It is not uncommon that parties involved in family proceedings are also involved in other court proceedings that may have a bearing upon the outcome of the family proceedings. In In the matter of M and N (Children)  EWHC 2281 (Fam), reported yesterday, Mr Justice Munby details two cases "which proved abortive because of the failure of those acting for a parent in private law family proceedings properly to engage themselves with and to ascertain what was going on in the parallel immigration proceedings in which their client was involved", and gives a warning to the profession that: "Future shortcomings may be met with more severe and more public consequences". I won't go into the details of the two cases, but he concludes with advice for parents and practitioners "in cases where a parent in family proceedings is also involved in some other relevant matter – for example, an asylum or immigration dispute with the Home Office, criminal proceedings or a criminal investigation, a housing dispute, etc". In particular: "Practitioners acting for the parent in the family proceedings have an ongoing duty to remain au courant with what is going on elsewhere even if the other matter is being handled by other professionals".
Not for the first time recently (see In re X and Y (Bundles): A warning) we have been warned.