News Update: 18th September 2012

WELCOME to the Family Lore News Update.

Controlling partners 'to be prosecuted for domestic abuse'
Men who emotionally abuse their partners by controlling their finances, preventing them from seeing friends or verbally abusing them could soon be prosecuted under domestic violence laws, it has been claimed. Full story: The Telegraph.

Payne Hicks Beach among firms heading LeO’s ‘list of shame’
Complaint about family law department triggers compensation award. Full story: Solicitors Journal. The list of Legal Ombudsman decisions regarding complaints against lawyers may be found here.

'Three-parent baby' fertility technique could be made legal
A fertility treatment which eliminates hereditary disease by engineering babies to carry healthy DNA from a third biological parent could be legalised next year. Full story: The Telegraph.

One in five brides with cold feet are divorced within four years
Brides-to-be should heed their nagging doubts, a new study shows, as nearly one in five women with cold feet before their wedding are divorced four years later. Full story: The Telegraph.

Care applications in April to August reach unprecedented levels
The latest figures from Cafcass show care demand remaining at a very high level. Full story: Family Law Week.

Third of councils spend nothing on advocacy for children in care, warns charity
Looked-after children are being let down by a lack of independent advocacy services, which means they miss out on the chance to air their views, a report by The Children’s Society has warned. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Prenups, marital property, divorce: law firms respond
The Guardian hears mixed responses from lawyers to the Law Commission consultation paper on dividing up marital assets on divorce. For example, Richard Collins at Charles Russell says: "Whilst it has to be better for divorcing couples to have clarity and accessibility to the law, it is doubtful whether a one size fits all approach is fairer than the current situation where a judge exercises a wide discretion to provide a tailor made solution".

Akhtar v Hussain [2012] EWCA Civ 1170 (17 July 2012)
Application for permission to appeal against order that the parties are beneficially entitled to an equal half share in the property which they occupied as an unmarried couple. Permission granted, but only in respect of issue of occupation rent. Full report: Family Law Week.

A v T [2011] EWHC B28 (Fam) (09 December 2011)
Application by father for return to Sweden of two children. Application refused, on the basis of the father's consent to the removal and/or retention to this country. Full report: Bailii.

The Law Commission speaks to England and Wales - and to the world
"On Tuesday, 11 September 2012, the English Law Commission produced a consultation paper likely to lead to fundamental reform of financial outcomes on divorce in England and Wales. But although directed to English law in English courts with legislation from the UK Parliament, it has huge significance for family law worldwide. In our separate sovereign jurisdictions, we are no longer islands." So says David Hodson in Family Law.

Fact Finding Hearings: Who Pays?
Stuart Hughes, Senior Solicitor at Greene and Greene Solicitors, and Sabuhi Chaudhry, barrister at Coram Chambers, consider recent developments concerning costs in fact finding hearings and the divergence between private law and public law cases. Full article: Family Law Week.

Forced Marriage and the Criminal Law
Charlotte Rachael Proudman, barrister, provides an overview of the Government’s proposed changes to the law intended to combat forced marriage. Full article: Family Law Week.

Can you unmake a family?
Duncan Ranton examines the recent surrogacy case G -v- G. Full article: Family Law.

Courts will lose vital flexibility if family law becomes formulaic
"The introduction of a formula to bring consistency to how divorce cases are handled in the English courts could mean some of the ability for judges to base rulings on the individual circumstances of each case are lost." Says Alison Hawes in Family Law.

Family preservation versus child rescue
"I was kindly sent Dr Peter Dale’s response to the Government consultation on contact with children in care, and sibling placement in adoption." Full post: suesspiciousminds.