News Update: 30th of July 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Financial 'agony aunt' left penniless after losing court battle over ex-husband’s fortune
A financial agony aunt left penniless and on the brink of homelessness has lost her battle to get more money from a man she divorced more than 20 years ago. Full story: The Telegraph.

Child Maintenance Service reaches next stage
The new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will open today (29 July 2013) to new applicants with 2 or more children. Full story: GOV.UK.

Lord Justice Thorpe retires
Lord Justice Thorpe, Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, retires from the judiciary on 30 July, his 75th birthday. Full story: Family Law Week.

Local authorities’ financial support of foster carers must not discriminate against family and friends
The Fostering Network has welcomed a Court of Appeal ruling (X, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Tower Hamlets - see below) that local authorities in England may not discriminate against family and friends foster carers in the financial support they provide in line with requirements previously published by the Government. Full story: Family Law Week.

Council takes two years to respond to complaint about children’s services
Derbyshire County Council has taken more than two years to respond to a woman's complaint, despite assuring the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) three times that it would investigate. Full story: Family Law Week.

Online sperm donor ordered to pay maintenance for child after judge rules he is the father
A sperm donor who fathered a child with a woman he met through an unofficial website has been ordered to pay for maintenance after a judge ruled he is the biological father. The M case - see below. Full story: The Telegraph.

Judge begs couple to end 'financial suicide' in £850,000 divorce battle
A High Court judge told a divorcing couple they had committed “financial suicide” after running up legal bills of more than £850,000. The Sekhri v Ray case - see below. Full story: The Telegraph.

Young children who witness domestic violence show later aggression
Social workers need to consider the longer term effects of exposure to violence, research suggests. Full story: Family Law Week.

BAAF urges government for post-adoption support
The British Association for Adoption & Fostering is calling upon the government to make the provision of post-adoption support a statutory requirement of adoption agencies across the UK. Full story: Family Law Week.

David Cameron's tax breaks are "symbolic", IFS says
David Cameron's tax breaks for married couples are largely "symbolic" because marriage provides little benefit to the development of children, according to leading economists. Full story: The Telegraph.

Decline of marriage has led to family breakdown, senior judge warns
Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge who started the Marriage Foundation, argues that the decline of marriage has contributed to the doubling of family breakdown since the 1980s. Full story: The Telegraph.

Fears for independent social workers as 80% consider leaving the profession
The controversial fee cap for expert witnesses has forced 80% of independent social workers to find alternative sources of work or consider leaving the profession altogether. Full story: Community Care.

Tug-of-love mother 'acted on instinct' when she ran away with her children
A British mother embroiled in an international tug-of-love dispute was acting on “instinct” when she abducted four of her five children, the High Court heard. Full story: The Telegraph.

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013
An Act to make provision for the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales, about gender change by married persons and civil partners, about consular functions in relation to marriage, for the marriage of armed forces personnel overseas, for permitting marriages according to the usages of belief organisations to be solemnized on the authority of certificates of a superintendent registrar, for the review of civil partnership, for the review of survivor benefits under occupational pension schemes, and for connected purposes.

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 11 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2013
This Order brings into force provisions of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 for the purpose of applying new rules for calculating child support maintenance to certain applications made on or after 29th July 2013 and certain cases linked to those applications.

Protocol of 19 July 2013: Communications between judges of the Family Court and Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal
On 19 July 2013, the Senior President of Tribunals and the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice issued a protocol on communications between judges of the Family Court and Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal. Full story: Family Law.

K v London Borough of Brent & Ors [2013] EWCA Civ 926 (29 July 2013)
Aplication by grandmother for permission to appeal against care order. Application granted and appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

K (A Child: Wardship: Publicity) [2013] EWHC B11 (Fam) (25 July 2013)
Wardship proceedings. Judgment dealing with issue of whether the parents could discuss the case with the media. Full report: Bailii.

