‘Lawyers aren’t a charity’: Family judge awards £60k incurred costs – Law Society’s Gazette

Posted November 30th, 2020 in children, costs, families, family courts, financial provision, news by sally

‘The High Court has awarded five-figure costs midway through family litigation and made the point that the lawyers involved should not be expected to wait for payment.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 27th November 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Family Law Newsletter #41 – Spire Barristers

‘Issue #41 of Spire Barristers’ Family Law Newsletter: edited by Connie Purdy and Taz Irshad; news and Case Reviews by Francesca Massarella.’

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Spire Barristers, 19th November 2020

Source: spirebarristers.co.uk

What is the evidence that mediation works in child protection? – Transparency Project

Posted November 19th, 2020 in care orders, children, dispute resolution, families, family courts, news by sally

‘Both the Family Justice Review led by David Norgrove back in 2011 and the Care Crisis Review report in 2018 have asked whether child protection mediation in public law could offer anything useful over and above the usual methods of best engaging and involving families in or on the edge of care proceedings. Current methods include Public Law Outline (PLO) processes, Family Group Conferences (FGCs) and problem-solving courts like the Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC). The Care Crisis review noted that mediation in public law was an under researched area.’

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Transparency Project, 18th November 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Family lawyers “must be forced to follow good practice” – Legal Futures

‘Family lawyers should be forced to follow good practice to protect children from “acrimonious legal representation” and report it to their regulator, a major report has concluded.’

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Legal Futures, 17th November 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Remote Hearings in the Family of Courts of England and Wales: what the research shows – Transparency Project

‘Hearings in the family courts of England and Wales are almost unrecognisable today to the hearings that took place prior to the outbreak of Covid-19. On 23 March 2020, it was announced that a nationwide lockdown was to begin the following day and last indefinitely. Between 23 March and 6 April, video hearings increased by 340% across courts and tribunals in England and Wales. Audio hearings increased by over 500%. Today, remote and hybrid (where some people attend in person and some via a telephone or video link) hearings have become commonplace. Even final hearings are now being conducted remotely. The transition to remote and hybrid hearings has helped to mitigate the delay before cases are heard. It helping to minimise an increasing backlog of cases. Telephone and video hearings have their benefits for parents, children and professionals alike, which might even see remote hearings continue in use in some cases beyond the pandemic. However, remote hearings come at a cost, as two consultations by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (NFJO) demonstrate.’

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Transparency Project, 13th November 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Case Law Update: Lancashire County Council v G (Unavailability of Secure Accommodation) [2020] EWHC 2828 (Fam) – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘Mr Justice MacDonald authorised the deprivation of liberty of a vulnerable 16-year-old girl, G, under the inherent jurisdiction. The court was left with no real choice but to authorise the deprivation in circumstances where the only placement that could be located was neither secure nor regulated. Mr Justice MacDonald was troubled with the situation, and questioned whether he was simply being forced by mere circumstance to make an order irrespective of welfare considerations rather than exercising the courts’ welfare jurisdiction.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 6th November 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Costs and proceedings – Law Society’s Gazette

‘Recent changes to the Family Procedure Rules (FPR) 2010 and views expressed from the bench mean that there has been an increased emphasis upon parties making open offers and seeking to narrow the issues in financial remedy proceedings. Not since the long-lamented demise of Calderbank letters have there been so many cases with clear warnings about costs.’

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Law Society's Gazette, 16th November 2020

Source: www.lawgazette.co.uk

Court of Appeal orders fresh welfare hearing over failure of judge to sufficiently examine risk of harm to children when making placement order – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has ordered a fresh welfare hearing in a case where a Family Division judge decided that three children should be placed for adoption after he found, amongst other things, a major stumbling block to be the parents’ irrational and extreme over-reaction to the involvement of professionals in their lives and those of their children, most especially social workers.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 13th November 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Family Justice Council report on domestic abuse and special measures in remote and hybrid hearings – Family Law

Posted November 12th, 2020 in domestic violence, family courts, news, remote hearings by tracey

‘The Family Justice Council has published guidance titled “Safety from Domestic Abuse and Special Measures in Remote and Hybrid Hearings”. The guidance recommends that, in any proceedings where domestic abuse is an issue, careful consideration must be given to whether special measures are required and how hybrid/remote hearings should be facilitated to safeguard vulnerable parties. It suggests proactive advance planning of hearings, consideration of risks involved and practical support to promote physical and emotional safety of all participants and provides a checklist of those considerations.’

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Family Law, 11th November 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

What about me?: Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation – Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Posted November 12th, 2020 in children, divorce, family courts, parental responsibility, press releases by tracey

‘A report by the Family Solutions Group, entitled What about me?: Reframing Support for Families following Parental Separation, has been published.

