Child maintenance powers 'emasculated' after court ruling

Absent parents who fail to support their children may no longer be threatened with jail after a court ruling against a Government body set up to pursue them.

Full story: The Telegraph

Toyota system halves care proceedings time

Three London councils have halved the time it takes for care proceedings to go through the family court by implementing a time management system developed by the car manufacturer Toyota.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Lawyers braced for post-recession surge in divorces

Lawyers are preparing for a possible surge in the divorce rate as the economy moves out of recession.

Full story: The Telegraph

Government urged to help children stay in care post 18

As ministers launch a charter for care leavers, the Fostering Network says it is 'disappointed' no action has been taken to implement a programme that would help young people stay in care until 21.

Full story: Community Care

Support for care teens in England a 'national scandal'

Too many teenagers in England leave care without enough support, ending up in a "trap of poverty and joblessness", the children's minister has said.

Full story: BBC News

Multi-millionaire who lost his £1.8m home and had to move into a rented flat in 'disastrous' divorce is given reprieve by judges over 'too favourable' settlement to his wife

A multi-millionaire estate agent whose 'disastrous' divorce left him unable to afford to buy a home of his own has won a ruling that parts of a family court judgement made last year were 'too favourable' to his ex wife.

Full story: Daily Mail

Domestic violence kills at least 105 English women in 18 months

Despite a national scheme to help police better serve their communities on this issue, research by the Guardian suggests there are still a disturbing number of fatal assaults in the home.

Full story: The Guardian

Barnardo’s launches Charter for Care Leavers

The UK’s largest children’s charity will today launch the Government’s first Charter for Care Leavers.

Full story: Barnardo's

Demand for child protection continues to rise, say Directors of Children’s Services

Levels of demand for child protection and care services continue to rise nationally, new research shows, and a majority of directors of children's services fear that pressures will continue to rise in future years.

Full story: Family Law Week

After the Savile scandal, a revolution in child protection

A revolution in child protection which would see elite graduates fast-tracked into social work has been given the go-ahead by Michael Gove, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Full story: The Independent on Sunday

Gay sperm donor told to pay child maintenance for 'his' two children

A gay man from Essex who donated his sperm to enable a lesbian couple to have two children, but who was never named on their birth certificate and had no role in their upbringing, is being forced by the Child Support Agency to pay for their support – 13 years after the first child was born.

Full story: The Guardian

CoA delivers shock verdict in big-money divorce case

The Court of Appeal (CoA) has delivered a shock verdict in a hotly anticipated big-money divorce case, ruling that companies belonging to oil tycoon Michael Prest should not be forced to hand over assets totalling £17.5m to his former wife.

Full story: The Lawyer

Poorest child maintenance claimants ‘forced into a corner’, warns Barnardo’s

On the final day of the government’s consultation into child maintenance, the UK’s largest children’s charity is warning that the poorest parents will be forced to make an impossible choice under the new child maintenance system.

Full story: Barnardo's

The Child Support Maintenance (Changes to Basic Rate Calculation and Minimum Amount of Liability) Regulations 2012

These Regulations modify the provisions in Schedule 1 to the Child Support Act 1991 relating to the calculation of the basic rate of maintenance and the minimum amount of liability where the non-resident parent is party to another maintenance arrangement.

Statutory Instrument

The Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012

These Regulations provide for a range of matters in relation to the calculation of child support maintenance under the Child Support Act 1991.

Statutory Instrument

Stoke council fined over child protection e-mail

A city council has been fined £120,000 after a solicitor sent e-mails about a child protection case to the wrong person.

Full story: BBC News

Atkinson warns against using international evidence to reform UK care system

Central and local government should be cautious about modelling provision for vulnerable young people on international examples, the children’s commissioner for England has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Early intervention 'reduces demand for child protection services'

Investment in early intervention is reducing demand for child protection services by up to 30 per cent in some local authorities, while other areas struggle to cope with huge increases in demand for support, research by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Cambridgeshire's 'inadequate' child protection addressed

A council has said it will learn from an Ofsted report describing its child protection services as "inadequate".

