News Essentials: 16th April 2018

A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:

Sir Ernest Ryder speaks on the Role of the Justice System in Decision-making for Children
Sir Ernest addresses the principles underpinning judicial decision-making and the evidential requirements in a changing environment. Full story: Family Law Week.

Care applications received by Cafcass in March 2018 down by 4%
Annual total of care applications falls slightly. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in March 2018 down 5% on a year ago
Annual rate running at 3% above previous twelve months. Full story: Family Law Week.

'Meal ticket for life' bid backfires as divorcee loses £175,000 a year from ex-husband
An attempt by a divorcee to have a “meal ticket for life” backfired after a High Court Judge ruled her maintenance payments should cease after just three years. Full story: The Telegraph. See Waggott v Waggott, below.

Plaudits for judge's plain speaking in adoption case
A judge has been praised for the way she has explained her decision to allow a baby boy to be adopted so that the child's father, who has a learning disability, can understand. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See Jack (A Child : care and placement orders), below.

Listing Final Hearings in Adoption cases
This Guidance is issued with the purpose of clarifying the legal requirements and practical arrangements for final hearings in adoption applications and adoption visits. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

President’s Guidance: Family proceedings: Parents with a learning disability
"My primary purpose in issuing this Guidance is to bring to the attention of practitioners and judges, and to commend for careful consideration and application by everyone, the very important “Good practice guidance on working with parents with a learning disability” issued by the Working Together with Parents Network and the Norah Fry Centre in September 2016." Full story: Family Law.

Average time for disposal of care cases continues to creep upwards
Little change in overall number of new cases started in family courts in 2017. Full story: Family Law Week.

L (A Child), Re [2017] EWHC 3707 (Fam) (22 December 2017)
Care proceedings. Fact-finding hearing to ascertain cause of death of child. Suggested guidance given relating to future police disclosure in cases involving a death of a child or children and/or an alleged serious assault against a child or children. Full report: Bailii.

Leicestershire County Council v AB & Ors [2018] EWHC 539 (Fam) (16 March 2018)
Care proceedings concerning three children, in which both the father and the mother of two of the children were convicted of offences of Modern Day Slavery. Full report: Bailii.

Waggott v Waggott [2018] EWCA Civ 727 (11 April 2018)
Appeal by wife against financial remedies order, on the basis that the judge failed to award her a fair share of the husband's post-separation earned income. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.

P (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 720 (11 April 2018)
Appeal against care order, arguing that the process had been fatally compromised by the court's inability to produce adequately precise findings. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Jack (A Child : care and placement orders) [2018] EWFC B12 (27 March 2018)
Judgment in care and placement proceedings, written to be understandable by parents. Full report: Bailii.

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