Archives: Family

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Care orders – contact

June 2024 | Family

The judge’s ruling was ‘fundamentally flawed’ in relation to what it included and what was not included. In the course of public law proceedings under Part IV CA 1989, the LA was required to arrange direct in-person contact three times a week between the child (T) and M, despite both the LA and the children’s …

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Fact-finding – experts

June 2024 | Family

The parents of a baby girl (A) challenged (separately) a fact-finding made in care proceedings that one or the other of them had inflicted an abusive head injury on her. There were several grounds of appeal, focused mainly on the expert evidence. The judge found that the trial judge’s final ruling contained a number of …

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Practice – urgent applications (children)

June 2024 | Family

The President of the Family Division has issued Practice Guidance for Urgent Applications, Out of Hours Applications and Bundles in the Family Division of the High Court. This list is exclusively for cases where the circumstances are ‘truly urgent’ and children’s welfare requires an immediate hearing. In the guidance document, Sir Andrew McFarlane stresses that …

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Private – costs; children cases

June 2024 | Family

M unsuccessfully applied for costs following a successful appeal against an order for the appointment of a psychologist to do a family assessment. She sought costs against F and against the children’s guardian. This ruling confirms the general principle that in private law children proceedings, costs orders generally are rare. However, the court has discretion …

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Contempt – sharing confidential information

June 2024 | Family

The court should not allow applications to commit to be used oppressively or unfairly to browbeat a party to family proceedings, the High Court has ruled. During lengthy children proceedings, an order was made that C would live with both parents, but spending more time with M. However, during those proceedings M wrote to her …

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Evidence – hair strand testing

June 2024 | Family

Practitioners should note the court’s current approach to evidence derived from hair strand testing in public law proceedings under Part IV CA 1989. In the CA, Cobb J said: ‘This appeal has brought into focus once again the science of hair strand drug testing – its evidential value in context, its inherent reliability, and its …

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Practice – court fee increases

June 2024 | Family

A reminder that court fees were increased as of 1 May 2024, by around 10%. The new fees include: filing an application for a divorce, nullity or civil partnership dissolution – £593; amendment of application for matrimonial/civil partnership order – £95; answer to an application for a matrimonial or civil partnership order – £245; application …

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Child maintenance – the adjusted formula methodology

May 2024 | Family

An important child maintenance case which practitioners should be familiar with is Mostyn J’s ruling setting out the new adjusted formula methodology for calculating awards where the paying party earns more than the statutory limit of £156,000 to £650,000pa. It is a modernised approach to calculating child maintenance in a way that he considered fair. …

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Practice guidance – divorce; application for final order

May 2024 | Family

Practitioners will be aware of the MyHMCTS guidance for respondents’ solicitors on how to make follow-up applications for a divorce or dissolution. HMCTS has now added further guidance to it, specifically on applying for a final order as a respondent solicitor. It sets out when you can apply, how to make the application and on …

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