Abducted girl Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson's father in renewed bid to be released from jail

The father of Atiya Anjum-Wilkinson, the young girl returned to Britain this week after being abducted and taken to Pakistan when she was three years-old, has launched a fresh bid to be freed from jail.

Full story: The Telegraph

Gay marriage 'could lead to unforeseen consequences' on children

The Government's proposals to legalise gay marriage could have unforeseen impacts on children, a leading Roman Catholic archbishop has warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

UK in family breakdown 'epidemic'

The UK has one of the highest rates of family breakdown in the Western world with just two thirds of children living with both parents, according to research by a global development organisation.

Full story: The Independent

Rise in number of couples seeking 'wombs for hire' abroad

Increase in British couples turning to poor foreign surrogate mothers to have their babies.

Full story: The Independent

Report reveals lack of protection for runaway children

Police forces and local authorities up and down the country are not doing enough to protect children who run away from home or care, according to a report by The Children's Society.

Full story: Family Law Week

Abducted girl coming home from Pakistan to UK

A six-year-old girl is on her way home more than three years after she was abducted by her father and taken to Pakistan, sources said today.

Full story: The Telegraph

Unmarried mothers who give up careers facing midlife financial crisis, lawyers warn

Unmarried women who give up successful careers to bring up their children risk a midlife financial crisis if their partner leaves them, family lawyers are warning.

Full story: The Telegraph

Racial matching in adoption a white obsession, poll shows

White people are far more likely to think that children need to be adopted by families from their own racial background than people from ethnic minorities are, a study shows.

Full story: The Telegraph

Relate survey: Money problems 'causing family strain'

The UK's ongoing financial problems are putting an increasing strain on family relationships, a survey has suggested.

Full story: BBC News

Abuse alert system for hospitals

An online system to identify children who may be in danger of abuse or neglect is being developed for use in hospitals across England.

Full story: BBC News

Mother wins apology after council tries to take her disabled children away

A mother who spent a year fighting to stop social services taking her disabled twins into care after she was accused of making up a condition which made them unable to walk has won an apology from her local council.

Full story: The Telegraph

High Court judge criticises same-sex marriage plan

Ministers are pursuing the "wrong policy" on gay marriage, and should be focusing on family breakdown, a High Court judge has said.

Full story: BBC News

New drive to help children find adoptive families

The Prime Minister has announced a new package of support for people who want to adopt to ensure more children get a stable, loving home without delays.

Full story: Department for Education

Government announces adoption system overhaul

The adoption system in England will be overhauled to make it swifter and more robust, the government has announced.

Full story: BBC News

Family judges seek protection from parents in 'unsafe' courts

Dangerously inadequate security arrangements during family cases leave officials vulnerable to attack, say judges.

Full story: The Guardian

Appointment of President of the Family Division

The Right Honourable Lord Justice Munby appointed as President of the Family Division.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Increasing numbers of people turning 60 consider divorce

According to the Office for National Statistics the proportion of so-called “silver splitters” – people over 60 separating from their husband or wife - has almost doubled in a decade.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Civil Partnership (Registration Abroad and Certificates) (Amendment) Order 2012

This Order amends the Civil Partnership (Registration Abroad and Certificates) Order 2005 to reflect the changes to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 as amended by the Legislative Reform (Civil Partnership) Order 2012.

Statutory Instrument

Ukip foster row couple threaten to sue council

Couple who had three foster children taken away by Rotherham council say they have effectively been blacklisted.

Full story: The Guardian

Appointment of a High Court Judge - Cobb QC

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Stephen William Scott Cobb, Esq., Q.C., to be a Justice of the High Court with effect from 11 January 2013 on the retirement of Mr. Justice Hedley.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Fewer marriages ending in divorce

An estimated 42% of marriages in England and Wales ended in divorce in 2010 - a drop from 45% in 2005, the latest statistics suggest.

Full story: BBC News

Scientologist loses high court wedding battle

A member of the Church of Scientology has lost her fight to get married in one of its chapels after the high court dismissed her claim that she was the victim of unlawful religious discrimination.

