News Update: 25th September 2012

WELCOME to the Family Lore News Update.

Four out of five people say children should come first in divorce
Resolution launches Family Dispute Resolution Week by publishing the results of a survey into national attitudes to divorce and separation.

Father in child access battle wins right to know secret accuser's identity
Father who faces being restricted from seeing his daughter after unidentified woman made sexual abuse claims against him wins right to be told name of his accuser. Not entirely accurate, as it was not the father who appealed. The Re J case - see below. Full story: The Telegraph.

Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to 'innocent' couple being accuse of abuse
Vitamin supplements in baby milk may have led an innocent couple being condemned for battering their newborn son, a top family judge has heard. Full story: The Telegraph.

Cohabiting couples now as likely to have children as those who are married
Cohabiting couples are for the first time as likely to have children as those who marry, according to a report on changing family relationships in the UK published on Thursday. Full story: The Guardian.

Judge criticises warring couple for squandering £1.7 million on bitter divorce battle
A couple who squandered £1.7 million during a bitter divorce and custody battle were criticised by a judge for driving their marriage 'full tilt onto the rocks.' The Kavanagh case. Full story: The Telegraph. See also David Hodson's article on Family Law, below.

New guidelines issued on domestic abuse
The definition of domestic abuse has been widened so it covers forms of non-violent coercive behaviour and under-18s for the first time. Full story: BBC News. See also this news article on the Home Office website.

Measures to improve adoption and fostering
Adopting and fostering will become a faster and more efficient process thanks to new arrangements for approving carers, Children’s and Families Minister Edward Timpson has announced.The consultation document to which he is referring can be found here.

Independent Trustee Services Ltd v GP Noble Trustees Ltd & Another [2012] EWCA Civ 195
Appeal from dismissal of an application by trustees of pension funds to recover monies paid to the wife after an ancillary relief order, in circumstances where the husband had fraudulently appropriated the funds from the pension funds. Appeal allowed. Full report: Family Law Week.

Re J (A Child: Disclosure) [2012] EWCA Civ 1204 (21 September 2012)
Appeal against dismissal of application for disclosure by local authority of details relating to allegations of sexual abuse against the father. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, and the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

A legal right to gay marriage?
Andrew Commins, barrister, associate member of St John’s Chambers in Bristol analyses the legal issues relating to the question of gay marriage. Full article: Family Law Week.

English family law costs all at sea
"The English media have greatly relished this week reporting on a short leave to appeal hearing in a divorce financial case involving two practising lawyers." Says David Hodson on Family Law, referring to the Kavanagh case, mentioned in the Telegraph story, above.

Family lawyers face turbulent year ahead
"Family law’s commercial and legal landscape is changing dramatically with the legal aid reforms, the continuing impact of the recession, competition from ABSs and potential legislative changes affecting everyone from the richest to the poorest." Says Grania Langdon-Down in the Law Society Gazette.

Is there truly such a thing as an ‘anonymous’ referral?
A discussion of Re J (A Child:Disclosure) 2012 (see above). Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Re J (A Child: Disclosure): Public Interest Immunity
My turn to discuss Re J (A Child: Disclosure) [2012] EWCA Civ 1204 (above), in this post.

Be wary of befriending clients
Getting involved with clients is not only unprofessional, it might put you in 
a difficult position when billing for your work, says Marilyn Stowe in this post.