Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Divorce reform in ‘freeze-frame’ mode, says campaigning family charity


Dispute resolution experts have expressed frustration at the ‘freeze-frame’ status of long-awaited divorce reform.

Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation, likens the suspension of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, due to Parliament being prorogued, to football’s VAR.

In a new article for Family Law, Jane Robey says: “With the decision to prorogue Parliament, the Prime Minister halted a Bill that would have made life so much easier for couples who just want to get on with their divorce, making a fresh start as quickly and painlessly as possible.

“Having passed its second reading in the House of Commons it moved to Report Stage.

“But its further progress has been put into ‘freeze-frame’ mode by the Prime Minister’s controversial and contentious decision. And so the waiting goes on.

“The impact on this new law of Parliament’s prorogation - and the associated court cases questioning legality of the PM’s decision - is like the effect of the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) upon Premier League football matches.

“The joy of a goal being scored is muted when the VAR call is made. TV freeze frames are deployed. Nobody knows for sure whether the goal is going to be allowed to stand - until the ultimate VAR arbiters have cast judgement. And so it is that at the time of nobody knows when, or if, divorce reform will finally come into play. What a frustrating time.”

She pledges that after years campaigning for the change, NFM and others “will continue to press for these important reforms to be introduced as soon as possible, so that divorcing couples will at last be able to settle their divorce or separation in a more mature and adult fashion than the current arcane system allows.”

National Family Mediation (NFM) was the original provider of family mediation, and its network of accredited services now delivers in over 500 locations across England and Wales. The charity helps families resolve all the practical, legal, emotional and financial issues that arise from separation, helping families make long-lasting arrangements that benefit everyone in the family, especially their children.

Monday, September 16, 2019

News Essentials: 16th September 2019


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

NEWS
6,000 became homeless in three months following domestic abuse
Women’s Aid publishes No Woman Turned Away report 2019. Full story: Family Law Week.

Johnson pledges to reintroduce domestic abuse legislation
Boris Johnson has responded to pressure from women's groups and confirmed that he will reintroduce legislation to protect the estimated two million people who suffer domestic abuse a year. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Population estimates by marital status and living arrangements, England and Wales: 2018
Annual estimates of population by legal marital status and cohabitation status by age and sex for England and Wales. Full story: Office for National Statistics.

Justice bills fall overnight as parliament shuts down
Legislation covering divorce and domestic abuse was killed off in the early hours of this morning as parliament was closed for five weeks. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
Nasrullah Mursalin, Re [2019] EWCA Civ 1559 (03 September 2019)
Appeal by paralegal against suspended committal order imposed after he erroneously placed a number of documents relating to a client’s family case in the bundle which went to an immigration judge. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, September 09, 2019

News Essentials: 9th September 2019


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

NEWS
Domestic abuse proposals expected to be revived in Queen’s Speech, MPs hear
New proposals to protect domestic abuse survivors are expected to be “revived very quickly” in the new parliamentary session, a Cabinet minister has said. Full story: Care Appointments.

Nagalro raises concern about Cafcass undermining the role of Children’s Guardians
Nagalro is concerned that Cafcass public statements have disseminated inaccurate information on its website, which appear to dilute the role of the Children's Guardian and minimise their legal obligations. Full story: Family Law Week.

Civil Justice Council launches consultation on vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings
The Civil Justice Council has launched a consultation on its report and recommendations for change in respect of vulnerable witnesses and parties in civil proceedings. Full story: Family Law Week.

CASES
Wakefield Metropolitan District Council & Anor v DN & Anor [2019] EWHC 2306 (Fam) (05 September 2019)
Case concerning capacity and accommodation of 25 year old man suffering from various mental disorders. Full report: Bailii.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council v PR & Ors [2019] EWHC 2305 (Fam) (05 September 2019)
Final judgment in proceedings relating to a capacitous but apparently vulnerable adult, further examining the circumstances in which interim orders under the inherent jurisdiction were made, and whether injunctive-type orders could and/or should have been made against the adult for whom protection was sought. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, September 02, 2019

News Essentials: 2nd September 2019


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

NEWS
Parliament shut-down puts justice bills under threat
Boris Johnson’s intention to prorogue parliament could lead to a halt on divorce, court and domestic abuse reform. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Domestic abuse: Killers 'follow eight-stage pattern', study says
Men who kill their partners follow a "homicide timeline" that could be tracked by police to help prevent deaths, new research suggests. Full story: BBC News.

