AFF received feedback from some families about their difficulties when going through the Family Court system, due to misunderstandings about the nature of Service life.
We approached the Ministry of Defence and offered to work with them on this issue. They have now produced an information sheet for Family Court workers, which aims to increase understanding about the working and living arrangements of Service personnel, and how their families are affected.
Michelle Alston, AFF’s Policy & Research Director, said: “We were concerned that there may be a misconception about serving in the Army and the impact of how often a Service parent is away.
“We hope this information sheet will ensure that the circumstances and roles of individual Service personnel are considered when judgements are made.”
The information sheet:
- Provides general information about the support available for Service personnel and their families, including accommodation and welfare support, to help them facilitate a compatible family and Service life.
- Explains that the individual circumstances of Service personnel and families are unique, so no assumptions should be made around the frequency and duration of mobility, deployments and assignments.
- Encourages Family Court workers to seek clarity on each Service person’s individual circumstances and directs them to who to contact for this information.
Two versions of the information sheet are being shared with Family Courts:
MOD Information Sheet for those Working in Family Courts in England and Wales
MOD Information Sheet for those Working in Family Courts in Scotland
Information for Service personnel and families
Defence has also produced separate information notes containing advice about children, families and separation proceedings:
MOD Information regarding children, families and separation proceedings in England and Wales
MOD Information regarding children, families and separation proceedings in Scotland
Service personnel and family members can give these documents to their lawyers to aid their Family Court cases.
POSTED ON 4 SEPTEMBER 2023