News Update: 27th November 2012

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update. Take a deep breath, it's a long one...

Information obtained under mutual legal assistance provisions cannot be disclosed in financial remedy proceedings
The Home secretary and the Crown Prosecution Service have won their appeal against Moylan J's decision in P v P [2012] EWHC 1733 (Fam). Family Law Week reports upon the CPS and Another v Gohil case - see below.

Government supports Thurrock in tackling violence against women
A new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls has been launched in Thurrock by Victims and Equalities Minister Helen Grant. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Rotherham council leader: Ukip membership is no bar to fostering
Roger Stone says case that caused national furore is complex, and children involved are 'safe and in good care'. Of course, I doubt that this will satisfy the media frenzy. Full story: The Guardian.

Petrodell v Prest appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court
The Court of Appeal, comprising Lord Justices Thorpe, Rimer and Patten, have given permission to Yasmin Prest to appeal to the Supreme Court against its decision in Petrodell Resources Limited v Prest [2012] EWCA Civ 1395. The appeal will be heard on the 5th and 6th of March next year. Full story: Family Law Week.

Anti-stalking legislation has come into force
New offence of stalking involving fear of violence carries a maximum 5 year sentence. Full story: Family Law Week.

Ministers preparing tax breaks for married couples in next year's Budget
Conservative ministers are drawing up plans to deliver tax breaks to married couples from next year in a move which will please their own MPs but spark a new clash with the Liberal Democrats. It may also be intended to placate those Tory MPs who oppose gay marriage - see story below. Full story: The Telegraph.

Domestic violence accounts for 10% of emergency calls, data shows
Home Office figures obtained under FoI requests prompt fresh demands for strategy to deal with 'hidden crime'. Full story: The Guardian.

Divorcing parents turn to 'brainwashing' children in custody battles
Warring parents are increasingly attempting to “brainwash” their children to get the upper hand in custody disputes, according to lawyers. Is this really news? Or is it a story manufactured for publicity? You decide... Full story: The Telegraph.

UKIP couple have foster children removed from care
A couple have had three foster children removed from their care because they belong to the UK Independence Party. I get very uncomfortable when politicians and the media make pronouncements on such matters as child care, especially when all the facts are not known. Full story: BBC News (and many others). For some common sense on this, see the blog post by Dr Julie Doughty, below.

A master of half truth: the man who lied about wealth in £1.8m divorce
A businessman has been described as “a master of the half truth” by a judge who said the man lied to his wife about how rich he was when they agreed a £1.8 million divorce settlement. Mr Justice Coleridge lays it on the line. Full story: The Telegraph.

Fifteenth state signs up to EU’s enhanced cooperation procedure on international divorce
The European Commission has confirmed Lithuania's decision to join the enhanced cooperation procedure allowing international couples to select which country's law would apply to their divorce and legal separation. Full story: Family Law Week.

ICO fines council £60k after details of child neglect case given to wrong person
The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a local authority £60,000 after details of a child neglect case were sent to the wrong recipient. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Mr Justice Ryder calls for an ‘investigative’ family justice system
Delivering the keynote speech to the ALC Annual Conference on the 16th November, Mr Justice Ryder called for a significant change of culture in the litigation of family disputes. Full story: Family Law Week.

Ofsted publishes first annual data on the number and profile of adopters and children
Ofsted has published for the first time its collection of data on adoptive families received from adoption providers. The data were collected via a survey in April-June 2012 and are used to inform the inspection of adoption provision. Full story: Family Law Week.

Gay marriage could be approved within weeks
David Cameron and Nick Clegg have reportedly agreed to speed up legislation to allow gay marriage, meaning it could be approved in the coming weeks. About time! Full story: The Telegraph.

Life after family break-up: research challenges law change proposal
Government plans to amend the 1989 Children Act by introducing a presumption of shared parenting are well-intentioned but misguided, say the authors of new research into childhood experience of family break-ups. Full story: Family Law. See also the post by Pink Tape, below.

Crown Prosecution Service & Anor v Gohil [2012] EWCA Civ 1550 (26 November 2012)
Ancillary relief. Appeal against order that CPS should disclose to wife documents which they had obtained from foreign states pursuant to letters of request under section 7 of Crime (International Co-operation) Act 2003. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above, and Marilyn Stowe's post, below.

