Coleridge J cleared of misconduct on pro-marriage stance

Mr Justice Coleridge has been cleared of judicial misconduct over his involvement with pro-marriage charity the Marriage Foundation, but said he would take a “lower profile” position.

Full story: The Lawyer

Councils must drive out delays in adoptions

Councils must do more to ensure children awaiting adoption are not deprived of a loving permanent family because of council delays, children’s minister Edward Timpson said today.

Full story: Department for Education

Working smarter to improve child protection

Plans to allow Ofsted to share the names and addresses of children’s homes with the police and other bodies have been launched today.

Full story: Department for Education

Help for separating parents at their fingertips as new web app launches. A third of children now live in separated families

For the first time, the 300,000 families undergoing separation every year in Britain will be able to get free online advice tailored to their needs.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

150 firms sending divorce clients to litigation loan provider

Courts 'actively encouraging people' to get loans to reduce litigants in person.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Marriage's decline a key cause of social breakdown, says CSJ

Family breakdown and the decline in the importance of marriage are cited by the public as key causes of the serious social problems facing Britain, according to a new opinion poll carried out by YouGov on behalf of the Centre for Social Justice.

Full story: Family Law Week

Met police launch series of dawn raids in domestic violence crackdown

Week-long campaign targeting violence within the home and hate crime has led to 264 arrests so far.

Full story: The Guardian

Changes in adoption guidelines threaten military families

Prospective adoptive parents who serve in the Armed Forces worry that the speeding up of the adoption application process could sideline them more than ever before.

Full story: The Telegraph

Ukip fostering row: senior councillor in Rotherham accuses people of 'wading in to pass judgement'

A senior councillor in Rotherham has accused people of "wading in to pass judgement" on the Ukip fostering row without "any real knowledge" of the case.

Full story: The Telegraph

Information obtained under mutual legal assistance provisions cannot be disclosed in financial remedy proceedings

The Home secretary and the Crown Prosecution Service have won their appeal against Moylan J's decision in P v P [2012] EWHC 1733 (Fam).

Full story: Family Law Week

Government supports Thurrock in tackling violence against women

A new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls has been launched in Thurrock by Victims and Equalities Minister Helen Grant.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Rotherham council leader: Ukip membership is no bar to fostering

Roger Stone says case that caused national furore is complex, and children involved are 'safe and in good care'.

Full story: The Guardian

Petrodell v Prest appeal to be heard by the Supreme Court

The Court of Appeal, comprising Lord Justices Thorpe, Rimer and Patten, have given permission to Yasmin Prest to appeal to the Supreme Court against its decision in Petrodell Resources Limited v Prest [2012] EWCA Civ 1395.

Full story: Family Law Week

Anti-stalking legislation has come into force

New offence of stalking involving fear of violence carries a maximum 5 year sentence.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ministers preparing tax breaks for married couples in next year's Budget

Conservative ministers are drawing up plans to deliver tax breaks to married couples from next year in a move which will please their own MPs but spark a new clash with the Liberal Democrats.

Full story: The Telegraph

Domestic violence accounts for 10% of emergency calls, data shows

Home Office figures obtained under FoI requests prompt fresh demands for strategy to deal with 'hidden crime'.

Full story: The Guardian

Divorcing parents turn to 'brainwashing' children in custody battles

Warring parents are increasingly attempting to “brainwash” their children to get the upper hand in custody disputes, according to lawyers.

Full story: The Telegraph

UKIP couple have foster children removed from care

A couple have had three foster children removed from their care because they belong to the UK Independence Party.

Full story: BBC News

A master of half truth: the man who lied about wealth in £1.8m divorce

A businessman has been described as “a master of the half truth” by a judge who said the man lied to his wife about how rich he was when they agreed a £1.8 million divorce settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Fifteenth state signs up to EU’s enhanced cooperation procedure on international divorce

The European Commission has confirmed Lithuania's decision to join the enhanced cooperation procedure allowing international couples to select which country's law would apply to their divorce and legal separation.

