Enhance foster care to lift children's prospects, says The Fostering Network

Guardian

Radical reform of the fostering system is needed if the poor prospects for tens of thousands of children living in care are to be improved, a report from the UK's leading fostering charity will say on Wednesday.

A history of the English marriage

Telegraph

As far as marriage is concerned, we should not ignore the collective wisdom of the past.

The Adoptions with a Foreign Element (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Statutory Instrument

These Regulations amend the Adoptions with a Foreign Element Regulations 2005 (S.I. 2005/392, “the FERs”) and make provision regarding adoptions under the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in respect of Intercountry Adoption, concluded at The Hague on 29th May 1993 (“the Convention”), where the United Kingdom is the receiving State.

Taking families 'into care' is a better option for children

The Guardian

Only in the worst cases of child abuse should babies be taken into care sooner

Tough new powers to help victims break cycle of domestic violence

Home Office

Violent partners will be banned from their homes and their victims given support to escape abuse under new proposals due to be unveiled today by Home Secretary Alan Johnson.

£400m husband may have faked a breakdown, divorce court told

Telegraph

A businessman ordered by a court to explain the disappearance of his alleged £400 million fortune after his wife filed for divorce may have faked a mental breakdown to escape jail, the High Court was told yesterday.

Labour 'must talk about marriage'

BBC News

The head of counselling service Relate says Labour must become more comfortable with "the M word".

Alan Johnson will tell police to stop violent men returning to their homes

Guardian

Violent husbands and partners will be banned from returning to their homes under powers to be unveiled today by the home secretary, Alan Johnson.

Tycoon seeks more time to explain missing millions

Independent

The estranged wife of a property millionaire who claims his £400m fortune has evaporated called today for him to “hear the clang of the prison gates” behind him after he failed to comply with a court order to explain where his money has gone.

Computer Hacking and Financial Disclosure in a Divorce

Family Law at Lawson West LLP

Failure of a spouse to completely disclose all financial assets, especially complex business assets, is often a concern during a financial settlement during the divorce process. However, there is a legal duty on both spouses for full and frank disclosure and the court do have powers to order disclosure if there are strong grounds for believing one spouse has not complied.

Solo Practice Built with a Blog

Divorce Discourse

Sam Hasler has a solo, family law practice in Anderson, Indiana. His primary marketing tool, for the past two years, has been his Indiana family law blog.

Liverpool unveils £1.7m restructure of social work teams

Community Care

Liverpool Council has announced plans to recruit 31 more social workers and managers as part of a £1.7m restructure of its children and families teams.

In the papers today...

Family Lore

Comment upon family law-related stories appearing in the newspapers today.

Expert opinions in family courts must be open to objective scrutiny

The Times

After decades of obsessive secrecy, supposedly to protect the interests of vulnerable children, the family courts will be required to open their doors a few centimetres wider as the Minister of Justice builds on rules introduced earlier this year that allowed some degree of media access but limited rights for them to report their observations.

Jack Straw’s plan to name social workers in family courts ‘breaches human rights’

The Times

Plans to allow the media to name social workers in family court cases are being opposed strongly by judges and lawyers, who warn that the change could breach human rights laws.

We romantics know prenups are here to stay

The Times

Pragmatic couples are signing contracts to ensure that divorces don’t turn into rip-offs. It’s time the law caught up

US study says divorce is linked to age and education

The Observer

Feeding data into a special 'calculator' suggests the best guarantee for a long-lasting relationship is to marry later and have good schooling behind you

More couples signing pre-nuptials

BBC News

Family lawyers say they have seen a tenfold increase in recent years in couples signing pre-nuptial agreements on dividing their assets after divorce.

Research on cohabitation provisions of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006

Family Law Newswatch

A team from the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge is currently conducting research on legal practitioners' perspectives on the cohabitation provisions of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006.

Senior lawyer hits out at court and Cafcass delays affecting vulnerable children

Family Law Newswatch

Christina Blacklaws, Senior Partner of London's largest family law practice, Blacklaws Davis, and the Childcare representative on the Law Society Council has hit out at delays affecting the family courts and Cafcass which, she says, imperil children's wellbeing and safety.

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Statutory Instrument

These Regulations amend the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Statutory Storage Period for Embryos and Gametes) Regulations 2009 (“the 2009 Regulations”). Regulation 2 clarifies that the 2009 Regulations determine the maximum storage period that a licence may specify for embryos (or as the case may be gametes). Regulation 3 ensures that embryos lawfully stored from 1st October 2009 by virtue of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Supplementary Provision) Order 2009 fall within regulation 3 of the 2009 Regulations, and are therefore eligible for extended storage periods provided the other criteria in that regulation are met.

Why I gave the city a miss by guest blogger Fiona Geldart

Marilyn Stowe Blog

Obtaining a training contract is never going to be an easy task, especially during this difficult economic time. In this post, I seek simply to make readers realise that although times are tough and jobs in the legal profession may be harder to come by than they used to be, there is light at the end of the tunnel and that big city firms are not necessarily the place to be anymore.

Cafcass cuts jobs to tackle post-Baby P budget crisis

Community Care

Cafcass is cutting almost 70 jobs, including those of three corporate directors who report directly to chief executive Anthony Douglas, as it looks to balance its budget following huge extra pressures caused by a surge in care applications.

Children’s Minister: Children in care need a stable environment to thrive and succeed

DCSF

Children’s Minister Delyth Morgan today announced a package of measures to help put the focus clearly on the child in the care system. The Minister also today wrote to local authorities to look at ways to bolster support for foster carers.

Wife has husband 'evicted' from ancestral home as he makes her ill

Telegraph

A scion of one of Sussex's top landed families faces being evicted from his ancestral home after his wife said living with him was making her ill.

Proportion of births outside marriage 'has risen to highest ever level'

Telegraph

The proportion of babies born outside marriage has risen to its highest every level, new figures show.

Adoption: Research finds agencies may offer better value

Community Care

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has highlighted research suggesting that councils could secure greater value for money by making more use of voluntary adoption agencies

A more civilised way?

Family Lore

There is a moving article in The Times today. It describes the attempts of a grandfather (who happens to be a retired judge) and his family to obtain contact with his grandchildren, after the death of his son.

DCSF urges directors to share information with foster carers

Community Care

English councils will face enhanced requirements to supply information to foster carers on placements, after the government warned that carers have been denied sufficient details in a "small minority of cases".

Since my son died we aren't allowed to see our grandchildren

The Times

A retired judge went to court over contact with his family. The hearing descended into a shouting match. He explains why the system is flawed

Make greater use of charities for adoptions, councils urged

The Guardian

Adoption charities should be used more frequently to find permanent homes for thousands of children currently in care, the government will say today, in recognition that council-run adoption units are struggling to match children with adoptive parents.

Fostering Network survey points to room for improvement in support for carers

Community Care

Looked-after children's social workers must receive improved training in fostering after a survey revealed a quarter of carers rate support from practitioners as poor.

Disclosure and information sharing: courts rulings in child protection cases

Community Care

Ed Mitchell considers the complex area of when information can and cannot be disclosed in connection with cases involving children

‘Fat’ family’s legal fight to get children out of care

The Times

The pregnant mother of two children, aged 3 and 4, taken into care because they were judged to be overweight spoke yesterday of her anguish at the decision.

Judge laughs off accidental court shooting

Divorce-Online Blog

He may have been the topic of conversation for most of last week but Irish family court Judge John Neilan has opted to remain firmly tight-lipped after he was accidentally shot in his courtroom in Longford last Tuesday.

Man changed name to avoid paying child support

Salisbury Journal

A man who changed his name to avoid paying child support has been fined £700 at Salisbury Magistrates’ Court.

Lib Dems: Child protection not working properly

ePolitix

The Liberal Democrats have backed a policy motion which aims to protect children and ease the burden on social workers across the UK.

Foster carers left in the dark

Guardian

A new campaign is urging that foster carers be made fully aware if a child has a history of sexual abuse

Children, Schools and Families Minister: Piloting innovative support for separated parents

DCSF

Schools Minister Vernon Coaker today announced the ten successful pilot areas looking at how local services can be better co-ordinated for separating and separated parents.

Is My Trust Fund Protected If I Get Divorced? – A Jersey Perspective

Family Law Week

Andrew Fox, a barrister and head of family law at Sinels, provides a comprehensive review - in 2 parts - of the interplay between the English and Jersey courts when faced with trust funds on divorce. Part 1 sets out the statutory provisions and principal cases.

Rich woman are suffering painful divorce settlements

Sunday Times

Here’s how one female celebrity last week described her divorce settlement. “When we married we had no money between us. I then worked and supported us and made a lot of money while he trained as a doctor.

The myth of the kept woman

Guardian

This week Baroness Deech claimed that wives were doing too well out of divorce, a trend that was discriminatory to men and demeaning to women. The public outcry that greets most high-profile settlements suggests that Deech is not alone – but is she right?

Former investment banker William Murphy wins bigger share of divorce payout

The Times

A former investment banker has succeeded in winning a bigger divorce settlement after appealing against a ruling in which his wife was awarded 65 per cent of their joint assets.

Delays in children's cases under attack

The Times

A senior child care lawyer is the latest to speak out to attack delays in the family courts.

Bigamist escapes jail after wife appeals for leniency

Telegraph

A bigamist has escaped jail after the wife he tricked into marriage appealed to a judge to be lenient, saying she had "entirely forgiven" him.

Proven Practice: decision-making amid changing circumstances in child protection

Community Care

The Social Care Institute for Excellence asks how professionals, particularly those dealing with child protection cases, can respond to new and challenging information

Time to Stop 50-50 Divorce Settlements?

Benussi Blog

One of the country’s most senior family lawyers, Baroness Deech, has criticised court awards to ex-wives of half a couple’s wealth.

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 (Commencement No. 11) Order 2009

Statutory Instrument

This Order brings into force on 30th September 2009 the provisions of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 listed in article 2 to the extent that they are not already in force.

Former banker given greater share of wife's £2 million divorce settlement

Telegraph

A former investment banker has been awarded a greater share of his divorce settlement which originally gave 65 per cent of the assets of his broken marriage to his former wife.

Ofsted identifies safeguarding concerns at three councils

Community Care

The children’s services inspectorate identified one area for priority action in Sheffield, one in Hampshire, and one in Bradford, following two-day inspections of each authority in August.

Biased

Family Lore

The Telegraph today reports a case that will have Baroness Deech smiling in smug satisfaction.

Unfair divorce settlement? Redundant banker feels the pinch

Pannone Family Blog

Yesterday the Court of Appeal reserved judgment in the case of a former banker who is fighting for a "fairer deal" in relation to his divorce. He claims he was left with a mere £450,000 of a £3million fortune and complains that this outcome highlights a discriminatory approach by the Court to the circumstances of his case.

International divorce and child abduction – by guest blogger Andrea Essen

Marilyn Stowe Blog

Unless both parents consent to a child’s relocation from one country to another, such a move can be considered international child abduction.

Surrey chief hails social workers after positive Ofsted report

Community Care

Surrey children's director Andy Roberts has praised social workers after an Ofsted report today highlighted big improvements in the council’s safeguarding services since a critical joint area review (JAR) last year.

Banker asks judge for better share of divorce settlement

Telegraph

A former top investment banker asked judges for equal treatment with his ex-wife after he was left with just £450,000 of their £3 million total liquid assets in a divorce settlement.

Bundles of Joy

Judith's Divorce Blog

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced this week that couples are to get new maternity/paternity leave rights giving them greater choice and flexibility in the first year of a baby’s life.

DCSF: 5% rise in child protection plans from 2007-8

Community Care

The number of children subject to child protection plans rose by almost 5% from 2007-8, according to Department for Children, Schools and Families figures released today.

Divorce settlements too high says family law expert

Pannone Family Blog

Baroness Deech (a long term lecturer on family law at Oxford University) is arguing in a series of lectures that the divorce laws are out of date, can be unfair to men and degrading to women.

Law Society Practice Note: Acting in the absence of a children's guardian

Family Law Newswatch

This practice note sets out what you should do if a court appoints you to represent a child in cases where the guardian is either unavailable or there is a delay in appointing one. It replaces Appendix 8 of Good Practice in Child Care Cases.

Legal aid minister launches free legal advice service

Ministry of Justice

Low income earners across England and Wales will benefit from free legal advice for debt, housing, family and employment problems with the launch of a new legal advice helpline in Swansea, said Legal Aid Minister Willy Bach today.

Half of councils bar social workers from talking to press

Community Care

The UK social work sector is under growing pressure to develop a more open relationship with the public after research by Community Care showed more than half of councils ban practitioners from engaging with the media.

Force divorcing couples to mediate

Family Law Blog

The Government is considering forcing divorcing couples to go to mediation before being able to start divorce proceedings. Looking at that quickly, you'd think that was a very sensible suggestion.

