9 June 2011 by

Sticks and Stones

It is extremely unusual for the Court to order costs in children cases, unless one party has gone beyond the limit of what is considered to be reasonable in pursuing the application. The issue of costs is ultimately at the Judge’s discretion and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

In the recent High Court case of R and R and A [2011] EWCH 1158 (Fam) the Judge found that the applicants’ conduct in seeking to further their case by making a number of highly unpleasant and irrelevant allegations about the respondent did amount to litigation conduct upon which it would be just to order them to pay the respondent’s costs.

The facts of the case are very sad and involved a 4 year old girl whose mother had died. The father made arrangements for his daughter to stay with her maternal aunt and uncle on a temporary basis, but they then made an application for her to live with them permanently.

In their evidence they made various allegations in support of why it was in the child’s best interest to live with them rather than her father. These included accusations that the father had been neglectful and failed in his obligations towards both the child and mother and that he would more than likely abandon his daughter to his “resentful bigamously married wives”. There was no evidence provided to support these allegations and the father was left with no option but to defend the application.

When the applicants then subsequently applied to withdraw their application, permission was granted but they were ordered to pay the father’s legal costs.

It is a very sad case as the applicants no doubt had the best interests of the child at heart. It is therefore a shame that they approached the proceedings in such an aggressive and confrontational way, which ultimately achieved nothing other than landing them with all the costs.

26 May 2011 by

Going down the drain?

The majority of properties are connected to public sewers. The general maintenance and repair of these will be looked after by the local water authority except for any private connections running from the public sewer to your property which will be your (and possibly your neighbour’s) responsibility to maintain.

9 June 2011 by

Skype you soon!

In a recent Court of Appeal case a father’s application to prevent his former partner from emigrating to Australia with his two young children was refused because it was considered to be in the children’s best interests to relocate with the mother.

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