Tuesday, June 26, 2012

News Update: 26th June 2012

WELCOME to the third Family Lore News Update. Here are some of the items that have attracted my attention since the last update:

Minister unveils Innovation Fund to pioneer new support services for separating parents
The Government is taking radical steps to promote collaborative parenting in separated families. A fund, worth up to £14 million over two years, is being established to develop effective and innovative support services for separated and separating families. One such service is to be a 'divorce app', giving advice upon such issues as how to prevent fighting in front of the children and (most importantly for the DWP) arranging child support, as reported by the Telegraph. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Divorce woman wins house-move fight
A woman embroiled in a divorce fight is celebrating after overturning a prohibited steps order which prevented her from moving house. Full story: The Press Association.

Outcry over family court closure plan
A group of 160 leading family lawyers and social workers has written to senior judges raising concerns over the proposed closure of a court rated a ‘centre of excellence’. This has also been covered by Pink Tape. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

A & S (Children) v Lancashire County Council [2012] EWHC 1689 (Fam) (21 June 2012)
Case concerning two brothers who went into care in 1998 and were freed for adoption but no adopters were found. The brothers are now taking Human Rights Act proceedings against the local authority. What struck me most about this case was the volume of paperwork that had been amassed. As Mr Justice Peter Jackson pointed out, the history of the case was "recorded in a staggering 19,000 pages of social work records". Full report: Bailii.

F (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 828 (3 April 2012)
Appeal by mother against findings of fact as to what happened during a supervised contact session between her and the two younger children, and the making of consequential orders in relation to contact. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.

A Local Authority v A Mother & Ors [2012] EWHC 1637 (Fam) (15 June 2012)
Public law proceedings. Child adopted by her aunt. Application by aunt for an order that the local authority should pay her costs of the latter part of the proceedings. Held that this was an exceptional case that justified an order requiring the local authority to contribute towards the aunt's costs. Full report: Bailii. Discussed by suesspiciousminds (see below).

Mediation in Dubai
David Hodson on International Family Law. Full article: Family Law.

Social Media and the Voice of the Child in Hague Convention Cases
Emma Pinder, Solicitor, of Spring Law considers a Hague Convention case which has attracted extensive attention in Australia and analyses the potential wider impact of the coverage, especially that within social media. Full article: Family Law Week.

Firstly, congratulations to fellow blogger Lucy Reed of Pink Tape for being nominated for not one but two Family Law awards, Most Innovative Family Lawyer and Best Readers’ Commentary. Good luck Lucy!

The genie is out: divorce procedure has changed forever, so why hasn’t the law?
The procedure to obtain an uncontested divorce has altered almost beyond recognition over the last 40 years, even though there has been no change in the law, says Marilyn Stowe. As she states: "few others outside of the profession ... seem to have fully appreciated what has already happened and cannot be changed". Interesting stuff. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

Shared parenting: are the Government’s proposals up to scratch?
The prolific (if I am allowed to say that) Marilyn Stowe gives her views on the Government's co-parenting consultation. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

Aunts aren’t gentlemen
Discussion of a new High Court decision (see above) ordering the LA to pay 50% of the aunt’s costs in care proceedings. Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Judge orders that anorexic woman can be force-fed | Analysis
Mr Justice Jackson has ruled that it would be lawful and in the best interests of a 32 year old woman for her to be fed, using physical force or chemical sedation as necessary, for a period of “not less than a year”. Discussion of the Re E case that I referred to in the last News Update. Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.

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