Five held in sham marriage probe

BBC News

Five women have been arrested in a series of raids across the West Midlands in an investigation into sham marriages.

Procrastination

Judith's Divorce Blog

It was reported last week that the founder of Playboy, Hugh Heffner , and his wife are to divorce after living apart as next door neighbours for over 11 years. Why after all that time do people bother?

Action for Children: Early intervention would save £486bn

Community Care

Investing in early intervention and universal services for children and families would save the UK economy £486bn over the next 20 years and improve child well-being, it is claimed.

England 'divorce haven' of Europe

BBC News

England has become the "divorce capital of Europe", according to a senior family lawyer.

Why Baroness Deech is wrong – by guest blogger Jonathan James

Marilyn Stowe Blog

Baroness Deech holds some strong views about divorce and financial settlements. The Times has reported that the academic lawyer, who chairs the Bar Standards Board, is to give a series of lectures this week.

'Shocking' sickness rates in social work

Independent

Social workers are taking "shocking" levels of sick leave – far higher than the national average – prompting protests they are being subjected to intolerable pressure.

Salford suspends children's services chief

Community Care

Salford Council has suspended its children’s services chief, Jill Baker, following months of criticism over a child death and calls from opposition councillors for her to step down.

It's time to update our divorce laws

Guardian

Women are still treated as financially dependent on men by laws that haven't been overhauled since 1857. It's unfair all round - edited extract of Ruth Deech's Gresham College lecture.

Cafcass: London & National Issues

Family Law Week blog

Further to my earlier post about the problem solving strategy of Cafcass in London (allocate all cases whether anyone can actually do the work or not) I am now told that Cafcass in London has run out of money to pay any self-employed Guardians for the rest of this year.

CAMHS

Family Law Week blog

I am increasingly frustrated by the seeming inability of local authorities to organise any kind of therapeutic help for children in care, but particularly puzzled by the insistence within the local authority of 'exhausting' the CAMHS option before making any other kinds of referral.

Divorce: the Government wants talk, talk before war, war

The Times

Last week Bridget Prentice, the Justice Minister, confirmed that she and her fellow minister, Lord Bach, are looking at ways to boost the take-up of mediation.

Divorcing women should not get half husband's wealth

Telegraph

Women should no longer expect to get half of their husband's wealth in a divorce case, according to a leading expert in family law.

Justly Deserved or Degrading?

Judith's Divorce Blog

The Times today reported on Baroness Deech’s call for an overhaul of family law.

Britain's new Supreme Court to cost £14m a year

Independent

Ministers promise greater 'clarity', but critics question whether changes will help

The Human Fertilisation and Embryology (Supplementary Provision) Order 2009

Statutory Instrument

This Order makes provision supplementary to section 15(3) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 (“the 2008 Act”), which amends section 14(4) of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 1990 (“the 1990 Act”). Section 15(3) extends the maximum period that an embryo can be stored for from five years to ten years subject to the period set out in the licence.

Appeals from magistrates

Family Law Week blog

In case you missed it .... The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) Order 2009 SI 2009 No. 871 came into force on 6th April 2009.

Ofsted raises concerns about unallocated cases in North Yorkshire

Family Law Week

Report on unannounced inspection reveals delays in child protection

The Court of Protection: An overview for family lawyers

Family Law Week

Moira Sofaer, of 1 Mitre Court Buildings, presents an overview of the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Court of Protection.

Sharp rise in number of women guilty of domestic violence

Telegraph

The number of women guilty of domestic violence has risen sharply and has been blamed on the agression fuelled “ladette” culture.

Girl aged 8 found hanged in bedroom 'was known to social services'

The Times

The parents of an eight-year-old girl have been questioned by police after she was found hanged in her bedroom.

Councils consider charges to force parents to think twice about asking for their children to be placed in care

Community Care

Some parents ask to put children into voluntary care for the wrong reasons. Charging for the service can deter them, but that can create other problems

Big rise in child protection referrals

The Scotsman

The number of children being referred to child protection services in Scotland has dramatically increased, leading to fresh fears over the safety of youngsters.

Stop giving ex-wives these undeserved millions, says Baroness Deech

The Times

The divorce laws are unfair to men and multimillion-pound awards are degrading to women, an expert in family law believes.

Divorcing couples must consider mediation, says Bridget Prentice

The Times

Divorcing and separating couples would be compelled to consider mediation before going to court, under plans being drawn up by ministers.

