Chapter 7 Questions for reflection and discussion

  1. What is the proper role of the state in the regulation of family relationships? What are the limits to that role?
  2. What are the arguments for and against family court proceedings being held in private?
  3. Should all family disputes be mediated?
  4. What contribution can counselling make to the resolution of family issues?
  5. Is the principle of ‘child support’ correct? How could it be made to work so that absent parents make a proper financial contribution to the cost of their children? How can that cost be borne where the absent parent starts a new family?
  6. Should decisions on contact start from the proposition that the father should see his child at least fifty percent of the time? Should contact rights be extended to grandparents? Or is the principle of the ‘welfare of the child’ the only practical starting point for making decisions in contact cases?
  7. How far should the law regulate the relationships of those who live together who are not married?
  8. How far can the law promote good parenting? Does it have any role to play?
  9. Can the law do more to prevent domestic violence and abuse? What are your views on the new legislation on domestic violence and abuse that has recently (2021) passed through Parliament?
  10. What lessons does the experience of Covid-19 offer those working in the family justice system? How far can family law issues be dealt with online?
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