CASES
Moher v Moher [2019] EWCA Civ 1482 (21 August 2019)
Appeal by husband against financial remedies order, considering issue of whether a judge is required to evaluate the scale of undisclosed wealth, by providing a figure or a bracket of figures. Full report: Bailii.

H (A Child) [2019] EWHC 1509 (Fam) (24 May 2019)
Application by father for summary return of child. Application by father for disclosure of mother's asylum file. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

GC v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & AE (CSM) (Child support - other) [2019] UKUT 199 (AAC) (14 June 2019)
Appeal by NRP dealing with issue of whether his son by previous relationship who lives in Denmark should be taken into account in child support calculation. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

News Essentials: 19th August 2019


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

NEWS
Ignore emails after 6pm, family court tells lawyers
Barristers should take an hour for lunch and ignore emails before 8am and after 6pm, according to well-being guidance issued by the Central Family Court. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Family court has jurisdiction to review its findings of fact, says Court of Appeal
The family court has the statutory power to review its own decisions and challenges to findings of fact on the basis of further evidence do not have to be by way of appeal only, the Court of Appeal has held. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Stepsister wins legal battle over which parent died first
Entitlement to co-owned estate depended on sequence of John and Marjorie Scarle’s deaths. Full story: The Guardian. See Scarle, below.

CASES
Scarle James Deceased, the Estate of v Scarle Marjorie Deceased, the Estate of [2019] EWHC 2224 (Ch) (13 August 2019)
Judgment considering issue of which of married couple died first. Full report: Bailii.

E (Children: Reopening Findings of Fact) [2019] EWCA Civ 1447 (14 August 2019)
Appeal considering the options open to someone wishing to challenge findings of fact in family proceedings on the basis of further evidence that was not available at the trial. Full report: Bailii.

R v P (No 2) [2019] EWHC 2175 (Fam) (14 March 2019)
Hearing of two applications in relation to 7 year old child whose father lives in Lithuania, by mother to change child's name and by father for an order that he could spend time and have contact with the child. Full report: Bailii.

Joy v Joy [2019] EWHC 2152 (Fam) (12 June 2019)
Financial remedies proceedings, in which the husband claimed to have no assets available to him. Hearing to determine whether wife's capital claims should be dismissed or adjourned. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

What happens with motoring offences that involve penalty points?


Most UK drivers are aware that if they commit a motoring offence, they run the risk of having points added to their licence. But, few people realise that there are currently 78 offence codes that could attract points, as well as a fine. Endorsable offences are those which are recorded on your driving licence.

Some motoring offences, such as failing to wear a seatbelt, driving a vehicle without a valid MOT or with a fault headlight are non-endorsable. This means that a fine may be imposed but they do not carry penalty points and are not recorded on your driving licence.

Endorsable offences, for example speeding, using a mobile phone whilst driving and careless driving carry an endorsement on your driving licence and either penalty points or a disqualification.
 
Offences which involve an obligatory disqualification such as drink driving, drug driving and dangerous driving carry with them an endorsement on your driving licence for 11 years. This means that the endorsement remains on your driving licence even after the disqualification has been served. So, it is important to know how to react when you are notified of motoring offences you have committed. Below is a brief guide to help you navigate the process.

If the offence does not automatically lead to mandatory disqualification, a single justice procedure notice will be issued. You can read about them here. When that happens, you can enter a plea by post or online. If you plead guilty a single magistrate (justice) will look at the evidence together with any written mitigation submitted, then decide the appropriate sentence. There will be a legal adviser present whilst this takes place. However, you, the prosecution and legal representatives may not appear.