Full story: Family Law Week

ICO fines council £60k after details of child neglect case given to wrong person

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a local authority £60,000 after details of a child neglect case were sent to the wrong recipient.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Mr Justice Ryder calls for an ‘investigative’ family justice system

Delivering the keynote speech to the ALC Annual Conference on the 16th November, Mr Justice Ryder called for a significant change of culture in the litigation of family disputes.

Full story: Family Law Week

LSC publishes more points to remember when making family fee claims

Lack of evidence for level 2 fee claims causes more than 65 per cent of reported ‘over-claims’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Urgent action needed to protect children from sexual exploitation, says Children’s Commissioner

A nationwide Inquiry by the Office of the Children's Commissioner has found that 2,409 children and young people were confirmed victims of child sexual exploitation in gangs or groups in the 14 month period from August 2010 to October 2011.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ofsted publishes first annual data on the number and profile of adopters and children

Ofsted has published for the first time its collection of data on adoptive families received from adoption providers. The data were collected via a survey in April-June 2012 and are used to inform the inspection of adoption provision.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adopters' parental leave and pay to be brought into line with birth parents

The Government has announced that it will change parental leave and pay available to adoptive parents to bring it more closely into line with the leave and pay rights available to birth parents. The proposals are in response to the Modern Workplace consultation and the will be implemented by 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Gay marriage could be approved within weeks

David Cameron and Nick Clegg have reportedly agreed to speed up legislation to allow gay marriage, meaning it could be approved in the coming weeks.

Full story: The Telegraph

Life after family break-up: research challenges law change proposal

Government plans to amend the 1989 Children Act by introducing a presumption of shared parenting are well-intentioned but misguided, say the authors of new research into childhood experience of family break-ups.

Full story: Family Law

30% shortfall in domestic violence advisers as council cuts bite

Campaigners call for mainstream funding for independent domestic violence advisers amid concerns that cuts have "depleted" support for domestic violence victims.

Full story: Community Care

Boy brings legal test case over decision to put him in care

A 15-year-old boy denied the chance to give evidence to a legal hearing about whether he should stay with his mother or be taken into care has launched a Court of Appeal test case.

Full story: The Telegraph

Boris in 'divorce in London' plea

Boris Johnson has made an extraordinary appeal for billionaires' wives to sue for divorce in London.

Full story: Belfast Telegraph

Only 15% of divorced women say that pensions featured in their settlement

According to the eighth annual Scottish Widows Women and Pensions Report published earlier this month, out of the divorced women surveyed, just 15% said pensions were discussed as part of their settlement.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoption process is being rushed by councils, say judges

Children face split from other family members as fears expressed about Michael Gove's 'unrealistic' plans.

Full story: The Guardian

‘Troubled families are not lost causes,’ says BASW in response to Gove speech

The British Association of Social Workers, in response to Michael Gove's speech to the Institute of Public Policy Research, has called for 'careful assessment of the long-term needs of children, backed by better resources to do this vital work'.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge warns against idolising celebrity marriages which are more prone to fail

A leading High Court judge has warned that it is “dangerously flawed” for young people to take seemingly glamorous celebrity relationships as a model for their own after research found the rate of divorce among stars is twice the national average.

Full story: The Telegraph

Michael Gove: children at risk of abuse should be put in care more quickly

Education secretary calls for 'assertive' approach from social workers after report into brutal Edlington attack.

Full story: The Guardian

Risk of divorce pushes women to work longer hours, claims new research

New research conducted by Dr Berkay Özcan of the London School of Economics and Political Science claims that an increased risk of divorce pushes women to work longer hours outside the home.