Together Until Death

Judith's Divorce Blog

John Marcotte believes so firmly in traditional values that he has filed a petition with the Secretary of State for California to try to ban divorce in the sunshine state where some 75% of marriages are estimated to end in divorce.

Divorce or destruction? When relationships reach the bitterest end

Mail Online

Ending a marriage is never easy – but what happens if the man you once thought was the love of your life turns out to be your worst enemy? Anna Moore looks at the devastation that can be caused when divorce gets messy…

Agency claims maintenance success

BBC News

The Child Support Agency has recovered more than £13m of maintenance arrears for Scottish children over the year to June 2009.

Divorce Online claims to have 5% of divorce market

Family Law Week

Divorce Online, one of the first online DIY divorce services, claims to have handled 5% of divorces in the first quarter of 2009.

42% of family orders made by consent, claims MoJ

Family Law Week

42% of all family orders are now made by consent according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice in its annual report.

Councils consider charges to force parents to think twice about asking for their children to be placed in care

Community Care

Some parents ask to put children into voluntary care for the wrong reasons. Charging for the service can deter them, but that can create other problems

Honey, I’ve shrunk your divorce settlement

unbiased.co.uk

Over one in three (36%) solicitors have been asked to renegotiate their clients’ divorce settlements in recent months, due to the changed economic environment

Serious failings found in council's child services

The Independent

Serious problems in child protection services at three councils have been uncovered following surprise inspections, it was revealed today.

New legal service for young people in Lambeth, Colchester and Camden

Family Law Newswatch

A new innovative internet and phone service offering legal advice specifically to young people is being piloted in Lambeth, Camden and Colchester by The Children's Society.

'I want social work to be deservedly valued by the public'

Guardian

Children's secretary Ed Balls says Goldie and other famous faces in the government's TV ad campaign can help revise public understanding of the value of social work – and transform the profession

Married woman faces deportation

BBC News

Rochelle Wallis is one of the first people to fall foul of the unintended consequences of rules brought in last year to stop forced marriages.

We should separate at-risk children from their parents at birth

Telegraph

If we have the chance to save children from an endless cycle of damage and abuse, we should take it.

U.N. Tackles Universal Problem for Women: Divorce

Women's eNews

Women the world over lose out financially in divorce, say custodians of the U.N. treaty on women's rights. That's why they are reviewing what CEDAW says on the matter, with a new general recommendation expected next year.

Charity says supply of adoptive parents will pose difficulties if more babies are taken into care

Community Care

Barnardo's chief executive Martin Narey's proposal to have more children taken into care and adopted at birth would cause added pressures for adoption services, an expert has said.

LSC issues guidance on working with the National Centre for Domestic Violence

Family Law Week

New guidance issued in response to queries from contracted solicitors

Children (Private Law) Update (September 2009)

Family Law Week article

Alex Verdan QC, of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews the latest key decisions in private children law

Is it right to take children away from parents at birth?

Telegraph

The head of Barnardo's, Martin Narey, has called for more babies to be taken away at birth from parents who have "failed" with their previous children.

Vulnerable babies call rejected

BBC News

The Government has dismissed calls from the charity Barnardos for at-risk children to be taken into care earlier.

Judge criticises sentencing laws which do not protect women

Telegraph

A senior judge has criticised sentencing laws which he says have left the courts unable to protect women from domestic abuse.

Take more babies away from bad parents, says Barnardo's chief

The Observer

Many more children need to be taken into care at birth to stop them being damaged beyond repair by inadequate parents, the chief executive of the children's charity Barnardo's has told the Observer.

Another horrific attack – so just how do we deal with damaged children?

The Observer

Social workers are being blamed again – but helping them to deal with unreachable families is now more important than ever

Broken home, yours for £42m

Sunday Times

A city millionaire who doubles as a monarch of the glen is having to sell a huge chunk of his domain amid a bitter divorce battle.

Forcing vile parents to have their babies adopted will stop this evil

Sunday Times

What two very young boys did in April to two other little boys in a wood near Doncaster is unspeakable. It is difficult to talk or write about. Yet what those children did demands a response; in particular it demands an answer to the question of what, if anything, can be done to stop something so unspeakable ever happening again.

Edlington and Baby P cases make parenting a key election issue

The Times

For the first time, rival plans for dealing with chaotic parenting and vulnerable children are to feature prominently in a general election campaign.

