Third View from the President’s Chambers focuses on expert evidence in care cases

President determined to end excessive and unnecessary use of experts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Men will be 'wives' and women will be 'husbands' as British gay marriage laws rewrite the dictionary

Wives can be men and husbands could be women under bizarre word play introduced by the government.

Full story: Daily Mail

Failing children's homes more than double in a year

The number of children’s homes judged by Ofsted to be failing has more than doubled over the past year, while those classed as achieving the highest standards have fallen 40 per cent.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Half a million more children forced into poverty by 2015, warns Children’s Commissioner

Government is breaching its ‘obligations on children’s rights’, concludes report.

Full story: Family Law Week

Marriage rate continues its revival

Number of unmarried couples cohabiting in the UK has doubled since 1996.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013

These Regulations contain provisions amending various sets of Child Support Regulations.

Statutory Instrument

Appeal to be heard of court’s termination of father’s parental responsibility

Court of Appeal will determine whether Section 4(2A) of Children Act is compatible with ECHR.

Full story: Family Law Week

Elderly couples 'need more relationship guidance'

Elderly people in the UK should be offered more relationship support to help them cope with older age, the Relate charity says.

Full story: BBC News

Wife in £20m divorce rifled husband’s safe while he played golf

A wife persuaded a court to freeze £20 million of her husband’s assets using papers she raided from his safe while he was out playing golf, a High Court judge has disclosed.

Full story: The Telegraph

Girl taken into care over suspicious injuries may be returned to parents

Judge says one of couple probably responsible for injuries, but children should wherever possible be raised by parents.

Full story: The Guardian

Child maintenance survey calls for higher payments from non-resident parents

The British public believe that the government should set higher child maintenance payments, which should also be set and enforced, according to the British Social Attitudes Survey conducted by NatCen Research.

Full story: Family Law

Child maintenance report shows government plans are at odds with public

Gingerbread chief executive Fiona Weir comments on the report from NatCen Social Research on British Social Attitudes to child maintenance.

Full story: Gingerbread

Improving safeguarding for looked-after children: changes to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010

This consultation seeks views on proposals to amend the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010.

Full story: Department for Education

Statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care

The government has decided to produce a new version of the statutory guidance on children who run away and go missing from home or care to reflect these changes.

Full story: Department for Education

Married couples to be offered tax breaks before the next election

Tax breaks worth up to £150 to married couples will be written into law by David Cameron before the next election, a Treasury minister has promised.

Full story: The Telegraph

Cumbria's child protection services described as inadequate

Child protection services in Cumbria have been described as "inadequate", by Ofsted inspectors.

Full story: BBC News

'Clare's Law': Police urge women to help identify domestic abusers, after low take-up of scheme

Nearly 100 men with a history of abuse have been unmasked during the scheme's pilot.

Full story: The Independent

Financial pressures during a recession 'does NOT lead to more break ups'

Marriages can ride out the recession and couples stick together despite the strains of economic hard times, a research report said today.

Full story: Daily Mail

Revealed: How UK justice is dispensed out of hours down the phone line

Investigation by ‘The Independent’ shows judges making life-or-death decisions away from the public gaze.

Full story: The Independent

PLO roll-out will not affect court bundle claims under Family Advocacy Scheme

Legal Aid Agency guidance released.

Full story: Family Law Week

Coleridge J offers guidance on approach to ‘lesser issues and assets’ in financial remedy cases

In B v B [2013] EWHC 1232 (Fam) Mr Justice Coleridge has made remarks, approved by the President of the Family Division, which practitioners will need to keep in mind when dealing with what the judge described as 'the lesser issues and assets'.

Full story: Family Law Week

Britain’s biggest divorce battle nears end after seven years

Business leaders expected to give evidence in climax of tycoon Scot Young’s bitter dispute with ex-wife, Michelle.

Full story: The Independent

Family mediation video launched

The video has been created to explain to people who are separating or divorcing how mediation can help, for example in agreeing arrangements for their children and financial matters.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Quarter of councils 'inadequate' under new Ofsted inspection regime

Judy Cooper finds out how councils are responding to Ofsted's 'tougher' inspections, as Community Care reveals a quarter have failed under the new regime.

Full story: Community Care

Doncaster brings in Impower to overhaul children's services

Doncaster Council has appointed consultants Impower and Penna to help it turn around its failing children’s services department.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

College publishes code of ethics for its social workers in England

The College of Social Work has published a code of ethics setting out the professional values and standards is expects its members to uphold.

Full story: Community Care

Gay marriage: Peers urge protection from equality law

Some peers have suggested plans to legalise same-gender marriages could allow town halls to "bully" organisations who refuse to conduct services.

Full story: BBC News

Family Justice Council fears impact of legal aid reforms on public law cases

Government plans to limit legal aid to those with a strong connection to the UK are unlikely to lead to a reduction of expense in family cases and could impact on the 26-week time limit for care proceedings, the Family Justice Council has warned.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Divorce ‘costs £2,600 per year in expected retirement income

Divorce reduces average expected retirement income by around £2,600 or by as much as 16 per cent a year, according to new research from Prudential.

