News Essentials: 29th May 2021

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


Court of Appeal overturns case law on discharging care orders
Lord Justice Jackson found 2018 ruling was wrong in saying ‘something close’ to the evidence burden on local authorities seeking care orders is required to refuse parental applications to discharge them. Full story: Community Care.

The Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) (Amendment) Rules 2021
The Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) (Amendment) Rules 2021 were laid before Parliament on 26 April 2021 and enter into force today (24 May 2021). Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Children: child arrangements orders – safeguards when domestic abuse issues arise
This briefing provides information on how the family courts address issues of domestic abuse in private law proceedings relating to children, in particular proceedings relating to child arrangements orders. The final two sections of the briefing provide information on proposals for reform in this area. Full story: House of Commons Library.

Court of Appeal allows appeal against order removing new-born baby after mother with learning difficulties not given opportunity to put her point of view
The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal against an order for the separation of a new-born child from his mother, who has learning difficulties. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

'Safe space': judge highlights benefit of office returns
Remote working removed the ‘safe space’ that home represented for family judges working on tough cases during the pandemic, a senior judge has told lawyers. Full story: Law Society Gazette.


Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust v Fixsler & Ors [2021] EWHC 1426 (Fam) (28 May 2021)
Application by NHS Trust for declaration that it is not in best interests of child for life-sustaining medical treatment to be continued. Declaration made. Full report: Bailii.

X (Factitious Disorder) [2021] EWFC 46 (11 May 2021)
Care proceedings, in which mother had both fabricated or induced illness in the child and exaggerated her own ill health. Full report: Bailii.

M (Children: Applications By Email) [2020] EWCA Civ 806 (28 May 2021)
Care proceedings. Appeal from order discharging direction that a psychological report was to be prepared in relation to the Appellant mother. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

C v B [2021] EWHC 1369 (Fam) (21 May 2021)
Application by father for summary return of children to Spain. Return order delayed until after hearing of custody proceedings in Spain, as judge not satisfied about arrangements for the mother and children in the event of their return. Full report: Bailii.

A (a child : fact-finding) [2021] EWFC B29 (18 March 2021)
Care proceedings concerning 5 year old child. Fact-finding in relation to a range of bruising injuries sustained by the child. Full report: Bailii.

K (Children) [2021] EWHC 1409 (Fam) (26 May 2021)
Rehearing of applications for care orders and placement for adoption orders relating to three children, following successful appeal. Care and placement orders made. Full report: Bailii.

L (A Child: Step-Parent Adoption) [2021] EWCA Civ 801 (26 May 2021)
Appeal by father against step-parent adoption. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my note, here.

M v D (Family Law Act 1996 : Meaning of "Associated Person") [2021] EWHC 1351 (Fam) (21 May 2021)
Judgment concerning whether a step-nephew was an "associated person", for the purposes of Part IV FLA 1996. Full report: Bailii. See also my short note, here.

N (Children) [2021] EWCA Civ 785 (21 May 2021)
Mother's appeal from the making of a placement order in relation to child who is now 6. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

D (A Child) [2021] EWCA Civ 787 (21 May 2021)
Appeal from order separating newly-born child from his mother. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.