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Recent developments in children case law for children law practitioners

  • Datalaw Admin
  • Jan 15, 2019
  • 0 comment(s)

Children and parents have a complex relationship, according to the law. According to the law, the word “Parent” can include biological parents, stepparents, adoptive parents, foster parents, godparents, grandparents and parents-in-law. It can extend to the court and local authorities where the child is “in care”. In most cases, children are born as a result of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman who then have biological and legal parental rights to the child.

When a married, recently divorced or widowed woman gives birth, there is a common law assumption that it is the child of that woman and the (former) husband. It is not absolute, however as it may be disputed with a DNA test or proof of adultery. The complexity of children case laws gets a lot of children law practitioners confused. Recent updates on children’s case law for children law practitioners may be helpful. Let’s take a look at the recent developments:


1)    Re M- A (A Child) 2018 EWCA Civ 896 Court of Appeal

April to June 2018

These were unpleasant hearings between the parents in regards to their 3-year-old son. The child was diagnosed with autistic spectrum and lived with the mother in the UK. The dad lived in Canada. There was a mental assessment of the mother that featured her negative frame of mind towards the father and was prescribed restorative help. The mother began therapeutic work and asserted that she had gained progress. The Deputy High Court judge at first instance passed a judgment that the child ought to run live with the dad in Canada and furthermore spend holidays with the mother in England. While he found that the two guardians were in charge of the parental clash, the mother's proof did not show the more prominent knowledge that would have been normal given the treatment she had undertaken. Given the child’s specific need for clarity and sureness he ought not to live in a tangled family unit as he had done for a greater duration, essentially because of the mother’s conduct. The father was ready to meet the child’s welfare needs and the change in conditions would be constrained in light of the fact that he had just been investing energy there.

The mother appealed, but it was refused. The judge had all the evidence that proved the father had could offer the child a more stable future than the mother.


2)   PS v. BP 2018 EWHC 1987 (Fam)

25th July 2018

Knowles J

This case concerns L, a 3-year-old young lady. The Father looked for contact with L on 6 February 2017. On 29th November 2017, District Judge Green recorded the issue for a fact-finding hearing in January 2018 before His Honor Judge Scarratt to stay away from further deferral. Before the hearing, the Father was acting in person. The Father was educated toward the beginning of the hearing that he would not be allowed to question the Mother straightforwardly, depending on Re: An (a minor) (actuality finding; unrepresented party) [2017] EWHC 1195 (Fam).

Hayden J noted that a complainant in family procedures not being offered same assurance from a complainant in a criminal preliminary is 'obviously unreasonable and unjustifiable'. Hayden J repeated the requirement for a routine which replicates that working in the Criminal Courts and communicated his desire for dire enactment to address this 'deplorable circumstance'. With the perception that the system has failed the two guardians, a rehearing was coordinated and the case transmitted to the High Court.

These cases portray the complexity of children case law, and it becomes worse when both parents are going against each other.

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