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Family Law Bills before Parliament: an update

The following Bills which may be of interest to family lawyers are currently proceeding through Parliament. The only government Bill is the Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill. However, the Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill, though a Private Members' Bill, has government support.


Child Maintenance (Assessment of Parents' Income) Bill
This Bill was introduced by Heidi Allen in the House of Commons on 28 November 2017 under the Ten Minute Rule.

The Bill would equalise the assessment and enforcement of child maintenance arrangements of children of self-employed parents with those of children of other employed parents.

It is due to have a second reading on 27 April 2018.

For more details, click here.


Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Lord Berkeley of Knighton.

The Bill would amend the Children Act 1989 to state that proceedings under Section 5A of, and Schedule 2 to, the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003 are family proceedings.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) (Mixed Sex Couples) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Baroness Burt of Solihull.

The Bill would amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to make provision for mixed sex couples to enter into a civil partnership.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) (Sibling Couples) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Lord Lexden.

The Bill would amend the Civil Partnership Act 2004 to include sibling couples.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration Etc.) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill introduced by Tim Loughton in the House of Commons. It had a second reading on 2 February 2018.

The Bill would provide that opposite sex couples may enter a civil partnership; make provision about the registration of the names of the mother of each party to a marriage or civil partnership; make provision about the registration of stillborn deaths; and give coroners the power to investigate stillborn deaths.

It is due to begin the committee stage on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Cohabitation Rights Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames.

The Bill would provide certain protections for persons who live together as a couple or have lived together as a couple as cohabitants; and make provision about the property of deceased persons who are survived by a cohabitant.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Courts (Abuse of Process) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill introduced by Liz Saville Roberts under the Ten Minute Rule.

This Bill would prevent abuse of process in civil and family courts; make provision about cooperation between court jurisdictions; create offences when certain civil and family court orders are breached; and amend the rights and duties of certain parties to prevent abuse of process in civil and family court.

It is due to have a second reading on 16 March 2018.

For more details, click here.


Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Baroness Deech.

This Bill would amend the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and make provision in connection with financial settlements following divorce.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Human Trafficking (Child Protection) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill introduced in the House of Commons by Peter Bone.

The Bill would make provision for the creation of secure safe houses for children that have been subject to human trafficking.

It is due to have a second reading on 18 January 2019.

For more details, click here.


Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill
This is a Government Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth on behalf of the Department for Communities and Local Government. It completed the committee stage on 24 January 2018.

This Bill would make provision about the granting of old-style secure tenancies in cases of domestic abuse.

It is due to have its report stage on 6 March 2018.

For more details, click here.


Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (Legal Advice and Appeals) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Lord Roberts of Llandudno.

The Bill would make provision for unaccompanied asylum seeking children to receive legal advice and for extending the deadline for an unaccompanied asylum seeking child to appeal an asylum decision.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.


Victims of Crime (Rights, Entitlements, and Notification of Child Sexual Abuse) Bill
This is a Private Members' Bill starting in the House of Lords and sponsored by Baroness Brinton.

This Bill would make provision for specifying new statutory rights and entitlements for victims of crime under the Code of Practice for Victims of Crime; require elected local policing bodies to assess victims services; increase the duties of the Commissioner for Victims and Witnesses; grant victims the right to request a review of a decision not to prosecute; establish reviews in homicides where no criminal charge has been made; and create an obligation on professions to notify cases of possible victims of child sexual abuse.

It is due to have a second reading on a date to be announced.

For more details, click here.

2/2/18