A few titbits…

…to keep all the snowed-in out there occupied (if you aren’t out hurtling down a hill on a bin lid that is). I don’t have time today to chase up all these items but thought some of you might be interested…

Children’s Society report (Thanks Teech Liz) – from a 2 second look at the Guardian’s related article it’s a report saying how sad life as a child is ‘these days’. Boo.


House of Lords Judgment in Holmes-Moorhouse v LB Richmond. See Family Lore and Nearly Legal who have beaten me to it. This as I understand it basically says you can’t force a LA to treat both parents as priority need for housing by using a shared residence order as a device. Boo.

The long awaited (and long) Court of Appeal Judgment in A (A Child) concerning overseas adoption. 33 pages. Boo.

These latter two are obviously important as they have landed in my inbox today sent to all FLBA members at the request of The Pres (not Obama, Pres of the Family Division). Now I just need to find time to read them.

For those of you who liked the snowman gag and who think the above is all a bit heavy for a Friday check out today’s newsbiscuit.

Creative Accounting

Helpful suggestion from a District Judge the other day: when making a shared residence order couple it with a condition pursuant to s11(7) Children Act 1989 providing that the parent in receipt of Child Benefit and Child Tax Credits / Working Tax Credits pay to the other each week / month a sum representing the pro rata proportion of those benefits commensurate with the proportion of time the other parent will be spending with the other. This is a useful if artificial mechanism for apportioning the finances between parents who are each incurring the costs associated with having a child live with them in circumstances where the relevant authorities will only treat one parent as being entitled to benefit. Child Tax Credits can’t cope with shared residence, so these orders can help to realign the position to make the unworkable workable. Of course it would be easier for HMRC to agree to pay a lower rate of CTC to each parent but hey ho. Alternatively a consent pps order could be made.

When made under s11(7) such an order would be prima facie enforceable like any other s8 order, although who can guess how keen a court would be to enforce this kind of order in practice when parliament has deliberately taken most issues of child maintenance out of the hands of the court.

Absent Mothers

Just to note an interesting article in Tuesday’s T2 section of The Times about Mothers living apart from their children. It deals with various scenarios including the all too familiar example of a mother leaving an abusive relationship where, by the time she has got herself on her feet and obtained accommodation for herself and the children, the mother finds that she is unable to obtain residence of the children because the ‘status quo’ is now that the children are settled with their father. Difficult cases. The article also points to the website www.matchmothers.org which looks like a really useful and positive resource for mums in these difficult situations.