Judge criticises independent social worker for ‘face value’ assessment of abusive father

The independent social worker's evidence was in direct conflict with that of two other social workers assessing the man.

Full story: Community Care

Laura Ashley boss ordered to make his wife an offer in 'titanic' £440m divorce battle

Khoo Kay Peng, 77, has 21 days to 'lay out his stall' and make his wife an offer as legal bills rise to £6.1m in three-year legal battle.

Full story: The Telegraph

MOJ confirms closure of 86 courts

The government has today (11 February 2016) announced their intention to close 86 courts across England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

1.9m people could have suffered domestic or family abuse last year

Figures released by the ONS in their bulletin: Violent crime and sexual offences in England and Wales: financial year ending 2015.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Judge orders caesarean if needed for mentally ill mother-to-be

Court of Protection makes order while telling 21-year-old, who faces losing custody of newborn, that doctors will try to carry out natural delivery.

Full story: The Guardian

Seven per cent increase in private law cases received by Cafcass in January

Figures released by Cafcass show that, in January 2016, the number of private law cases received increased by 7% from January 2015 levels.

Full story: Family Law

Care applications received by Cafcass in January increase by 16%

Figures released by Cafcass show that the number of care applications received in January 2016 increased by 16% from those received in January 2015.

Full story: Family Law

One in ten Brits regret not signing a pre-nuptial agreement

One in ten married Brits wish they had insisted their partner sign a pre-nuptial agreement, according to a new survey.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Updated private law orders released

Following on from the draft private law orders published in late January, new versions have been circulated which have some minor changes and corrections and also include Welsh versions.

Full story: Family Law

Special guardianship regulations updated to strengthen assessments

New rules, which will come into force at the end of February, focus on guardian's relationship with child and their future needs.

Full story: Community Care

Competition complaint over family mediation

A solicitor has referred the Family Mediation Council to the Competition and Markets Authority over concerns that guidelines introduced at the end of last year will block new entrants from mediation.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Saudi billionaire denied diplomatic immunity in UK maintenance battle

Judge finds Sheikh Walid Juffali’s defence that he was shielded from courts ‘spurious’ in dispute with ex-wife Christina Estrada.

Full story: The Guardian

State pension sharing on the termination of a marriage or civil partnership

DWP information note published on changes from 6 April 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children Arbitration Scheme to be launched

Resolution announces plan to roll-out scheme in July 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Clear advice and guidance key to supporting young people leaving care, says Ombudsman

Council makes mistakes in its handling teenager’s immigration status.

Full story: Family Law Week

Quarter of foster carers rarely or never keep in contact with former foster children

The Fostering Network launches campaign to help maintain foster relationships.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge rules £200k a year is 'appropriate' provision for Arab royal's son

Court hears mother of boy wanted £800k a year so that the youngster could "replicate" his father's lifestyle.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Special Guardianship (Amendment) Regulations 2016

These Regulations amend the Schedule to the Special Guardianship Regulations (2005) which prescribes the matters to be dealt with by local authorities in reports they prepare for the court in applications for special guardianship orders.

Statutory Instrument

Latest deprivation of liberty ruling has ‘huge implications’ for children’s social workers

Experts say the case could soon be talked of as having a similar impact to Cheshire West itself in terms of the role of the state and its obligations to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Full story: Community Care

Christian couple have adopted child removed after people 'talk in tongues' at prayer meeting as he had 'demons'

Boy told social workers he was 'held down by numerous people' who had 'spoken in a different language' in a prayer meeting at the couple's home.

Full story: The Telegraph

Criticisms made of fertility clinic

In the judgment F v M and Others [2015] EWHC 3601 (Fam), [2016] FLR forthcoming, Pauffley J was concerned with a couple who conceived a child as a result of fertility treatment at a licensed clinic.

Full story: Family Law

Non-biological mother wins international child abduction appeal in Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has allowed an appeal by a non-biological mother of a child, holding that the unilateral removal of the child to Pakistan by the biological mother did not cause the child to lose her English habitual residence, and that the English court retained full jurisdiction to make decisions about her welfare.

Full story: Family Law Week

Foster carers and children ‘prevented’ from keeping in contact after separation

The Fostering Network has called for the government to publish guidance to ensure social workers enable contact to continue.

Full story: Community Care

Paedophile awarded legal aid in fight to see son, eight

Convicted sex criminal, named only as 'Q', was given taxpayer funding on human rights grounds to fight lack of contact with son.

Full story: The Telegraph

Supreme Court to deliver judgment in habitual residence case

Appeal from B (A Child) (Habitual Residence) (Inherent Jurisdiction) [2015] EWCA Civ 886.

Full story: Family Law Week

International Child Abduction Unit: request for co-operation form published

The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit has published a form and guidance notes for local authorities to use in child protection cases to make a request for co-operation to another country.

Full story: Family Law Week

ALC and NAGALRO respond to guidance on the need for guardians to justify court attendance at care hearings

Due weight must be given to the guardian’s views on the need for attendance.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal hears challenge over domestic violence legal aid

The Court of Appeal has begun hearing a challenge to government changes to legal aid for victims of domestic violence.

Full story: Law Society Gazette