Full story: Actuarial Post

MP seeks to widen legal definition of neglect

An MP will today launch a bid to make the emotional and psychological neglect of children a crime.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Mother sues lawyer for £15m over 'millions lost’ in divorce

A mother is suing her former solicitor for £15 million, claiming that his poor advice cost her millions of pounds in a divorce settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Visits to domestic violence charity website quadruple after Charles Saatchi assault

A domestic violence charity has seen visits to its website increase fourfold since Charles Saatchi was seen assaulting his wife, Nigella Lawson, in public.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2013

These rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 by amending the definition of a “financial order” in rule 2.3(1) so that it includes an order for payment in respect of legal services under section 22ZA of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 or Part 8 of Schedule 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, in consequence of the commencement of sections 49 to 54 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

Statutory Instrument

Consultation outcome: The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013

Government response to the consultation on the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013, which invited views on a small number of proposed changes to the 2012 child maintenance scheme.

Full story: GOV.UK

Family lawyers divided over Prest decision

The Supreme Court’s decision to order an oil tycoon to hand over assets held by his companies to his former wife has been hailed as a victory for fairness and justice by lawyers.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Social work-bashing report challenged

Findings of a report by a right-wing thinktank describing the future for social workers as “bleak” was challenged by BASW’s Interim Chief Executive, Bridget Robb.

Full story: BASW News

Parliamentary Committee welcomes Government review of extension of civil partnerships to opposite sex couples

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its report scrutinising the provisions of the Marriage Bill.

Full story: Family Law Week

New ‘Fostering for Adoption’ guidance for social workers published by Coram and BAAF

New practical guidance has been published to help local authorities implement 'Fostering for Adoption' with the aim of ensuring more children can live with their potential permanent carers at the earliest possible stage of the adoption process.

Full story: Family Law Week

New video celebrates role of both parents in separated families

The positive role that both parents in a separated family can play in a child’s upbringing is being celebrated in a new video today.

Full story: GOV.UK

Ofsted unveils tougher child protection inspections

Child protection and looked-after children's services will be deemed ‘inadequate’ even if just part of their work is failing, under plans unveiled by Ofsted to toughen up inspections.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Lack of social workers putting vulnerable children at risk

Vulnerable children are being put at risk by a chronic shortage of experienced social workers, according to research. The supply of social workers will not equal demand until 2022, according to a paper from the think-tank Policy Exchange, a situation it says could have “tragic implications”.

Full story: The Independent

Legal advice on divorce prompts most legal complaints

Divorce cases have prompted the most complaints about lawyers in the last year with individuals being urged to shop around for legal advice.

Full story: BBC News

Courts will not give up on girl abducted by mother, judge warns

Judge issues warning two years after Humma Dar disappeared with daughter Aamina Khan after girl's father was given custody.

Full story: The Guardian

Family President clarifies when use of expert is 'necessary' in proceedings

The President of the Family Division has clarified when the use of an expert witness is ‘necessary’ under guidance he gave earlier this year.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

One in three children whose single parent works part-time now in poverty

Government figures published today show that the proportion of children from single parent families where the parent works part-time but who still live in poverty, has leapt from one in four (23 per cent) to almost one in three (31 per cent) in just one year.

Full story: Gingerbread

Essex police criticised over handling of domestic violence cases

A police force criticised over the murders of three women and a young girl in domestic violence cases needs to do more to target men who repeatedly abuse their victims, an inspector's report says today.

Full story: The Independent

Prest ruling likely to lead to more divorce planning

The Supreme Court ruling allowing a wife to access assets held by her husband's companies will encourage the tying up of assets in business, family lawyers have said.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Immigration control takes priority over children’s best interests, concludes Joint Committee on Human Rights

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has called for extensive reforms in the way that unaccompanied migrant children are treated on their arrival in the United Kingdom.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court dismisses parents' appeal against care order

The Supreme Court in Re B (A Child) UKSC 33 has dismissed an appeal by parents against a care order made in respect of their daughter on the basis of a risk to her of future psychological or emotional harm under section 31 of the Children Act 1989.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme court chooses the 'third way' in Prest divorce case

Lord Sumption's ruling resolves the dilemma of enforcing the law and doing judgment.

Full story: The Guardian

Supreme Court upholds wife’s appeal in Prest v Petrodel

The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal by Yasmine Prest to treat assets held by companies and trusts within her former husband’s control as matrimonial assets that should be transferred to her as part of a £17.5m divorce settlement.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

The Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2013

This Order amends the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008. It increases certain fees that are payable in family proceedings in England and Wales in the Senior Courts and county courts by the cumulative rate of inflation since those fees were last increased.

Statutory Instrument

LGA and Barnardo's warn of 'reckless' adoption changes

The entire adoption system could be significantly damaged unless proposed reforms are reconsidered, Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association (LGA) have warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Family courts risk 'collapse' as surge in custody cases follows legal aid cuts

The family court system is in danger of “collapsing in on itself” after a surge in the number of warring parents turning up in person to launch child custody cases because of legal aid cuts, leading lawyers are warning.

