Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Legal aid reforms trigger huge increase in parents seeking help from child contact centres


The number of parents self-referring directly to child contact centres has drastically risen in the last ten years, according to new figures released by the National Association of Child Contact Centres (NACCC).

Self-referrals from separating parents have risen astronomically from 3.7% of total referrals in 2009/10 to 35.8% in 2018/19, in the same period, referrals from solicitors have reduced from 67.8% to 21.9%. [1]

The stats released today are a clear indication of the consequences of legal aid reforms for families experiencing separation. 

The consultation process for legal aid reforms started in 2011 and came into force in 2013. Since then, legal aid for family law has only been available for a limited range of cases including domestic violence and international child abduction.[2]  

The NACCC accredits 350 centres nationwide run by around 4,000 volunteers and 1,000 staff. Over 17,000 children benefited from accredited services in the past year.

NACCC collected referral data from centres nationwide and found that in 2018/19, 3,879 self referrals were made out of a total referral number of 10,825 (35.8%) while solicitor referrals accounted for 2,375 (21.9%). This compares to 372 (3.7%) self referrals and 6,729 (67.8%) solicitor referrals in 2009/10 from a total of 9,925. [3]

Elizabeth Coe, Chief Executive, National Association of Child Contact Centres
said: 

“Parenting shouldn’t end when relationships do and we know many parents who separate feel the same way, which explains why the assistance from child contact centres is in such demand.

“We have noticed a huge change in source of referrals since legal aid reforms led to a reduction in provision for most family cases. Families who are going through a separation now often need to negotiate the family law system without the support of a legal professional. 

“Our centre staff and volunteers are trained to support families through this process but the potential of increased stress and anxiety for parents is significant and the implications of reduced support is having an impact beyond child arrangements.”

Sarah Avery, Cheltenham Child Contact Centre Manager added: 

Child contact centres enable parenting to continue after a relationship ends, ensuring children feel supported and are safe. Our role is to work with families to help them build trust and resolve issues so that children can continue to have contact with both their parents.

“We know that family separation is stressful for everyone involved and many parents now have the additional challenge of managing legal processes without support from a solicitor. The emotional strain this puts on individuals can be huge.” 

As well as providing safe spaces where children can meet the parents they don't live with, NACCC centres support families by promoting the use of mediation and other services so that separating parents don’t need to go to court to arrange contact with their children.

Monday, October 14, 2019

News Essentials: 14th October 2019


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

NEWS
Cafcass backs renewed focus on pre-proceedings work in public law children cases - but rejects direct role
Cafcass has said it supports a renewed focus on pre-proceedings work and managing risk in public law children cases, with more emphasis on gaining and recording the wishes and feelings of children at that stage. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Welsh council criticised after couples became embroiled in ‘nightmare’ adoption case
Social services bosses at a Welsh council have come under fire from a High Court judge after two couples became embroiled in “nightmare” litigation when a woman changed her mind about giving up a baby daughter for adoption. Full story: Care Appointments. See report, below.

CASES
Dorset Council v A (Residential Placement: Lack of Resources) [2019] EWFC B53 (10 October 2019)
Judgment in care proceedings concerning 15 year old girl, highlighting the resource issues that local authorities face looking after young vulnerable people at risk of harm. Full report: Bailii.

B v A [2019] EWHC 2613 (Fam) (07 October 2019)
Appeal by father against dismissal of application for a prohibited steps order prohibiting child's removal from this jurisdiction, in case where mother had sought permission to temporarily remove the child to Iraq. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Foster carers v A, B & A Welsh Local Authority [2019] EWFC B52 (27 June 2019)
Applications by foster carers for wardship and permission to make an adoption application. 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, October 07, 2019

News Essentials: 7th October 2019


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

NEWS
Tafida Raqeeb: Brain-damaged girl can go abroad for treatment
The parents of a brain-damaged girl will be allowed to take her abroad to continue her treatment, the High Court has ruled. Full story: BBC News. See report, below.

Court has no power to require Cafcass to undertake work with non-subject child, judge rules
A court has no power to require Cafcass to appoint one of its officers, whether a children's guardian or otherwise, to undertake any work with or play any role with a non-subject child, a High Court judge has concluded. Full story: Local Government Lawyer. See report, below.

Survey finds hundreds of children in care being forced to see abusive parents
Hundreds of children in care are being “marched back” to visit their abusive parents and a majority of foster families want to see the practice made illegal, research suggests. Full story: Care Appointments.

