Family Law Hub

Family Law Act 1986

Statute, published: 31/12/1986

Items referring to this

  • The judge ordered that the child who lived with his mother in Australia should live in the UK with his British father and brother. Judgment, 20/10/2017, free
  • Mother's appeal against a s91(14) order and an order which provided only for indirect contact with the children. Appeal dismissed on both grounds. Judgment, 10/07/2015, free
  • An unmarried couple had sought assistance from a fertility clinic which resulted in a child being born using donor sperm. Following an audit by the clinic, it was revealed that the necessary consent by the 'father' relating to parenthood prior to treatment (as required by s.37 HFEA 2008) was not on the file. He applied to the court for a declaration that he was indeed the father of the child. The declaration was granted, the judge saying that it was more likely than not that the father had signed the relevant form and it had subsequently been mislaid by the clinic. Judgment, 16/02/2015, free
  • M's appeal where the issue was whether the High Court of England and Wales had jurisdiction to order the 'return' to this country of a small child who had never been present here on the basis that he was habitually resident here or that he had British nationality. Appeal allowed, the SC holding that the court had inherent jurisdiction to make the orders in this case on the basis of the child's British nationality. The case was however remitted to the judge to consider as a matter of urgency whether it was appropriate to exercise this exceptional jurisdiction. Judgment, 10/09/2013, free
  • The latest in the case involving the return of 4 children from Pakistan, where the 3 eldest were habitually resident in England, but the youngest was born in Pakistan and had never set foot in England. Mrs Justice Parker ruled that the return order still stood in respect of the 3 older children but that, as the youngest was a sibling and they were a group of 4, their futures should be heard together. F now accepted that he should bring the children back to England but until the children were returned, or at least on their way, the judge refused to release funds of the F which were subject to a freezing order where such a release might give more opportunity for obstruction. Judgment, 11/11/2013, free
  • Case involving the return of 4 children from Pakistan where the youngest had never set foot in England. Case note, 14/01/2014, free
  • The issue here was whether the UK court had jurisdiction to entertain a s.8 application in respect of a child. The court held that, since the provisions of Brussels II Revised applied to the mother's application for the s.8 order, the court was not entitled to then go on to consider issues of residual jurisdiction as provided by s.2(1)(b) and 2A of the Family Law Act 1986. Judgment, 19/01/2017, free
  • Case note, 01/11/2011, members only
  • Declaration of parentage made where the wrong forms were signed after the couple's child was born following fertility treatment. Judgment, 02/03/2017, free
  • Application by father to relocate a child to Algeria and to stay proceedings in England under the inherent jurisdiction of the court. Application refused. Judgment, 22/10/2015, free
  • A case in which the mother of 2 children was disputing that her ex-partner, who was a lesbian, was the childrens' parent. The issue in this case was whether the steps taken by the parties and by the licensed fertility clinic, which was responsible for assisting the reproduction, were effective to grant the ex-partner's status as legal 'parent'. Judgment, 26/05/2013, free
  • Application by the wife to preserve her occupation in one of the family homes whilst divorce proceedings were being investigated. Injunction on the husband not to sell the property or evict the wife was extended for 6 months. Judgment, 10/07/2014, free
  • Judgment in five more cases concerning parental responsibility and errors at fertility clinics. All five were granted the declarations sought. Judgment, 08/05/2017, free
  • Appeal by father against an order declaring that the children were habitually resident in Canada and that the court had no jurisdiction to determine the application by the children's father for a child arrangements order and prohibited steps order under the Children Act 1989 as amended, and further discharged an earlier prohibited steps order under which the mother had been prohibited from removing the children from England and Wales. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 09/03/2018, free
  • Judgment, 10/03/2010, free
  • The latest in a series of cases where there were errors with the paperwork in the fertility clinic. The President made a declaration that the applicant was the legal parent of the child. Judgment, 30/05/2018, free
  • Appeal against an order made under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court which directed that DNA extracted from a sample provided by the deceased should be tested against a bodily sample to be taken from the Respondent in order to establish whether the deceased was or was not the Respondent's biological father. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 08/02/2018, free
  • Appeal against a decision that the child was not habitually resident in the UK at the time Children Act proceedings were started because she had lost her habitual residence in this country upon her departure with the respondent for Pakistan, albeit that, in the judge's view, she had probably not yet acquired a habitual residence in Pakistan. The judge also declined to exercise the inherent jurisdiction saying that the facts of the present case did not justify such a course. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 06/08/2015, free
  • Judgment by the President in child abduction case raising 2 points of general importance: 1) what powers the court has to compel third parties to secure return of an abducted child where they do not have parental responsibility or control over the child and; 2) the role, powers and proper basis for making orders concerning non-subject children in such proceedings Judgment, 20/06/2014, free
  • Application for a declaration of parentage under s.55A Family Law Act 1986 after paperwork errors were discovered at the fertility clinic who had treated the couple. Judgment, 28/03/2017, free