President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, said: “This report brings together the various lines of thinking of recent years aimed at finding a better way to achieve good co-parenting between separated parents. It is an important and impressive document.”‘

Full press release

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary, 12th November 2020

Source: www.judiciary.uk

Top family judge publishes guidance on protection of domestic abuse victims in remote and hybrid hearings – Local Government Lawyer

‘The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published guidance on the need to protect victims of domestic abuse in remote and hybrid hearings.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 11th November 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Reducing Family Law Cases Backlog: Is Arbitration the Answer? – 33 Bedford Row

Posted November 10th, 2020 in arbitration, coronavirus, delay, dispute resolution, family courts, news by sally

‘Since the outbreak of Covid-19, the pandemic has led to delays in the court system, hearings being adjourned and a substantial backlog of all types of cases but especially family cases. Parties wanting speedy justice are resorting to out of court processes such as mediation and arbitration as a means to resolve disputes efficiently to overcome this time-lag.’

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33 Bedford Row, 30th October 2020

Source: www.33bedfordrow.co.uk

Children: Public Law Update (October) – Family Law Week

“John Tughan QC of 4PB considers the latest judgments that Public law child lawyers need to know about.”

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Family Law Week, 28th October 2020

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

Four in ten parents “do not understand remote hearings” – Legal Futures

Posted October 28th, 2020 in coronavirus, families, family courts, news, remote hearings, statistics by sally

‘Four in ten parents who have been involved in a remote family hearing say they did not understand it, a major study has discovered.’

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Legal Futures, 28th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Babies being removed from mothers during remote hearings – report – The Guardian

‘New mothers are having their babies taken into care during remote video and phone hearings from hospital, according to a report on justice during the coronavirus pandemic.’

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The Guardian, 27th October 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

FS v RS and JS – A Most Unusual Case about the bank of mum and dad… – Transparency Project

‘Described as “a most unusual case”, the Family Court at the Royal Courts of Justice recently dismissed a forty-one-year-old son’s claim that the “bank of mum and dad” was legally obligated to maintain him. Most court orders for the payment of maintenance of children provide for that obligation to end at the age of 18 or upon the child leaving school. The courts retain jurisdiction to make or vary orders for maintenance of children in limited circumstances, including where there is already a court order in force, to meet expenses in connection with education or training for a trade, profession or vocation, and where the child has expenses attributable to a disability. In FS v RS and JS [2020] EWFC 63, Sir James Munby considered whether the court had jurisdiction in relation to claims under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and the Children Act 1989 and whether jurisdiction under the inherent jurisdiction could be exercised as the Applicant asserted. This is an overview of Munby J’s remarkable judgment in light of an unprecedented proposition upon the court’s traditionally paternal or parental character.’

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Transparency Project, 19th October 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Remote hearings “can bring horror into your home”, says judge – Legal Futures

Posted October 19th, 2020 in coronavirus, families, family courts, judges, news, remote hearings by sally

‘A particularly unwelcome issue for judges hearing cases remotely is that some of the most disturbing elements of serious family cases are being heard at home, a High Court judge reported last week.’

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Legal Futures, 19th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Remote hearing success means no backlog in some family courts – Legal Futures

Posted October 15th, 2020 in coronavirus, delay, family courts, news, remote hearings by tracey

‘The family court system has adapted so well to remote working that some courts do not have a backlog of cases, the president of the Family Division said yesterday.’

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Legal Futures, 15th October 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Contempt of Court – new rules – Transparency Project

Posted October 13th, 2020 in anonymity, civil procedure rules, contempt of court, family courts, news by sally

‘Following an earlier consultation, there has been a comprehensive rewriting of the rules of court dealing with the procedure to be adopted in relation to contempt of court.’

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Transparency Project, 10th October 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

No fault divorce – why lawyers like me hope new law can end the bitter blame game – Family Law

Posted October 2nd, 2020 in bills, divorce, families, family courts, legal profession, news, solicitors by tracey

‘As a divorce lawyer, it is important to remember that you are the ultimate distress purchase. No-one starts their marriage thinking it will end in divorce. If the sad day does come when a marriage fails, emotions can run high. Parties can be quick to blame each other for the breakdown. They may think that in placing the blame at the door of the other spouse, they may achieve a better financial outcome, or more time with the kids. You may think “so far, so good” for divorce lawyers. Surely they will benefit from a “War of the Roses” style divorce battle with each party playing the blame game? After all, we all know the good Yorkshire saying: “Where there’s muck, there’s brass”.’

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Family Law, 30th September 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk