News Update: 20th November 2012

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Boy brings legal test case over decision to put him in care
A 15-year-old boy denied the chance to give evidence to a legal hearing about whether he should stay with his mother or be taken into care has launched a Court of Appeal test case. An interesting development, reported by The Telegraph.

Only 15% of divorced women say that pensions featured in their settlement
According to the eighth annual Scottish Widows Women and Pensions Report published earlier this month, out of the divorced women surveyed, just 15% said pensions were discussed as part of their settlement. Full story: Family Law Week.

Adoption process is being rushed by councils, say judges
Children face split from other family members as fears expressed about Michael Gove's 'unrealistic' plans [see story below]. Full story: The Guardian.

‘Troubled families are not lost causes,’ says BASW in response to Gove speech
The British Association of Social Workers, in response to Michael Gove's speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research [below], has called for 'careful assessment of the long-term needs of children, backed by better resources to do this vital work'. Full story: Family Law Week.

Judge warns against idolising celebrity marriages which are more prone to fail
A leading High Court judge has warned that it is “dangerously flawed” for young people to take seemingly glamorous celebrity relationships as a model for their own after research found the rate of divorce among stars is twice the national average. The latest pearl of wisdom from Sir Paul Coleridge and the Marriage Foundation. Full story: The Telegraph.

Michael Gove: children at risk of abuse should be put in care more quickly
Education secretary calls for 'assertive' approach from social workers after report into brutal Edlington attack, in this speech. Full story: The Guardian.

Risk of divorce pushes women to work longer hours, claims new research
New research conducted by Dr Berkay Özcan of the London School of Economics and Political Science claims that an increased risk of divorce pushes women to work longer hours outside the home. Full story: Family Law Week.

Collection of child maintenance rises to £305 million for the last quarter
The Department for Work and Pensions has released a summary for the three months ending 30 September 2012. Full story: Family Law Week.

Overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals published
The Department for Education has published an overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals concerning child development and the impact of maltreatment. Full story: Family Law Week.

British pilot thwarts wife's attempt to divorce him from Brazil
A pilot whose Brazilian wife refused to return to England with their children after a half-term holiday in her home country has won his battle to have a divorce settlement in British courts. Full story: The Telegraph.

Children of divorced parents could be classified as in poverty
Children whose parents are divorced could be classed as growing up in poverty under government plans to redefine disadvantage. Full story: The Telegraph.

Re C (Contact: Appeal) [2012] EWCA (14 November 2012)
Local authority granted a s 34(4) order permitting a cessation of contact between the father and children. Father appealed. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

R (ota of Kadri) v Birmingham City Council [2012] EWCA Civ 1432 (7 November 2012)
Three appeals (with permission applications) re. age assessments of unaccompanied minors. Approach to be taken in cases of conflict between the assessments of local authority and The Sec. of State for the Home Department. Full report: Family Law Week.

Re: A (A child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1477 (16 November 2012)
Care proceedings. Application by parents for permission to appeal against refusal to re-open fact-finding process, and the making of a placement order. Permission refused. Full report: Judiciary of England and Wales.

A Local Authority v A Mother & Ors [2012] EWHC 2969 (Fam) (26 October 2012)
Care proceedings involving a child who suffered uncontrolled asthma whilst in her parents' care. Full report: Bailii. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

Pankhania v Chandegra [2012] EWCA Civ 1438 (09 November 2012)
Appeal against dismissal of claim for order for sale of jointly owned property and equal division of net proceeds, and declaration that the ownership of the property resided solely with the defendant. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

N (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1449 (5 October 2012)
Application for permission to appeal against a return order under the Hague Convention. Application refused. Full Report: Family Law Hub.

B (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1475 (14 November 2012)
Appeal against care order in a "highly complex case" based upon anticipated future harm. Appeal dismissed. Per Lord Justice Rix:
"I ... wonder whether this case illustrates a powerful but also troubling example of the state exercising its precautionary responsibilities for a much loved child in the face of parenting whose unsatisfactory nature lies not so much in the area of physical abuse but in the more subjective area of moral and emotional risk."
Full report: Bailii.

X v Y & Ors [2012] EWHC 2838 (Fam) (16 October 2012)
Application by mother for summary return of children to Australia. Application dismissed, in view of objections of eldest child. Full report: Bailii.

G (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1408 (31 August 2012)
Care proceedings. Applications for permission to appeal by local authority and mother against findings of fact in respect of injuries to the child. Applications refused. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, below.

R (ET) v Islington Borough Council [2012] EWHC (30 October 2012)
Application for judicial review of local authority risk assessment in respect of three children. Application dismissed. Report: Family Law.

Another quiet week for articles:
Court of Protection update
Thirty Nine Essex Street Court of Protection Newsletter: August 2012 (PDF).

What judges expect from social workers in the family courts
Family court judge Penny Reeves explains what judges expect from social workers in the family courts, and how her two expert guides for Community Care Inform can help social workers meet those expectations. Full post: The Children's Services Blog.

If you’re thinking of placing my baby, it don’t matter if it’s black or white
The Government have published its draft proposals to amend the Adoption and Children Act 2002. Another great post with a bad taste title from suesspiciousminds.

On a Rydering to Nothing
Lucy Reed (who clearly also likes dubious post titles) discusses Mr Justice Ryder's speech to the ALC Conference. Full post: Pink Tape.

Take my breath away
A discussion of A Local Authority v A mother and others 2012 [above]. Another great post with an even worse taste title from suesspiciousminds.

G (A Child): Will the lawyers take some responsibility for the future conduct of this case?
I make a point of a point raised by Lord Justice Ward in G (A Child) [above], in this post, here on Family Lore.