  • In another case involving administrative problems at a fertility clinic, the applicant was granted a parental order in respect of the child that was born following IVF treatment. Sir James Munby was particularly scathing about the failure by the clinic to pay the applicant's costs in a timely way. Judgment, 03/10/2016, free
  • Another fertility case where an error in the paperwork, which was not spotted by the fertility clinic, has once again led to serious legal consequences for the parents. Judgment, 17/08/2016, free
  • Judgment, 04/06/2012, free
  • Application for a declaration of legitimacy under s 55A of the FLA 1986. Judgment, 31/01/2018, free
  • A public children law case in which the President was dealing with three main issues in relation to the care of a 12 year old boy who, despite being born, and living his whole life, in England, was also a citizen of Slovakia. The issues addressed were Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003, Articles 36 and 37 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the jurisprudence on reporting restriction orders. Judgment, 15/01/2014, free
  • Judgment, 10/04/2013, free
  • An order for costs in the sum of nearly £10,000 was made against the father in favour of the mother because of his wholly unnecessary challenge to the English court having jurisdiction to deal with matters relating to their children. Judgment, 24/03/2014, free
  • Judgment, 22/06/2012, free
  • Declaration made the applicant was the father of the child who was born following IVF treatment, and where the parents had signed a consent form that was out of date. Judgment, 12/04/2016, free
  • The majority held that the child, who had been taken to Pakistan, had not lost her habitual residence and therefore the appellant's application under the 1989 Act can and should proceed to substantive determination by the High Court. Judgment, 03/02/2016, free
  • The latest case involving the registration of the father on the children's birth certificates after the wrong forms were signed following fertility treatment. Judgment, 20/01/2017, free
  • The wife was Ukrainian and the husband was English. The judge refused recognition of the default judgment of divorce granted in the Ukraine after he ruled that the wife had not taken reasonable steps to give the husband notice of the Ukrainian proceedings. Judgment, 10/03/2014, free
  • In a tweet: Judgment declining jurisdiction in respect of two children habitually resident in Bosnia. In brief: Mr Justice Bodey found that the issues could and should have been raised before the Bosnian court, where it was accepted that the children were habitually resident. The idea that jurisdiction could be established for dealing with a one-off urgent situation (in this case the mother’s application to relocate to Serbia in two days’ time) was undesirable – “one does not dip in and out of jurisdiction”. Judgment, 31/10/2016, free
  • Appeal against orders that removed two children from the care of their mother: one of them to foster care and the other to the father. Orders set aside and the children returned to the mother until a final hearing but with an interim care order in place. Judgment, 03/09/2014, free
  • Judgment concerning return of a child to the US where the mother had successfully obtained a ruling in Texas that the child had been wrongfully retained in the US, the father had complied with that order and then had appeals turned down by the High Court and Court of Appeal. Father's appeal allowed. Case note, 18/02/2014, free
  • Judgment concerning return of a child to the US where the mother had successfully obtained a ruling in Texas that the child had been wrongfully retained in the US, the father had complied with that order and then had appeals turned down by the High Court and Court of Appeal. Father's appeal allowed. Judgment, 04/12/2013, free
  • District Judge transferred these proceedings to the High Court to determine whether the UK courts had jurisdiction to hear a case concerning children and their habitual residence. Mr Justice Holman said that it was quite clear that the courts of England and Wales do have jurisdiction in relation to the children on the basis either that they are habitually resident here; or, although they are not habitually resident here, that they are not habitually resident in any other relevant State and are present here. Judgment, 01/05/2016, free
  • In the words of Mr Justice Peter Jackson, this is "another example of the painful legal confusion that can arise when children are born as a result of unregulated artificial conception". The present applications arose from a same-sex relationship between Ms L and Ms C. Ms C gave birth to a child after artificial insemination and soon afterwards took the child to Ireland after their relationship broke down. Ms L had not seen the child since and was applying for a residence and contact order, and for declarations that at the point of the child's departure from England, Ms L was acting as her 'psychological parent'. It was held first that the court had no jurisdiction in relation to matters of parental responsibility concerning the child. Secondly, the court made a declaration that, at the date of the child's removal from England, family life within the meaning of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights existed between the child and Ms L Judgment, 06/05/2014, free
  • Application by wife that decrees nisi and absolute issued in Malaya in favour of the respondent husband should not be recognised in England and Wales. Application allowed primarily because the wife was not given reasonable notice of the Malaysian proceedings or a reasonable opportunity to participate in them. Judgment, 05/06/2015, free
  • Judgment, 04/10/2012, free
  • Father of the child was seeking a declaration pursuant to section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 that he was, in accordance with section 36 of the 2008 Act, the legal parent of the child in circumstances where the fertility clinic's procedures had been inadequate. The declaration was made. Judgment, 18/09/2016, free
  • Proceedings concerning the legal parentage of a child where Ms M claimed that he had been conceived through sexual intercourse and Mr F, a sperm donor who Ms M met via the internet and who was the biological father of the child, said conception was as a result of artificial insemination. If conception was through sexual intercourse, Mr F would be the legal parent but if it was the result of artificial insemination the question of parentage would depend on the effect of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. Judgment, 24/07/2013, free
