Monday, January 14, 2019

News Essentials: 14th January 2019


A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last three weeks:

NEWS
Government issues deprivation of liberty definition in bid to provide clarity to practitioners
Ministers’ amendment to DoLS replacement bill sets out when a person would not be deprived of liberty, but sparks concerns over compatibility with human rights law. Full story: Community Care.

UK signs and ratifies Hague Choice of Court and Hague Maintenance Conventions
The UK signed and ratified, on 28 December, the 2005 Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements and the 2007 Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other Forms of Family Maintenance. Full story: Family Law.

Family Justice Council 12th Annual Debate: the use of covert recordings in family law
Transcript and podcast available. Full story: Family Law Week.

Thousands apply online for divorce - including 13 on Christmas Day
Hundreds of people applied for a divorce over the Christmas and New Year period, the government has revealed, in its latest announcement claiming success in moving justice processes online. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Judge criticises top firm for exacerbating divorce conflict
A top family law firm has been criticised by a High Court judge for exacerbating the conflict in a high-value divorce. Full story: Legal Futures.

Family law ‘does not need lawyers’, claims ex-policeman's McKenzie startup
A former police officer who has set up a venture linking the public with McKenzie friends has told the Gazette it is an ‘irrebuttable truth’ that family law does not need lawyers. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Parental Orders) Regulations 2018
The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 is being amended to allow for one applicant to apply for a parental order. The purpose of this instrument is to set the legal framework for parental orders. Statutory Instrument.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (Remedial) Order 2018
This order amends the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 following a declaration by the High Court that s.54 of the Act was incompatible with Art.14 ECHR, in that it only allowed couples to apply for a parental order. The order will amend the Act to allow for a sole applicant for a parental order, and makes provisions consequential on this change.  Statutory Instrument.

CASES
AR v JR [2018] EWHC 3626 (Fam) (28 November 2018)
Application for wife's financial remedies application to be struck out on the basis that it is (a), vexatious, and/or duplicative and/or (b), on the basis there has been prior compromise. Full report: Bailii.

AH v AMH F (Summary return of child to Sudan) [2018] EWHC 2981 (Fam) (19 October 2018)
Final hearing of the mother's application for the summary return of the parties' son to the Republic of the Sudan. Return ordered. Full report: Bailii.

A, Re [2018] EWHC 3625 (Fam) (10 December 2018)
Final hearing of public law proceedings concerning 14 month old boy of dual British / Ghanaian nationality and heritage, in which the issue was whether he should be placed with members of his extended natural family in Ghana, or his foster carer, in England. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, December 24, 2018

News Essentials: 24th December 2018


A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:

NEWS
Divorce law consultation attracts at least 600 responses
A letter from the lord chancellor to MPs has highlighted the overwhelming call for divorce law to be reformed, with the Ministry of Justice's consultation attracting nearly 600 responses two weeks before it closed. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Evidence review of special guardianship to be held ahead of protocol changes
The Family Justice Council is to work with the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and adoption and fostering academy CoramBAAF to address “pressing questions” about special guardianship. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Grandparents may get more access rights under new govt plans
Grandparents estranged from grandchildren because of family breakdown will have new access rights under plans being considered by ministers. Full story: Family Law.

Child Support Agency: information for parents owed historical debt
Guidance explains circumstances in which DWP will seek to collect debt. Full story: Family Law Week.

CASES
Martin v Martin [2018] EWCA Civ 2866 (21 December 2018)
Appeal by wife and cross-appeal by husband against financial remedies order, in case in which the bulk of the wealth comprised shares in a private trading company. Full report: Bailii.

Quan v Bray & Ors [2018] EWHC 3558 (Fam) (20 December 2018)
Judgment on final hearing of wife's claim for financial remedies, in case in which it had been found that assets held within a Mauritian trust were not, for the purposes of section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, a resource of either the husband or the wife. Full report: Bailii.

A and B (Children) [2018] EWHC 3491 (Fam) (20 December 2018)
Cross-applications by local authority and a journalist concerning the publication of details relating to the proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

Brack v Brack [2018] EWCA Civ 2862 (20 December 2018)
Appeal by wife in relation to the effect of prenuptial agreements upon the ability of the English court to make financial remedy orders. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

C (Children) (Abduction: Article 13 (B)) [2018] EWCA Civ 2834 (20 December 2018)
Appeal by father from the dismissal of his application for the return of two children to South Africa. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

ARB v IVF Hammersmith & Anor [2018] EWCA Civ 2803 (17 December 2018)
A child, who was born in 2011, was conceived via IVF using the gametes of the parties but after they had separated and without the permission of the father (the mother had forged his signature on the papers). Father succeeded on all aspects of his primary case against the clinic for breach of contract. However, the judge held that he could not recover damages for the cost of the child's upbringing for reasons of policy. His appeal against this decision failed. Full report: Bailii, via Family Law Hub.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, December 21, 2018

My posts this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog


My posts this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog included:

The end of the justices’ clerk and other changes, or not - It’s a sad thing when one discovers that the job title that your late father once proudly held will soon be no more.

Another disproportionate costs case, and a lament for Calderbank - From Mr Justice Francis in ABX v SBX.

Is six months too long to finalise a divorce? - As suggested by The Bar Council.

Mother required to relocate from one part of the country to another - As in the case BB v CC (residence order).

Have a great Winter Solstice today and, if you're into that sort of thing, a great Xmas and New Year.

Monday, December 17, 2018

News Essentials: 17th December 2018


A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:

NEWS
Mediation starts fall to half pre-LASPO levels
Legal Aid statistics for July to September 2018 published. Full story: Family Law Week.