Full story: BBC News

Divorce row over billionaire's refusal to pay ex's head chef

The former wife of a billionaire is claiming he has breached their divorce settlement by failing to maintain her two luxury homes, cutting down on the number of her servants and refusing to pay her head chef's salary.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care leavers' charter seeks to smash stereotypes

Care leavers want support workers to help them develop their personal identities and give them more respect, according to a new charter.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Children's directors plan to overhaul care system

Directors to investigate how permanence, stability and support for teenagers can be improved, and warn government reforms to children's homes and adoption are too narrowly focused.

Full story: Community Care

Child benefit chaos for divorced couples

New partners of divorced parents face losing part of their salary under changes to the child benefit system if they earn over £50,000, even if the children are not theirs, accountants at Deloitte have warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Former company boss says bankruptcy should wipe out debt to his ex-wife

A ruling in favour of Alexander McRoberts would open the door to 'all the bankrupts out there who don't want to pay their lumps sums in family proceedings,' a judge is warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Lords debates Inheritance (Cohabitation) Bill

Lords debated the key principles and purpose of the Inheritance (Cohabitants) Bill on Friday (October).

Full story: UK Parliament

Family Justice Review draft legislation

The Law Society's response to the Family Justice Review draft legislation.

Full story: The Law Society

Home Secretary and CPS appeal ancillary relief order to disclose material obtained under mutual legal assistance provisions

Permission has been granted to the Home secretary and the Crown Prosecution Service to appeal Moylan J's decision in P v P [2012] EWHC 1733 (Fam).

Full story: Family Law Week

Couple can keep Nigerian baby after 'scam' ruling

A couple, who could not have children, have been told by the High Court they can keep a baby born in Nigeria, despite tests showing they were not the child's biological parents.

Full story: BBC News

Birmingham City Council child protection 'inadequate'

The effectiveness of Birmingham City Council's arrangements for protecting children has been judged "inadequate".

Full story: BBC News

Commments on the 26 week timetable by McFarlane LJ and Ryder J to the NAGALRO Conference

‘Timetable for the child may anticipate proceedings being completed in up to 26 weeks or more dependent on the facts of the case’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bar Council publishes templates for agreements between chambers and local authorities

Framework agreement and detailed articles available.

Full story: Family Law Week

Rising child referrals cancel out austerity savings

Rising referrals to children’s services have largely cancelled out savings made over the past two years as part of austerity measures, the Family and Parenting Institute has found.

Full story: Community Care

Social workers forced to focus on family crises due to coalition cuts, study says

Erosion of 'lighter touch' preventative services for children happening despite government's commitment to early intervention.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge orders nationwide hunt for four missing children

A High Court judge today launched a nationwide hunt for four missing children.

Full story: The Independent

Labour MP Chris Bryant to introduce ten minute equal marriage bill

Labour MP Chris Bryant’s decision to introduce a ten minute rule bill on equal marriage in the House of Commons has been described as the “first shot” in the parliamentary battle for marriage equality.

Full story: Pink News

Care runaway 'lived in cave'

A teenager spent three weeks living in a cave rather than go back into care, an official study into how children feel failed by the system has disclosed.

Full story: The Telegraph

Woman who does not believe she has cancer can undergo operation

A schizophrenic woman who does not believe she has cancer can now undergo a risky operation against her wishes that could save her life, on the orders of a senior judge.

Full story: The Telegraph

High Court awards wife £8.7m in ‘needs’ case involving inherited wealth

In Y v Y [2012] EWHC 2063 (Fam) Mrs Justice Baron has awarded a wife a lump sum of £8,738,000 in a case which, in the light of the wife's needs, required her to 'invade' the husband's inherited assets.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bad weather now blamed for rise in domestic violence

Police have blamed a sharp rise in domestic violence on the weather claiming rain drives up attacks.

