Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: August Teaser


AE & JE v M [2021] EWHC 1957 (Fam) (13 July 2021), Russell J – Application by mature children in dispute between parents (in England and in Spain): a reflection of the reality of the children’s lives, and their wishes and feelings.

Re P and Q (Hague Convention: Consent) [2021] EWHC 2184 (Fam) (30 July 2021), Poole J – Refusal of the application (Hague Convention and inherent jurisdiction) of a USA father of return to USA of girls aged 12 and 11 (see article comment for Poole J’s model judgment).

Raydens Ltd v Cole [2021] EWHC B14 (Costs) (30 July 2021), High Court, Costs Judge Leonard – The scale of the increase in lawyers’ costs over five years was sufficiently high, to provide special circumstances, such as to entitle the costs judge to refer the case back to the Family Court for detailed assessment, despite the client’s delay in seeking an assessment.

A v A (Arbitration: Guidance) [2021] EWHC 1889 (Fam) (9 July 2021), Mostyn J – Arbitration appeal (by a husband) disallowed. Mostyn J, ‘with the authority and approval of the President’, issues guidance as to future such appeals in financial relief proceedings.

E v L [2021] EWFC 60 (13 July 2021), Mostyn J – Sort marriage of older woman with relatively wealthy H. It must be disposed of on the basis of equal distribution of what had accrued during the short marriage (and see Costs note on this case).

X v Y (Restraining Abuse of Children's Guardian) [2021] EWHC 2139 (Fam) (29 July 2021), MacDonald J – Order (draft annexed to the judgment) against a father who verbally abused professionals and the judge who had been involved in decisions concerning his child.

Anatomy of a family courts order

There is a real confusion, often arising from these standard orders, as to what is an ‘order’ or undertaking, what a ‘recital’ and what a case management direction. What can each species of ‘order’ do in each particular case? This involves, first, an analysis of the main component parts of a family courts order with; and, then, what the rules – here Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) – mean by case management?

  • Orders are what the law (statute law or common law) says the court can do.
  • Recitals – set out relevant facts found by the court or agreed between the parties; but also a miscellany of directions for continuation of the case.
  • Undertakings are similar in force to an order. They enable the court to provide for provisions which are not formally dealt with in law by an order.
  • Directions can be given by the courts for progress of a case. This will be how most case management will be disposed of.

All lawyers in a case must be clear what any law in their case is and thus what are the court’s powers to make orders in their case; courts must be clear what case management powers they have. This note explains, in context, and differentiates between the four categories of ‘order’.

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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