News Update: 21st of May 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
Gay marriage: Final reading in Commons
The government's same-sex marriage bill is to receive a third and final Commons reading after surviving resistance from Tory opponents on Monday night. Full story: BBC News.
Maria Stubbings murder: IPCC report prompts inquiry call
The family of a woman murdered by her ex-partner are calling for a public inquiry into how complaints of domestic violence are handled. Full story: BBC News.
Huge rise in fixed fees for family and probate
There has been a dramatic rise in the number of solicitors offering fixed fees for probate and family work, a report for the legal services consumer panel has found. Full story: Solicitors Journal.
Top family judge urges earlier involvement of local authority lawyers
Local authority lawyers need to get involved earlier – advising and assisting their social work clients – than is often the case, the President of the Family Division has argued. Full story: Local Government Lawyer. See also the PLO story, below.
A fairer child maintenance system for a country where paying for your children is 'now the norm'
New official statistics on the proportion of separated parents who are paying for their children through the Child Support Agency. This press release also mentions the Government's announcement that it will be reducing the ongoing collection charge for receiving parents who choose to use the new Child Maintenance Service, although Gingerbread believes the cut doesn't go far enough. Full story: GOV.UK.
Revised Public Law Outline comes into effect on 1 July 2013
In the second edition of Sir James Munby's 'View from the President's Chambers', he has confirmed that an interim version of the revised Public Law Outline will be published at the end of May 2013 and will come into effect on 1 July 2013. Full story: Family Law Week. See also the article, below.
Elena Ambrosiadou wins legal battle with ex-husband Martin Coward over software
High Court judge says hedge fund tycoons gave ‘tainted’ evidence in fight for spoils of marriage. Full story: The Independent.
Divorcee keeps overpayment of pension made as part of divorce settlement
The Pensions Ombudsman has determined that a divorcee need not repay to Scottish Widows an overpayment secured in her divorce settlement as a result of an incorrect transfer value provided by the pension scheme administrator. Full story: Family Law Week.
First ever chief social worker for children and fast-track training to lead social work reform
Education Secretary Michael Gove today announced the appointment of a children's chief social worker and a new fast-track training programme for top graduates. Full story: GOV.UK.
Funding for foster care recruitment boost unveiled
The government has today unveiled a new package of support to help local authorities attract and retain more foster carers from a wider range of backgrounds. Full story: GOV.UK.
Stopping poor quality and time-wasting expert evidence in family courts
New national standards to raise the quality of experts used in family courts were announced by the Government today. Full story: GOV.UK.
DWP’s child maintenance data is ‘misleading’
Gingerbread has today criticised the government’s reports of its own success in collecting child maintenance as ‘misleading’, after the DWP launched a consultation on new reporting standards. Full story: Gingerbread.
Social work evidence to carry greater weight with Court of Protection
Court expected to revise guidance to make it clear it will accept mental capacity assessments from social workers, and not just from doctors, psychologists or therapists. Full story: Community Care.
Councils to be allowed to delegate looked-after children work
The Department for Education proposes changes to the law to allow local authorities to delegate work for looked-after children to external organisations. Full story: Family Law Week.
College sounds warning on fostering-for-adoption plans
Government plans to speed up the adoption process could undermine efforts to place looked-after children with family members and potentially harm child welfare, The College of Social Work has said. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Re J (A Child) (Learning Disabled Parent)  EWHC (12 October 2012)
Care proceedings involving learning disabled mother. There was insufficient evidence available about the child's chances of being successfully brought up by his mother and, therefore, a further assessment was directed. Report: Family Law.
Re J (A Child) (Learning Disabled Parent) (No 2)  EWHC (13 March 2013)
Care proceedings involving learning disabled mother. She had done well in two assessments and therefore the local authority conceded that a supervision order would be sufficient. Report: Family Law.
R (C) v Chief Constable of Lincolnshire Police  EWHC 1174 (Admin) (20 March 2013)
Application by mother for permission to bring judicial review proceedings in respect of police failure to charge the father with child abduction. Permission refused. Report: Family Law.
