News Update: 30th October 2012
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update. Take a deep breath, there's a lot to get through...
Lawyers braced for post-recession surge in divorces
Lawyers are preparing for a possible surge in the divorce rate as the economy moves out of recession. Good news all round then! Full story: The Telegraph.
Support for care teens in England a 'national scandal'
Too many teenagers in England leave care without enough support, ending up in a "trap of poverty and joblessness", the children's minister has said. Full story: BBC News.
Domestic violence kills at least 105 English women in 18 months
Despite a national scheme to help police better serve their communities on this issue, research by the Guardian suggests there are still a disturbing number of fatal assaults in the home.
Demand for child protection continues to rise, say Directors of Children’s Services
Levels of demand for child protection and care services continue to rise nationally, new research shows, and a majority of directors of children's services fear that pressures will continue to rise in future years. Full story: Family Law Week.
After the Savile scandal, a revolution in child protection
"A revolution in child protection which would see elite graduates fast-tracked into social work has been given the go-ahead by Michael Gove, The Independent on Sunday can reveal."
Gay sperm donor told to pay child maintenance for 'his' two children
A gay man from Essex who donated his sperm to enable a lesbian couple to have two children, but who was never named on their birth certificate and had no role in their upbringing, is being forced by the Child Support Agency to pay for their support – 13 years after the first child was born. Full story: The Guardian.
CoA delivers shock verdict in big-money divorce case
The Court of Appeal (CoA) has delivered a shock verdict in a hotly anticipated big-money divorce case, ruling that companies belonging to oil tycoon Michael Prest should not be forced to hand over assets totalling £17.5m to his former wife. [See report below.] Is this a "cheat's charter"? Full story: The Lawyer.
Poorest child maintenance claimants ‘forced into a corner’, warns Barnardo’s
On the final day of the government’s consultation into child maintenance, the UK’s largest children’s charity is warning that the poorest parents will be forced to make an impossible choice under the new child maintenance system. Full story: Barnardo's.
Stoke council fined over child protection e-mail
A city council has been fined £120,000 after a solicitor sent e-mails about a child protection case to the wrong person. Full story: BBC News.
Divorce row over billionaire's refusal to pay ex's head chef
The former wife of a billionaire is claiming he has breached their divorce settlement by failing to maintain her two luxury homes, cutting down on the number of her servants and refusing to pay her head chef's salary. How the other half lives: The Telegraph.
Children's directors plan to overhaul care system
Directors to investigate how permanence, stability and support for teenagers can be improved, and warn government reforms to children's homes and adoption are too narrowly focused. Full story: Community Care.
Child benefit chaos for divorced couples
New partners of divorced parents face losing part of their salary under changes to the child benefit system if they earn over £50,000, even if the children are not theirs, accountants at Deloitte have warned. Full story: The Telegraph.
The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012
These Regulations provide for a range of matters in relation to the calculation of child support maintenance under the Child Support Act 1991.
The Child Support Maintenance (Changes to Basic Rate Calculation and Minimum Amount of Liability) Regulations 2012
These Regulations modify the provisions in Schedule 1 to the Child Support Act 1991 relating to the calculation of the basic rate of maintenance and the minimum amount of liability where the non-resident parent is party to another maintenance arrangement.
It's been a bumper week for reported cases:
Re H (Breakdown of Foster Placement: Further Assessment)  EWCA (26 October 2012)
Judge adjourned care proceedings for 3 months and directed mother and child to return to first foster placement under interim care order while an independent social work assessment took take place. Appeal by local authority dismissed. Report: Family Law. See also the first post by suesspiciousminds, below.
Re M (Fact-Finding Hearing: Burden of Proof)  EWCA (22 October 2012)
Appeal against finding of fact allowed: The judge had fallen into error and reversed the burden of proof in making the parents prove the injuries to the child were accidental. Report: Family Law. See also the first post by suesspiciousminds, below.
ZA & Anor v NA  EWCA Civ 1396 (26 October 2012)
Appeal by father against order for the return of the children from Pakistan. Appeal allowed in part. Full report: Bailii.
WBC v CP & Ors  EWHC 1944 (Costs) (12 July 2012)
Application for costs following Court of Protection and Administrative Court proceedings. Full report: Bailii.
A Local Authority v S & O  EWHC 3764 (Fam) (15 December 2011)
Fact-finding hearing as to whether a couple who had apparently given birth to a child in Nigeria had been aware that it was actually a ‘staged labour’. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.
Petrodel Resources Ltd & Ors v Prest & Ors  EWCA Civ 1395 (26 October 2012)
Appeal against order for companies controlled by the husband to transfer assets to the wife in or towards satisfaction of her financial remedy claim. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above and the Family Law article, below.
