News Update: 18th December 2012
WELCOME to (very probably) the last Family Lore News Update of the year. (Warning: It's another big one.)
Thousands of the most damaged children in care being failed
Report criticises treatment of children in care outside their home areas and under supervision of youth offending teams. Full story: The Guardian.
Gay marriage: divorces over adultery face legal challenge
Unfaithful husbands could attempt to stop their wives divorcing them for adultery if gay marriage is legalised, according to senior lawyers. Full story: The Telegraph.
Even divorcees think divorce is too easy, poll finds
Getting divorced is too easy – even in the opinion of the majority of divorcees, a survey suggests. Full story: The Telegraph.
Attainment gap between looked after and non-looked after children narrows slightly
For the third year an annual statistical release has been published showing reported outcomes for looked after children with comparative figures for non-looked after children. Full story: Family Law Week.
The Justice Committee publishes report on the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Children and Families Bill
Proposed changes to family justice have been broadly welcomed by the Justice Committee in its report scrutinising the draft Children and Families Bill, but the Committee maintains significant concerns about the draft clause on shared parenting. Full story: UK Parliament.
2011 Census figures highlight risks to cohabiting couples
New figures from the UK Census have revealed that more and more couples are living together without being married. These figures once again highlight the urgent need to give legal rights to millions of couples in England and Wales. Full story: Resolution.
Family judges backing court welfare reports
Family judges follow the recommendation of court welfare reports in nine out of 10 cases, research has revealed. Full story: Law Society Gazette.
Supreme Court decides in favour of disclosure of allegations in contact case
The Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in In the Matter of A (A Child)  UKSC 60 [below]. Full story: Family Law Week.
Parental child abductions 'rise by 88% in a decade'
The number of children abducted and taken abroad by an estranged parent has risen by 88% in just under a decade, according to new government figures. Full story: BBC News.
Hotel boss obsessed with family business loses divorce appeal
A multi-millionaire hotelier who was so in love with his business that a judge described it as the third party in his marriage has lost an Appeal Court bid to reduce his wife’s £2.7 million divorce payout. Full story: The Telegraph. The Davies case - see below.
Gay marriage: Religious 'opt-in' offered, but not to CofE
The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced. Full story: BBC News.
The Family Procedure (Amendment) (No.5) Rules 2012
These rules amend Parts 1, 12 and 25 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010.
Bhura v Bhura  EWHC 3633 (Fam) (17 December 2012)
Committal application to enforce US lump sum order. Suspended committal order made. Full report: Family Law Week.
G (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1690 (30 October 2012)
Application by father for permission to appeal contact order and various findings by judge. Appeal allowed in part. Full report: Family Law Hub.
M (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1687 (23 October 2012)
Application by father for permission to appeal against dismissal of application for interim contact and committal order for breach of undertaking to remove references to the case from his Facebook account. Permission granted in respect of the latter only. Full report: Family Law Hub.
R (a Child), Re  EWHC 2956 (Fam) (24 October 2012)
Application for recognition of Indian adoption. Held that the adoption should be recognised in this jurisdiction. Full report: Bailii.
An NHS Trust v DJ & Ors  EWHC 3524 (COP) (06 December 2012)
Application by NHS Trust for permission to withdraw medical treatment from 68 year-old man lacking capacity. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
In the matter of A (A Child)  UKSC 60  UKSC (12 December 2012)
Appeal against order requiring local authority to disclose details relating to allegations of sexual abuse against the father. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Supreme Court. See also the news story above, and the article in Family Law and Marilyn Stowe's blog post, both below.
Suffolk County Council v Nottinghamshire County Council  EWCA Civ 1640 (11 December 2012)
Special guardianship. Case involving the determination of which authority owes duties under Sections 14A-F and the extent to which local authorities are free to make arrangements amongst themselves in respect of these duties. Full report: Bailii.
Davies v Davies  EWCA Civ 1641 (11 December 2012)
Application by husband for permission to appeal against lump sum award, where the principal issue was the wife's contribution to the husband's business. Permission granted but appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my blog post, below.
J Council v GU & Ors  EWHC 3531 (COP) (11 December 2012)
Judgment on application made by Council for declarations and orders pursuant to sections 15 and 16 Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to 57 year old man suffering from mental disorders. Full report: Bailii.
Re O (Residence)  EWCA (5 December 2012)
Judge refused to alter relocation order after father offered to pay maintenance and arrears, thereby making mother's position in England more viable. Father appealed. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.
Are we missing a trick?
Julie Stather examines the advantages to child, parents and local authority of using the under-utilised section 34 of the Children Act. Full article: Local Government Lawyer.
Finance and Divorce December Update
Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse November’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases. Full article: Family Law Week.
Unvisited: Looked after children and the role of the Independent Visitor
Noel Arnold, Head of Legal Practice at the Coram Children’s Legal Centre, considers the importance of Independent Visitors for looked after children and clarifies confusions in the current arrangements. Full article: Family Law Week.
X’s Appeal Rejected - Disclosure Still Stands
In Re A (A Child)  UKSC 60 [above] the issue before the Supreme Court was whether disclosure of the identity of a father's accuser (‘X') and the substance of her allegations against him should be given to the parties in contact proceedings relating to their child; and whether X should be required to give evidence in those proceedings. Full article: Family Law.
The Court of Protection: how journalists and lawyers can open the closed doors of justice
The Independent's senior lawyer explains what the Court of Protection is and how it ought to change. Full article: The Independent.
Don’t Panic! The HUB is HERE!!!
Lucy Reed casts her eye over the Sorting Out Separation hub, and is not impressed by what she sees. Full post: Pink Tape.
A Little Local Practice
In a busy week for the Pink Tape blog (just kidding), Lucy Reed examines the proliferation of local guidance documents and practice directions.
Redacting for anonymisation: Article 8 v Article 10 in child protection context
"Getting redaction right can be difficult: too much redaction undermines transparency, too much undermines privacy. The Court of Appeal’s recent judgment In the matter of X and Y (Children)  EWCA Civ 1500 is a case in point." Says Robin Hopkins on the Panopticon Blog.
Case Preview: Re J (Children)
"This case concerns care proceedings, and the difficulties faced by the courts and child protection professionals where there has been a past finding of serious non-accidental injuries to a child, but it has not been possible to make a finding of fact as to which individual was responsible for these injuries, but only to say which two (or more) people make up the pool of potential perpetrators." Says Eloise Le Santo on the UKSC blog.
Supreme Court rules in favour of disclosure
"A fascinating judgement has been handed down today by the Supreme Court in the case of In the Matter of Re A (A Child) 2012" [above], says Marilyn Stowe.
Davies v Davies: Contribution and inherited assets
A summary of Davies v Davies  EWCA Civ 1641 [above]. Full post: Family Lore.