Full story: Family Law Week

Collection of child maintenance rises to £305 million for the last quarter

The Department for Work and Pensions has released a summary for the three months ending 30 September 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

Local authority criticised by Ombudsman for withdrawing support for child with mental health difficulties

Isle of Wight Council wrongly withdrew social services support from a child in need, leading to cancellation of a residential school placement, the Local Government Ombudsman, Dr Jane Martin, has found.

Full story: Family Law Week

Overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals published

The Department for Education has published an overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals concerning child development and the impact of maltreatment.

Full story: Family Law Week

Damning child protection report sparks fears of new 'get tough' approach

As social work braces itself for yet another damning Ofsted inspection report for Doncaster, Community Care understands the government is casting about for different “intervention” approaches when councils fail to protect children adequately.

Full story: Community Care

British pilot thwarts wife's attempt to divorce him from Brazil

A pilot whose Brazilian wife refused to return to England with their children after a half-term holiday in her home country has won his battle to have a divorce settlement in British courts.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children of divorced parents could be classified as in poverty

Children whose parents are divorced could be classed as growing up in poverty under government plans to redefine disadvantage.

Full story: The Telegraph

Give married couples tax break, MPs tell David Cameron

David Cameron must deliver a tax break for married couples within months, senior Conservative MPs say.

Full story: The Telegraph

Risk-averse care system stifling foster placements, warns Fostering Network

Foster carers do not know whether it is safe to hug a child or encourage them to climb trees due to blanket bans on them taking decisions for children, warns charity's chief executive.

Full story: Community Care

The International Recovery of Maintenance (Hague Convention 2007 etc.) Regulations 2012

These Regulations make provision to facilitate the application of the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other forms of Family Maintenance done at The Hague on 23rd November 2007 in England and Wales.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 4) Rules 2012

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 to take account of the application of the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other forms of Family Maintenance done at The Hague on 23 November 2007 in England and Wales.

Statutory Instrument

Standard Directions in Hague Convention Cases involving Cafcass High Court Team

The acting President of the Family Division, the Hon Mr Justice Holman, has issued guidance on standard directions in Hague Convention cases involving the Cafcass High Court Team.

Full story: Family Law

Wives who divorce wealthy husbands can't expect big payouts, judge warns

Wives who divorce wealthy husbands have been warned they cannot expect large payouts simply because they are used to an affluent lifestyle.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care Inquiry holds first session under chairmanship of Dorit Braun

First session on 14th November will explore recent trends in children care law and practice.

Full story: Family Law Week

Time limit for care cases ‘impractical’

Family law groups have warned that the government’s plan to impose a 26-week time limit for courts to conclude care cases is impractical in most cases and constitutes ‘potentially unlawful interference with judicial discretion’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Gove calls for more adopters to help find homes for more than 4200 children ready for adoption

Michael Gove has called on more people to adopt children. The call comes as it has emerged that more than 4200 children are ready for adoption but have not yet been able to move in with a family – a figure that has grown by 650 in each of the last two years.

Full story: Department for Education

Care applications continue to rise

In October 2012, Cafcass received a total of 937 applications. This is a 9% increase on October 2011 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Written evidence on draft Children and Families Bill to Justice Select Committee

The Law Society has been asked to submit written evidence to the Justice Select Committee as part of its inquiry into the draft legislation on the Children and Families Bill.

Full story: The Law Society

The Child Support (Meaning of Child and New Calculation Rules) (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendment) Regulations 2012

These Regulations contain provisions consequential on, or connected with, the bringing into force of the changes to the meaning of “child” for the purposes of the Child Support Act 1991, provided for in section 42 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008, and the changes to the rules for the calculation of child support maintenance, provided for in Schedule 4 to the 2008 Act and the Child Support Maintenance Calculation Regulations 2012.

Statutory Instrument

Changes to LSC arrangements for family law cases with projected costs over £25,000

Changes to regulations and guidance affecting high cost family cases have taken place following consultations between the LSC and representative bodies.

