Domestic abusers facing gun ban

People with a history of domestic violence should be prevented from having guns, says the Home Office.

Full story: BBC News

NHS Trust in court battle to sterilise disabled man

An NHS trust is fighting a court battle to sterilise a man with moderate learning difficulties.

Full story: The Telegraph

Financial 'agony aunt' left penniless after losing court battle over ex-husband’s fortune

A financial agony aunt left penniless and on the brink of homelessness has lost her battle to get more money from a man she divorced more than 20 years ago.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child Maintenance Service reaches next stage

The new Child Maintenance Service (CMS) will open today (29 July 2013) to new applicants with 2 or more children.

Full story: GOV.UK

Lord Justice Thorpe retires

Lord Justice Thorpe, Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales, retires from the judiciary on 30 July, his 75th birthday.

Full story: Family Law Week

Local authorities’ financial support of foster carers must not discriminate against family and friends

The Fostering Network has welcomed a Court of Appeal ruling that local authorities in England may not discriminate against family and friends foster carers in the financial support they provide in line with requirements previously published by the Government.

Full story: Family Law Week

Council takes two years to respond to complaint about children’s services

Derbyshire County Council has taken more than two years to respond to a woman's complaint, despite assuring the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) three times that it would investigate.

Full story: Family Law Week

Online sperm donor ordered to pay maintenance for child after judge rules he is the father

A sperm donor who fathered a child with a woman he met through an unofficial website has been ordered to pay for maintenance after a judge ruled he is the biological father.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 11 and Transitional Provisions) Order 2013

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 applications made on or after 29th July 2013 and certain cases linked to those applications.

Statutory Instrument

Judge begs couple to end 'financial suicide' in £850,000 divorce battle

A High Court judge told a divorcing couple they had committed “financial suicide” after running up legal bills of more than £850,000.

Full story: The Telegraph

Young children who witness domestic violence show later aggression

Social workers need to consider the longer term effects of exposure to violence, research suggests.

Full story: Family Law Week

BAAF urges government for post-adoption support

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering is calling upon the government to make the provision of post-adoption support a statutory requirement of adoption agencies across the UK.

Full story: Family Law Week

Protocol of 19 July 2013: Communications between judges of the Family Court and Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal

On 19 July 2013, the Senior President of Tribunals and the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice issued a protocol on communications between judges of the Family Court and Immigration and Asylum Chambers of the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.

Full story: Family Law

Decline of marriage has led to family breakdown, senior judge warns

Sir Paul Coleridge, a High Court judge who started the Marriage Foundation, argues that the decline of marriage has contributed to the doubling of family breakdown since the 1980s.

Full story: The Telegraph

David Cameron's tax breaks are "symbolic", IFS says

David Cameron's tax breaks for married couples are largely "symbolic" because marriage provides little benefit to the development of children, according to leading economists.

Full story: The Telegraph

Fears for independent social workers as 80% consider leaving the profession

The controversial fee cap for expert witnesses has forced 80% of independent social workers to find alternative sources of work or consider leaving the profession altogether.

Full story: Community Care

Tug-of-love mother 'acted on instinct' when she ran away with her children

A British mother embroiled in an international tug-of-love dispute was acting on “instinct” when she abducted four of her five children, the High Court heard.

Full story: The Telegraph

Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013

An Act to make provision for the marriage of same sex couples in England and Wales, about gender change by married persons and civil partners, about consular functions in relation to marriage, for the marriage of armed forces personnel overseas, for permitting marriages according to the usages of belief organisations to be solemnized on the authority of certificates of a superintendent registrar, for the review of civil partnership, for the review of survivor benefits under occupational pension schemes, and for connected purposes.


The Adoption (Recognition of Overseas Adoptions) Order 2013

This Order comes into force on 3rd January 2014. It revokes and replaces the Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) Order 1973 and revokes the Adoption (Designation of Overseas Adoptions) (Variation) Order 1993.

Statutory Instrument

Supreme Court hears appeal concerning habitual residence in child abduction case today

On the 22nd and 23rd July the Supreme Court will hear the mother's appeal from the judgment in Re A, reported in the Court of Appeal as ZA & Anor v NA [2012] EWCA Civ 1396.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court revisits ‘real prospect of success’ test when considering appeals

In H v G (Adoption Appeal) [2013] EWHC 2136 (Fam), Mr Justice Peter Jackson has considered again the test in rule 30.3(7) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 that in order for the court to grant permission to appeal, an applicant must show 'a real prospect of success'.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children over 5 take more than a year longer to be adopted than younger children

The Department for Education has published the Adoption Survey for quarter 3 of 2012-2013 which provides analysis of data covering the characteristics of children at any stage in the adoption process and analysis of their progress in the system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family expert attacks judiciary on reforms

Social workers and CAFCASS can't replace experts in courts, says head of professional group.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Doncaster stripped of children's social care responsibility

Children's services in Doncaster are to be temporarily hived off from local authority control and instead run by an independent trust as part of a radical plan to turn the troubled department around.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Quarterly Adoption Survey: update for quarter 3 of 2012 to 2013

Analysis of data covering the characteristics of children at any stage in the adoption process and analysis of their progress in the system.

Full story: GOV.UK

Equal marriage bill passes Third Reading in House of Lords

The equal marriage bill for England and Wales has passed its Third Reading in the House of Lords, following a brief and impassioned final debate.

Full story: PinkNews

Fourth View from the President’s Chambers updates the reform process

In his fourth View from the President's Chambers, Sir James Munby provides an update of the reforms to the family justice system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal to consider the test for challenge by parents who have not consented to adoption

Lord Justice McFarlane has given permission to a mother to appeal against a refusal to allow her to oppose an application for the adoption of her two eldest children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Kingston Council's children's care still 'inadequate'

A council criticised for not stepping in before a father murdered his partner in front of their toddler has been deemed "inadequate" by Ofsted a second time.