Full story: The Guardian

Adoption clauses don't fulfil their aims, say Lords

House of Lords Committee on Adoption Legislation concerned that delays will not be sufficiently reduced by new measures intended to speed up adoption.

Full story: UK Parliament

Neon Roberts tumour case: Judge gives go-ahead for surgery

A seven-year-old boy with a brain tumour should undergo surgery against his mother's wishes, a court has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Thousands of the most damaged children in care being failed

Report criticises treatment of children in care outside their home areas and under supervision of youth offending teams.

Full story: The Guardian

Gay marriage: divorces over adultery face legal challenge

Unfaithful husbands could attempt to stop their wives divorcing them for adultery if gay marriage is legalised, according to senior lawyers.

Full story: The Telegraph

Even divorcees think divorce is too easy, poll finds

Getting divorced is too easy – even in the opinion of the majority of divorcees, a survey suggests.

Full story: The Telegraph

Divorce is too easy, say most Britons as figures show number of people splitting is on the rise

A new survey suggests that six out of ten of us believe that there are not enough legal hurdles to deter couples from rushing into divorce.

Full story: Daily Mail

Teen fathers feel 'marginalised', charity says

Social services in England should do more to involve teenage fathers in their children's lives, a charity says.

Full story: BBC News

Attainment gap between looked after and non-looked after children narrows slightly

For the third year an annual statistical release has been published showing reported outcomes for looked after children with comparative figures for non-looked after children.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Amendment) (No.5) Rules 2012

These rules amend Parts 1, 12 and 25 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

The Justice Committee publishes report on the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Children and Families Bill

Proposed changes to family justice have been broadly welcomed by the Justice Committee in its report scrutinising the draft Children and Families Bill, but the Committee maintains significant concerns about the draft clause on shared parenting.

Full story: UK Parliament

2011 Census figures highlight risks to cohabiting couples

New figures from the UK Census have revealed that more and more couples are living together without being married. These figures once again highlight the urgent need to give legal rights to millions of couples in England and Wales.

Full story: Resolution

Family judges backing court welfare reports

Family judges follow the recommendation of court welfare reports in nine out of 10 cases, research has revealed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Supreme Court decides in favour of disclosure of allegations in contact case

The Supreme Court has unanimously upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal in In the Matter of A (A Child) [2012] UKSC 60.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parental child abductions 'rise by 88% in a decade'

The number of children abducted and taken abroad by an estranged parent has risen by 88% in just under a decade, according to new government figures.

Full story: BBC News

Hotel boss obsessed with family business loses divorce appeal

A multi-millionaire hotelier who was so in love with his business that a judge described it as the third party in his marriage has lost an Appeal Court bid to reduce his wife’s £2.7 million divorce payout.

Full story: The Telegraph

Gay marriage: Religious 'opt-in' offered, but not to CofE

The Church of England and Church in Wales will be banned in law from offering same-sex marriages, the government has announced.

Full story: BBC News

Hackney social services condemned over failures after mother kills children

Coroner criticises staff who allowed woman suffering from paranoid schizophrenia unsupervised overnight visits.

Full story: The Guardian

Child maintenance changes in force from today

Changes to the way child maintenance is assessed, collected and paid to recipients come into force today (10 December 2012) under the powers of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Councils refer record numbers of children into care in 2012

Family courts body Cafcass has released its latest care statistics, revealing record referrals show no signs of stopping.

Full story: Community Care

Supreme Court refuses permission to appeal in Lawrence v Gallagher

Civil partnership financial remedy appeal fails.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce judges welcome ‘cookie cutter’ share-out plan

A new system of Canadian style “cookie cutter” justice could be introduced in England to cut the cost of divorce cases under reforms being drawn up by government law advisers.

Full story: London Evening Standard

MP inquiry hears how adoption targets will lead to rushed assessments and increased risks to children

The imposition of six month targets for placing children in care for adoption will lead to rushed and inadequate assessments, potentially making the process too fast for would-be adopters and open to abuse by predatory child abusers. This was the message to MPs at the second evidence gathering session of an inquiry by the All Party Parliamentary Committee on Social Work into the state of the profession.