Full story: The Telegraph

Prest v Prest: supreme court prepares to rule on landmark divorce wrangle

Will Yasmin Prest "pierce the corporate veil" and get the £17.5m divorce settlement her former husband has been ordered to pay her? That's the intriguing question the supreme court will answer on Wednesday.

Full story: The Guardian

Record-breaking month for private law applications

In May 2013, Cafcass received a total of 5,061 new private law cases, representing the highest ever month on record. This is a 5% increase on February 2012 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Slight drop in Care applications in May

In May 2013, Cafcass received a total of 965 applications. This is a 1.8% decrease on May 2012, however the year-to-date figures are still up on last year.

Full story: Cafcass

'A million children growing up without fathers'

A million UK children are growing up without a father in their lives, says a new report on family breakdown.

Full story: BBC News

Foster care to be extended to the age of 21

Teenagers will be helped to stay with their foster parents until they reach 21 under plans being put to MPs this week.

Full story: The Independent

Independent reviewing officers are not challenging enough, says Ofsted

Officers employed by local authorities to review care plans are failing to make enough of a difference for looked-after children, a damning report has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

General Medical Council guidance: Acting as a witness in legal proceedings

The General Medical Council has published guidance for doctors who act as professional witnesses or expert witnesses.

Full story: Family Law

Legal Aid Agency Guidance on the Remuneration of Expert Witnesses

The Legal Aid Agency has published updated guidance on remuneration for expert witnesses.

Full story: Family Law

Serious case review panel established

Education Secretary Michael Gove today established a new independent panel to help ensure that lessons are learned when a child dies or is seriously harmed and there are signs of abuse or neglect.

Full story: GOV.UK

Use of expert witnesses in family courts is on the slide, finds Cafcass

The use of expert witnesses in care proceedings cases, particularly independent social workers, has fallen radically over the last three years.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Supreme Court to deliver judgment in Petrodel v Prest next week

The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment in Petrodel Resources Limited and others v Prest on Wednesday, 12th June.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court to deliver judgment on ‘significant harm’ and proportionality of response

The Supreme Court will deliver judgment in B (A Child) on Wednesday, 12th June.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child maintenance reforms will 'penalise single parents'

Proposals to reform the child maintenance system will leave many lone parents worse off, causing children's welfare to suffer, research suggests.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

News from the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court grants permission to appeal one High Court and one Court of Appeal decision.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Ombudsman attacks council for failing to support boy abandoned by parents

The Local Government Ombudsman has sharply criticised a local authority for its failure properly to support a child abandoned by his parents.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Fresh inquiry sees MPs investigate support for children in care

A group of MPs has launched an inquiry to examine whether looked-after children receive the support to which they are entitled.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

North West council fined £70k after data breach relating to adopted child

A council in the North West has become the latest local authority to be fined by the Information Commissioner’s Office after a data breach in its social services team.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

New mediation laws to help separating couples

Separating couples will be legally required to find out about ways to settle disputes away from the courtroom, under new laws currently going through Parliament.

Full story: GOV.UK

Insemination case: Chances missed to check on adopted daughter

A review into how a mother was able to force her adopted child to impregnate herself has found agencies missed opportunities to intervene.

Full story: BBC News

Peers defeat attempt to kill gay marriage bill

Campaigners for same sex marriage welcome the result after a wrecking amendment was defeated by 390 to 148 votes.

Full story: The Guardian

President's Guidance of 4 June 2013: Committal for Contempt of Court

On 4 June 2013, the President of the Family Division issed guidance on committal for contempt of court. This guidance supplements the Practice Guidance issued on 3 May 2013.

Practice Guidance: Family Law

Government welcomes new ideas for supporting separated families

Additional funding available for projects to help separated parents and their children.

Full story: GOV.UK

'Debt problems may fuel divorce among older couples'

Elderly couples who struggle with debt are more than twice as likely to suffer marriage breakdown than those whose finances are steady, research suggests.

Full story: BBC News

Archbishop of Canterbury: gay marriage bill will undermine family life

Speaking in House of Lords debate, Justin Welby says law will undermine marriage as basis for rearing children.

Full story: The Guardian

Further Imerman judgments determine issues relating to representation of trust beneficiaries and privilege of communications

Settled case provides importance guidance for practitioners.

Full story: Family Law Week

Gay marriage bill: Lords to debate 'wrecking amendment'

A "wrecking amendment" which seeks to derail the gay marriage bill will be debated in the House of Lords later.

Full story: BBC News

Revised PLO published

The revised Public Law Outline has been published, together with a new Practice Direction 36C.

Full story: Pink Tape

Gay marriage plan 'paves way for polygamy', says Lord Carey

Same-gender marriage sets a "dangerous precedent" which could lead to sibling marriage or polygamy, says Lord Carey.

Full story: BBC News

Legal aid cuts 'put a generation of children in danger'

A generation of children risks being traumatised by the Government's swingeing legal aid cuts, and youngsters caught in violent homes are already being placed in acute danger, family law experts have revealed.

Full story: The Independent