Full story: BBC News

Bill to reform criminal law of child neglect fails to receive second reading in Commons

The Children's charity Action for Children is calling on MPs not to ignore the needs of vulnerable neglected children after a bill to reform the law on child neglect failed to get a hearing in parliament.

Full story: Family Law Week

Research paper explores family courts’ response to applications for enforcement of contact orders

The Nuffield Foundation has published a briefing paper which summarises findings from research into how and why the family courts respond to applications for enforcement of a contact order following alleged non-compliance.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parents 'should be prosecuted for not loving or ignoring their children'

Parents who deliberately starve their children of love and affection could be guilty of a criminal offence under new plans to be put before MPs.

Full story: The Telegraph

Online Family Court Guide to public law proceedings published

The Judiciary website has published a Family Court Guide, constituting a framework of good practice which sets out Presidential Guidance, the rules and Practice Directions of the court and associated web based resources for those using and working in the family justice system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Most babies born out of marriage by 2016, trend suggests

The majority of babies born in three years' time will have parents who are not married, official figures suggest.

Full story: BBC News

The Child Support and Claims and Payments (Miscellaneous Amendments and Change to the Minimum Amount of Liability) Regulations 2013

These Regulations make a consequential amendment to Schedule 1 to the Child Support Act 1991 arising from the increase to the flat rate of child support maintenance from £5 to £7 for cases in which liability for child support maintenance is calculated under Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the 1991 Act, as amended.

Statutory Instrument

Wasted costs order made against non-party local authority

LA directed to prepare section 37 report is ‘closely connected’ to private law proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Pre-proceedings involvement of family court advisers helps the avoidance of care proceedings, finds pilot study

The Cafcass Pre-Proceedings Pilot which sought to test the added value of the family court adviser in pre-proceedings practice in public law cases is now complete in Coventry and Warwickshire and sufficiently progressed in Liverpool that the researchers are able to report on the initiative.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass care applications continue steady rise

In June 2013, Cafcass received a total of 849 applications. This is a 5% increase on June 2012.

Full story: Cafcass

Continued increase in private law demand

In June 2013, Cafcass received a total of 4,267 new private law cases, a 29% increase on June 2012 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Court grants opposed post-adoption contact order

Lord Justice Ryder has granted a contact order in favour of a grandmother when making an order for the adoption of a 7 year old boy.

Full story: Family Law Week

Fiona Shackleton's law firm is sued over 'ridiculous' divorce bills

Payne Hicks Beach, which represented Sir Paul McCartney in his divorce, is being sued by another client, Mortimer Whealon, the property mogul and socialite.

Full story: The Telegraph

The terrible toll of making divorce easier: Children are more likely to be violent, take drugs and have underage sex

Children who encounter family break-up are far more likely to be violent, unhappy and feel unfulfilled throughout their lives, according to an NHS study.

Full story: Daily Mail

Social workers to get tool to improve care applications from next week

Template, developed by Cafcass, will drastically shorten care applications and help social workers focus on key issues.

Full story: Community Care

Multi-agency child protection inspections to start in 2015

Children's services directors welcome the decision by Ofsted but raise concerns about failure to commit to review of current system.

Full story: Community Care

One word Ofsted judgements 'ludicrous', says top children's director

Association of Directors of Children's Services president calls for narrative judgements used by coroners to improve inspections of children's services.

Full story: Community Care

The Children Act 1989. Annex to PD 36C

The Children Act 1989. Annex to PD 36C (Revised Public Law Outline from 1st July 2013).

Practice Direction Annex: Family Law

President publishes revised PLO guidance and documents

The President of the Family Division has a issued a revised Public Law Outline and pilot practice direction, as well as a number of supporting guidance documents.

Full story: Family Law

Substance misuse family courts to be expanded

At least two new specialist substance misuse family courts are to be set up thanks to £150,000 of government funding.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Former Miss Malaysia asks London court to settle £500 million divorce

A former Miss Malaysia is seeking Britain’s biggest ever divorce payout of £500 million has began an attempt to have her case heard in London.

Full story: The Telegraph

Joint Committee on Human Rights publishes scrutiny report on Children and Families Bill

The Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its legislative scrutiny report on the Children and Families Bill which received its Second Reading in the House of Lords on the 2nd July.

Full story: Family Law Week

Expat tycoon argues hatred of British weather makes him immune from divorce courts

The estranged wife of an expatriate property tycoon has failed in her bid to secure part of his fortune, after he successfully argued that his loathing of the British climate earned him immunity from the UK divorce courts.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family Justice Young People’s Board launches video to support children whose parents are separating

The Family Justice Young People’s Board has created a video that helps to explain the family court process to children whose parents are separating or divorcing, when Cafcass is involved.

Full story: Cafcass

Key features of the single family court explained in Joint Statement

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, and the HMCTS London region have released a joint statement in respect of the single Family Court.

Full story: Family Law Week

'Cruel beyond imagination': Father back in jail for refusing to tell mother where daughter is living

Egyptian Tamer Salama removed Elsa Salama from care of English mother while all three were visiting Egypt, High Court told.

Full story: The Independent

Appointment of a High Court Judge – Hayden

The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Anthony Paul Hayden, Esquire, Q.C., to be a Justice of the High Court with effect from 31 July 2013.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Safeguarding boards to report SCR decisions to new expert panel

Heads of local safeguarding children boards must inform a new panel of experts within two weeks if they decide not to conduct a full serious case review following a serious incident.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Plans for marriage tax breaks to be published 'shortly'

David Cameron has said the government will bring forward proposals for a transferable tax allowance for married couples and civil partners "shortly".

Full story: BBC News