Family mediation tender 2015 opens

The Legal Aid Agency has today opened the tender process for new organisations wanting to deliver family mediation from February 2015 and for current providers seeking to undertake work at extra outreach locations.

Full story: Family Law

Councils could save £150m on foster care services, says report

Local authorities would be able to save a total of £150m a year by improving the way they work with prospective foster parents, a report has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New national standards for family court experts

New national standards designed to raise the quality of expert witness evidence in family court cases and speed up proceedings become law.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Centralised divorce processing due within a year says President

Comments made in judgment on the Italian divorce fraud cases.

Full story: Family Law Hub

UK court annuls 180 Italian divorces registered to Maidenhead mailbox

Woman charged around €4,000 to arrange for couples to circumvent slow-moving Italian judicial system.

Full story: The Guardian

Brain-damaged boy should have life support withdrawn, rules UK judge

Judge overrules parents’ wishes and gives NHS trust permission to take one-year-old off life support.

Full story: The Guardian

DWP releases latest data on the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published information on cases being processed on the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme, delivered by the Child Maintenance Service.

Full story: Family Law

Number of looked after children continues to rise

New statistics at both national and local authority levels from the Department for Education show that the number of looked after children in England continues to rise.

Full story: Family Law

High Court to rule whether boy, 1, should be allowed to die

Doctors want to switch off the life-support machine of the boy, who has severe brain damage, but his parents say he should be afforded the "privilege of life".

Full story: The Telegraph

Family win court battle to have mother fed with tube

Doctors agree to try to re-insert woman's feeding tube after family speak of their distress at the case going to court.

Full story: The Telegraph

Research finds major concern amongst children at Family Court transparency plans

Research for the organisation and the National Youth Advocacy Service by Dr Julia Brophy, principal researcher in family justice at the University of Oxford, found a lack of confidence among young people in media reporting of family cases.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Number of cases in family court falls 19% from last year

The Ministry of Justice has published court statistics for the second quarter of 2014 (April to June).

Full story: Family Law

Steep rise in serious case reviews

The number of serious case reviews (SCRs) carried out into cases of child deaths or severe abuse have risen by more than 50 per cent in the space of just a year.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New MoJ/LAA data: low-income families turn backs on court, mediation falls 50% compared to pre-LASPO times

Low-income parents continue to be the major victims of legal aid cuts to family law services, following the release of new quarterly figures by the Ministry of Justice.

Full story: Family Law

Legal aid funding in family cases drops 27% compared to the same quarter last year

According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), legal aid funding in family cases has dropped 27% compared to the same quarter last year.

Full story: Family Law

Latest statistics show that Government push has had little impact on mediation numbers

The latest round of Ministry of Justice Court Statistics show that compulsory Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) have not had the impact on public mediation numbers that the Government had hoped for, argues family law organisation Resolution.

Full story: Family Law

Relatives of adopted adults now able to trace family tree

Children, grandchildren and other relatives of adopted adults can now trace back through their ancestors’ lives.

Full story: Department for Education

Simon Hughes: We want the best family justice

The true sign of a civilised family justice system is to have more people resolve disputes outside the courts, Justice Minister Simon Hughes said today.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Disabled woman returned home after Court of Protection finds local council unlawfully removed her from family

Judge finds Somerset County Council was in serious breach of family’s human rights.

Full story: Family Law

Number of looked after children in Wales has risen by 23% over last five years

The Welsh Government has published its annual report as to adoptions, outcomes and placements for children looked after by local authorities for the year ended 31 March 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social workers are taking the right actions to keep children safe

Research finds that five years on from the tragic Baby Peter Connelly case local authority social workers are making timely and well prepared care applications for children at risk.

Full story: Cafcass

Barristers take on solicitors in battle for survival: cost of divorce to fall

A team of family law barristers will today overturn centuries of legal tradition by being first to offer the public a fixed fee divorce service designed to keep their clients out of court.

Full story: Family Law

Children being denied justice by legal cuts, says children’s commissioner

Maggie Atkinson says rights guaranteed by UN conventions breached because children unable to navigate complex procedures unaided.

Full story: The Guardian

Don't date before divorce, judge tells women

Mr Justice Mostyn said women who begin new relationships soon after their marriage break-up risk harming their divorce settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Permission to appeal ‘ancillary relief’ decisions should be first sought from court of first instance: Mostyn J

In AB v CB [2014] EWHC 2998 (Fam) Mr Justice Mostyn has said that in ancillary relief cases 'at the very least' an application for permission to appeal must always be made to the judge at first instance before an approach is made to the Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bid to save legal aid for domestic violence victims

The High Court today granted permission for a campaign group to challenge a government policy depriving victims of domestic violence access to legal aid.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Court to decide on domestic abuse legal aid challenge

The High Court is due to decide whether to allow a challenge to rules that determine whether victims of domestic abuse get legal aid in family cases.

Full story: BBC News

One in three women have suffered domestic violence, says Refuge

Refuge, the support charity for women and children suffering domestic violence, has teamed up with ITV's Loose Women to launch a new domestic violence campaign.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bar Council report claims LASPO damages access to justice

The Bar Council has today published a report, based on interviews and a survey of legal practitioners, assessing the impact of LASPO on the justice system a year after implementation in April 2013.

Full story: Family Law

Project is helping warring couples away from court battles to negotiate instead

Organisers of a Government-funded scheme say it is successfully diverting separated parents away from courtroom battles and helping them negotiate instead, enabling them to better support their children.

Full story: Family Law