Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Divorce reform in ‘freeze-frame’ mode, says campaigning family charity


Dispute resolution experts have expressed frustration at the ‘freeze-frame’ status of long-awaited divorce reform.

Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation, likens the suspension of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, due to Parliament being prorogued, to football’s VAR.

In a new article for Family Law, Jane Robey says: “With the decision to prorogue Parliament, the Prime Minister halted a Bill that would have made life so much easier for couples who just want to get on with their divorce, making a fresh start as quickly and painlessly as possible.

“Having passed its second reading in the House of Commons it moved to Report Stage.

“But its further progress has been put into ‘freeze-frame’ mode by the Prime Minister’s controversial and contentious decision. And so the waiting goes on.

“The impact on this new law of Parliament’s prorogation - and the associated court cases questioning legality of the PM’s decision - is like the effect of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) upon Premier League football matches.

“The joy of a goal being scored is muted when the VAR call is made. TV freeze frames are deployed. Nobody knows for sure whether the goal is going to be allowed to stand - until the ultimate VAR arbiters have cast judgement. And so it is that at the time of nobody knows when, or if, divorce reform will finally come into play. What a frustrating time.”

She pledges that after years campaigning for the change, NFM and others “will continue to press for these important reforms to be introduced as soon as possible, so that divorcing couples will at last be able to settle their divorce or separation in a more mature and adult fashion than the current arcane system allows.”

National Family Mediation (NFM) was the original provider of family mediation, and its network of accredited services now delivers in over 500 locations across England and Wales. The charity helps families resolve all the practical, legal, emotional and financial issues that arise from separation, helping families make long-lasting arrangements that benefit everyone in the family, especially their children.

Monday, September 16, 2019

News Essentials: 16th September 2019


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

NEWS
6,000 became homeless in three months following domestic abuse
Women’s Aid publishes No Woman Turned Away report 2019. Full story: Family Law Week.

Johnson pledges to reintroduce domestic abuse legislation
Boris Johnson has responded to pressure from women's groups and confirmed that he will reintroduce legislation to protect the estimated two million people who suffer domestic abuse a year. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements, England and Wales: 2018
Annual estimates of population by legal marital status and cohabitation status by age and sex for England and Wales. Full story: Office for National Statistics.

Justice bills fall overnight as parliament shuts down
Legislation covering divorce and domestic abuse was killed off in the early hours of this morning as parliament was closed for five weeks. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
Nasrullah Mursalin, Re [2019] EWCA Civ 1559 (03 September 2019)
Appeal by paralegal against suspended committal order imposed after he erroneously placed a number of documents relating to a client’s family case in the bundle which went to an immigration judge. Appeal allowed. 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, September 09, 2019

News Essentials: 9th September 2019


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

NEWS
Domestic abuse proposals expected to be revived in Queen’s Speech, MPs hear
New proposals to protect domestic abuse survivors are expected to be “revived very quickly” in the new parliamentary session, a Cabinet minister has said. Full story: Care Appointments.

Nagalro raises concern about Cafcass undermining the role of Children’s Guardians
Nagalro is concerned that Cafcass public statements have disseminated inaccurate information on its website, which appear to dilute the role of the Children's Guardian and minimise their legal obligations. Full story: Family Law Week.

Civil Justice Council launches consultation on vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings
The Civil Justice Council has launched a consultation on its report and recommendations for change in respect of vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings. Full story: Family Law Week.

CASES
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council & Anor v DN & Anor [2019] EWHC 2306 (Fam) (05 September 2019)
Case concerning capacity and accommodation of 25 year old man suffering from various mental disorders. Full report: Bailii.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council v PR & Ors [2019] EWHC 2305 (Fam) (05 September 2019)
Final judgment in proceedings relating to a capacitous but apparently vulnerable adult, further examining the circumstances in which interim orders under the inherent jurisdiction were made, and whether injunctive-type orders could and/or should have been made against the adult for whom protection was sought. 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, September 02, 2019

News Essentials: 2nd September 2019


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

NEWS
Parliament shut-down puts justice bills under threat
Boris Johnson’s intention to prorogue parliament could lead to a halt on divorce, court and domestic abuse reform. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Domestic abuse: Killers 'follow eight-stage pattern', study says
Men who kill their partners follow a "homicide timeline" that could be tracked by police to help prevent deaths, new research suggests. Full story: BBC News.

CASES
Moher v Moher [2019] EWCA Civ 1482 (21 August 2019)
Appeal by husband against financial remedies order, considering issue of whether a judge is required to evaluate the scale of undisclosed wealth, by providing a figure or a bracket of figures. Full report: Bailii.

H (A Child) [2019] EWHC 1509 (Fam) (24 May 2019)
Application by father for summary return of child. Application by father for disclosure of mother's asylum file. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

GC v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & AE (CSM) (Child support - other) [2019] UKUT 199 (AAC) (14 June 2019)
Appeal by NRP dealing with issue of whether his son by previous relationship who lives in Denmark should be taken into account in child support calculation. 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, August 19, 2019

News Essentials: 19th August 2019


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

NEWS
Ignore emails after 6pm, family court tells lawyers
Barristers should take an hour for lunch and ignore emails before 8am and after 6pm, according to well-being guidance issued by the Central Family Court. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Family court has jurisdiction to review its findings of fact, says Court of Appeal
The family court has the statutory power to review its own decisions and challenges to findings of fact on the basis of further evidence do not have to be by way of appeal only, the Court of Appeal has held. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Stepsister wins legal battle over which parent died first
Entitlement to co-owned estate depended on sequence of John and Marjorie Scarle’s deaths. Full story: The Guardian. See Scarle, below.

CASES
Scarle James Deceased, the Estate of v Scarle Marjorie Deceased, the Estate of [2019] EWHC 2224 (Ch) (13 August 2019)
Judgment considering issue of which of married couple died first. Full report: Bailii.

E (Children: Reopening Findings of Fact) [2019] EWCA Civ 1447 (14 August 2019)
Appeal considering the options open to someone wishing to challenge findings of fact in family proceedings on the basis of further evidence that was not available at the trial. Full report: Bailii.

R v P (No 2) [2019] EWHC 2175 (Fam) (14 March 2019)
Hearing of two applications in relation to 7 year old child whose father lives in Lithuania, by mother to change child's name and by father for an order that he could spend time and have contact with the child. Full report: Bailii.

Joy v Joy [2019] EWHC 2152 (Fam) (12 June 2019)
Financial remedies proceedings, in which the husband claimed to have no assets available to him. Hearing to determine whether wife's capital claims should be dismissed or adjourned. 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.