News Update: 10th of December 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
Care proceedings run 14 weeks beyond target
The average length of care proceedings is still 14 weeks over a new target due to be introduced in April, latest figures show. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Adoption agency advertises children in local newspapers
Some have criticised the Adoptionplus campaign saying youngsters should not be advertised like an unwanted animal or second hand sofa. Full story: The Telegraph.
Father refused access to daughter despite 82 court orders
A father, described as "unimpeachable" by judges has told of his 12 year battle to see his teenage daughter, where he has been refused access despite 82 court orders allowing him to see her. Full story: The Telegraph.
MoJ to tackle fall in mediation referrals
The Ministry of Justice has sought to bolster its mediation strategy in the face of a dramatic fall in referrals in the past six months. Full story: Law Society Gazette.
Couples should not have children until they are ready to marry, says High Court judge
A senior High Court judge has argued that couples should not have children until they are ready to wed. Full story: The Independent.
Ten new projects help thousands of separated couples co-operate on parenting
Projects to help separated couples resolve grievances and agree financial and parenting arrangements in their children's best interests. Full story: Department for Work & Pensions.
Children and young people’s mental health neglected by local authorities
‘Overlooked and Forgotten’ report reveals failure to address mental health needs of under-18s. Full story: Family Law Week.
Non-means tested legal aid restored for patients detained under Mental Capacity Act 2005
In the Court of Protection cases of UF v A Local Authority & Ors, the Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency have effectively restored non-means tested legal aid in s21A MCA cases. Full story: Family Law Week.
Children face three-year wait for care case decisions
Dozens of care proceedings cases initiated more than three years ago remain unresolved leaving vulnerable children with uncertain futures. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Teach married couples about monogamy for sake of the children, says High Court judge
Married couples should be sent to classes promoting monogamy to help spare children lifelong scars from family breakdown, according to the High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge. Full story: The Telegraph.
Autumn Statement 2013: Marriage tax break 'will help poorest families’
More than four million married couples will be given tax breaks worth up to £200 a year. Full story: The Telegraph.
High Court judge orders life-saving bone marrow transplant to go ahead for three-year-old boy against father's will
A three-year-old boy whose father tried to prevent him receiving life-saving hospital treatment will have a bone marrow transplant on Thursday following an emergency ruling by a High Court judge. Full story: The Independent.
Judge rules that man in vegetative state should not be resuscitated if his condition deteriorates
The 78-year-old man's son said his family were 'trying to hang on to him' while giving evidence via video link. Full story: The Independent.
Civil courts to turn a profit under fee reforms
Wealthy litigants will have to stump up higher fees under government proposals to help put the civil courts on a ‘solid financial footing’. Full story: Law Society Gazette.
Supreme Court orders return of son to Texas in KL (A Child)
Court exercises inherent jurisdiction to return child with UK habitual residence. Full story: Family Law Week. See also the law report, below.
First national picture of foster carer recruitment published
A new report by the Fostering Network has, for the first time, provided a picture of foster carer recruitment across English local authorities. Full story: Family Law Week.
Foster children may stay with carers until age 21
Children in care in England will be able to stay with their foster families until their 21st birthday, rather than having to leave at 18, ministers say. Full story: BBC News.
Support for vulnerable women and taxpayers in court fees changes
People taking high value cases through civil courts in England and Wales will be expected to pay much more towards their running costs, Courts Minister Shailesh Vara has announced - while the fees for domestic violence injunctions will be scrapped. Full story: Ministry of Justice.
Essex County Council responds to C-section care case
Essex County Council has responded to the media reports concerning the delivery, without the mother's consent, of a baby by caesarean section and the child's removal into care of the local authority. Full story: Family Law Week. See also the law reports (marked *) and blog posts, below.
Only half of public express confidence in the family courts on children matters
A survey examining public attitudes to the courts and, principally, court fees suggests that only half of those asked have confidence in certain aspects of the family courts. Full story: Family Law Week.
Doncaster fears delay in children's trust timeframe
Plans to create an independent trust to run child protection services in Doncaster are at risk of delay, the authority has warned. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
YLA v PM & MZ  EWHC 3622 (Fam) (20 November 2013)
Court of Protection proceedings concerning a vulnerable adult, and care proceedings concerning her child. Full report: Family Law Week.