Full story: The Telegraph

Couple win back children from social services after High Court battle

A couple whose two daughters were taken away by social services have been praised by a judge for “weathering the storm” of a lengthy High Court battle to win them back.

Full story: The Telegraph

Virtual schools help raise the profile of educational attainment for children in care

Ofsted report explores measure to reduce the gap in educational achievement of children in care and their peers.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child protection case time limit 'penalises kinship carers'

Family members could be missing out on the chance to become legal guardians for children who can no longer live with their birth parents, due to the new six-month time limit for completing care proceedings in the courts, charities have warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Resolution founder honoured at Family Law Awards 2012

Resolution’s founder, John Cornwell, was honoured last night at the prestigious Family Law Awards 2012, held at the London Hilton Hotel in Mayfair.

Full story: Resolution

Survey demonstrates ongoing impact of Imerman v Tcheinguiz

Family lawyers are increasingly handling divorce cases in which they have knowledge of concealed assets or income but are unable to rely on any of the documents in court.

Full story: New Law Journal

Fury over Eastenders' 'misleading' social work storyline

Social workers and campaigners have condemned an 'inaccurate' and 'misleading' storyline on the BBC soap Eastenders, which showed a social worker removing a baby from a teenage mother.

Full story: Community Care

Conservative conference: Tact calls for care leaver support to be bolstered with priority pass

Young people leaving care should be given priority access to support from agencies such as mental health and housing until they reach their early 30s, the chief executive of the charity Tact has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Not enough adoption placements are being found for children

The number of children waiting to be placed with families has risen as adopters appear not to be getting adequate support.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge rules devout Muslim man with severe brain damage should not be resuscitated

A High Court Judge ruled that a devout Muslim man with severe brain damage should not be resuscitated even though he accepts it is his wish to be kept alive.

Full story: The Telegraph

Judge children’s welfare ‘by standards of 2012’, Munby LJ says in Ultra-Orthodox ruling

Appeal judges back mother's choice of schools to ensure 'equality of opportunity'.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Cafcass care demand statistics September 2012

Between April and September 2012 Cafcass received a total of 5,374 applications.

Full story: Cafcass

Married couples 'will be in the minority by 2050'

The Centre for Social Justice has criticised the Government’s “failure” to do more to tackle family breakdown.

Full story: The Telegraph

Gay marriage backed by George Osborne and William Hague

The foreign secretary and chancellor have both said they will back the introduction of same-sex marriage when MPs are given a free vote on the issue.

Full story: BBC News

End of easy credit could be slowing divorce rate, lawyer says

The end of the age of “easy credit” could have helped slow the rise in the divorce rate by making it harder for angry partners to call in lawyers, a leading barrister has suggested.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 9) and the Welfare Reform Act 2009 (Commencement No. 9) Order 2012

This Order brings into force provisions of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (c. 6) and the Welfare Reform Act 2009 (c. 24).

Statutory Instrument

Father has no 'sacred right’ over education of children, rules judge

The days are gone when fathers held exclusive power over their children’s education, a judge ruled yesterday in rejecting the objections of an ultra-orthodox Jewish father to his ex-wife’s choice of schools for their children.

Full story: The Telegraph

Four sisters in Australian Hague Convention case must return to Italy

The four Italian/Australian sisters, who have been the subject of a high profile Hague Convention case in Australia, have been ordered to return to Italy.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mother jailed for smacking freed as judge rules 'loving and caring' parents do strike children

A mother jailed for smacking her children has been freed after a top judge said her actions were no worse than those of "many loving and caring parents".

Full story: The Telegraph

Charities launch major inquiry into the care of looked-after children

An inquiry into how best to provide stable homes for children who cannot live with their birth parents has been launched by a group of eight charities.

Full story: Children & Young People Now