Misuse of law within care proceedings

Children are being kept waiting in foster care for months and even a year or more because of the local authorities “wholly unacceptable” misuse of law, the country’s most senior family judge has said.
In the case before Sir James Munby, two children were waiting in foster care for 18 months, which he feels is a “misuse and abuse of section 20 and this can no longer be tolerated”.
The act’s section 20 gives local authority power to place children into foster care in circumstances where a child has been “lost or abandoned” or has no one with “parental responsibility”.
However, Sir James suggested that too often youngsters were unfairly being kept in foster placements for long periods – not knowing where they would live in the long term.
“There is, I fear, far too much misuse and abuse of section 20 and this can no longer be tolerated,” Sir James said. “It is, in my judgment, and I use the phrase advisedly and deliberately, a misuse by the local authority of its statutory powers. It is a wrong; it is a denial of the fundamental rights of both the parent and the child; it will no longer be tolerated and it must stop.”

Supreme Court divorce ruling shows zero tolerance for dishonesty

Two women who were misled into accepting “unfair” divorce settlements by their former husbands won a landmark challenge in Britain’s highest court.
Judges at the UK’s top court agreed, unanimously ruling, that dishonesty in divorce proceedings will not be tolerated.
Both women maintain that their ex-husbands misled judges about how much they were worth, forcing them into accepting “unfair divorce payouts”.
“Anything less than full and frank disclosure of assets in divorce cases will not be tolerated by the courts,” said Jo Edwards, chairwoman of Resolution, the family law organisation. “This has significant implications for other cases where assets are suspected of having been concealed, and could see many other recently finalised cases being reopened.”

How a rise in divorce fees effect us


Rise in divorce fees ‘will trap unhappy couples’

Unhappy couples may be forced to remain in loveless or even abusive marriages as a result of government plans to increase fees sharply for divorce, according to senior judges. The Times have reports that women in particular will be hit by the planned 34 per cent rise in fees for divorces which may have a “caustic effect on the welfare of children involved”.

An inquiry into court fees will be considered by the Commons justice committee tomorrow. Ministers have increased fees by 600 per cent in tranches since 2013 under a policy to make courts self-financing instead of costs being underwritten by the taxpayer. If the proposed increased does come into force the divorce court fees are now set to rise from £410 to £550. This will bring in an extra £16.8 million, raising to £66.6 million the total annual revenue from divorce fees in England and Wales.