The Practical Lawyer


Enforcement of contact orders – disclosure to National Probation Service

A Practice Direction provides that where a magistrates’ court is considering an application for an enforcement order or for an order following an alleged breach of an enforcement order or makes an enforcement order and asks a CAFCASS officer to provide information to the court or to report to court, then the CAFCASS officer will need to discuss aspects of the court case with an officer of the National Probation Service.

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Enforcement of contact orders – family proceedings courts

A Practice Direction, which comes into force on 8th December 2008, governs applications to enforce contact orders made in the magistrates’ courts and is intended to ensure that they are considered by family proceedings courts. The Practice Direction applies in respect of applications for:

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Contact – new regulations in force

New regulations, which came into force on 8 December 2008, enable financial assistance to be paid in respect of an individual ordered or directed to undertake an activity that promotes contact with a child.

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Contact – contact activity directions and conditions

Part 1 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 came into force on 8 December 2008, setting out new powers of the court to make contact activity directions and contact activity conditions, together with new provisions for the enforcement of contact orders.

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Judicial review – LA decision not to apply for care order

In Nottinghamshire CC v P [1993] 2 FLR 134 it was held that the LA’s decision not to issue care proceedings in respect of a child at risk of significant harm may be judicially reviewable.

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Care proceedings – further assessment when children previously removed

The parents in care proceedings concerning their baby had had their three older children previously removed from their care. The case is interesting because, despite this history, the judge allowed residential assessments to ascertain whether the parents had changed sufficiently to remain as carers for the baby.

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Ancillary relief – pension

Accountancy firm Smith and Williamson has advised family lawyers to base their calculations of final salary pension benefits on new rules published in the Occupational Pension Scheme Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/1979).

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Guidelines – orders restricting further applications

There are clear guidelines about when the court should impose a restriction under s91(14) of the Children Act 1989, that is, an order restricting further applications.

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Forced marriage – definition of ‘force’

The FMA 2007 came into force on 25 November 2008. The definition of force at s63A(6) is wide-ranging and includes coercion by threats and other psychological means.

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Section 8 orders – new application form

Applications for orders under the Children Act 1989 s8 should now be made on Form C100 – which replaces the C1 for such applications.

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