News Update: 28th of May 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

International child abduction cases up 81%
Child abduction is a “growing problem” with the number of reported cases up by 81 per cent over the last nine years, ministers warned today. Full story: The Independent.

Widower loses court fight to annul divorce from late wife
A husband attempting to have his divorce annulled even though his wife has been dead for more than two years has had his legal bid dashed. Full story: Evening Standard.

Domestic violence victim seeks bedroom tax judicial review
Woman who lives with son in three-bedroom house with fortified loft has been told she will lose some of her benefits. Full story: The Guardian.

Benefits cap will have catastrophic effect on families, court will hear
Vulnerable families challenging £500-a-week cap say it may force victims of domestic violence to return to their abusers. Full story: The Guardian.

Some government efforts on domestic violence 'are virtually meaningless'
Women's organisations say positive action in some areas of government is undermined by Department for Education. Full story: The Guardian.

Japanese Parliament paves way for ratification of Hague Convention on Child Abduction
Japan is assured of ratifying the Hague Convention on Child Abduction by March 2014 after the Lower House of the Japanese Parliament approved the necessary bill on 22nd May. Full story: Family Law Week.

EU-wide protection for victims of domestic violence to become law
Draft regulation should be adopted by Council of Ministers in June. Full story: Family Law Week.

Associations criticise care placement decision making
Independent foster care and children’s home bodies have come together to call on local authorities to use third sector providers to reduce inappropriate care placements. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Nine in 10 children born to cohabiting couples this year will 'see parents split by the time they are 16'
Nearly nine out of ten babies born to co-habiting parents this year will have seen their family break up by the time they reach the age of 16, says a study. Full story: Daily Mail.

Ministers write to local authorities about housing benefit changes and foster carers
Lord Freud, Minister for Welfare Reform in the Department for Work & Pensions, and Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minister in the Department for Education, have written a joint letter to local authorities about the housing benefit under-occupancy rules and their impact on foster carers. Full story: Family Law Week.

Councils rise to minister's challenge on care leaver support
Nearly two thirds of local authorities are providing care leavers with grants of at least £2,000 to help them set up home after children’s minister Edward Timpson called on them to boost levels of support. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Rotherham council apologises over way it handled removal of children from Ukip foster parents
A council has apologised over the way it handled a decision to remove three Eastern European children from foster parents who were members of Ukip. Full story: The Independent.

O (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1955 (5 December 2012)
Appeal by father against order allowing mother and child to relocate to Ireland. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Hub.

AB v CD [2013] EWHC 1418 (Fam) (24 May 2013)
Judgment concerning issue of whether a woman was a parent of children born to another woman by artificial insemination, where the requirements under the HFEA had not been complied with. Full report: Bailii.

SB (A Patient; Capacity To Consent To Termination), Re [2013] EWHC 1417 (COP) (21 May 2013)
Judgment concerning issue of whether the had capacity to consent to a termination. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post, below.

Mohan v Mohan [2013] EWCA Civ 586 (22 May 2013)
Appeal by wife in relation to the exclusion of documents and statements made by the husband during the course of proceedings to enforce a financial remedy order in the wife's favour. Full report: Bailii.

A (Interim Contact: Observations On Parents), Re [2012] EW Misc 29 (CC)(13 November 2012)
Contact application by father. Judgment dealing with various issues, including the conduct of the mother and whether the father should submit to a psychological assessment. Full report: Bailii.

Y County Council v ZZ [2012] EWHC B34 (Ch) (25 July 2012)
Application by local authority for declarations that a man lacked capacity and that it was lawful to deprive him of his liberty. Declarations made as sought. Full report: Bailii.

International endorsement for family arbitration
"Family arbitration has been successfully launched in several countries recently and is having a kick-start in those countries where it is presently available but underused." Says David Hodson, in this article on Family Law.

Maintenance Pending Suit Revisited
Alexander Chandler of 1 King’s Bench Walk, Temple, London revisits and updates an article originally published in February 2010 in light of changes brought about by the Family Procedure Rules 2010. Full article: Family Law Week.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 24 May 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Legal aid expert evidence authority and Legal Aid Agency
David Burrows discusses the cases of Re JG (a child by her guardian) v Legal Services Commission and ors (incl Law Society and Secretary of State for Justice) [2013] EWHC 804 (Admin) and R (on the application of T) v Legal Aid Agency & ors [2013] EWHC 960 (Admin). Full article: Family Law.

Conclusion of the matrimonial financial tie: show cause, strike out and materiality
"The last month or so has seen a variety of decisions which have amounted to the family courts, in different ways, saying to couples they must live with their agreements; that there must be an end to matrimonial financial litigation. All are based on judicial common sense of the highest order; but where does substantive law fit in with all this?" Asks David Burrows, in this article on Family Law.

A bit thin this week:

Bipolar patient has capacity to decide to terminate pregnancy
A discussion of Re SB (A patient; capacity to consent to termination) [2013] EWHC 1417 (COP) 21 May 2013 [above]. Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.

View from the President 2 : Into Darkness ?
"The President of the Family Division has published his second bulletin/speech/rallying cry/let’s get ready to rumble." Says suesspiciousminds, in this post.