News Essentials: 4th April 2020

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


Support package for legal providers will ensure access to justice during coronavirus outbreak
Initial support measures will help legal aid providers weather the coronavirus pandemic while maintaining access to justice for the most vulnerable in society. Full story: Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency.

Withers bids to help couples negotiate separation
A service for couples wanting an amicable separation without instructing separate lawyers has been launched by leading private client firm Withers. Full story: Legal Futures. For my take on this, see this post.

Couple who opposed council vaccinating their child lose appeal
A couple who tried to prevent the local authority vaccinating their child, who is in care, have failed to overturn the decision by requiring courts to become routinely involved in such disputes. Full story: The Guardian.

How to submit an appeal during the COVID-19 crisis
Message from the President of the Family Division. Full story: Family Law Week.

Message from the President of the Family Division: Private Law Working Group Report
Message from the President of the Family Division: Private Law Working Group Report. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Children at ‘unprecedented risk’ of domestic abuse with frontline services struggling to cope
Children living with domestic abuse should be classed as victims of crime, with levels feared to “grow sharply” during the coronavirus outbreak, the victims’ commissioner said. Full story: Care Appointments.

Estimates of the separated family population statistics: April 2014 to March 2018
This is the latest release of annual statistics on separated families in Great Britain. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Coronavirus: Domestic abuse victims 'still allowed to leave home'
Domestic abuse victims are allowed to leave home to seek help at refuges despite rules to stop coronavirus spreading, the home secretary has said. Full story: BBC News.


N (A Local Authority) v RK & Anor [2020] EWFC 25 (02 April 2020)
Final hearing of care and placement proceedings in relation to child not yet one year of age. Full report: Bailii. For some reason currently with red text...

Padero-Mernagh v Mernagh (Divorce: Nullity: Remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 27 (03 April 2020)
Remote hearing in relation to wife's divorce petition and husband's cross-petition for nullity, on the basis that the marriage was bigamous. Nullity decree granted. Full report: Bailii. Possibly the first report of a remote hearing, including guidance on how they should be conducted.

AV (A Child) (Expert Report) [2020] EWCA Civ 346 (05 March 2020)
Appeal against a judge's decision refusing permission for the instruction of a child psychiatrist as an expert witness in care proceedings. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.