Sir Paul Coleridge: 'End the scourge of divorce'

A serving High Court judge will begin a public campaign this week to defend marriage and protect children against the "destructive scourge" of divorce and family break down.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children in care 'risk new abuse on return home'

NSPCC calls for much stricter assessment of children's needs and parents' problems.

Full story: The Guardian

Social workers in Baby P borough failed to save children from 'chronic neglect', report finds

Ten children suffered “chronic neglect” and appalling cruelty during seven years of abuse in the same borough as Baby P was killed, as the authorities failed to ensure they were protected, a report has found.

Full story: The Telegraph

Government’s pledge on child maintenance arrears as new figures show thousands of CSA parents owe 5-figure sums.

The Minister in charge of the child maintenance system has promised intensive action against irresponsible parents who have failed to support their children after separation.

Full story: Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Survey of separated fathers records experiences in the aftermath of family breakdown

Families Need Fathers publishes survey conducted for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood.

Full story: Family Law Week

LASPO bound for statute book after cliffhanger final vote

The government’s controversial legal aid reforms are set to become law after it won its final battle over the bill in the House of Lords yesterday.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

NYAS launches new website

Charity provides a portal to the full range of its advocacy and advice services for children.

Full story: Family Law Week

All-Party Parliamentary Groups begin inquiry into children who run away from care

The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Runaway and Missing Children and Adults and the APPG for Looked after Children and Care Leavers has been taking oral evidence from witnesses as part of its inquiry into the care and support provided for the thousands of children who go missing from care every year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Citation of Authorities

The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales has issued a Practice Direction to clarify the practice and procedure governing the citation of authorities.

Practice Direction: Family Law

Safeguarding services in Wiltshire branded ‘inadequate’

Safeguarding and looked-after children services in Wiltshire have received a damning verdict from Ofsted, which branded practices at the council “inadequate”.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

23 April 2012 – Bringing child maintenance under direct Ministerial control

Following a public consultation last year, an order has been laid in Parliament today to bring the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission back under direct Ministerial control as a business unit of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Lords block legal aid bill again

Time running out for controversial bill as Lords continue 'ping pong' by resisting three clauses.

Full story: The Guardian

Child abuse laws 'out of date'

The law on child abuse is failing to protect children suffering neglect and emotional trauma and needs updating, according to a newly published report.

Full story: The Press Association

Court chaos as hard-up couples try DIY divorce

Pressure on legal system at bursting point as only the well-off use guidelines on mediation.

Full story: The Observer

Women's alliance lobbies Clarke over legal aid reforms

Groups fear domestic violence victims will be denied vital support if proposed cuts go ahead.

Full story: The Observer

Families 'hit by legal aid plans'

Thousands of vulnerable people facing family breakdown could end up without legal representation because of planned changes to legal aid, according to the Family Law Bar Association.

Full story: BBC News

Cafcass praised by Ofsted for its work in Hampshire and Isle of Wight

Third recent inspection in which all areas of practice have been rated ‘satisfactory’ or ‘good’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Brighton Declaration on the reform of the European Court of Human Rights is adoped by member states

The Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has announced that the Brighton Declaration concerning reform of the European Court of Human Rights has now been formally adopted by all 47 member states of the Council of Europe following talks this week.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Society publishes practice note for practitioners acting against a litigant in person

Guidance has specific advice concerning family law cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parents cleared by High Court following death of child with rickets

Today, the High Court in London ordered a child be returned to her parents after she was removed at birth following the death of her brother in 2009.

Full story: Family Law Week

Study disputes independent social workers cause delays in family courts

New research published today from Oxford University claims that delays could be reduced in family courts by the earlier appointment of independent social work experts.

Full story: Family Law

Child protection contract in Gloucestershire backed

Nearly £1m is to be spent over three years in an attempt to keep children out of care in Gloucestershire.

Full story: BBC News

Pilot study highlights the advantages of earlier involvement of Children's Guardians

Involving children's guardians in vulnerable families may avoid the need for care proceedings according to a pilot study from Lancaster University and the University of Bradford.

Full story: Family Law Week

MPs reverse legal aid cut changes

MPs have overturned all the changes the House of Lords made to ministers' plans to cut legal aid in England and Wales.

