Lord Chief Justice expresses concern about increase in litigants in person

The Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Judge, has expressed concern about the increase in litigants in person and the effect upon the efficiency of the courts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Existing family mediation providers can request additional outreach locations under their LSC contract

Existing family mediation providers will be given the opportunity to request additional outreach locations under the terms of their LSC contract.

Full story: Family Law Week

Number of looked after children in Wales in last year rises by 6 per cent

The latest National Statistics on Children Looked After in Wales produced by the Welsh Government have been released.

Full story: Family Law Week

Retirement of the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales

Sir Nicholas Wall will retire as the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales on 1 December 2012 on grounds of ill health.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Couples who share the housework are more likely to divorce, study finds

Divorce rates are far higher among “modern” couples who share the housework than in those where the woman does the lion’s share of the chores, a Norwegian study has found.

Full story: The Telegraph

reunite granted leave to intervene in European Court of Human Rights case

reunite International Child Abduction Centre has been granted leave to intervene in the case of X v Latvia, which is being heard by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights on 10th October 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family lawyers call for more ADR support

A leading family lawyer has called for more government and judicial support to encourage separating couples to resolve disputes out of court.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Social workers unlikely to act quickly on neglect cases

Research by Community Care and the NSPCC has revealed child neglect is not a priority for social workers, with 60% saying they feel pressure to downgrade cases.

Full story: Community Care

Statement from Edward Timpson on adoption statistics

Statement by Edward Timpson, Minister for Children and Families, on adoption statistics released today.

Full story: Department for Education

Children adopted from care numbers rise by 12% in the last year

Latest figures released by the Department for Education show that there were 67,050 looked after children at 31 March 2012, an increase of 2 per cent compared to 31 March 2011 and an increase of 13 per cent compared to 31 March 2008.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in care in England rises

The number of children in the care system in England is rising, official figures show.

Full story: BBC News

Schools need to act earlier on child protection, commissioner says

The children's commissioner is appealing to teachers to accept more responsibility for spotting signs of child neglect.

Full story: The Guardian

Supreme Court to hear care proceedings appeal where authority relied on findings in other proceedings

The Supreme Court will hear an appeal in J (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 380 on the 17th and 18th December 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

Four out of five people say children should come first in divorce

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe that putting children’s interests first or avoiding conflict are the most important factors if going through divorce, according to a new survey from Resolution, the national family law association.

Full story: Resolution

Father in child access battle wins right to know secret accuser's identity

Father who faces being restricted from seeing his daughter after unidentified woman made sexual abuse claims against him wins right to be told name of his accuser.

Full story: The Telegraph

Adoption halted as court told baby milk led to 'innocent' couple being accuse of abuse

Vitamin supplements in baby milk may have led an innocent couple being condemned for battering their newborn son, a top family judge has heard.

Full story: The Telegraph

Third of leaving care services scale back provision

Up to a third of leaving care services have been forced to scale back provision because of budget cuts, despite rising numbers of young people requiring support, the National Care Advisory Service has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Co-op adds family law to shopping trolley

The march of supermarket brands into reserved legal services takes another forward step today with the official launch of Co-operative family law services.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Cohabiting couples now as likely to have children as those who are married

Cohabiting couples are for the first time as likely to have children as those who marry, according to a report on changing family relationships in the UK published on Thursday.

Full story: The Guardian

Consultation on adoption and fostering welcomed by sector

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering and Fostering Network have welcomed the Government's newly published consultation on proposed changes to adoption and fostering.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge criticises warring couple for squandering £1.7 million on bitter divorce battle

A couple who squandered £1.7 million during a bitter divorce and custody battle were criticised by a judge for driving their marriage 'full tilt onto the rocks.'

Full story: The Telegraph

Divorce star Ward leaves Manches for Stewarts

Manches’ star family partner Helen Ward has quit the firm for rival Stewarts Law.

Full story: The Lawyer

Call to allow foster carers to register with multiple agencies

Foster carers should be allowed to register with more than one agency to increase the number of placements available to children in care, the Norfolk Foster Care Association has said.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New guidelines issued on domestic abuse

The definition of domestic abuse has been widened so it covers forms of non-violent coercive behaviour and under-18s for the first time.

Full story: BBC News

Measures to improve adoption and fostering

Adopting and fostering will become a faster and more efficient process thanks to new arrangements for approving carers, Children’s and Families Minister Edward Timpson announced today.

Full story: Department for Education

Controlling partners 'to be prosecuted for domestic abuse'

Men who emotionally abuse their partners by controlling their finances, preventing them from seeing friends or verbally abusing them could soon be prosecuted under domestic violence laws, it has been claimed.

Full story: The Telegraph

Payne Hicks Beach among firms heading LeO’s ‘list of shame’

Complaint about family law department triggers compensation award.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

'Three-parent baby' fertility technique could be made legal

A fertility treatment which eliminates hereditary disease by engineering babies to carry healthy DNA from a third biological parent could be legalised next year.

Full story: The Telegraph

Welsh charity criticises lack of police support for forced marriage victims

Charities supporting victims of forced marriage have criticised police and local authorities in Wales for not doing enough to encourage victims to come forward.