Should you want to plead not guilty to the charge the process may become more complicated. When entering the plea, you will be required to explain the reason why you are contesting the charge and the witnesses you require to attend the full hearing of your case.

The fact that you cannot send a legal representative to a single justice procedure does not mean that there is no point in employing one. If you want to avoid the consequences of your driving error being more serious than they need to be, taking advice is a good idea. If you plead guilty, the Magistrate will be relying heavily on your written statement. Therefore, obtaining assistance to draft your response properly is a good idea.

In some cases, even where a guilty plea has been entered the offence will be considered so grave that a further hearing will be arranged. This will be a full hearing held in front of a bench of three Magistrates or a District Judge.

If, for some reason, you do not want your case to be heard under the Single Justice system, it is possible to request a full hearing. You will be given a date in advance, to give you time to prepare your case.

You need to respond promptly to a single justice procedure notice. Failure to do so, within 21 days, will not stop the case from proceeding. Usually, you will be found guilty and sentenced, anyway. So, effectively you will have missed your chance to have your say about what happened.

It is important not to take motoring offences lightly. You need to bear in mind that once you have 12 points on your licence this could result in you losing your driving licence. If that happens, holding down a job, picking the kids up and other day-to-day tasks become a whole lot harder.

You can read more about the 78 motoring offence codes that could lead you your accruing penalty points, by clicking here.

Monday, August 05, 2019

News Essentials: 5th August 2019


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

NEWS
Call for 'significant changes' to special guardianship orders
A review has urged that "significant changes" should be made to guidance on special guardianship orders, including a requirement that the child has been looked after by the proposed carer. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Appeal allows stand-still agreement on claim 17 months out of time
The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision to throw out a widow’s delayed application to claim from her late husband’s estate. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See Cowan v Foreman, below.

UK’s top judge calls for donations to legal support charity
Lady Hale’s appeal for support likely to reignite controversy over cuts to legal aid. Full story: The Guardian.

Divorcee granted injunction against ex-husband's holding company
The High Court in England has granted an injunction against the holding company to which a wealthy Russian businessman transferred ownership of a luxury yacht in order to avoid enforcement of a £500 million divorce settlement, preventing the company from moving the yacht from where it is docked in Dubai. Full story: Out-Law.

CASES
Shokrollah-Babaee v Shokrollah-Babae [2019] EWHC 2135 (Fam) (25 July 2019)
Judgment considering issue of whether judge who had conducted an FDR appointment during the earlier stages of financial remedy proceedings can later hear and rule upon disputed cross-applications in relation to the enforcement and/or variation of the substantive order which was made after a contested hearing. Full report: Bailii.

M (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 1364 (31 July 2019)
Care proceedings in which the parents had spent 4 years or more in Syria and were believed to have aligned themselves with a radical terrorist organisation during that time.  Appeal by parents against order for disclosure of material to police. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Cowan v Foreman & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 1336 (30 July 2019)
Appeal by wife of deceased against refusal of permission to make inheritance claim out of time. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

P (A Child) [2019] EWCA Civ 1346 (30 July 2019)
Appeal by intervenor against findings of fact made in care proceedings. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

A v Cardiff City Council & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 1360 (11 July 2019)
Appeal by mother against care order in relation to two children, with a plan for them to remain placed with their maternal grandparents. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Hendry v Hendry & Ors [2019] EWHC 1976 (Ch) (27 June 2019)
Former wife sought permission to bring a claim out of time for reasonable financial provision from the estate of the deceased. No provision had been made for her in the will, and a pre-nuptual agreement had provided that in the event of the marriage failing she would receive a lump sum of £10,000 and a flight to the Philippines, but no maintenance, property or financial provision. Master Shuman found that the former wife had not given a sufficient explanation for the delay, and decided that permission should not be granted. Full report: Bailii, via Family Law Hub.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, July 29, 2019

News Essentials: 29th July 2019


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

NEWS
Robert Buckland QC appointed Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice
Robert Buckland QC MP was appointed as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice on 24 July 2019. Full story: Family Law Week.