Re A and B (Withdrawal of Fact-Finding Hearing) (29 January 2013)
Judgment in care proceedings where the local authority was granted permission to withdraw the fact-finding hearing. Report: Family Law.
ACCG & Anor v MN & Ors  EWHC 3859 (COP) (20 November 2013)
Application for a final order pursuant to s16(2)(a) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to, inter alia, the accommodation of a 20 year old man who suffers from profound disabilities. Full report: Bailii.
Asaad v Kurter  EWHC 3852 (Fam) (05 December 2013)
Judgment concerning the validity of a marriage and whether the petitioner was entitled to a decree of divorce, a decree of nullity or no remedy at all. Full report: Bailii.
AH v PH  EWHC 3873 (Fam) (12 June 2013)
Financial remedies application involving marriage settlement. Full report: Bailii.
Akhtar v Ayoub  EWHC 3840 (Fam) (08 November 2013)
Wardship proceedings in which the children live with the father in England and the mother is unable to travel to England from Pakistan. Full report: Bailii.
Re AA  EWHC 4378 (COP) (23 August 2012)*
Judgment declaring that it was in the medical best interests of a seriously mentally ill and incapacitated patient to give birth by caesarean section. Full report: Judiciary of England and Wales (PDF). HTML version: Bailii. See also the news story above, and blog posts, below.
B v IB  EWHC 3755 (Fam) (29 November 2013)
Judgment concerned with issue of whether an application by the wife under s423 Insolvency Act 1986 should be dismissed, where the husband had died and the wife intended to commence proceedings under the Inheritance Act. Full report: Family Law Week.
EG v JG  EW Misc 21 (CC) (01 December 2013)
Mother's application for a specific issue order about the choice of secondary schools for the 4 youngest children of a Jewish family. Full report: Bailii.
In the Matter of KL (A Child)  UKSC 75 (4 December 2013)
Judgment dealing with issue of the correct approach to be taken to the situation where a child is removed from his/her country of residence pursuant to a return order under the Hague Convention, which order is made erroneously and overturned on appeal. Full report: Supreme Court (PDF). HTML version: Bailii.
F v Y  EWHC (17 July 2013)
Mother removed child to Russia without father's consent, but father acquiesced and therefore his application to English court was dismissed. Report: Family Law.
P (A Child)  EW Misc 20 (CC) (01 February 2013)*
Care and placement proceedings in respect of child of Italian mother suffering from bipolar affective disorder. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above, and blog posts, below.
RGB v Cwm Taf Health Board & Ors  EWHC B23 (COP) (10 October 2013)
Application by husband of woman with Alzheimer's disease for declarations that Health Board acted unlawfully in depriving him and/or his wife of a right to family life. Full report: Bailii. See also my post here.
Or should that read 'Article'?
Finance and Divorce December 2013 Update
Jessica Craigs, senior solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the financial remedies and divorce news and cases published in November. Full article: Family Law Week.
Judith Middleton considers some of the complexities of sorting out pensions on divorce. Full post: Judith's Divorce Blog.
Make them mediate! Is there a case for compulsion?
Marc Lopatin asks whether compulsion really going to restore mediation levels, let alone increase them, in this post on the Family Law Blog.
Return of the Tzar
"Narey’s back on his adoption drum" says Lucy Reed. Full post: Pink Tape.
What IS the Court of Protection?
This is intended to be a beginner’s guide to the Court of Protection, not exclusively intended for lawyers. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Update on the Essex C-Section case
Lucy Reed brings us up to date with developments since her earlier post. Full post: Pink Tape. See also the law reports (marked *) and news story, above.
Booker, Hemming and the “forced caesarian” case: a masterclass in Flat Earth news
Carl Gardner examines the truth behind the headlines. Full post: Head of Legal. Again, see also the law reports (marked *) and news story, above.
The Children and Families Bill 2013 – all change, but is it for the better?
"The Children and Families Bill 2013 represents one of the biggest shake-ups of the law relating to family life in years." Says Lorna Borthwick in this post on Halsbury's Law Exchange.