CASES
Tafida Raqeeb -v- Barts NHS Foundation Trust and others [2019] EWHC 2531 (Admin) and [2019] EWHC 2530 (Fam) (3 October 2019)
Judgment upon applications by parents for judicial review of decision of NHS Trust not to agree to child being transferred to a hospital in Italy for continued medical treatment and by Trust regarding the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. Full report: Bailii.

A County Council v Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) [2019] EWHC 2369 (Fam) (20 September 2019)
Care proceedings. Judgment considering issue of whether court has power to to request Cafcass to undertake an assessment of a child not the subject of the proceedings. 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, October 01, 2019

Internet Newsletter for Lawyers September/October 2019

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published.
In this issue:
  • Surveillance – Chrysilla de Vere of Clarkslegal explains the issues surrounding use of facial recognition in public spaces
  • Regulation – Alex Heshmaty of Legal Words looks at the debates around the regulation of big data companies
  • Cryptocurrencies – Alex Haffner of Fladgate explains Facebook's Libra and considers the legal issues arising
  • Legal practice – Andrew Thornton of Erskine Chambers introduces Juriosity, the new online platform for lawyers
  • Websites – David Kerr and Chris Davidson of Moore Legal Technology provide the ultimate checklist for websites
  • Regulation – Updates from Alex Heshmaty on digital services tax, Privacy Shield and GDPR fines

Monday, September 30, 2019

News Essentials: 30th September 2019


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

NEWS
Supreme Court considers parental responsibility and deprivation of liberty
Majority decide parental responsibility cannot authorise a violation of a child’s fundamental human right. Full story: Family Law Week. See D (A Child), below.

Family Court Statistics Quarterly: April to June 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.

Transgender man loses court battle to be registered as father
Ruling in Freddy McConnell case is first legal definition of a mother in English common law. Full story: The Guardian. See R (on the application of TT) -v- The Registrar General for England and Wales and others, below.

Family judges must justify delaying final decisions – Court of Appeal
Judges have been warned by the Court of Appeal not to adjourn final decisions in family cases simply to 'press the pause button'. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
D (A Child) [2019] UKSC 42 (26 September 2019)
Appeal considering whether it is within the scope of parental responsibility to consent to living arrangements for a 16 or 17-year-old child which would otherwise amount to a deprivation of liberty within the meaning of article 5 ECHR, in particular where the child lacks the mental capacity to make the decision for himself. Full report: Bailii.

R (on the application of TT) -v- The Registrar General for England and Wales and others [2019] EWHC 2384 (Fam) (25 September 2019)
Judgment in case considering the issue: where a person, who was born female, but who has subsequently undergone gender transition and acquired full legal recognition as male, becomes pregnant and gives birth to a child, is that person to be registered as their child’s ‘mother’ or ‘father’? Full report: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary (PDF).

*      *      *
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 23, 2019

Kinship carers left in the dark - without legal advice and representation


Three in four kinship carers say they:

  • Did not have enough information about their legal options when taking on the children to make an informed decision;
  • Are facing financial hardship as a result of doing right by the children

Family Rights Group has carried out an extensive survey of kinship carers - family and friends who take on the care of a child, who cannot remain at home due to tragedy or trauma. 845 kinship carers raising at least 1252 kinship children filled in the survey. The survey report - ‘The highs and lows of kinship care: analysis of a comprehensive survey of kinship carers 2019’ is published today.

The legal status of the kinship child has significant and lasting ramifications as to whether or not the child is entitled to support and the kinship carer to a financial allowance. However, the survey results reveal:

  • Three-quarters of kinship carers who completed the survey said they felt that they did not have enough information about legal options when they took on the care of the kinship child/children to make an informed decision
  • Four in ten kinship carers who have incurred legal costs, for example, to secure a legal order to provide the child with permanence, had to pay the costs entirely themselves. The survey found that kinship carers who paid out their own monies for part or all of the legal costs spent on average £5446.

Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive of Family Rights Group said:

“There are now more children in the care system than at any time since 1985. The system has been described as being in crisis. A Care Crisis Review we facilitated in 2018 found that a culture of blame, shame and fear has permeated the child welfare and family justice system. This inhibits partnership working between the state and families, yet partnership working is in the interests of children. Today’s report illustrates how many kinship carers experience an environment in which they feel done to, cajoled and put upon, despite trying to do their best for the children.

The survey found, for example, that many kinship carers felt pressurised by local authorities into giving up work, even though this pushed them into poverty, or they felt coerced into agreeing to a particular legal order for the child, even though it led to a loss in support.

