News Essentials: 20th June 2020

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


No-fault divorce to start in autumn 2021
Couples seeking a no-fault divorce will have to wait until autumn 2021 even though proposed legislation removing fault from the divorce process has reached the finishing line of its parliamentary journey. Full story: Law Society Gazette. For my thoughts on this, see here and here.

Domestic abuse charities predict call spike post-lockdown
Charities supporting victims of domestic abuse have said they expect an increase in people seeking safety as lockdown eases. Full story: BBC News.

Remote hearing 'removes valuable visual cues' for people with learning disabilities
A family judge was wrong in refusing to appoint an intermediary for a vulnerable mother who faces having her baby taken away from her, the Court of Appeal has ruled. full story: Law Society Gazette.

Appointment of Family Division Liaison Judges
The President of the Family Division, following consultation with the Lord Chancellor, has announced the appointment of three Family Division Liaison Judges. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Message from the President of the Family Division
Public Law Working Group Recommendations to achieve best practice in the child protection and family justice systems: Special guardianship orders. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in May 11 per cent lower than 2019
Cafcass received a total of 3,407 new private law cases (involving 5,198 children) in May 2020 – 11.6 per cent (or 448 cases) lower than the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

New public law cases received by Cafcass fell almost 11 per cent in May
Cafcass received a total of 1,441 new public law applications (involving 2,343 children) in May – 176 applications (10.8 per cent) fewer than in the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.


JK v LM [2020] EWHC 1566 (Fam) (17 June 2020)
Application by mother for summary return of children from Wales to the Republic of Ireland. Held that mother agreed to move, and therefore the children had not been wrongfully retained in the UK. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

D v D (financial remedy case) [2020] EWFC B24 (20 May 2020)
Final hearing of financial remedy proceedings, following short childless marriage. Full report: Bailii. For my brief commentary, see here.

SX (A Child) [2020] EWHC 1573 (Fam) (01 June 2020)
Remote fact-finding hearing in care proceedings, in which sibling of child died after suffering multiple unexplained fractures. Full report: Bailii.

B And Y, Re [2020] EWCA Civ 767 (17 June 2020)
Care proceedings. Appeal by a father against a finding that he sexually abused his daughter. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Crowther v Crowther & Ors [2020] EWCA Civ 762 (16 June 2020)
Financial remedy proceedings. Appeal by wife against discharge of freezing order to prevent disposal of certain vessels. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

S (Vulnerable Parent: Intermediary) [2020] EWCA Civ 763 (16 June 2020)
Appeal from a case management decision in care proceedings refusing an application by a parent with a learning disability for an intermediary assessment and the appointment of an intermediary. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

AMDK v NA [2020] EWHC 1548 (Fam) (06 March 2020)
Application for the recognition, pursuant to common law, of an adoption order made in Uganda. Full report: Bailii.

SH (A Child) [2020] EWHC 1510 (Fam) (11 June 2020)
Mother's application for permission to appeal against order that child should live with the father. Permission refused. Full report: Bailii.

M v G (Hague Convention: Article 13 (b) defence) [2020] EWHC 1450 (Fam) (15 May 2020)
Application by father for summary return of child to Australia. Art 13(b) defence not made out, and return ordered. Full report: Bailii.

Sunderland CC v AB (Re-hearing: Fact-Finding: Expert or Professional Evidence) [2019] EWHC 3887 (Fam) (22 November 2019)
Rehearing of fact-finding ion care proceedings, after father successfully appealed against finding that injuries to child were caused by him. Full report: Bailii.

A (A Child) (Rev 1) [2020] EWCA Civ 731 (15 June 2020)
Appeal against decision that a family court is not bound to take a previous assessment or determination of risk of FGM made by the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the FTT in its determination of an asylum application based upon the risk of FGM on return. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

AX v CY (Article 12; Settlement) [2020] EWHC 1599 (Fam) (10 June 2020)
Application by father for summary return of child to Spain. All defences raised by mother (settlement, grave risk, child's objections & breach of child's human rights) failed, and therefore return ordered. Full report: Bailii.

Collen v Collen [2020] EWHC 1577 (Fam) (19 June 2020)
Judgment concerning question of what security should be provided by the husband for the terms of an agreement being fulfilled. Full report: Bailii.

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v AB & Anor [2020] EWHC 1606 (Fam) (16 June 2020)
Application by NHS Trust for a declaration that it is in child's best interests to discontinue intensive care and to commence palliative care. Full report: Bailii.