Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: April Teaser

Cases

 LM v DM (Costs Ruling) [2021] EWFC 28 (12 March 2021), Mostyn J – Applicant for interim financial relief deprived of half of her costs because she did not negotiate openly and reasonably with the respondent but ‘was determined to fight the application come what may’ (see [3]).

H-N and ors (Children) (Domestic Abuse: Finding of Fact Hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448 (30 March 2021) – Appeals in CA 1989, Pt 4 (‘private law) proceedings each involving domestic abuse. FPR 2010, PD12J remains appropriate: ie to provide a structure to enable the court first to recognise domestic abuse.

Bux v General Medical Council [2021] EWHC 762 (Admin) (31 March 2021), Mostyn J – Provides a modern summary of the duties to the court of an expert; duties of expert witnesses in relation to disclosure of any conflict of interest in the case in question.

CA v DR (Schedule 1 Children Act 1989: Pension Claim) [2021] EWFC 21 (24 February 2021), Roberts J – (1) Should the court review the ‘seminal’ case of Re P (Child: Financial Provision) [2003] EWCA Civ 837, [2003] 2 FLR 865; and (2) should CA 1989 Sch enable the court to adjust pensions. No to both, said Roberts J: requires either the intervention of Parliament or a further decision of the higher appellate courts.

Newman v Southampton City Council & ors [2021] EWCA Civ 437 (25 March 2021) – An experienced journalist sought a blanket order for disclosure as an ‘archaeological dig’ in a children case. Appeal refused for so wide an order.

Kicinski v Pardi [2021] EWHC 499 (Fam) (5 March 2021), Lieven J – Review of the jurisdiction of the court in Thwaite v Thwaite [1982] Fam 1, CA namely review of an order where there has been a final order which is still executory.

Article

Domestic abuse allegations in children proceedings

In Re H-N and ors (Children) (Domestic Abuse: Finding of Fact Hearings) [2021] EWCA Civ 448 (30 March 2021) the Court of Appeal gave guidance on family courts dealing with domestic abuse allegations in children proceedings. As well as deciding each of the four appeals involved, the court took the opportunity also to give guidance on domestic abuse issues in the family courts ([22]-[34]).

FPR 2010, PD12J remains appropriate to provide a structure to enable the court first to recognise all forms of domestic abuse, but mostly in children proceedings. The present appeals demonstrate that difficulties have, however, arisen in interpretation and implementation. Here the court focused on the fact that central a definition of domestic abuse is the concept of coercive and/or controlling behaviour: ie that can cause harm to children living in a household [32-33].

The Family Law Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.

David Burrows

Written by David Burrows

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