Whilst the children are often doing well in their care, this can be at the expense of kinship carers’ own finances, relationships and even health. However, kinship carers feel this is too rarely recognised by children’s services, public agencies or government. They love their kinship child or kinship children and they put their needs first, and in doing so they save the state significant amounts of monies, but the public agencies that should be there to help, too often make life more stressful.“

  • 54% of kinship carers, who had been in work, had to give up their job to take on the child, and a further 24% had to reduce their working hours.
  • Three-quarters of kinship carers stated that they were facing financial hardship as a result of taking on the children. A small but notable number had been affected by the bedroom tax (the under-occupation penalty), benefit cap or benefits sanctions, which had a very harsh impact, leading in some cases to debt and even homelessness.
  • Almost two-thirds (64%) of kinship carers rated the help they had received from children’s services as poor or very poor. Only 15% rated it as good or excellent.
  • More than one in three (37%) kinship carers said they had received no help of any kind from children’s services.
  • 93% of kinship carers said additional support would have made/would make a difference, with only 7% stating that no additional support was needed. Examples of support that would make a difference included emotional support for them and the child, counselling or therapeutic support for the child, respite care, life story work for the child, help with managing family contact, and training courses. 

The kinship carers described the love they felt for the children they were raising but also the battles they face to get help and support for the children:

  • Half the kinship carers who completed the survey said that one or more of the kinship children they are raising have special needs or disabilities. Four-fifths of these children are described as having emotional and behaviour problems and four in ten having learning disabilities.
  • 20% of kinship children of school age have been temporarily excluded from school and 5% permanently excluded.
  • 70% of the kinship children have a sibling who is not living with them.

A quarter of the kinship children had been placed with an unrelated foster carer (i.e. a foster carer who is neither their family member nor friend of the family) before going to live with the kinship carer. Some kinship carers commented that the children could have avoided multiple placements, including with strangers, if the local authority had started working with the child’s family earlier to identify and support the kinship placement where the child was now living.

The report sets out a series of recommendations aimed at:

  • Enabling more children, who cannot live safely with their parents, to be raised by loving family and friends rather than be removed from their family network.
  • Ensuring that kinship children and their carers have the support they need for the children to thrive.

The recommendations include a call on the Government to:

  • Introduce a new legal duty on local authorities to ensure that potential placements with kinship carers are always explored and assessed for suitability before a child becomes looked after in the care system, unless there is an emergency.
  • As a matter of urgency, adequately fund Family Rights Group’s specialist legal advice service for kinship carers post-March 2020.
  • Implement the Care Crisis Review’s Options for Change, including a new Government ring-fenced fund for local authorities to help them work with their partner agencies, young people and families to safely avert children having to enter or remain in the care system.
  • Introduce a period of paid employment leave and protection to kinship carers, equivalent to paid adoption leave, to enable the child to settle in with them and help avoid the carer having to give up work.
  • Exempt kinship carer households from the benefit cap and bedroom tax.
  • Introduce a new Kinship Care Bill that includes a duty on local authorities to establish and commission kinship support services (and provide adequate funding to local authorities to deliver this).
  • Provide automatic settled status to children being raised in kinship care under a legal order and those who are in the care system or are care leavers, whose ability to remain in the UK could be at risk following Brexit.

News Essentials: 23rd September 2019


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

NEWS
First domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales revealed
The first domestic abuse commissioner for England and Wales is "relieved" the prime minister has pledged to re-introduce a new law on the issue. Full story: BBC News.

Paralegal’s contempt conviction found to be ‘manifestly unfair’
Judges in the Court of Appeal have quashed a paralegal’s conviction for contempt after finding significant procedural mistakes in how the case was handled. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

CASES
S-L (Children : Adjournment) [2019] EWCA Civ 1571 (19 September 2019)
Appeal by local authority against decision to adjourn applications for care and placement orders in respect of two young children. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Ogunware v Ogunware [2019] EWHC 2428 (Fam) (25 July 2019)
Application for declaration that purported marriage entered into in Nigeria was not valid. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

R-B (A Child) [2019] EWCA Civ 1560 (02 July 2019)
Appeal by mother against care and placement orders made in relation to a 13 month old child. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

E (Through Her Children's Guardian) & Anor v A Mother & Anor [2019] EWCA Civ 1557 (12 September 2019)
Appeal by local authority and children's guardian against an order refusing an application for a placement order in respect of a 10 month old child. 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.

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.

*      *      *
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.