Clarke, Re  EWHC 2256 (COP) (31 July 2012)
Application to discharge a deputyship in relation to the management of the property and affairs of a 72 year-old woman. Application adjourned. Full report: Bailii.
Clarke, Re  EWHC 2714 (COP) (09 October 2012)
Further hearing of application to discharge a deputyship in relation to the management of the property and affairs of a 72 year-old woman. Ordered that her property should not be sold or charged during her lifetime, and that the deputyship should be discharged. Full report: Bailii.
Clarke, Re  EWHC 2947 (COP) (24 October 2012)
Further hearing of application to discharge a deputyship in relation to the management of the property and affairs of a 72 year-old woman, dealing with issue of costs. Full report: Bailii.
NHS Trust v K & Ors  EWHC 2922 (COP) (15 October 2012)
The issue was whether a lady with cancer of the uterus who lacked capacity should have a potentially life-saving operation. held that she should. Full report: Bailii.
S v S  EWHC 2960 (Fam) (25 January 2012)
Application for permission to appeal against financial remedy order, including litigation misconduct costs. Permission refused. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, below
Re C (Residence)  EWCA (12 October 2012)
Father alleged that mother's care of the child deficient. Judge stopped father's evidence, stating that he had failed to show cause to support a change of residence. Father's appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law. See also the first post by suesspiciousminds, below.
F (Child)  EWCA Civ 1364 (24 October 2012)
Appeal by father against order giving mother permission to permanently remove the child from the jurisdiction. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, below
Re D (Findings of Sexual Abuse: Appeal)  EWCA (17 October 2012)
During care proceedings the judge made findings that a boy had raped his sister. The boy appealed. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.
B (Children)  EWCA Civ 1275 (16 August 2012)
Appeal by local authority against refusal to make interim care orders on a care plan for the children's immediate removal. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.
C (Children)  EWCA Civ 1281 (25 July 2012)
Appeal by local authority against order for indirect contact in favour of the father, pursuant to s26 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. Appeal allowed. Full report: Family Law Week.
A (Children)  EWCA Civ 1278 (18 July 2012)
Care proceedings. Appeal by father against finding that he was responsible for fatal injuries suffered by child. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.
W (Children)  EWCA Civ 1307 (24 July 2012)
Residence application by father. Appeal by mother against refusal to re-open fact-finding inquiry. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.
Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others v Prest and Others [see above]
"It is not open to Family Division judges, in proceedings for financial provision, to make an order against company-held property unless there exists on the facts of the case relevant impropriety justifying the piercing of the corporate veil." Says Amy Royce-Greensill in Family Law.
Quantification of financial provision under Part III
"Judgment has been published this week, although handed down 9 May 2012, in the case of Z v A  EWHC 1434 (Fam), an important High Court decision of Coleridge J about quantification of financial provision under Part III MFPA 1984, financial remedies after a foreign divorce." Full article by David Hodson in Family Law.
“Does it matter what I think”? A comparison of the consideration of children’s views in Hague Convention cases and Children Act 1989 proceedings
Radhika Handa, barrister, of Coram Chambers compares the court's consideration of children's wishes in Hague Convention and Children Act cases, in both private and public law. Full article: Family Law Week.
Looked-after children: Care should be in the community
"Living close to home can offer 'looked-after' children much‑needed stability, so why do so many councils struggle to make local placements?" Asks Louise Tickle in The Guardian.
So tired, tired of waiting, tired of waiting for you
"A quick look at four cases that have been decided, but that I’m still waiting for transcripts of judgments on, and one that I’ve been waiting for for ages, and which turns out to be crushingly disappointing." He may not have heard of formatting, but he does know some good songs: suesspiciousminds.
One of these nights you’re gonna get caught, It’ll give you a pregnant pause for thought
This is a discussion of the extraordinary case of A Local Authority v S & O  EWHC 3764 (Fam) [above]. Another song, another post by suesspiciousminds.
S v S: Dealing with a disparity in costs
A summary of S v S  EWHC 2960 (Fam) [above]. WARNING: Contains maths. I needed a calculator to write this post.
F (Child) and the taxonomy of relocation cases
A summary of international relocation case F (Child)  EWCA Civ 1364 [above]. Full post by yours truly.
Once you have eliminated the impossible
Is Sherlock Holmes’ maxim applicable to fact finding hearings? The Court of Appeal take a look - A (Children)  EWCA Civ 1278 [above]. Suesspiciousminds turns to literature for his inspiration.
J’accuse .. no, I don’t… wait, yes I do (oh no you don’t)
A discussion of Re W (Children) 2012 EWCA Civ 1307 [above]. Is it Zola? No, it's suesspiciousminds.