Government launches online 'divorce calculator' to tell separating partners how much they will get

A 'divorce calculator' to work out the cost of splitting up has been put online by the government leading to fears it will further erode the institution of marriage.

Full story: Daily Mail

IDS backs shock courses to stop couples splitting up

Parents who are on the brink of splitting up could be told to “walk through” the impact that divorce would have on their children under a radical plan being considered by ministers.

Full story: The Telegraph

Expert fees for independent social workers ‘irrational’

The Ministry of Justice is putting the welfare of children caught up in complex family court proceedings at risk, organisations representing independent social work expert witnesses have claimed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Legal aid cuts will hit women the hardest, says justice department

Women will bear the brunt of plans to strip back legal aid as funding for family law and divorce cases is cut, according to the justice department's own assessment of the impact of reforms.

Full story: The Guardian

Coalition ministers consider gay marriage plans

New laws giving full marriage rights to gay couples could be introduced under reforms being considered by the Coalition, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Munro asks frontline workers what needs to change

Frontline workers are being asked to tell Professor Eileen Munro what they would like to keep and what should be discarded in the child protection system.

Full story: Community Care

President’s Guidance in relation to case management decisions and appeals therefrom

This Guidance, issued by the President of the Family Division on 17 December 2010, is intended to assist judges and magistrates in determining when they should order an expert's report or additional assessments.

Full story: Family Law

Migrant marriage rules condemned by Court of Appeal

A ban on young foreign spouses entering the UK has been condemned as "arbitrary and disruptive" by the Court of Appeal.

Full story: BBC News

Gay marriage legal challenge bid stalled by paperwork

A bid by eight British couples to challenge the UK's ban on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships has been postponed, campaigners have said.

Full story: BBC News

Royal College outlines standards for child protection

All children's social workers ought to have access to a paediatrician who can provide child protection advice and assessments, according to a new set of standards.

Full story: Community Care

Gay marriage rights battle takes to European courts

A campaign group is launching a legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to extend the rights of gay couples to full marriage.

Full story: BBC News

Forced mediation will encourage ‘excessive demands’ in family disputes

Pushing parties into mediation in family disputes will encourage badly behaved partners to make ‘excessive demands’, an MP warned in a parliamentary debate on legal aid reform last week.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Gingerbread to examine state of the child support system since 2008 reforms

Single-parent charity Gingerbread is to examine how parents are coping under the current child support system following changes made in October 2008.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Justice ministry oversight 'insults' independent workers

Independent social workers say they have been insulted by the Ministry of Justice, which failed to acknowledge them in the latest consultation on legal aid reforms.

Full story: Community Care

Judge who left wife for widow of gunman barrister Mark Saunders expected to pay 'several million' in divorce settlement

A High Court judge once described as Britain’s top divorce lawyer has left his wife of 29 years for a barrister whose husband was shot dead by police.

Full story: Mail Online

Public Law Children applications show seasonal decline

According to the latest court statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, here were 5,900 children involved in public law applications made in the third quarter of 2010, a six per cent drop from the 6,300 involved in the equivalent period for 2009.

Full story: Family Law Week

Department for Education publishes recorded outcomes for looked after children

The Department for Education has published information on a range of outcomes for children who have been continuously looked after by a local authority for at least 12 months as at 31 March 2010 in England.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Civil Partnership: Staying of Proceedings) Rules 2010

These Rules, which replace the Family Proceedings (Civil Partnership: Staying of Proceedings) Rules 2005 (SI 2005 No. 2921), are made under sections 75 and 76 of the Courts Act 2003 as extended by section 223 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Section 223 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows for provision to be made in relation to civil partnerships corresponding to the provision made in respect of marriages by Schedule 1 to the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973 (c. 45). That Schedule makes provision about the relationship between domestic proceedings for divorce, judicial separation, nullity of marriage and declarations as to the validity and subsistence of a marriage of the applicant, and proceedings in another jurisdiction of a similar type, and provides for when those domestic proceedings must or may be stayed.

Statutory Instrument

Victory for wife in 'Nazi gold bullion' divorce battle as husband is ordered to pay her £2.5 million

A wife who accused her husband of stashing away three gold bars to hide the true extent of his wealth in a bitter divorce battle has won a £2.5million payout.

Full story: Daily Mail

Campaigners take fight against ban on gay marriage to European court

Eight British couples will take their case to overturn the bans on same-sex marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships to the European Court of Human Rights next week.

Full story: The Telegraph

Court closures announced

The Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has announced that 93 magistrates' courts and 49 county courts in England and Wales are to be closed.

Full story: Family Law

Baroness Butler-Sloss warns legal aid cuts could cause court delays

The former President of the Family Division, Baroness Butler-Sloss, has warned that cuts to legal aid could result in cases in the family courts taking longer because people will be forced to represent themselves.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass North and South of Tyne rated ‘good’

Cafcass' services in North and South of Tyne have been rated 'good' by a new Ofsted inspection report, published today.

