Family Law Hub

F (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1770

  • In brief: During proceedings between the mother ("M"), father ("F") and two local authorities, three applications were brought by the Official Solicitor on behalf of F. These were for direct contact, parental responsibility and a change of the child's surname. M and F had two children; A, who was the subject of these proceedings, was the younger. Both children were handicapped and vulnerable. The elder child lived with F's mother in Leicester; A lived with M in Staffordshire and F lived in Oakham. F had regular contact with the elder child. The elder child also had the hyphenated double-barrelled surname that F sought for A. 

    The main issue at the hearing was whether or not direct contact should be started between F and A; the outcome of that decision affected the other applications. F proposed having supervised contact with A on those occasions (about six times a year) when A visited his elder sister and grandmother in Leicester. This scenario was not considered by A's guardian in her report to the court.

    The Court of Appeal held that there had been no sufficient explanation as to why the most practical, least difficult option for supervised contact  had not been evaluated by the judge. The appeal was allowed and the case was remitted to be heard by another judge. 

Case note, published: 21/01/2013

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Published: 21/01/2013

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