.
    However, most of the media drama of the divorce has been specifically about child arrangements, raising the issue of who gets the kids in international divorces, as Turner is British and Jonas is American. From media reports, it appeared that they had planned to settle their two young daughters in England. Initial divorce proceedings, however, saw some issues on this front, including accusations of child abduction.
    Unlike many divorces, these parents are of course very wealthy and therefore the reality is that wherever the determination is made that the children shall primarily reside, the other parent should be more than able to purchase an appropriate property in that country and therefore, the impact on the children will be drastically reduced. This is of course not available to every party in such cases.
    No absolute certain details are known about the long-term arrangements in relation to this divorce at this stage, but in the interim, the girls will travel between the UK and the US. In international divorces generally, it is unlikely the court would expect children to be travelling between countries on a regular basis, especially if they are of school age. In these cases, the primary focus has to be their schooling.  The onus would therefore be on one of the parents to do more of the travelling and to have a base in the relevant jurisdiction. The children then spend more quality time with their parents over longer periods such as school holidays.
    The Jonas/Turner divorce has been an interesting study in the various complex aspects involved in international and multi-jurisdictional divorces and has particularly drawn attention to what happens to children in such circumstances.
    A Final Sign Off
    There is little I can add to what has been said so eloquently above and a huge thanks to them for taking the time to share their thoughts. Family law is always evolving whether that is to reflect the changing values of our society, to adapt to the political or economic climate or to anticipate what factors such as new (and what can seem scary) technology. As a leadership team we are constantly surveying the horizon to see what might be coming up, whether that is a possible change of government or some new AI innovation. Whatever happens I do believe that 2024 will be great and exciting year.
    Wishing you and your families a safe, restful and joyous festive season.
    Julian, and all at Stowe Family Law. More