S (A Child), Re  EW Misc 2 (CC) (20 March 2013)
Care proceedings. Judgment relating to a fact finding hearing concerned with the causation of a number of bone fractures sustained by the child. Full report: Bailii.
G-H (Children) , Re  EWCA Civ 535 (16 April 2013)
Application for permission to appeal against care and placement orders. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
Bandak v Howell  EWCA Civ 531 (11 April 2013)
Application for permission to appeal against an order for sale in favour of a third party creditor in financial remedy proceedings. Application granted. Full report: Bailii.
MR v Habboo for Kent County Council  EWHC 4258 (Fam) (16 November 2012)
Care proceedings. Fact-finding hearing concerning what part, if any, the parents played in the child's injuries. Full report: Bailii.
MR (A Child)  EWHC 1156 (Fam) (07 May 2013)
Care proceedings. Hearing as to whether the court should make care and placement orders or instead evaluate whether rehabilitation between the child and his mother was a viable option. Full report: Bailii.
A (a child), Re (a child)  EWCA Civ 543 (16 May 2013)
Appeal by mother against interim contact order in favour of father. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.
CR v SR  EWHC 1155 (Fam) (22 January 2013)
Application by husband for permission to appeal financial remedy order. Application granted. Full report: Bailii.
R v R  EWHC 1535 (Fam) (15 June 2011)
Proceedings relating to a child born to a Thai mother, who had falsely persuaded her husband that he was the child's father. Full report: Bailii.
SM v HM  EWHC B30 (COP) (04 November 2011)
Judgment dealing with issue of whether it is ever appropriate for the Court to authorise the creation of a trust – in particular a personal injury trust - of the assets of a person lacking capacity as the means of administering those assets for him, rather than appointing a deputy for him under s 16 of the Mental Capacity Act. Full report: Bailii.
IH (A Child) (Permission to Apply for Adoption)  EWHC 1235 (Fam) (14 May 2013)
Application for leave to make an adoption application pursuant to s.42(6) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, where the child had not lived with the applicants for three years during the five years preceding the application. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
Committal Applications in financial remedy proceedings: when, how and why to make one
Marisa Allman explains (as you might guess) when, how and why to make a committal application in financial remedy proceedings. Full article: Zenith Chambers (PDF).
What Place does Wardship have in Modern Family Proceedings?
Leanne Buckley-Thomson, barrister at 12 College Place, provides an overview of wardship and considers its usefulness in modern family proceedings. Full article: Family Law Week.
Good Intentions are Not Enough: Thompson v Hurst
Sheila Hamilton Macdonald, barrister, examines the implications of the Court of Appeal judgment in Thompson v Hurst; a cohabitee property dispute in which the property had been registered in the name of only one of the cohabitees. Full article: Family Law Week.
Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 17 May 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.
Summary of the latest ‘View From The President’s Chambers’
Amy sanders looks at the main outlines of the revised PLO. Full article: Family Law.
Family law: a “time-consuming and morally shadowy activity”?
"Recently an article in the Guardian described family law as a “time-consuming and morally shadowy activity” and suggested that family lawyers “sleep in a bed that has been paid for by the unhappiness of others”." Geraldine Morris looks at how family lawyers are fighting back against bad PR, in this article on Halsbury's Law Exchange.
I have been modernised…
"This week I attended a lecture by our new Designated Family Judge here in Bristol, His Honour Judge Wildblood QC, to inform the legal community about modernisation, the new PLO and how things will be in the new world order." Says Lucy Reed, in this post on Pink Tape.
“Friendly McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear”
Suesspiciousminds, once again abusing the words of a great song for the sake of a post title, looks at the (as yet) unreported Court of Appeal case Re F (Children) . Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Doom and Gloom and very black Coffee
Lucy Reed contemplates the future. And drinking coffee. Full post: Pink Tape.
“As a drunkard uses a lamppost…”
A discussion of the new CAFCASS figures on care proceedings issued by Local Authority area. Full post: suesspiciousminds.