News Essentials: 6th February 2021

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


Home Affairs Committee investigates domestic abuse during Covid-19 pandemic
New data show steep rise in cases. Full story: Family Law Week.

‘Duty on local authorities to fund community-based services should be included in the Domestic Abuse Bill’
Joint call from Commissioners to the Government. Full story: Family Law Week.

Cafcass case numbers hit new record but staffing boost keeps practitioner workloads in check
Month-on-month growth in open cases continue, as Cafcass refuses to rule out extending policy of leaving lower-priority cases unallocated to more regions in face of ‘huge pressure’. Full story: Community Care.

‘Home became a prison’: Calls to national domestic abuse helpline soar by more than third in pandemic
‘Lockdown restrictions have given perpetrators of abuse unprecedented power and control, and our staff received an overwhelming number of calls,’ says expert. Full story: The Independent.

Domestic Abuse Bill: calls for data 'firewall' to protect migrant women

The government has been urged to remove ‘blind spots’ in the Domestic Abuse Bill that could deter migrant women from reporting domestic abuse to the police for fear of being deported or enable perpetrators to control their victims. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Divorcée defeats ex-husband’s bid to charge her £600,000 rent
A woman has defeated her former husband’s attempt to charge her £600,000 for staying in their £6 million marital home after the marriage ended. Full story: The Times. See report, below.

Bristol: Brain-damaged baby dies after life support ruling
A brain-damaged baby has died days after a judge ruled that doctors could stop providing life-support treatment. Full story: BBC News. See report, below.

Extra £40m to help victims during pandemic and beyond
Victims of rape and domestic abuse will be helped by a major £40m funding boost for specialist support services, the Government has confirmed today (1 February). Full story: Ministry of Justice.

New help for divorcing couples as they are urged to consider sharing their pensions
Advicenow, working with the Pensions Advisory Group and funded by the Nuffield Foundation, has launched a Survival guide to pensions on divorce for couples sorting out how to divide their finances on divorce. Full story: Family Law Week.

'Private equity involvement in care placements needs reviewing'
Local Government Association expresses concern about profit and debt levels. Full story: Family Law Week.


X County Council v A Mother 'Y' & Ors [2020] EWHC 3638 (Fam) (02 October 2020)
Application for final care and placement orders in relation to a 2 year-old child, whose mother has a long history of mental health difficulties. Full report: Bailii.

E, S and Y (Children: Care and Placement Orders), Re [2021] EWFC B2 (02 February 2021)
Final hearing of care and placement proceedings in relation to three children. Full report: Bailii.

X, Re [2020] EWFC 81 (13 August 2020)
Application for a parental order in respect of a little boy who was born in 2018, following a traditional surrogacy arrangement entered into between the applicants and the respondent. Full report: Bailii.

Harrington v Harrington
Financial remedies judgment in case involving MP for Watford from 2010 until 2019. Full report: Bailii. Judgment re: publication full report: Bailii.

TK v ML [2021] EWFC 8 (03 February 2021)
Application for child arrangements order. Judgment dealing with issue of jurisdiction, the child having never lived in England/Wales. Full report: Bailii.

R v R [2021] EWHC 195 (Fam) (21 January 2021)
Hearing of various applications by parties in financial remedy and Children Act proceedings, inc. H's applications for interim maintenance and a LSPO, and applications in relation to an existing Hemain injunction. Full report: Bailii.

IU v OS & Ors [2020] EWFC 98 (18 December 2020)
Financial remedies application by W, including claim by W to set aside disposition of shares by H and claim by H's ex-wife and son in respect of one of the several properties in issue in the financial remedy proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

FC v MC [2021] EWHC 154 (Fam) (29 January 2021)
Application by former same-sex partner of mother for an order granting her parental responsibility in respect of a child born following artificial insemination during relationship. Full report: Bailii. See also my note, here.

Derhalli v Derhalli [2021] EWCA Civ 112 (02 February 2021)
Appeal by husband from declaration that consent order allowed wife to occupy former matrimonial home rent-free until sale. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust v Godfrey & Anor [2021] EWHC 163 (Fam) (29 January 2021)
Application by NHS Trust for declaration that it is lawful and in child's best interests to discontinue mechanical ventilation, the likely consequence of which will be to bring his life to an end. Full report: Bailii.

B (A Child), Re (Abduction: Article 13(B)) [2020] EWCA Civ 1057 (11 August 2020)
Appeal by mother from order refusing to set aside order requiring her to return child to Bosnia Herzegovina. Appeal allowed. Consideration given to correct approach to set aside return orders under the 1980 Convention. Full report: Bailii.