News Essentials: 2nd May 2020

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


Coronavirus: Woman took son to Greek island to 'protect him from COVID-19'
The boy's father wants judges to order his son is returned to England but his mother wants him in Paros where there are no cases. Full story: Sky News. See also judgment, below.

Court of Appeal sets out ‘cardinal points’ on remote hearings and approach to public law children cases
The Court of Appeal has handed down rulings in the first two appeals relating to the welfare of children to have reached the court on the issue of remote hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic. Full story: Local Government Lawyer. See also judgments, below.

Transgender man loses appeal court battle to be registered as father
Freddy McConnell, who lived as a man before giving birth, hopes to take case to supreme court. Full story: The Guardian. See judgment, below.

Coronavirus lockdown: Boots offers safe space for domestic abuse victims
People living with domestic abuse will be able to access safe spaces at Boots pharmacies from Friday. Full story: BBC News.

Domestic abuse prosecutions fell by 24% at end of 2019
The number of domestic abuse prosecutions fell by almost a quarter in the last three months of 2019, compared to the previous year, according to quarterly figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service. Full story: The Guardian.

Civil and family cases being adjourned “for no apparently good reason”: Bar Council
Many civil and family cases are being adjourned “for no apparently good reason”, the Chair of the Bar Council, Amanda Pinto QC, has claimed. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Domestic Abuse Bill 'should ban cross-examination of children'
The Law Society says the Domestic Abuse Bill must go further than it does to protect victims as the proposed legislation passed a significant stage in its path to becoming law. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Refuges from domestic violence running out of space, MPs hear
Dame Vera Baird warns select committee Covid-19 lockdown is leading to ‘perfect storm’. Full story: The Guardian.

'Calamitous': domestic violence set to soar by 20% during global lockdown
Data from the UN population fund, outlining increases in abuse, FGM and child marriage, predicts a grim decade for many women. Full story: The Guardian.

Councils seeing 25-50% drop in referrals of children to social care amid domestic abuse spike
Councils are seeing up to a 50% decline in referrals of children amid a spike in domestic abuse during the coronavirus lockdown, a committee heard. Full story: Care Appointments.

Alarming signs of rising domestic abuse require urgent Government response
The Government must make tackling domestic violence and abuse a central pillar of the broader strategy to combat the Covid-19 epidemic, a report by the Home Affairs Committee has found. Full story: Home Affairs Committee.

Children’s Commissioner creates local area profiles of child vulnerability during Covid-19
Anne Longfield, Children's Commissioner for England has published analysis of the extent of child vulnerability around the country, warning that much of it is hidden from sight under lockdown. Full story: Family Law Week.


FRB v DCA (No. 2) [2020] EWHC 754 (Fam) (30 March 2020)
Judgment following 15-day final hearing of cross-applications by the parties for financial remedy orders, encompassing "almost every issue that can arise within a matrimonial finance case". Full report: Bailii.

N (a child) [2020] EWFC 35 (01 May 2020)
Application by father for specific issue order that child be returned from Greece, pending hearing of father's Hague application in Greece. Application adjourned until conclusion of Hague proceedings. Full report: Bailii. See also my summary, here.

RC v JC [2020] EWHC 466 (Fam) (25 February 2020)
Final hearing of cross-applications for financial provision, considering issues relating to W's claim for relationship generated disadvantage, W's health and earning capacity, H's future career, housing and income needs. Full report: Bailii.

McConnell & Anor, R (On the Application Of) v The Registrar General for England and Wales [2020] EWCA Civ 559 (29 April 2020)
Appeal by transgender man concerning issue of whether he was entitled to be registered as the "father", or otherwise "parent" or "gestational parent", on the birth certificate of his son, to whom he gave birth. Full report: Bailii.

AD v BD [2020] EWHC 857 (Fam) (08 April 2020)
Final hearing of wife's financial remedies application, including issues relating to whether the court was bound to apply French separation of property regime, and Imerman. Full report: Bailii.

B (Children)(Remote Hearing: Interim Care Order) [2020] EWCA Civ 584 (30 April 2020)
Appeal against interim care order made at remote hearing. Appeal allowed and order set aside. Full report: Bailii.

A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care And Placement Orders) [2020] EWCA Civ 583 (30 April 2020)
Care proceedings. Appeal against decision that final hearing should be in hybrid/remote form. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

L (Adoption: Identification of Possible Father) [2020] EWCA Civ 577 (30 April 2020)
Adoption. Appeal by mother against order for DNA testing to establish paternity. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

B (a child) [2020] EWFC 34 (30 April 2020)
Child arrangements proceedings in which the child disclosed possible sexual abuse by the father. However, the evidence was not likely to meet the standard of proof required, and the mother no longer sought to pursue findings against the father. Father exonerated. Full report: Bailii.

EK (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC 25 (02 April 2020)
This is a judgment of Mostyn J following a contested hearing, conducted by Skype for Business, in care proceedings. Threshold was found to be crossed. The dispute centred on the welfare analysis and final care plan for EK, a baby born in 2019. Care and placement orders were made. Full report: Bailii, via Family Law Week.

S (Parental Alienation: Cult), Re [2020] EWCA Civ 568 (29 April 2020)
Father's appeal from the refusal of his application for a child arrangements order to be varied to provide for his 9-year-old daughter to live with him, following finding that process of alienation had begun in the context of the mother's adherence to a cult. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. For my summary, see here.

Kliers v Kliers [2020] EWHC 1026 (Fam) (07 April 2020)
Husband's claim for a financial remedy, heard together with a wife's claim for an order for sale of the former family home to conclude TOLATA proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

S (Child in Care. Unregistered Placement) [2020] EWHC 1012 (Fam) (28 April 2020)
Judgment concerning 15 year old child in care, accommodated in an unregistered placement. Full report: Bailii.

H v B (BIIa: Enforcement of Domestic Return Order) [2020] EWHC 961 (Fam) (27 April 2020)
Application by father to enforce orders requiring return of child from Poland, whilst his Hague application was still pending. Full report: Bailii.