News Essentials: 7th October 2023

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


Public Law Working Group publishes draft recommendations for best practice in adoption
The Public Law Working Group has launched a two-month consultation on an interim report containing recommendations for best practice in respect of adoption. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Judge wrong to block reporting of 'highly contentious' family case
A family judge was wrong to make an order preventing the reporting of a case, an appeal judgment has ruled in a significant step for the opening of proceedings to the press. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

People jailed for killing their partner will lose parental rights, Tories to announce
Justice secretary to tell conference he will introduce ‘Jade’s law’ later this year to protect families from jailed abusers. Full story: The Guardian.

Government launches new crackdown on parents who refuse to pay child maintenance
Parents who refuse to pay child maintenance will face accelerated sanctions as Ministers announce the introduction of new powers to speed up strong enforcement action and other reforms to make the Child Maintenance Service fairer. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Pilot to test whether early social worker-guardian meetings can help curb care proceedings delays
Council and Cafcass practitioners will meet before case management hearing in DfE-funded pilot designed to tackle case lengths averaging well above above 26-week maximum. Full story: Community Care.

Child Maintenance: Accelerating Enforcement
The aim of this consultation is to inform the government’s proposed regulations to support the introduction of administrative liability orders. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Public Law Working Group interim report: Recommendations for Best Practice in Respect of Adoption
The Adoption Sub-Group of the Public Law Working Group has published its interim report: Recommendations for Best Practice in Respect of Adoption, and encourages anyone who has experience of, or views on, this area to respond to the consultation. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.


SP v DM [2023] EWHC 2089 (Fam) (17 August 2023)
Appeal by mother against child arrangements order, claiming procedural irregularities. Appeal dismissed. Full report: National Archives. See also costs judgment, here.

Kay Jacqueline Butler v Earl Anthony Butler [2023] EWHC 2453 (Fam) (24 August 2023)
Appeal by wife from financial remedies order, claiming that the judge erred in failing to make an order that provided for her needs, after he had concluded that it was a needs case. Appeal dismissed. Full report: National Archives.

S (Children: Findings of Fact) [2023] EWCA Civ 1113 (04 October 2023)
Care proceedings. Appeal by local authority against findings of fact regarding the cause of injuries to child. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Tickle v Father & Ors [2023] EWHC 2446 (Fam) (05 October 2023)
Appeal against decision to adjourn application by the Appellant to be allowed to report highly contentious private family proceedings. Appeal and application allowed. Full report: Bailii.

AB v CD [2023] EWFC 165 (23 July 2023)
Fact-finding in father's contact application, to determine his allegations of alienation and mother's allegations of coercive and controlling behaviour by him. Full report: Bailii.

Barclay v Barclay [2023] EWFC 164 (17 August 2023)
Further hearing in judgment summons proceedings concerning the enforcement of a lump sum order made in favour of the wife in 2021. Full report: Bailii.

TRNS v TRNK [2023] EWFC 133 (10 August 2023)
H's notice to show cause as to why a Post-Nuptial Agreement signed in 2020 should not be made an order of the court, resisted by W on basis of material non-disclosure by H. Held, there had been material non-disclosure. Full report: Bailii.

OZ v ML & Ors [2023] EWHC 2412 (Fam) (2 October 2023)
Application by father for summary return of 4 children to Kazakhstan, opposed by mother on basis of habitual residence/harm/children's objections. All 3 defences made out and application dismissed. Full report: National Archives.