Full story: BBC News

'Thousands of children' to lose legal aid in shake-up

Thousands of children will lose access to legal aid under government plans to shake up the system, campaigners say.

Full story: BBC News

Improving the client experience of family mediation

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly speaks at The Law Society Family Mediation event.

Full story: The Law Society

Shareholders agreement between parties rescinded by High Court in big money case

Judge refuses to imply a term that agreement catered for separation.

Full story: Family Law Week

England charts highest child protection rise in the UK

The number of children placed on the child protection register in England has increased by 60 per cent since 2006, faster than any other country in the UK.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

‘Vast majority of professionals in the field’ oppose the criminalisation of forced marriage, says FLBA

The Family Law Bar Association has published its views on the criminalisation of forced marriages.

Full story: Family Law Week

Councillors reminded of duty to children in care

Following the recent publication of new guidelines for children's services chiefs in England, the Fostering Network is reminding all local authority councillors of their duties as corporate parents for children in care.

Full story: Family Law Week

HMCTS Care Monitoring Scheme Guidance for Practitioners

The HMCTS is piloting a new case management system in the family courts that will track every public law case issued and will replace the systems which are presently in use.

Practice Guidance: Family Law

Tracking scheme aims to cut family delays

A new initiative to tackle delays in the family courts has got under way.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Scale of abuse against women revealed

The number of women and children across Britain being forced out of their homes by violent relationships is revealed for the first time today, raising fresh fears about the impact of council funding cuts on local refuges.

Full story: The Independent

Fewer wed, but 200 times more divorces than in 1911

More than 200 times the number of couples divorce today than a century ago, despite there being fewer couples marrying, statistics reveal.

Full story: The Independent

The Family Justice Modernisation Programme

Fourth Update from Mr Justice Ryder.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Rise in care applications in England

The annual number of applications from local councils to take children into care in England has exceeded 10,000 for the first time.

Full story: BBC News

Wealthy couples turning to arbitration to settle divorce disputes

An increasing number of wealthy couples are turning to new arbitration schemes to settle divorce disputes rather than squabbling in public through the courts, reports suggest.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family Procedures Rules 2010 - Practice Direction 5A – Forms

This Practice Direction supplements FPR Part 5, rule 5.1 (Forms).

Practice Direction: Family Law

Family Procedures Rules 2010 - Practice Direction 34A – Reciprocal Enforcements of Maintenance Orders

This Practice Direction supplements FPR Part 34.

Practice Direction: Family Law

Guidance for practitioners using new care monitoring scheme published

The Association of Lawyers for Children has published on its website guidance for practitioners using the new care monitoring system which is being piloted from 2 April 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children at risk of abuse 'because too few doctors' Royal College warns

Children are being left at risk of abuse because doctors are spread too thinly with some supposed to cover more than 200,000 youngsters, it has been warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

First anniversary of Mediation Assessment Meetings marked, as survey reveals they are not working as they should

6th April marks the first anniversary of rules coming into force requiring divorcing couples to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM), to find out about alternatives to court (such as collaborative law and arbitration), before being able to issue a court application in relation to their financial or children issues.

Full story: Resolution

Cafcass board members appointed

Education Secretary Michael Gove has appointed John Lakin, Mary MacLeod, Francis Plowden, Fay Selvan and Stuart Smith as members of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) Board.

Full story: Department for Education

“Hugely important” 1996 Hague Convention anticipated to come into force on 1st August this year

The 1996 Hague Convention is anticipated to come into force on 1 August 2012 and is said to be an important development by enabling contact orders to be automatically enforceable internationally as though the order had been made as a domestic order in the court to which the application for enforcement is made.

Full story: Family Law Week

International child flee cases on increase

Cases of a parent fleeing with their children to a different country are on the increase, a report has said.

Full story: BBC News

Multidisciplinary teams - a response to publicity about the quality of expert psychologists’ reports for family courts

Call for further consideration of the benefits of multi-disciplinary teams in the family courts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoption: Ofsted report says courts are biggest cause of delay

The most significant cause of delay for children needing adoption in England is the length of time taken by court proceedings, a report by Ofsted says.

Full story: BBC News