News Essentials: 18th April 2020

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


Conducting international casework during the COVID-19 pandemic
Interim guidance from Children and Families Across Borders. Full story: Family Law Week.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): working with clients
Guidance on working with clients and making applications, including amendments to evidence requirements on domestic abuse legal aid applications. Full story: Legal Aid Agency.

Coronavirus: Abuse victims urged to use code word to alert shop workers
Supermarket workers should be trained to identify and help domestic abuse victims during the pandemic through a code word system, MPs have been told. Full story: BBC News.

Domestic abuse killings 'more than double' amid Covid-19 lockdown
Pioneering project identifies at least 16 suspected incidences in UK over three-week period. Full story: The Guardian.

Care proceedings rise steeply in family courts during UK lockdown
Lockdown stress and money worries putting larger numbers of vulnerable children at risk. Full story: The Guardian.

Home Secretary announces support for domestic abuse victims
A new public awareness raising campaign will highlight that if anyone is at risk of, or experiencing domestic abuse, help is still available. Full story: Home Office.

Revealed: surge in domestic violence during Covid-19 crisis
Home Secretary Priti Patel insists there is support available for at-risk women as charities report massive increase in calls. Full story: The Guardian.


New public law cases received by Cafcass fell 9 per cent in March
Cafcass received a total of 1,436 new public law applications (involving 2,266 children) in March – 153 applications (9.6 per cent) fewer than in the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in March 15 per cent lower than 2019
Cafcass received a total of 3,443 new private law cases (involving 5,198 children) in March 2020 – almost 15 per cent (or 626 cases) lower than the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

Family President to hold two-week rapid consultation on use of remote hearings in family justice
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has launched a two-week rapid consultation on the use of remote hearings in the family justice system. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Marriages among opposite-sex couples fall to a record low
The number of men and women marrying each other has fallen to its lowest level on record, official statistics show. Full story: BBC News.

UK cases of domestic abuse by female family members double
Despite rise of ‘Cinderella’ abuse offences, men are predominant perpetrators. Full story: The Guardian.

Victims Commissioner publishes report on children's experience of domestic abuse
The Victims' Commissioner, Dame Vera Baird QC, has published a report entitled Sowing the Seeds: Children's experience of domestic abuse and criminality. The report explores the overlap between children's experience of domestic abuse and children's offending behaviour. Full story: Family Law.


A and B (No. 1)(domestic abuse no contact to father) [2019] EWFC B87 (01 February 2019) & A and B (No. 2)(SGO)(domestic abuse no direct contact to father) [2020] EWFC B15 (06 March 2020)
Fact finding judgment in connection with father's application for child arrangements order. Second judgment making SGO in favour of friends of mother, who had taken her own life. Full reports: Bailii(1) and Bailii(2).

R v K [2020] EWHC 841 (Fam) (27 February 2020)
Claim made by husband to challenge an arbitration award relating to disputes over financial arrangements. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, here.

Maughan v Wilmot [2020] EWHC 885 (Fam) (16 April 2020)
Judgment revising terms of earlier freezing order against husband's assets, after it was found that the husband had misled the court about the true scale of his unencumbered liquid funds over which the freezing order would range. Full report: Bailii.

Z (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC B13 (17 March 2020)
Application by Local Authority for permission to withdraw care proceedings in relation to the five subject children. Application approved. Full report: Bailii.

I and L (Children), Re [2020] EWHC 893 (Fam) (15 April 2020)
Application by father for order prohibiting mother from returning children to South Africa, following contact visit with him in England. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, here.

SZ v DG & Ors [2020] EWHC 881 (Fam) (14 April 2020)
Application by father for leave to apply for a contact order in respect of his son, there being a s.91(14) order in place. Application refused. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, here.

H (Costs) [2020] EWHC B17 (Costs) (05 February 2020)
Child arrangements proceedings. Ordered that care of child should be transferred from mother to father. Decision on the issue of the apportionment of the costs of the expert witnesses. Full report: Bailii.