Re B (a child) EWCA Civ 1742 (21 December 2012)

The CA allowed a Mother’s appeal against the transfer of residence to the father in circumstances where the court had not allowed the mother to adduce relevant evidence and constrained cross -examination. The matter was remitted for re-hearing before a fresh judge.

Re A (a child) UKSC 60 (12 December 2012)

The SC dealt with balancing irreconcilable interests in a case where a vulnerable young women (X) made an allegation in confidence to authorities that she had been seriously sexually abused by the father of a little girl (A). X sought to prevent the disclosure of details of her allegations and identity within the proceedings relating to A on the grounds this would subject her to inhuman and degrading treatment and be an interference with her private life. The SC did not accept the Art 3 argument and ordered disclosure as the rights of A, her father and mother to a fair trial took precedence over X’s privacy.

B v A [2012] EWHC 3127 (Fam)

The court made a wasted costs order of £18,000 against the solicitors representing a father in Hague Convention proceedings. The court gave guidance on the procedures to be followed and failures including the ‘common and flawed approach in the Family Division’ in respect of without notice applications in this area.

X v Y & Ors [2012] EWHC 2838 (Fam)

The court dismissed a mother’s application for summary return of children to Australia in unusual circumstances where the father had worked as an undercover police agent and the police force in question were a party to the proceedings supporting the father’s position that an immediate return would be unsafe. The oldest child’s objections were also sufficient to allow the court to exercise a discretion as to whether or not to order a summary return.

Sharbatly v Shagroon [2012] EWCA Civ 1507

The CA held that in an application under Part III of Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 there must not only be a foreign divorce but that such divorce must be based upon a marriage which is, or under English law is recognised as, a valid or at least a void marriage.