Lord Reed appointed next President of Supreme Court
Three new Justices also appointed. Full story: Family Law Week.

President offers ‘profound thanks’ to all involved in the family justice system
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has addressed a letter of 'profound' thanks to every judge, magistrate, HMCTS staff member, civil servant, CAFCASS officer, social work and lawyer involved in the Family Justice system and Court of Protection in England and Wales. Full story: Family Law Week.

CASES
W v L (Forum Conveniens) [2019] EWHC 1995 (Fam) [2019] EWHC 1995 (Fam) (19 July 2019)
Judgment considering issue of jurisdiction in respect of matters concerning parental responsibility for 6 year old child of Jordanian heritage. Full report: Bailii.

J (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 1335 (04 July 2019)
Appeal from orders for costs made against those responsible for a notorious child abduction. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Internet Newsletter for Lawyers July/August 2019

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published.
In this issue:
  • Copyright – Peter Aidediran of PAIL Solicitors explains the new EU copyright directive: backing creatives
  • Legal practice – Antony Smith of Legal Practice Management asks whether we want an Uber model for legal services
  • Information overload – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words suggests it may be time to take a break from social media
  • IT skills – Brian Inkster of Inksters Solicitors considers the key IT skills needed by the modern lawyer
  • Digital legacies – Alan Eccles and Stacey Gourley of Brodies examine the issues relating to inheritance of digital assets
  • Regulation updates from Alex Heshmaty – Airbnb a digital service provider; Porn age checks delayed?
Image cc zero from needpix.com.

New by me this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog


My posts this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog included:

Husband, at the end of his tether, applies for wife’s committal for breach of order - the recent case Grose v Grose.

Denmark reins back on liberal divorce laws - Lessons for us?

A few thoughts on the Calderbank offer consultation - As the title says.

“A shocking picture of domestic abuse in rural Britain” - Looking at the National Rural Crime Network report on the issue of domestic abuse in rural areas.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, July 22, 2019

News Essentials: 22nd July 2019


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

NEWS
Assessing risk of harm to children and parents in private law children cases
A public call for evidence on how the family courts protect children and parents in private law children cases concerning domestic abuse and other serious offences. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Domestic abuse survivors invited to shape future of family court
Survivors of domestic abuse and other harmful conduct are being invited to share their experiences of how well the family courts protects them and their children in private family law proceedings. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Domestic abuse report exposes hidden side of rural life
A "deeply hidden and disturbing side to rural life" has been laid bare by an 18-month inquiry into domestic abuse in the English countryside. Full story: BBC News.

Consultation in relation to the treatment of Calderbank offers when determining issues relating to costs
This consultation seeks views as to whether the Family Procedure Rule 2010 should be amended in relation to the treatment of Calderbank offers when determining issues relating to costs. Full story: Ministry of Justice and Family Procedure Rule Committee.

“Landmark moment” as Domestic Abuse Bill introduced to Parliament
Domestic Abuse Bill to receive first reading in the House of Commons. Full story: GOV.UK.

CASES
Timokhina v Timokhin [2019] EWCA Civ 1284 (18 July 2019)
Appeal by mother against costs order made in child arrangements proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

Worcestershire County Council v AA [2019] EWHC 1855 (Fam) (15 July 2019)
Care proceedings concerning 13 year old child who had spent nearly 8 years of his life living in foster care pursuant to s.20. Full report: Family Law Week.

AB v CD [2019] EWHC 1695 (Fam) (02 July 2019)
Judgment concerning, inter alia, issue of whether child should be told that mother's husband is not his father, and the identity of his father. Full report: Bailii.

H v W [2019] EWHC 1897 (Fam) (17 July 2019)
Cross-applications by husband and wife, raising issue of whether amended arbitration award should be given effect, or whether it should be remitted, set aside or varied. Full report: Bailii.

F (A Child) (Fact-Finding Appeal), Re [2019] EWCA Civ 1244 (16 July 2019)
Appeal by father from a fact-finding judgment given in the course of care proceedings. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Wilson Browne - Settlement Agreements

Most of us will know a settlement agreement as a legal contract between an employer and employee which settles a claim the employee has made against their employer, typically used in conjunction with the termination of the employment.