LASPO review publication delayed again to early 2019
The long-awaited review of legal aid reforms will not be published by the end of this year, the Ministry of Justice has confirmed. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Family Court Statistics Quarterly: July to September 2018
Volume of cases dealt with by family courts over time, with statistics also broken down for the main types of case involved. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Six months too long to finalise a divorce, bar warns
Making separating couples wait six months before their divorce is finalised is an 'unacceptable delay' for those who do not have children, the bar's representative body has told the government. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

President issues update to FGM standard orders
Corrects an error relating to powers of arrest. Full story: Family Law Hub.

Local authority sorry after judge condemns IROs’ ‘utter failure’ to serve children’s best interests
Herefordshire council breached human rights in splitting twins and offered 'woeful' care to half siblings in separate case, judgments conclude. Full story: Community Care. See BT & GT, and A & B, below.

CASES
BB v CC (residence order) [2018] EWFC B78 (15 October 2018)
Proceedings concerning arrangements for a 3 year old child. Appeal by mother against order that required her to relocate with the child from one part of the country to the other. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

DA & JA (Children : non-Hague summary return) [2018] EWHC 3429 (Fam) (15 June 2018)
Application by father for children to be made wards and for the Court to order their summary return to Nigeria. Full report: Bailii.

F (A Child : Placement Order: Proportionality) [2018] EWCA Civ 2761 (11 December 2018)
Appeal by mother from care and placement orders made in proceedings concerning a child now aged 15 months. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

BT & GT (Children : twins - adoption) [2018] EWFC 76 (29 November 2018)
Applications to adopt twins in two separate homes, following serial failings of the local authority. Full report: Bailii.

A & B (care orders and placement orders - failures) [2018] EWFC 72 (30 November 2018)
Judgment in care proceedings, in which the local authority conceded that the serial failures in the care provided, or not provided, to the children amounted to breaches of their respective Article 8 rights. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, December 10, 2018

News Essentials: 10th December 2018


A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:

NEWS
European Council agrees more effective rules to resolve cross-border parental responsibility issues
Work will continue on finalising the text of the revised regulations. Full story: Family Law Week.

President’s Practice Guidance: Family Court – Anonymisation guidance
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published practice guidance dealing with two aspects of anonymisation and the avoidance of identification of children in judgments placed in the public arena. Full story: Family Law Week.

Working together to address pressing questions about Special Guardianship
The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, CoramBAAF and the Family Justice Council to work together to address pressing questions about Special Guardianship. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2018
These Regulations amend child support regulations. Statutory Instrument.

CASES
SR (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 2738 (06 December 2018)
Appeal by the father of a boy, now aged 7, against a finding made in care proceedings that he abused his son. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

M (A Child) (Secure Accommodation) [2018] EWCA Civ 2707 (06 December 2018)
Appeal by young person against the making of a secure accommodation order. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

HRH Louis Prince of Luxembourg v HRH Tessy Princess of Luxembourg & Anor (Application for Financial Remedy) [2018] EWFC 77 (04 December 2018)
final hearing of an application by Her Royal Highness Tessy Princess of Luxembourg, Princess of Nassau and Princess of Bourbon-Parma for financial remedy orders against His Royal Highness Louis Xavier Marie Guillaume, Prince of Luxembourg. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, December 03, 2018

News Essentials: 3rd December 2018


A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:

NEWS
'Completely futile': judge criticises adulterous husband for contesting divorce
A family judge has criticised a man who cheated on his wife for contesting a divorce in an 'awful case' in which his cross-examination of the couple's daughter was described as 'particularly excruciating'. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See VW v BH, below.

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No.16) Order 2018
This Order brings into force s.27 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008, inserting new ss.39B to 39G into the Child Support Act 1991, which allow the Secretary of State to apply to a court to disqualify a non-resident parent with child maintenance arrears for holding or obtaining a United Kingdom passport. Statutory Instrument.

This Former Judge Has Condemned The Government For Leaving People In Court With No Lawyer
Sir James Munby, former president of the family court, said there is “a very real concern” about the state of justice. Full story: BuzzFeed News.

Waggott 'meal ticket' appeal leaves lawyers waiting for maintenance guidance
A wife’s challenge to the appeal court’s decision to end periodical payments from her ex-husband has come to an end. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Divorce is not a “blank cheque” for litigation, judge warns
Litigation is not a “blank cheque” and divorcing people cannot behave on the basis that they are bound to be reimbursed for their costs, a leading family law judge has warned. Full story: Legal Futures.

Court of Protection opens door to robes at hearings
Judges and advocates could soon be required to wear robes in Court of Protection hearings at the High Court – to send a clear message that its doors are open to the media and public. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
Moore v Moore & Anor [2018] EWCA Civ 2669 (27 November 2018)
Appeal against decision in proprietary estoppel case involving a family farm. Full report: Bailii.

RR v MM [2018] EWHC 3252 (Fam) (18 October 2018)
Application by father for permission to appeal against orders made in private law proceedings, including refusal of judge to recuse herself on the grounds of bias. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

AEY v AL (Family Proceedings: Civil Restraint Order) [2018] EWHC 3253 (Fam) (19 November 2018)
Hearing of multiple applications for permission to appeal by father of two girls. Applications refused and civil restraint order made. Full report: Bailii.

VW v BH (Contested Divorce Proceedings) [2018] EWFC B68 (05 November 2018)
Judgment in contested divorce proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, November 30, 2018

New by me this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog


My posts this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog included:

Can there be anything good about a divorce? - As suggested by Resolution's Good Divorce week campaign.

Racing driver case is a reminder that prenuptial agreements must still be fair - The Kenny Brack case.

I agree with Lord Sumption – well, in part - Considering Lord Sumption's controversial remarks at the annual bar and young bar conference.

A workload challenge and the need for change: the Presidents speak - Looking at the recent speeches of Sir Andrew McFarlane and Sir James Munby.

Have a good weekend.