News Essentials: 30th October 2021

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


Openness ‘new norm’ in Family Division, McFarlane says
Openness in the family justice system should be regarded as ‘the new norm’, the president of the family division said yesterday, proposing that the media should be allowed to report court hearings more fully. Full story: Law Society Gazette. You can find the report here. See also my post, here.

Lawyers the only winners in “nihilistic” divorce dispute, says judge
The lawyers are the only beneficiaries of a “nihilistic” divorce dispute that has cost £2.3m in legal fees, with the couple’s children the main losers, a High Court judge has ruled. Full story: Legal Futures.

Judge concerned over 12-year-old living in assessment room at adult psychiatric hospital
A High Court judge has raised concern after being told a 12-year-old child with mental health difficulties is living in an assessment room at an adult psychiatric hospital. Full story: Care Appointments.

Cafcass asks government to fund agency social worker recruitment as staff reach ‘breaking point’
Ministry of Justice rebuffs call for more funding as family court body extends policy of deferring less urgent cases and faces £2.7m overspend. Full story: Community Care.

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: June 2021 (experimental)
Quarterly statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency child support schemes to June 2021 (experimental). Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

PPI publishes research on the impact of divorce on pensions wealth
The Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) has published new findings in a paper entitled ‘Pensions and Divorce: Exploratory Analysis of Quantitative Data’. Full story: Family Law.

Further courts added to public law children pilot and coronavirus Practice Directions extended
The 7th Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) Practice Direction update of 2021 has been published. Full story: Family Law.

Commissioner ‘deeply concerned’ by latest CPS statistics on domestic abuse
The Domestic Abuse Commissioner, Nicole Jacobs, has expressed deep concern that fewer perpetrators of domestic abuse are being held accountable for their actions. Full story: Family Law Week.

CMA outlines concerns on availability and price of children’s care
The Competition and Markets Authority's interim report on children's social care has outlined significant concerns about the availability of placements and the profits of private providers. Full story: Family Law Week.


Crowther v Crowther & Ors (Financial Remedies) [2021] EWFC 88 (27 October 2021)
Final hearing of heavily contested financial remedies claim. Remaining capital after debts divided unequally in W's favour to reflect various matters, including H's conduct and W's limited earning capacity. Full report: Bailii.

C v D (private law - domestic abuse - parental alienation) [2021] EWFC B60 (30 July 2021)
Private law children proceedings, in which the judge found that the mother had undermined the father’s parental responsibility and this had caused damage to the relationship between the boys and their father. Full report: Bailii.

SD v GD (Financial Remedies: Needs: Duxbury Calculation) [2021] EWFC B62 (09 July 2021)
Final hearing of financial remedies proceedings, in case involving £5 million assets. Wife's lump sum claim based on Duxbury calculation. Full report: Bailii.

B v C (private law - allegation of parental alienation)[2021] EWFC B61 (06 September 2021)
Hearing of cross-applications, by mother for variation of child arrangements order, and by father for enforcement of order, claiming that this was a case of parental alienation. Full report: Bailii.

W (A Child). Re [2021] EWHC 2844 (Fam) (25 October 2021)
Care proceedings concerning 12 year old child with serious disabilities, where his carers had encountered a resistance and what they perceived to be combative interference from the parents. Full report: Bailii.