News Essentials: 16th May 2020

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


Burnett: “No going back” on remote court hearings
The Lord Chief Justice has said there will be “no going back” to pre-pandemic days for the courts in their use of technology. Full story: Legal Futures.

Child maintenance arrangements made after speaking to CM Options, May to July 2019
Preliminary estimates of the Child Maintenance outcomes of parents following contact with Child Maintenance (CM) Options. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: December 2019 (experimental)
Quarterly statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency (CSA) child support schemes to December 2019. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

High Court judge decides to hear lay evidence remotely in hearing of application by local authority for care order
A High Court judge has decided to proceed with lay evidence remotely in a hearing of a local authority’s application for a care order in respect of a four-year-old child. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Lord Wilson of Culworth retires as a Supreme Court Justice
Lord Reed pays tribute to his work. Full story: Family Law Week.

Article 39 threatens legal action over loss of legal protections for children in care
'Adoption and Children (Coronavirus)(Amendment) Regulations 2020 remove or weaken 65 children’s safeguards'. Full story: Family Law Week.

Family Court determines case involving pre-nup and bankrupt spouse
In S v H [2020] EWFC B16, HHJ Booth has determined a case involving the interaction between divorce proceedings and insolvency law; the validity of a pre-nuptial agreement made five days before the wedding; allegations by the wife that the husband had hidden assets, and by the husband that the wife had failed to disclose assets; and other complex international issues. Full story: Family Law Week.

Guidance updated for submitting a new divorce case online
HM Courts and Tribunals Service has updated its document Divorce online guidance – submitting a case. Full story: Family Law Week.

Oligarch's wife brings son into high-stakes divorce case
Tatiana Akhmedova wants high court to have access to son’s papers in her fight for £453m – but he says her claim is unlawful. Full story: The Guardian.


A Local Authority v The Mother & Ors [2020] EWHC 1233 (Fam) (15 May 2020)
Care proceedings concerning four children whose sibling's death was consistent with cocaine ingestion. Judgment addressing question of whether the fact-finding hearing should continue either remotely or semi-remotely, or whether the case should be adjourned until an in-person hearing of pre-Covid 19 format can take place. Full report: Bailii.

W (A Child: Emotional Harm), Re [2020] EWFC B19 (14 May 2020)
Care proceedings in relation to a 16 year old girl who was beyond parental control. Full report: Bailii.

The Local Authority v Mother & Ors [2020] EWHC 1216 (Fam) (26 February 2020)
Care proceedings in respect of an 11 year old girl. Judgment relating to a 16 day fact-finding hearing conducted into the circumstances surrounding the death of her elder brother. Full report: Bailii.

Local Authority B v X (Mother) & Ors [2020] EWFC 37 (06 May 2020)
Judgment considering whether English court has jurisdiction in care proceedings concerning child born in the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. Full report: Bailii.

A Local Authority v The Mother & Ors [2020] EWFC 38 (11 May 2020) & A Local Authority v The Mother & Ors [2020] EWHC 1162 (Fam) (11 May 2020)
Judgments in care proceedings, including "trenchant criticisms of the Local Authority's conduct of the case and of two social workers in particular." Full reports: Bailii(1) and Bailii(2).

D and E (Parent with Autism) [2020] EWFC B18 (11 May 2020)
Care proceedings concerning five children whose mother is an autistic person. Full report: Bailii.