Slater v Condappa [2012] EWCA Civ 1506 (22 November 2012)
Appeal by former cohabitee against dismissal of her claim to a beneficial interest in a property in which she had cohabited with the respondent. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also Marilyn Stowe's post, below.

S v M [2012] EWHC (15 November 2012)
Appeal by husband against maintenance order. Appeal allowed. Report: Family Law.

Sharbatly v Shagroon [2012] EWCA Civ 1507 (21 November 2012)
Appeal against decision that the 'wife' could proceed with an application under Part III MFPA 1984, on the grounds that there had never been a valid marriage. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, below.

Re C (Contact) [2012] EWCA (14 November 2012)
Care proceedings. Appeal by father against s.34(4) order. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

Re F (Contact Application Via the Official Solicitor) [2012] EWCA (8 November 2012)
Parents of 2 children classed as vulnerable. Father's application through Official Solicitor to have contact with child living with mother refused. He appealed. Appeal allowed. Report: Family Law.

X and Y (Children), Re [2012] EWCA Civ 1500 (19 November 2012)
Appeal against order varying reporting restriction to permit publication of Executive Summary of Serious Case Review. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Re B (Placement For Adoption: Grandmother’s Objection) [2012] EWCA (9 November 2012)
Care proceedings. Appeal by grandmother against placement order. Appeal allowed. Report: Family Law.

Family Mediation – The option of first resort for separating couples?
Amina Somers, a consultant and mediator with Goodman Ray, asks whether the implementation of the Family Justice Review recommendations will see the court usurped by mediation as the primary dispute resolution process following relationship breakdown. Full article: Family Law Week.

Lucia Clark on Scottish Family Law: To English family lawyers - please be less polite!
"This is a heartfelt plea to English matrimonial solicitors - please, please, be less polite. Take a hint from Scots family lawyers - be rude!" says Lucia Clark on Family Law.

Finance Cases Round-Up: November 2012
Gavin Smith, barrister, arbitrator, mediator and author (is there no limit to this man's talents?) of 1 Hare Court reviews some recent key finance cases. Full article: Class Legal.

Children: Private Law Update (November 2012)
Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings reviews important recent developments relating to private children law. Full article: Family Law Week.

Myths about fostering and adoption - Dr Julie Doughty
"On Friday, 23 November, the Daily Telegraph published a story about foster carers in Rotherham who had three children removed from their care, eight weeks after an emergency placement, because of the carers’ membership of a political party, namely the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)." Some common sense from Dr Julie Doughty in this Cardiff Law School post.

Court of Appeal rules against disclosure in divorce case
"The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and the Secretary of State for the Home Office have succeeded in an appeal against an order that they disclose documents relating to the international criminal activities of a former solicitor." The CPS and Another v Gohil case - see above. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

Court of Appeal throws out girlfriend’s claim to house
Should a former cohabitant who has had a child and worked in a successful business which has helped maintain the house he owns in his sole name be able to claim over that property when the relationship ends? The Slater v Condappa case - see above. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

'Social work reform is key to reforming family justice'
If children are to get a better deal from the family courts, reform must extend throughout the care system, writes Cafcass chief executive Anthony Douglas on The Children's Services Blog.

More on Vitamin D and rickets
A discussion of the Court of Appeal decision in Re C (A child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1477 (16 November 2012). Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Sharbatly v Shagroon: You must be married to get divorced
A summary of Sharbatly v Shagroon [2012] EWCA Civ 1507 (21 November 2012) [above]. Full post: Family Lore.

Perspectives of young adults who experienced parental separation Study published
"The report [see the last news story, above] is an empirical study, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, and looks at how the contact arrangements made by separating parents for their children affect children’s long-term relationships with their parents throughout their childhood and then into adulthood." Full post: Pink Tape.

You can’t take it with you?
A knotty issue about Special Guardianship:- “If a Special Guardian appoints a guardian to have PR for the child in the event of their death, would that stand up if a parent challenged it?” Suesspiciousminds has the answer. Maybe.