There are however occasions when employment will continue but the agreement is used to settle any ongoing disputes between the employer and employee.

What can and should be included in a Settlement Agreement? 

Settlement Agreements will contain several standard terms including;
  • Payment for the termination to be provided by the employer to the employee after they have agreed to terminate their contract. Amounts of settlements vary based on a range of factors including performance to date by the employee, number of years of service and current salary.
  • Any outstanding payments for salary, commission, bonuses and accrued holiday pay owed to the employee.
  • Usually an employee will agree to drop any past claims against the employer and vice versa. 
  • The employer will often contribute towards any resulting legal costs.
  • A ‘good reference’ can be requested by the employee to aid with future job application but can be denied if the employee has performed poorly. 
  • Up to £30,000 of compensation will be tax free for the employee.
  • A Non-disclosure Agreement or Confidentiality clause as well as a Non-Derogatory clause is usually included to the benefit of both parties.
  • The settlement agreement must be signed by either an official from the Trade Union, a solicitor specialising in this area of law or a member of the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Who can sign a Settlement Agreement?

The agreement is agreed by an employee (current or former) and an employer but can also be entered into by someone who is not employed by a company. An example of this is could be an individual who feels they were discriminated against during a job interview, however, a Settlement Agreement is for individuals and not groups of people.

How much can I get as a Settlement Agreement?

The sum of compensation for a settlement agreement can vary from case to case but there will usually be a clause which stipulates your employer will pay your legal fees.

This contribution amount is usually capped at an amount between £250-£500 plus VAT but if you are both happy with the agreement it is not likely that your fees will exceed this. If in doubt, you should seek advice from a Solicitor as to the likely fee estimate.

The compensation amount itself can be based on a variety of factors, some of which include:
  • Salary & Benefits- the agreement will typically ensure the employee will receive all the normal salary and any benefits up until the agreed termination date.
  • Holiday Days Accumulated- Any days of holiday the employee has accrued and not used during employment must be paid for.
  • Redundancy Payment- If the settlement agreement is in place as a result of redundancy, the employee will also be entitled to redundancy pay. This can vary depending on length of service, level within the organisation and current earnings.
  • Payment instead of a Notice Period- If employment is being terminated via the settlement agreement there may not be a standard ‘notice period’. In this instance an employer should pay for the amount that would have been earned during this period.
  • Termination Payment- This is a payment an employer can provide an employee as an incentive to sign the settlement agreement. 
  • Bonuses - Any bonuses the employee was entitled to for staying employed until a specified date need to be paid. 
  • Legal Costs- The employer is often required to contribute towards the fees incurred by the employee seeking legal advice surrounding the settlement.
  • Restrictions Payment- The employer may stipulate restrictions in the settlement such as not setting up a competing business within a specified distance or time or working for a competitor and in this instance, they will often provide an additional payment. 

Is it binding? What happens if a Settlement Agreement is breached?

A Settlement Agreement is a legally binding contract and once it has been signed, if either party breaches the terms, the wronged party are entitled to raise a claim in court.

In some settlement agreements there will be an enforceable repayment clause which allows employers to retrieve some, if not all, of the money topaid to their employee if the employee breaches the terms.

This is likely to include any legal fees the employer was required to pay as a result of the breach.

If you need advice on a Settlement Agreement and to ensure that you remain within the restrictions of this agreement, then you should seek professional legal advice today.

Monday, July 15, 2019

News Essentials: 15th July 2019


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

NEWS
Heterosexual couples may be allowed to convert marriages to civil unions
Ministers in England and Wales are considering how to extend civil partnerships. Full story: The Guardian.