Surrey County Council v A-H (Children) & Ors [2013] EWHC 2190 (Fam) (22 July 2013)Care proceedings. Judgment addressing issue of the circumstances in which representatives of the media should be excluded from attending family proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

Surrey County Council v A-H (Children) & Ors [2013] EWHC 2299 (Fam) (26 July 2013)
Care proceedings involving two children whose parents were killed. Full report: Bailii.

D-L (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 936 (22 May 2013)
Appeal in a contact case where the local authority and guardian had made recommendations as to the level of contact between the children and F, but the judge had departed from the experts' recommendations without explaining why. Appeal allowed. Full report: Family Law Hub.

Sekhri v Ray [2013] EWHC 2290 (Fam) (23 July 2013)
Dispute concerning whether the court had jurisdiction to entertain the wife's petition, in a case where both parties were resident in Singapore. Held, the court did have jurisdiction. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.

TB v DB [2013] EWHC 2274 (Fam) (25 April 2013)
Fact finding hearing in connection with residence application, dealing with allegations made by the mother. Full report: Bailii.

TB v DB [2013] EWHC 2275 (Fam) (26 April 2013)
Judgment following fact finding hearing, dealing with whether a shared residence order should continue, or a sole residence order be made in favour of the father. Full report: Bailii.

N v N (BIIR: Stay of Maintenance Proceedings) [2012] EWHC 4282 (Fam) (5 October 2012)
Application by Dutch wife for periodical payments under s.27 MCA, from Swedish husband. Husband asked the court to decline jurisdiction. Jurisdiction declined. Report: Family Law.

CtL, CmL, TLP, ARP, MM and JB (Children) (Fact Finding: Protection From Sexual Harm), Re [2013] EWHC 2133 (Fam) (01 March 2013)
Care proceedings. Fact finding hearing relating to allegations concerning six children. Full report: Bailii.

CtL and CmL (Children) (Welfare Hearing: Expert Report), Re [2013] EWHC 2134 (Fam) (21 June 2013)
Care proceedings. Welfare hearing following lengthy fact finding hearing. Full report: Bailii.

X, R (on the application of) v London Borough of Tower Hamlets [2013] EWCA Civ 904 (24 July 2013)
Appeal by local authority against declaration that their policy on payments to foster carers was unlawful in that they discriminated on the grounds of pre-existing relationship with the child between family and unrelated foster carers. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.

M [2013] EWHC 1901 (Fam) (05 July 2013)
Application by mother for a declaration under s.55A of the Family Law Act 1986 that the respondent is the legal parent of her child. Application granted. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.

CB v CB [2013] EWHC 2092 (Fam) (10 April 2013)
Child abduction. Application by mother for return of child to Australia. Application dismissed, on the basis of the child's objection to being returned. Full report: Bailii.

V (Children), Re [2013] EWCA Civ 913 (23 July 2013)
Care proceedings. Appeal by local authority against refusal of adoption and placement orders. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Marriage (Same Gender Couples) Act 2013 - Top ten guide
This is an Act [see above] to make provision for same sex couples in England and Wales and about gender change for married persons and civil partners. Full article: Family Law.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 26 July 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Serious case reviews have become too costly and complex
Reviews should help child protection, not disrupt it, says Professor Ray Jones, in this article in The Guardian.

Transparency in the family courts guidance
Joanne Clarke discusses the President's draft guidelines outlining a proposed new approach to the publication of family judgments, in this article on Family Law.

Children: Public Law Update (July 2013)
John Tughan, barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, examines some important recent judgments of particular interest to public law children lawyers. Full article: Family Law Week.

Japan has responded to the EU review, so have you?
David Hodson urges international family practitioners to respond to the Balance of Competences Review, in this article on Family Law.

Truly Exceptional
"A while back I made a Freedom of Information Act request to the Legal Aid Agency for figures in relation to applications for exceptional funding under s10 LASPO." Lucy Reed tells us the result of her latest FOI request, in this post on Pink Tape.

Enforcement tips and tricks – part one
In the current economic climate and the international age in which we work, family practitioners increasingly face the need to enforce (both within this jurisdiction and abroad) orders made in financial remedy proceedings. Full post: Family Law Blog.