Family Court changes come into effect to 'protect children'

A single Family Court to preside over divorce and child custody cases comes into effect today, as part of a major shake-up of the family justice system. The court will replace three separate tiers that currently deal with family proceedings.

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Govt: Children in court battles 'failed by the system'

Simon Hughes said the Family Courts would help avoid confrontation by speeding up painful court cases. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

Family Courts are being brought in because children caught up in the middle of a custody battle or divorce have been "failed by the system", according to a justice minister.

Simon Hughes told Daybreak divorce, custody and care cases were held back the "three different types of court" they could be heard at.

"You could go to the Magistrates Court for something and the County Court for other things and the High Court for other things.

"Then you find it's a really long process, then you find it was often a very confrontational process.

"So in the end the children are the people who suffer the most - often the couples suffer, but the children suffer most."

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