Full story: Family Law Week

Case on disclosure of identity of accuser to parties in contact proceedings heads to Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has given permission for an appeal in a case over whether the identity of an individual who has made allegations of serious sexual abuse should be disclosed to parties in contact proceedings.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Lesbian couple in ten year battle over custody of children

A judge has warned a mother to stop poisoning her children against her lesbian ex-partner after hearing how the couple have fought a bitter ten year custody battle costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children suffer effects of parents' divorce into adult life - study

The children of divorced parents can suffer the effects of the break-up well into their adult life, a report has found.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child protection system is failing older children, warns Education Committee

The child protection system is not meeting the needs of older children and must be reviewed urgently according to a report from the Education Committee.

Full story: UK Parliament

Courts can make their own calculations of absent fathers’ earnings

Courts do not have to rely on the records of HMRC when calculating the earnings of absent fathers, appeal judges have ruled.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Shared parenting provision to be inserted into Children Act section 1

The Department for Education has announced that it proposes to introduce amendments to the Children Act 1989 in order to provide for a presumption of shared parenting.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social workers 'at rock bottom' over issue of race and adoption

Professional body to tell Lords committee that political stereotyping has hampered efforts to re-home vulnerable children.

Full story: The Guardian

Saudi wife entitled to affluent lifestyle, divorce judge rules as he awards her £4 million

A Saudi businessman has been ordered to pay his estranged wife £4 million and give her £150,000 a year for life after a judge ruled she was entitled to continue living an affluent lifestyle.

Full story: The Telegraph

Absent fathers to get legal right to spend time with their children

Absent fathers are to be given a legal right to spend time with their children, unless they are likely to cause them harm, under changes to access laws unveiled yesterday.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family courts 'ignoring needs of domestic violence victims'

Report finds women are frequently put in unsafe positions during proceedings, and government plans could make matters worse.

Full story: The Guardian

Fifth of adults believe 40 is too old to adopt

A fifth of adults in the UK believe they would be ruled out of adopting a child after the age of 40, a study has revealed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Dream holiday homes becoming ‘millstones’ for divorcees after Euro property plunge

For couples in the midst of divorce, tumbling property values in countries hit by the Euro crisis are rapidly turning former “dream” homes into a “toxic” legacy, lawyers have warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Chancery judge declines bankrupt husband’s application for release from ancillary relief order

In McRoberts v McRoberts [2012] EWHC 2966 (Ch), Mr Justice Hildyard, sitting in the Chancery Division, has declined an application by a bankrupt husband under s 281(5) of the Insolvency Act 1986 to be released from the bankruptcy debts arising within ancillary relief proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in need numbers fall slightly in last 12 months

The Office for National Statistics has published final figures on the numbers of children referred to and assessed by children's social services.

Full story: Family Law Week

Catholic Care loses gay adoption fight

A Roman Catholic adoption agency has been told it cannot turn away gay couples if it wants to keep its charitable status.

Full story: BBC News

Munro backs separate chief social workers for children and adults

Ministers' child protection reviewer backs government shift, saying single chief would "drown" under pressure of covering children's and adults' services.

Full story: Community Care

Children in care are usually not offered an independent visitor, says report

The Independent visitors report published by the Children's Rights Director documents children in care's views and experiences of having an independent visitor, as well as their views about not being offered one.

Full story: Family Law Week

Trapped by a Maldives passport stamp, the businessman who told his ex-wife he could not pay his debt

A businessman who claims to be bankrupt has lost a legal battle to avoid paying maintenance to ex-wife, after a judge ruled his exotic holidays suggests he may have a secret income and his finances may improve.

Full story: The Telegraph

Number of opposite gender cohabiting couples has doubled since 1996

The number of opposite gender cohabiting couple families has increased significantly, according to the latest statistical bulletin on families and households released by the Office for National Statistics.

Full story: Family Law Week

1996 Hague Convention comes into force on 1 November 2012

The Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children (the "1996 Hague Convention") comes into force on 1 November 2012.

Full story: Family Law