Full story: Family Law Week

Serious case review launched into Rochdale sexual abuse case

The council will examine the experiences of four young people to establish what lessons can be learned to improve child safeguarding in Rochdale.

Full story: Community Care

One in five brides with cold feet are divorced within four years

Brides-to-be should heed their nagging doubts, a new study shows, as nearly one in five women with cold feet before their wedding are divorced four years later.

Full story: The Telegraph

Joint Committee on Human Rights launchies inquiry into human rights of unaccompanied migrant children

The Joint Committee on Human Rights is launching an inquiry into the human rights of unaccompanied migrant children and young people in the UK, with a particular focus on those who are seeking asylum or have been the victims of trafficking.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care applications in April to August reach unprecedented levels

Cafcass care demand statistics for August 2012 published.

Full story: Family Law Week

Third of councils spend nothing on advocacy for children in care, warns charity

Looked-after children are being let down by a lack of independent advocacy services, which means they miss out on the chance to air their views, a report by The Children’s Society has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Prenups, marital property, divorce: law firms respond

Lawyers react to the Law Commission consultation paper on dividing up marital assets on divorce.

Full story: The Guardian

Help kids in drink abuse homes, says commission

The government should pay as much attention to the parents who drink too much as it does to those who misuse illegal drugs, says a report.

Full story: BBC News

100,000 parents with care stand to lose an average £6 per week under new Child Support formula

100,000 parents stand to lose an average of £6 a week due to a little known technical change to the child support assessment system, to be debated by MPs today.

Full story: Gingerbread

Divorce case settlements 'must be clearer'

Divorcing couples and judges hearing their cases should be given a clearer idea of their financial aims in court, according to the Law Commission.

Full story: BBC News

Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements

Following its 2012 consultation on marital property agreements (“pre-nups”), the Law Commission has opened a supplementary consultation on needs and non-matrimonial property.

Full story: Law Commission

All-round roasting for family justice reforms

MPs, judges and expert practitioners yesterday condemned the government’s planned legal aid cuts and family justice reforms, warning that the fiscal imperative driving them will harm children.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Nagalro responds to call for views on sibling groups and contact with children in care

Nagalro has responded to two government discussion papers, initiated by Martin Narey, seeking views on important aspects of the care and adoption systems.

Full story: Nagalro

Domestic violence pilot scheme gives women 'right to know'

A pilot scheme known as Clare's Law, which gives women the ''right to know'' if a partner has a history of domestic violence, begins today.

Full story: The Telegraph

Full ministerial team at Ministry of Justice announced

The ministerial team at the Ministry of Justice has been almost completely changed as a result of the Prime Minister's reshuffle which has now been completed.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legislative presumption of shared parenting ‘flawed’

Government plans to introduce a legislative presumption of shared parenting could undermine child welfare and increase the volume of litigation, according to the Law Society.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Edward Timpson appointed minister for children in care

Edward Timpson has been appointed junior minister in the Department for Education with responsibility for adoption and children in care.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Tim Loughton 'asked to step down' as Elizabeth Truss named children's minister

Children’s minister Tim Loughton has been axed from his children’s minister post in the cabinet reshuffle.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

CPAG publishes research on cost of bringing up children to 18

New research published by Child Poverty Action Group, and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, details the costs of meeting the minimum basic needs of a child in 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social workers had 50 chances to save boy killed by addict father

A toddler was killed by his father giving him methadone after social services missed a series of opportunities to take him into care, an independent review concluded yesterday.

Full story: The Telegraph

Muslim tycoon in divorce fight over affair 'allowed under Sharia Law'

An unfaithful millionaire Muslim businessman believes his estranged wife does not deserve a divorce payout, because polygamy is allowed under Sharia Law, a British court heard today.

Full story: The Telegraph

Draft legislation on family justice published

The Government has published draft legislation on family justice for pre-legislative scrutiny.

Full story: Family Law Week

Fostering system in crisis, it is claimed

Daily Telegraph article vividly describes the fostering regime creaking at the seams.

Full story: Family Law Week

French same sex couple fail in ECtHR discrimination claim on grounds of refused adoption

In Gas and Dubois v France Application no 25951/07 15th March 2012, the European Court of Human Rights has rejected the claim by a French couple that French law, which does not allow 'simple adoption' by parties to a civil partnership, has infringed their Article 8 rights.

Full story: Family Law Week

General Medical Council guidance: Protecting Children and Young People

In July 2012, the General Medical Council issued guidance for doctors on protecting children and young people from abuse and neglect.

Practice Guidance: Family Law

Schools to get £1,000 bonus for taking on children in care

Schools could receive more than £1,000 in extra funding for each child in care that they teach, under proposals being considered by Downing Street.

Full story: The Telegraph

LSC issues family guidance for very high cost cases

The Legal Services Commission has made changes to the family documents for very high cost cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Prior authorities for civil experts – LSC revises processing system

The Legal Services Commission will refuse all applications sent to its Cardiff office for prior authority sought at the codified rate from 1 October 2012, on the basis that authority is not required, unless the number of hours requested is unusually large.

Full story: Family Law Week

British couple expecting child after using Indian 'baby factory'

A British couple are expecting a child by a surrogate mother from an Indian "baby factory", it was reported today.

Full story: The Independent