News Essentials: 28th March 2020

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


Covid-19: Practice Guidance on Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings

On 26 March 2020 the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, issued temporary amendments to the Practice Guidance on Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings. Full story: Family Law Week.

Priority courts to make sure justice is served
A network of priority courts will remain open during the coronavirus pandemic to make sure the justice system continues to operate effectively. Full story: Ministry of Justice and HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Warning over rise in UK domestic abuse cases linked to coronavirus
Manchester deputy mayor says police beginning to classify incidents connected to virus. Full story: The Guardian.

The Remote Access Family Court: COVID-19 (coronavirus)
Guidance issued by Mr Justice McDonald. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Coronavirus Crisis: Guidance on Compliance with Family Court Child Arrangement Orders
This short statement is intended to offer advice but, as the circumstances of each child and family will differ, any advice can only be in the most general form. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.


Family Court Statistics Quarterly: October to December 2019
Quarterly and annual 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.

Legal aid statistics quarterly: October to December 2019
Activity in the legal aid system for England and Wales, including criminal and civil legal aid and family mediation. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Child Maintenance Service statistics: data to December 2019
Quarterly experimental statistics on the Child Maintenance Service to December 2019. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Solicitors cautiously welcome new abuse courts
The Ministry of Justice says it will announce more details ‘shortly’ on domestic abuse courts after being given £5m by the Treasury to pilot them. Full story: Law Society Gazette.


Mayze v Ms X [2020] EWHC 746 (Fam) (27 February 2020)
Committal proceedings against father for making threats during the course of a hearing in child arrangements proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

Negahbani v Sarwar [2020] EWHC 712 (Fam) (26 March 2020)
Judgment dismissing appeals by husband, following his failure to pay Legal Services Payment Order, which was a condition of him continuing with the appeals. Full report: Bailii. For a summary, see this post.

A (Children), Re [2020] EWCA Civ 448 (25 March 2020)
Appeal against order whereby, upon the application of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, the court ordered the disclosure of a number of documents which had been filed in care proceedings. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

W v H (divorce : financial remedies) [2020] EWFC B10 (24 February 2020)
Judgment following final hearing of financial remedy proceedings, including consideration of pension provision. Full report: Bailii.

MWH v GSH [2019] EWHC 3866 (Fam) (06 December 2019)
Application by wife under Part III MFPA 1984 for pension sharing order, following divorce and agreed financial settlement in Jersey. Full report: Bailii.

AB, Re [2020] EWHC 691 (Fam) (23 March 2020)
Application by brother of deceased sperm donor for a declaration as to the lawfulness of a request by him for the fertility clinic to provide him with a copy of all records relating to the arrangements for the storage and use of the sperm and/or any embryos created using it. Full report: Bailii.

AL M (Reporting Restrictions Order) [2020] EWHC 702 (Fam) (24 March 2020)
Application for anonymity by witness who gave evidence during fact-finding hearing. Reporting restriction order granted. Full report: Bailii.