Full story: BASW News

Judge delays ruling on brain tumour boy

New developments in case lead judge to schedule return to court for later in the month.

Full story: The Independent

Gay marriage: Boris Johnson and Michael Gove give backing

A campaign group backing same-sex marriage has been launched by senior Conservative MPs and peers.

Full story: BBC News

Bank employee who accessed partner’s ex-wife’s account fined for data protection offences

A bank employee has been fined after a court heard she unlawfully accessed bank statements of her partner's ex-wife.

Full story: Family Law Week

Joint Committee on Human Rights calls for enhancement of Children’s Commissioner’s role

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has welcomed the proposed change in the Children's Commissioner's primary function, from one of 'promoting awareness of the views and interests of children in England' to one of 'promoting and protecting the rights of children in England'.

Full story: Family Law Week

Important Pension Changes – what family lawyers need to know

Clive Weir, a director with Albert Goodman Chartered Financial Planners, summarises the changes to pension provision made in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government to support gay couples marrying in church in plans to be announced next week

PinkNews.co.uk understands the government is likely to push for complete marriage equality, meaning religious organisations will be allowed to provide same-sex marriages, as part of its reforms, despite widespread opposition by senior Anglican and Catholic leaders.

Full story: Pink News

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 10 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2012

This Order brings into force provisions of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 for the purpose of applying new rules for calculating child support maintenance to certain types of cases. It also brings into force a number of other provisions in the 2008 Act for the purposes of all cases.

Statutory Instrument

Fathers to be hit by rise in maintenance for their children following sweeping new reforms

Nearly 800,000 separated fathers face increases in their bills for maintaining their children which will run up to thousands of pounds a year, it was revealed Thursday.

Full story: Daily Mail

Whitehall cuts ‘threaten children's services’

Frontline services for children will suffer as a result of cuts to central government spending announced in the autumn statement, a think-tank has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Mother and seven-year-old son found after she ran away to prevent cancer treatment

A mother and her seven-year-old son have been found by police after she ran away to prevent him receiving life-saving cancer treatment.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family fight to keep father alive in court battle

A woman has accused a hospital of secretly placing her father on the Liverpool Care Pathway as it launched a legal bid to withdraw “aggressive treatment”.

Full story: The Telegraph

Custody battle over British girl goes to US Supreme Court

A five-year-old British girl is at the centre of a bitter transatlantic custody battle that has arrived in front of America's most senior judges, as her parents fought the landmark case at the US Supreme Court.

Full story: The Telegraph

Divorce battle lands pair with £1.3m legal bill

A husband ran up a £500,000 legal bill in a bitter divorce dispute he could not afford, the High Court ruled.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Family Justice Modernisation Programme: Implementation Update Number One

The first Implementation Update has been published for the Family Justice Modernisation Programme.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Family mediation scheme extended

Membership of the Law Society’s family mediation scheme will be extended to all qualified family mediators from April.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Overseas Relationships) Order 2012

This Order amends Schedule 20 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Schedule 20 specifies overseas relationships that may be treated as civil partnerships for the purposes of the Act, provided certain other conditions in the Act are satisfied.

Statutory Instrument

The Child Support Management of Payments and Arrears (Amendment) Regulations 2012

These Regulations amend the Child Support (Management of Payments and Arrears) Regulations 2009 and come into force on the day on which sections 32 and 33 of the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (c. 6) come into force.

Statutory Instrument

Commission to examine effect of legal aid cuts as demand for service surges

Low Commission will hold its first public meeting as advice centres across country start abandoning or rationing services.

Full story: The Guardian

Child abuse reporting guide aims to close divide between press and social workers

Northern Ireland Guide for media reporting is intended to be blueprint for UK.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family claims by counsel: new receipt form introduced by LSC

The Legal Services Commission has introduced new receipt forms for chambers to use when submitting claims for family work.

Full story: Family Law Week