  • Judgment, 31/07/2012, free
  • Here, Mr Justice Mostyn reviews his previous order which limited the wife's maintenance pending suit to child maintenance and a sum to meet her legal costs. After a single joint expert was instructed, it appears that there was a proceedings divorce entitling recognition in this jurisdiction and that the wife had a strong case for a substantive award for maintenance pending suit and a costs allowance, provided that the merits warranted such an award. Judgment, 28/04/2014, free
  • W's application for " interim interim" financial provision for herself and for the two children of the marriage, to endure until the next hearing, in February 2014. The H claimed that there had been a non-proceedings divorce in his home country and it was very uncertain that the W here would be entitled, by reason either of res judicata or estoppel, to pursue a third petition and demonstrate that the marriage had not been previously dissolved in the husband's home country. The judge decided that he should only award maintenance pending suit to relieve a real predicament of need, and in this case there was none. Child maintenance awards made but no awards were made for the W. Judgment, 20/01/2014, free
  • Application for a declaration of marriage where the applicant claimed a customary marriage had taken place in Nigeria, contrary to the view of the first respondent, and pursuit of financial provision including claims concerning a property in London. Judgment, 24/04/2013, free
  • Judgment, 08/08/2012, free
  • Whether there was a valid marriage under English law Judgment, 16/06/2015, free
  • A case involving the residence of a child M, born to two US citizens but who had been living with mother in the UK for 6 years, where proceedings were ongoing in the UK and the USA. Discussion on the Office of International Family Justice and its role in supporting and facilitating cross-border judicial collaboration and direct judicial communication. The High Court determined, contrary to the US ruling, that the English court did have jurisdiction to conduct proceedings in the UK because the child was habitually resident here. Judgment, 18/09/2013, free
  • A case concerning a W and H who divorced in India and where the W is contending that the divorce should not be recognised on public policy grounds. Judgment, 25/07/2013, free
  • A case concerning a W and H who divorced in India and where the W is contending that the divorce should not be recognised on public policy grounds. Case note, 19/08/2013, members only
  • 8 cases relating to mistakes with the completion of forms following fertility treatment. Declarations were made that in each case, the applicant was the father of the child/children. Judgment, 20/01/2017, free
  • A case where the mother (“M”) and three children sought various long-term protective injunctions protecting them against the father (“F”) and, in respect of the youngest child, various orders relating to child arrangements and restricting F’s ability to exercise parental responsibility. Most interestingly, the court endorsed an injunction which prevented F holding himself out as being any of them in any electronic mail, social networking or other communications – it is believed to be the first time that such an order has been made. Judgment, 29/07/2014, free
  • Case note, 30/04/2010, members only
  • Proceedings relating to a child born to a Thai mother, who had falsely persuaded her husband that he was the child's father. Judgment, 30/12/2011, free
  • Applicant father was seeking an order for the immediate return of the children to Canada following their removal by their mother from that jurisdiction. An order for their return was made. Judgment, 14/06/2016, free
  • Husband was seeking declarations that a divorce granted in Dubai is entitled to recognition in England and Wales. The court refused to make the declarations sought. Judgment, 20/11/2017, free
  • Judgment, 04/12/2012, free
  • Judgment, 04/12/2012, free
  • Declaration that the applicant was the father of the child following IVF treatment but where the mother had made a mistake when completing the form to give consent to the applicant becoming the father of her child. Judgment, 09/06/2016, free
  • Another case where the parties, who had undergone IVF treatment, had signed the incorrect forms provided by the clinic and thus the father had to seek a declaration pursuant to section 55A of the Family Law Act 1986 that he was, in accordance with section 36 of the 2008 Act, the legal parent of the child. Judgment, 09/06/2016, free
  • Case note, 02/12/2011, members only
  • Judgment, 09/11/2004, free
  • The court had to decide whether the English courts had jurisdiction in respect of the child and, if so, whether England was the most convenient forum for the determination of the issues rather than South Korea. The court held that the English court had jurisdiction in respect of the child but that the jurisdiction of South Korea was clearly and distinctly more the appropriate forum. The English proceedings were thus stayed. Judgment, 16/10/2015, free
  • These proceedings raise the issue of whether the Court can direct scientific testing of the DNA of a person who has died for the purpose of providing evidence of paternity. Judgment, 20/04/2016, free
  • Judgment, 19/03/2013, free
  • Comity necessitated making without notice location and disclosure of information orders where a child has had been removed from Scotland to England, to enable implementation of earlier Scottish orders outside the jurisdiction Judgment, 10/02/2017, free
  • Judgment, 18/09/2012, free
  • The judge had to decide whether, as the father and the children's guardian maintained, the courts of England and Wales have jurisdiction over the child in respect of matters of parental responsibility or whether, as his mother argued, jurisdiction now rests with the courts of Northern Ireland. The judge ruled in favour of the father. Judgment, 19/03/2018, free
  • Order permitting an NHS Trust to detain a child at an English hospital pending further Order of the High Court in the Republic of Ireland, and to provide the child with such treatment as it considers appropriate for her mental disorder, in the absence of her consent. The urgency of the case warranted the invoking of the court's inherent jurisdiction to supplement the provisions of Brussels IIA. Judgment, 11/04/2016, free
  • Judgment, 29/10/2012, free

Published: 31/12/1986

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