An English Family Lawyer in Chicago

Marilyn Stowe Blog

I am in Chicago this week; I was delighted to address the lawyers at Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP, the largest family law firm in the USA.

Doncaster torture case: Social workers 'must intervene earlier'

Guardian

Labour MP calls on government to break the inter-generational cycle of abuse that led to Edlington attack

Separating couples may be forced into mediation under MoJ plan

Law Society Gazette

Divorcing and separating couples could be compelled to consider mediation before going to court under plans being examined by the Ministry of Justice.

Doncaster: A recent history of child protection failings

Guardian

Local authority's children's services department taken over after reviews into deaths of seven children in five years

We turn our backs on Baby P’s who survive

The Times

Forget the false outrage. Our system for helping neglected children is too short-term, too wishy-washy and too cheapskate

Unison set for strike ballot of Surrey child social workers

Community Care

Unison looks set to ballot children's social workers at Surrey Council for strike action over claims of excessive workloads and management bullying at the struggling authority.

Staff report safeguarding concerns to Ofsted hotline

Community Care

Regulator Ofsted received 27 calls from staff blowing the whistle on problems around the safeguarding of children in the four months since the launch of a new hotline for reporting concerns.

Fathers' rights activist 'elated'

BBC News

A fathers' rights activist who handcuffed himself to a government minister during an eight-year campaign has won equal access to his daughter.

Couples could be forced to mediate by Government

Divorce-Online Blog

Divorcing and separating couples could be compelled to consider mediation before going to court under plans being examined by the Ministry of Justice.

Baby P council chief steps down

Independent

The chief executive of the local authority criticised for failings in the Baby P tragedy is standing down, she announced today.

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (Commencement No.2) (England) Order 2009

Statutory Instrument

This Order is the second Commencement Order made by the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families under the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (“the Act”) which brings provisions of the Act into force only in relation to England.

Community Based Assessments: London & SE

Family Law Week blog

I have finally tracked down the contact information for Coral Community Assessments who can be found at 81 Oxford Street, London W1D 2EU

Brazil allows couples to divorce via the internet

Divorce-Online Blog

The Brazilian Senate has approved a bill that would allow consensual divorces to be filed and resolved on the Internet.

Referrals up across the board. Cafcass and councils feel the pressure

Community Care

Cafcass, councils and family courts have been under severe stress in the wake of the baby Peter case. Gordon Carson reports

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Northern men ‘get more favourable divorce payouts’, research shows

Telegraph

Husbands in the north of the UK will more likely win favourable divorce settlements, research shows, amid claims lawyers use “divorce maps” to secure clients better deals.

Divorcing couples encouraged to search for the most favourable court

The Times

Divorcing couples who cannot reach agreement when they separate are being advised to shop around England and Wales to find courts most likely to award them a favourable settlement, The Times has learnt.

Instructing a Pensions Expert: Practical Tips (Part 1)

Family Law Week article

Peter Crowley, from Windsor Actuarial Consultants, provides some commonsense tips and insights on working with a pensions expert. This is the first in a series of three short pieces on the subject.

Why prenuptial agreements may be a smart option for women

Guardian

More women than ever are instigating prenuptial agreements to protect their assets. Is romance dead, asks Colin Gentry, or is this a sensible response to the recession?

Divorce, Fraud and the European Convention of Human Rights

Marilyn Stowe Blog

A couple of recent decisions have caught my eye. Both cases involve divorce and draw upon Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

Equal birth registration rights for female couples

Home Office

Female couples now have the same rights as heterosexual couples when registering the birth of a child conceived as a result of fertility treatment.

Baby P: Sharon Shoesmith 'compares her treatment to that of James Bulger's murderers'

Telegraph

Sharon Shoesmith, the social services chief who was sacked over the Baby P scandal, compares her treatment to that of the killers of James Bulger in a legal challenge, it has been reported.

Judges to be put on trial to test their courtroom skills

The Times

Judges will go back to school to have their skills tested, under a radical training programme.

Samantha Morton backs hard-hitting campaign to recruit social workers

Guardian

The Oscar-nominated actor Samantha Morton spoke yesterday of the "wonderful" social workers who supported her as a child, as she helped to launch a national campaign aimed at recruiting more people into the profession.

Campaign seeks new social workers

BBC News

A TV campaign is being launched to try to recruit more than 5,000 social workers, amid fears the Baby P case has turned people away from the profession.