Full story: Family Law

Munro review may adopt police risk assessment methods

The Munro review is looking at adopting police risk assessment methods for all child protection workers, according to a former police chief who sits on the team.

Full story: Community Care

Social workers should intervene earlier, says Gove

Education secretary Michael Gove has called for social workers to intervene earlier when children are at risk of harm.

Full story: Community Care

National professional standards for social workers published

The Social Work Reform Board has today published the first single, national set of professional standards for social workers, in a bid to raise the status of the job in line with other public sector roles such as nursing and teaching.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Family Law Bar Association Warns of Consequences of Civil Legal Aid Cuts

Ahead of Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke QC MP’s appearance before the Justice Select Committee tomorrow, the Family Law Bar Association, which represents family barristers in England and Wales, has warned of the potentially dangerous consequences of the planned cuts to civil legal aid.

Full story: Family Law Bar Association

Videotaped clues from Baby P's mother were missed

In a videotaped interview obtained by Panorama, experts say Peter Connelly's mother, Tracey Connelly, provided vital clues into the dangers that lurked in the family home.

Full story: BBC Panorama

Mother of Baby P was thanked for her honesty

A senior social worker thanks the mother of Baby P for being "completely honest" during an interview taken four months before his death which will be broadcast for the first time tonight.

Full story: The Independent

Surrogacy couple: paying American woman was our last chance for a child

A British couple who won the legal right to pay a “commercial” rate to a surrogate mother in the US have said that the act was their last chance to have a child - and disclosed that the woman is now "firmly part of our family".

Full story: The Telegraph

Government pledges £30m to keep families together

Troubled families are to receive support worth £30m over the next four years, children's minister Sarah Teather has announced.

Full story: Community Care

David Cameron pledge to help 'troubled families'

The government has a role to play in promoting strong families, David Cameron has argued in a speech.

Full story: BBC News

Care applications continue to rise

Care application demand between April and November 2010 is 3.8 % higher when compared to the same period last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Sharp rise in number of women killed by violent partners

At least 101 women died at the hands of husband, boyfriend or ex in 2009, Home Office figures show.

Full story: The Guardian

Childless couples pay £25k for surrogate mothers in US

Childless couples are travelling to the United States to buy the services of surrogate mothers at up to £25,000 a time.

Full story: The Telegraph

Twice as many excellent services as last year, says Ofsted

Twice the number of councils are providing excellent children's services compared with last year, according to Ofsted's 2010 children's services assessments, published today.

Full story: Community Care

Secretive court opens doors to journalists

One of Britain's most secretive courts opened itself to public scrutiny yesterday after a High Court judge lifted reporting restrictions on work done by a hitherto-closed corner of the British justice system.

Full story: The Independent

Twelve councils 'performing poorly' in children's services, says Ofsted

Government inspector Ofsted says 12 councils given 'performing poorly' rating are not doing enough to keep children safe.

Full story: The Guardian

Childless couples win the right to pay surrogate mother

Childless couples will be able to pay surrogate mothers large sums of money to have babies for them, following a landmark High Court ruling.

Full story: The Telegraph

Health services are the 'weak link' in child protection, says Loughton

Health services are often not integrated into child protection arrangements, children's minister Tim Loughton has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Unmarried parents 'to blame for rise in broken homes'

Nearly half of children born today will be living in broken homes by the age of 16 as growing numbers of families split up, according to analysis of official figures.

Full story: The Telegraph

Shoesmith exclusive interview: Coalition wrong on case reviews

Sharon Shoesmith, the former Haringey director of children's services sacked over the Peter Connelly tragedy, has criticised the coalition's move to publish in full all serious case reviews into child abuse and neglect.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New legislation needed to broaden children's commissioner's role

The Children's Rights Director's role is set to be dissolved into the role of the Children's Commissioner, following an independent report approved by the government today.

Full story: Community Care

Proportion of married residents in England and Wales falls to 40%

Latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the estimated number of married people in England and Wales was 21.7 million in mid-2009, down 16,000 compared with the previous year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Justice Review Panel addresses the All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law about its work

On Tuesday, 30th November The All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law and The Court of Protection invited members of the Family Justice Review Panel to talk about their work to date and what they felt the family law landscape might look like in the near future.

Full story: Family Law Week

EU approves new divorce regulations

The EU Legal Affairs Committee has today unanimously approved new rules that will allow the residents of 14 participating Member States to choose which country's law should govern their divorce.

Full story: Family Law

Test flaws 'nearly cost mother baby'

A hair test on a mother who nearly lost her child over alcohol allegations has been discredited by the High Court - potentially calling into question some of 12,000 other tests done by the same company.

Full story: BBC News

Gay couple lose residency appeal

A gay woman and her civil partner have lost their appeal against a ruling granting joint residency to the father of their two children who were born by artificial insemination.

Full story: The Press Association

150,000 children at risk of neglect or abuse

Almost 150,000 children are being seen by social workers as potential victims of neglect or abuse, according to government figures that disclose the full scale of the problem for the first time.

Full story: The Telegraph