News Essentials: 15th January 2018

A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week (or so):

Child referred to social services every 49 seconds amid rising reports of domestic violence
Councils warn they face pressures on ‘staggering scale’ as data shows there were 646,120 referrals to children’s services last year – equating to 1,770 referrals per day. Full story: The Independent.

Cost of divorce up 17% in three years amid soaring legal fees and housing costs
Separating couples now typically spend £14,561 on lawyers and lifestyle costs, plus an additional £35,000 to rent or £144,600 to buy new property. Full story: The Independent.

Court rules children of learning-disabled mother can be adopted despite criticising council
Judge highlights lack of training and protocol around parents with learning disabilities but stresses support must not become 'substituted parenting'. Full story: Community Care. See A Local Authority v G, below.

Solicitor Gauke is named as justice secretary
Solicitor David Gauke was today named as lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice in a surprise element of the government reshuffle. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Changes to domestic violence evidence requirements come into effect
From today (8 January 2018), victims of domestic violence will get more support in taking abusive former partners to court. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Changes to family forms from 8 January 2018
The Ministry of Justice has announced that Form FM1, Form A, Form A1, Form B and Form C100 will be amended with effect from 8 January 2018. Full story: Family Law.

Sargeant v Sargeant & Anor [2018] EWHC 8 (Ch) (09 January 2018)
Inheritance Act claim by wife against estate of late husband who died in 2005, made over 10 years after grant of probate. Permission to make claim out of time refused. Full report: Bailii.

B v C (temporary leave to remove to non-Hague Convention country) [2017] EWFC B97 (12 December 2017)
Cross-applications by the mother for permission to take the child on holidays, including to non-Hague Convention countries, and by the father for a child arrangements order that divides the child’s time broadly equally between his parents. Full report: Bailii.

T (A Child: Care Order: Beyond Parental Control: Deprivation of Liberty: Authority to Administer Medication) [2017] EWFC B1 (5 January 2018)
Care proceedings concerning a child aged 13 years and residing in a specialist residential unit under the auspices of an interim care order. Full report: Bailii.

A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) [2017] EWFC B94 (18 December 2017)
Proceedings concerning 3 children, where the primary issue was whether the 2 youngest children could safely be returned to their parents under either a child arrangements order with a supervision order or under a care order, or whether their welfare required that they be placed outside the family for adoption. Full report: Bailii.

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For more cases, see here.

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