Hale risks political storm by questioning legislation before parliament
The president of the Supreme Court has taken the constitutionally unusual step of publicly criticising a bill that is making its way through parliament. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
O'Dwyer v O'Dwyer [2019] EWHC 1838 (Fam) (12 July 2019)
Appeal by husband against spousal maintenance order, on the basis that the judge was wrong to identify the income stream of a business as matrimonial property. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

AB (Termination of Pregnancy), Re [2019] EWCA Civ 1215 (11 July 2019)
Appeal against order that would have allowed the termination of the pregnancy of a 24-year-old woman with moderate learning disabilities. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

X v Y (Permission to Appeal) [2019] EWHC 1713 (Fam) (03 July 2019)
Application by father for permission to appeal against financial remedies order. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, July 12, 2019

New by me this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog


My posts this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog included:

The new Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce, and why it is needed - As the title says.

Hard talking with Lady Hale - Lady Hale's interview on the BBC HARDtalk programme.

A few thoughts on the recommendations of the Private Law Working Group - A quick look at some of their proposals for reform of the CAP.

Sir James Munby laments the state of the Family Court - In his recent speech at the Bloomsbury Publishing Family Law Conference.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, July 08, 2019

News Essentials: 8th July 2019


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

NEWS
Consultation: Children Cases in the Family Court – Interim Proposals for Reform
President of the Family Division launches public and private law consultation. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

New good practice guide addresses shortfall in understanding of how to treat pensions on divorce
An essential guide to the treatment of pensions on divorce has been published today by the Pension Advisory Group. The long awaited report brings guidance to family judges, lawyers and pension experts encouraging fairer settlements and helping to manage liability. Full story: Nuffield Foundation.

CASES
W-P (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 1120
This case concerns an appeal by the mother against special guardianship orders that were made in respect of her two sons, L (10) and A (9) in favour of their paternal grandparents. Full report: Family Law Week.

Gray v Hurley [2019] EWHC 1636 (QB) (25 June 2019)
Judgment in Queen's Bench Division providing international family lawyers with a meticulous overview on establishing forum. A claim issued first elsewhere in the world, may not of itself be determinative. World-wide assets were brought under the overarching jurisdiction of the High Court. The sophisticated construct of trust claims engaged specific Articles. Full report: Bailii, via Family Law Week.

J (Children: Relocation) [2018] EWCA Civ 1372 (08 May 2018)
Application by mother fort permission to appeal against refusal of application to relocate with children to Ukraine, and appeal by father against order allowing the mother to return temporarily to Ukraine with the children. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, July 01, 2019

News Essentials: 1st July 2019


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

NEWS
Family Court Statistics Quarterly: January to March 2019
Quarterly data on the volume of cases dealt with by family courts over time, with statistics also broken down for the main types of case involved. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Judges overturn 'forced abortion' ruling
A woman has won an appeal against a court ruling that would have seen her mentally ill daughter forced to have an abortion. Full story: BBC News.

Man who refused to register son's birth loses high court case
Father said he did not want his baby to be controlled by the British state. Full story: The Guardian.

CASES
MB v EB [2019] EWHC 1649 (Fam) (25 June 2019)
Preliminary hearing in financial remedy proceedings to determine: i) the length of the marriage between the parties; ii) the impact of a separation agreement entered into in 2011; and iii) whether there was any marital acquest. Full report: Bailii.

SC v TC [2019] EWHC 1637 (Fam) (14 March 2019)
Appeal against order moving residence of child to father. The appeal was allowed, as the hearing was flawed due to there having been direct communication between the Judge and the solicitor at NYAS and others, without the knowledge of either parent. Full report: Bailii.

Z (care orders : designated local authority), Re [2019] EWFC B30 (11 June 2019)
Care proceedings concerning four children, in which the issue arose as to which local authority should be the designated local authority. Full report: Bailii.

C (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 900 (07 March 2018)
Appeal by local authority against decision as to designated local authority in care proceedings. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, June 24, 2019

News Essentials: 24th June 2019


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

NEWS
McFarlane tells family lawyers: don't do more than a full day's work
Tweets highlighting unreasonable judicial behaviour are likely to be referred to local leadership judges, the president of the family division has warned, after reading two social media posts last weekend about judges. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Family Justice Panel update
Panel members confirmed to steer call for evidence on how the family courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill: What does research tell us?
The Nuffield Foundation has published a new briefing note, authored by Professor Liz Trinder, ahead of the second reading of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill which is scheduled in the House of Commons on Tuesday 25 June. Full story: Nuffield Foundation.

