News Essentials: 12th December 2020

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


Family Justice Board statement: Priorities for the family justice system
The Family Justice Board has produced a statement, that summarises the priority actions it intends to pursue in response both to immediate pressures within the family justice system, and to bring about longer-term reform. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

The Civil, Criminal and Family Justice (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
These Regulations make amendments to a number of statutory instruments that made provision in relation to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. Statutory Instrument.

Children looked after in England including adoption: 2019 to 2020
Information on looked-after children at both national and local authority levels for the financial year 2019 to 2020. Full story: Department for Education.

Report highlights post-lockdown recovery in family and private client work
Demand for family and private client services recovered in the second quarter of this year as the impact of the first national lockdown began to take effect, research has found. Full story: Legal Futures.

Mounting workloads force Cafcass to leave ‘lower priority’ cases unallocated in region
Policy to leave private law cases where no safeguarding concerns or other social work involvement unallocated may be extended beyond South Yorkshire and Humber, amid high caseloads nationwide. Full story: Community Care.

Labour says 34,000 denied legal aid for domestic abuse claims since 2012
Party research suggests vulnerable individuals have been deprived of around £200m in legal support. Full story: The Guardian.

State of the Nation’s Foster Care Impact Report launched
The Fostering Network has published its State of the Nation's Foster Care Impact Report 2020. Full story: Family Law Week.

Resolution calls for early legal advice to soften blow of divorce
Resolution has urged the government to improve access to early legal advice for divorcing couples, as a new poll reveals the deleterious impact of divorce upon mental health. Full story: Family Law Week.

Child Trust Fund court fees waived for parents
Parents or guardians of children who lack mental capacity can ask for court fees to be waived when seeking access to a Child Trust Fund, the government has announced. Full story: Family Law Week.

Stalking analysis reveals domestic abuse link
CPS finds that the majority of offences are committed by ex-partners. Full story: Family Law Week.


A, B and C (Children) (Appeal: Practice Direction 12J) 20 April 2020)
Appeal by mother from child arrangements order, where the court did not have regard to PD 12J, even though allegations of domestic abuse were raised. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

AC (A Child), Re [2020] EWFC 90 (11 December 2020)
Application by mother for order authorizing her to accept an inheritance of a share in an Italian property on behalf of child, following the death of his father. Order made. Full report: Bailii.

X, T, A, E and S (Children), Re [2020] EWCA Civ 1680 (11 December 2020)
Judgment concerning two appeals against findings made in care proceedings involving five children. Full report: Bailii.

B (A Child)(Designated Local Authority) [2020] EWCA Civ 1673 (10 December 2020)
Appeal from an order by which Salford City Council was designated as the local authority in respect of a care order which was made the same day in relation to a girl who was then 15 years old. Full report: Bailii.

Haskell v Haskell [2020] EWFC 92 (04 September 2020)
Judgment summons application. Ruling that the respondent is entitled to non-means tested legal aid. Full report: Bailii.

FN v AC (Financial Remedy - Agreement) [2019] EWHC 3806 (Fam) (06 December 2019)
Appeal by husband against decision not to use abbreviated procedure in application for wife to show cause why an order should not be granted in the terms of agreement reached between them. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, here.

L and K (Children : Application for Care Orders) [2020] EWFC 76 (19 November 2020)
Application for care orders in respect of two boys aged 8 and 4. Fact-finding hearing to establish cause of injuries from which their younger sibling died. Full report: Bailii.

Robin-Simmers and Adrien (Children : Care Order) [2020] EWFC B52 (12 November 2020)
Judgment in proceedings concerning 2 children aged 14 and 8, including letter from judge to children. Full report: Bailii.

A (A Child: Adoption Time Limits S44(3)) [2020] EWHC 3296 (Fam) (24 November 2020)
Application to adopt a person who had since attained majority, considering whether application failed to comply with one of the statutory criteria of s.44 ACA 2002. Full report: Bailii.

M (A Child: Hague Convention) [2020] EWHC 3340 (Fam) (07 December 2020)
Application by father for return to Poland of child who has lived in England for nearly two and a half years. No return order made. Full report: Bailii.

H (Step-Parent Adoption), Re [2020] EWFC 86 (04 December 2020)
Application by stepfather for adoption order in relation to 17 year-old national of Thailand. Full report: Bailii.