The Practical Lawyer


Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act – calculation of maintenance

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 received Royal Assent on 5 June 2008. The Act changes the basis of calculation of child support maintenance: it is now provided that the calculation shall always be based on ‘gross weekly income’ (Sch 4, para 3). A two-stepped arrangement is introduced:

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Special guardians – financial support

A local authority’s special guardianship support scheme tied allowances for special guardians to adoption allowances, rather than fostering rates.

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Care proceedings – court fees challenge

This year the government reallocated money from the Court Service to local authorities directly, to enable the latter to cover the increase in court fees for care proceedings from £150 to £4,285.

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Private fostering – notification

Private fostering arrangements are those made privately for the care of a child under 16 by someone other than a parent or close relative.

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Care and placement proceedings – parent lacking capacity

Practitioners in this field should read Wall LJ’s views on how a local authority should proceed under the PLO where there is an issue concerning the parent’s capacity in care and placement proceedings in RP v Nottingham City Council & the Official Solicitor [2008] EWCA Civ 462.


Adoption Panel – flawed decision cannot be rectified by court

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 stipulates the procedure to be followed by a local authority where the plan is for a child to be adopted. The local authority is required to:

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Adoption, placement and contact – judicial guidance

The judgment of LJ Wall in P (A Child) will be of great interest to child care lawyers. He examines three tricky issues:

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Ancillary relief – pensions guide

Bradshaw Dixon Moore have produced a Pensions in Divorce Guide, which can be downloaded at no charge from their website at

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Ancillary relief – Barder event?

Five years after the substantive ancillary relief proceedings, it emerged that the amount that a foundation set up by H owed to HMRC was much lower than had been estimated at the time of the proceedings.

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Cohabitees – presumption of joint ownership

Mr Barron and Miss Fowler bought a home in joint names. Mr Barron paid the deposit, the joint mortgage and the bills. No declaration of trust was completed. When their relationship of over 23 years came to an end, Mr Barron argued that the property had only been put in joint names as he wanted it to pass to Miss Fowler on his death.

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