Extension of the Financial Remedies Courts project to 8 new zones is a success
Today, Wednesday 19th June 2019, a press release was issued from the Judiciary of England and Wales, written by Mr Justice Mostyn acting as the National Lead Judge for the Financial Remedies Courts project. Full story: Class Legal.

President issues guidance on forms of order in children cases
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published guidance on Forms of Orders in Children Cases, for judicial and practitioner's information. Full story: Family Law Week.

Campaigners call for shared parenting presumption in the law
Campaigners for shared parental rights have called for a presumption in law that children will spend roughly equal time with their parents following a separation or divorce, after a YouGov survey suggested the majority of the public agrees. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
SD v AFH (Appeal: Coercive and controlling behaviour: Inference or speculation) [2019] EWHC 1513 (Fam) (13 June 2019)
Application by father for permission to appeal against findings of coercive and controlling behaviour in private law proceedings. Permission refused. Full report: Bailii.

T (A child), Re [2019] EWHC 1572 (Fam) (12 June 2019)
Care proceedings in which the issue arose as to the registration of the child's birth, the father being fundamentally opposed to registration. Full report: Bailii.

NY (A Child : 1980 Hague Abduction Convention : Inherent Jurisdiction) [2019] EWCA Civ 1065 (18 June 2019)
Mother's appeal from order requiring the summary return of child to Israel. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

M (Deprivation of Liberty in Scotland) [2019] EWHC 1510 (Fam) (17 June 2019)
Judgment concerning deprivation of liberty of 13 year old girl currently accommodated in a placement in Scotland. Full report: Bailii.

London Borough of Wandsworth v Lennard [2019] EWHC 1552 (Fam) (14 June 2019)
Application by local authority to commit defendant for alleged breach of order prohibiting him from harassing employees of the local authority. Full report: Bailii.

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Monday, June 17, 2019

News Essentials: 17th June 2019


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

NEWS
Draft Domestic Abuse Bill report published by Joint Committee
Greater protection needed for victims of domestic abuse. Full story: Family Law Week.

End to divorce ‘blame game’ moves closer
Biggest shake up of divorce laws in 50 years aimed at reducing conflict and supporting children and families. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Expected implementation date for DoLS replacement model announced by care minister
Liberty Protection Safeguards due to come into force in October 2020, though existing Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards authorisations will remain in place until they expire. Full story: Community Care.

CASES
A Child (Threshold: Inflicted Injury and Domestic Abuse) [2019] EWHC 1511 (Fam) (21 May 2019)
Judgment in care proceedings principally dealing with issues relating to the responsibility for the causation of injuries to child, and to determine the extent to which the mother failed to protect him. Full report: Bailii.

B v A Local Authority [2019] EWCA Civ 913 (11 June 2019)
Appeal against order making various declarations as to the mental capacity of 31 year old woman with learning difficulties, epilepsy and considerable social care needs. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

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To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, June 10, 2019

News Essentials: 10th June 2019


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

NEWS
Domestic abuse survivors 'more at risk of serious mental illness'
Women who experience domestic abuse are three times more likely to develop a serious mental illness, Birmingham University research suggests. Full story: BBC News.

Campaigners call for reforms to surrogacy laws
Consultation urges creation of national register to allow those raised by surrogate parents to find out about their origins. Full story: The Guardian.

CASES
A City Council v LS & Ors (Secure Accommodation Inherent Jurisdiction) [2019] EWHC 1384 (Fam) (04 June 2019)
Judgment dealing with issue of whether the High Court has power under inherent jurisdiction, upon the application of a local authority, to authorise the placement in secure accommodation of a 17 year old child who is not looked after by that local authority, whose parent objects to that course of action, but who is demonstrably at grave risk of serious, and possibly fatal harm. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.