News Update: 23rd October 2012
WHEN I BEGAN writing these updates I didn't particularly intend that they should appear at weekly intervals, but that is how it's turned out, so welcome to this week's Family Lore News Update!
Former company boss says bankruptcy should wipe out debt to his ex-wife
"A ruling in favour of Alexander McRoberts would open the door to 'all the bankrupts out there who don't want to pay their lumps sums in family proceedings,' a judge is warned." Full story: The Telegraph.
Family Justice Review draft legislation
The Law Society's response to the Family Justice Review draft legislation.
Home Secretary and CPS appeal ancillary relief order to disclose material obtained under mutual legal assistance provisions
Permission has been granted to the Home secretary and the Crown Prosecution Service to appeal Moylan J's decision in P v P  EWHC 1733 (Fam) [see report below]. Full story: Family Law Week.
Couple can keep Nigerian baby after 'scam' ruling
A couple, who could not have children, have been told by the High Court they can keep a baby born in Nigeria, despite tests showing they were not the child's biological parents. Full story: BBC News.
Birmingham City Council child protection 'inadequate'
The effectiveness of Birmingham City Council's arrangements for protecting children has been judged "inadequate". Full story: BBC News.
26 weeks timetable is ‘aspirational’, says Mr Justice Ryder
In response to a question from a delegate at the annual conference of Nagalro, Mr Justice Ryder was reported to have said that the 26 weeks was not written in stone, and that it was 'aspirational', according to the original story about this in Family Law Week. That story, however, has since been removed and replaced by this one, which indicates that it was actually Lord Justice McFarlane who said it was 'aspirational'.
Judge orders nationwide hunt for four missing children
"A High Court judge today launched a nationwide hunt for four missing children." Full story: The Independent.
Care runaway 'lived in cave'
"A teenager spent three weeks living in a cave rather than go back into care, an official study into how children feel failed by the system has disclosed." Full story: The Telegraph.
Evans v Evans  EWCA Civ 1293 (08 August 2012)
Appeal by wife against an order that the decree nisi should be made absolute, on the basis that she would be severely prejudiced because she would lose the prospects of enforcing whatever order was made in relation to transfer of shares in an American company between husband and wife. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.
Musa v Karim  EWCA Civ 1332 (13 July 2012)
Application by husband for permission to appeal against ancillary relief order, primarily on the grounds that it was vitiated by the wife's material non-disclosure. Permisssion granted. Another case including appalling behaviour by the parties, summed up by this quote from HHJ Hayward Smith QC:
"...each of them demonstrated deep animosity and total mistrust of the other. Each of them found great difficulty in answering questions. Many, if not most, questions led to a diatribe by one of them against the other, often accompanied by remarks from the back of the court from the one who was not in the witness box. Each of them took every opportunity to denigrate and score points off the other ... Their behaviour at this hearing has not helped either of them, or me, in determining the facts or a conclusion that tries to be fair to both parties."Full report: Bailii.
K (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1306 (25 July 2012)
Appeal by mother against residence and contact order in respect of four children on the grounds, inter alia, that the order had been made without hearing from the parties and that allegations of domestic violence had not been adjudicated upon. Appeal allowed. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.
P v P  EWHC 1733 (Fam) (30 May 2012)
Application for an order for the CPS and for the Respondent to disclose material to the Applicant in the course of her application to set aside an ancillary relief order which she alleged had been procured by material misrepresentation. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the news story, above.
Z v A  EWHC 1434 (Fam) (9 May 2012)
Application under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984: the correct approach in truly “international” cases; independent wealth and separate finances; short marriage; needs. Full report: Family Law Week.
MA v Camden & Ors  EWCA Civ 1340 (16 October 2012)
Appeal against the rejection of the appellant's application to revoke placement orders. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.
J (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 1231 (12 October 2012)
Appeal by father against residence and contact orders. Appeal allowed and re-trial ordered. Full report: Bailii. See also my blog post, below.
Clare's Law: Do you know your partner's past?
"A survey of 189 people currently living in refuges across England and Wales found that 75pc said they would have left their relationship had they discovered their partner’s violent history." Full article: The Telegraph.
No Direction Home? Financial Remedies and the Medium Asset case
Alexander Chandler, barrister, 1 Garden Court examines the principles the courts will apply in medium asset cases and offers practical guidance to those faced with the challenge of “stretching” limited assets. Full article: Family Law Week.
New threat to child maintenance for the women who already live in fear
"The Child Support Agency is to be replaced by the Child Maintenance Service – which will charge those using its services." Full article: The Observer.
Ben Butler's case reminds us the justice system is not infallible
Emma Sherrington, who represented Ben Butler in London Borough of Sutton v Gray & Ors [see last week's News Update], discusses the case, in The Guardian.
The importance of being formal
A discussion of the private law case of Re K (A child) 2012 EWCA Civ 1306 [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Pre-owned businesses: when does non-matrimonial property become shareable in a divorce?
A discussion of the case of Jones –v- Jones, which involved the treatment by the Court of Appeal of a business which began before the marriage but significantly increased in value during it. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.
Re J (A Child): When the past needs to be investigated
A summary of Re J (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1231 [above], in which a father successfully appealed against residence and contact orders. Full post: Family Lore.
Family mediation is a waste of time
Why is the government so intent on forcing people into mediation when this is patently not delivering results, asks Marilyn Stowe.
Parents regain access to children after five year battle
"A London couple have regained access to their two daughters after a five-and-a-half year saga which saw the father imprisoned with sex offenders and both children taken into care." More on the London Borough of Sutton v Gray & Ors case [see last week's News Update], this from Marilyn Stowe.
LASPO and the domestic violence gateway
"As a solicitor, who set up a firm with two other family lawyers in 2005 primarily to deal with family legal aid cases for the mixed housing area of Shirley in Southampton where we practice, I was very concerned when I heard of the proposed new reforms for family legal aid work", writes Wendy Hewstone in LegalVoice.