Consultation launched on transforming court estate

Proposals follow piloting of online system for divorce applications.

Full story: Family Law Week

Surrogate mother calls for 'old-fashioned' laws on births to be changed

Surrogacy UK chair Sarah Jones says genetic parents should have legal authority over new babies.

Full story: The Guardian

Adoption has become 'runaway train' social workers cannot stop

British Association of Social Workers’ two-year inquiry calls for ‘significant rethink’ of adoption laws.

Full story: The Guardian

Munby warns against 'adversarial and punitive' care proceedings

The president of the family division has advised local authorities to think long and hard before embarking on care proceedings against 'otherwise unimpeachable' parents.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

New private law cases received by Cafcass in December 2017 2% down on a year ago

In December 2017, Cafcass received a total of 2,790 new private law cases. This is a 2% decrease compared with those received in December 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care applications received by Cafcass in December 2017 8% down on a year ago

In December 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,008 care applications. Whilst this figure represents an 8% decrease in comparison with December 2016, it is the third-highest monthly total for December on record.

Full story: Family Law Week

Missing four-year-old British girl found with mother in Spain

Family court judge says Elliana Shand and her mother, who has mental health problems, will return to England within days.

Full story: The Guardian

Leicester council sent care children list to taxi firms

Details of "hundreds, potentially thousands" of vulnerable people, including children, have been emailed to taxi firms by a council.

Full story: BBC News

Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill receives second reading

Legislation fulfils commitment to victims of domestic violence.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child referred to social services every 49 seconds amid rising reports of domestic violence

Councils warn they face pressures on ‘staggering scale’ as data shows there were 646,120 referrals to children’s services last year – equating to 1,770 referrals per day.

Full story: The Independent

Social workers could use social media checks to ‘enhance’ assessments, serious case review says

The review recommended safeguarding boards look at developing guidance for social workers on how to use social media to enhance assessments.

Full story: Community Care

Cost of divorce up 17% in three years amid soaring legal fees and housing costs

Separating couples now typically spend £14,561 on lawyers and lifestyle costs, plus an additional £35,000 to rent or £144,600 to buy new property.

Full story: The Independent

Court rules children of learning-disabled mother can be adopted despite criticising council

Judge highlights lack of training and protocol around parents with learning disabilities but stresses support must not become 'substituted parenting'.

Full story: Community Care

Parents of sick child in row with hospital hit out at foster care threat

The parents of a sick child have said that the London Borough of Croydon has threatened foster care proceedings because they have rejected a hospital’s care plan.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Solicitor Gauke is named as justice secretary

Solicitor David Gauke was today named as lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice in a surprise element of the government reshuffle.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Changes to domestic violence evidence requirements come into effect

From today (8 January 2018), victims of domestic violence will get more support in taking abusive former partners to court.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Women should be told if new partner has abusive past, say victims’ groups

MPs urged to back law granting police powers to disclose convictions of violent offenders if they start relationship.

Full story: The Observer