Businessman's estranged wife will 'settle for £300m' in epic divorce battle

Michelle Young claims her former partner owns assets worth a few billion, but Scot Young has told judges he is bankrupt.

Full story: The Guardian

Two more Hague Convention appeals to be heard by the Supreme Court

Appeals from LC (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1058 and DL v EL [2013] EWCA Civ 865 to be heard in November.

Full story: Family Law Week

Number of cohabiting families continues to rise

There are now 2.9 million families in the UK where opposite sex couples are unmarried.

Full story: Family Law Hub

New evidence requirements prevent half of domestic violence victims from accessing legal aid entitlement

The Association of Lawyers for Children has reported the results of research which confirms initial fears that many domestic violence victims would not meet the new evidence criteria introduced by LASPO and accompanying regulations.

Full story: Family Law

Italian couples accused of divorce ‘fraud’ in UK

Hundreds of Italian couples face having their divorces overturned after being accused of running a scam to obtain a quick marriage splits through the British courts.

Full story: The Telegraph

The courts are secular, says top family judge

The law has a neutral view of religious belief, the president of the Family Division said today, stressing the secular nature of the judges’ job.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

New cross-government support strategy for care leavers

The government launches its strategy to support young people leaving care.

Full story: Department for Education

MoJ consults on legal aid remuneration in advance of Single Family Court

The Ministry of Justice is consulting on legal aid remuneration as it prepares for the Single Family Court, which swings into operation in April next year.

Full story: Family Law Hub

'Disastrous' drop in out-of-court mediation for divorcing couples

The number of divorcing couples using special out-of-court sessions to settle disputes over property and children has collapsed in the wake of legal aid cuts.

Full story: The Telegraph

Tougher requirements for independent social work providers rejected

The government has dismissed calls to strengthen requirements for GP-style social work practices to employ registered social workers.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

The President sets out need for cultural change

The President has highlighted the need for cultural change in the family courts in his latest View on the progress of reform.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Welfare benefits cap may force domestic violence victims to stay with their abusers

Research led by the Chartered Institute of Housing into the initial impact of the welfare benefits cap in Haringey has suggested that there are unintended consequences for domestic violence victims.

Full story: Family Law Week

New bulletin for children and young people’s advocates published

The first edition of the Local Government Ombudsman's bulletin for children and young people's advocacy organisations is now available.

Full story: Family Law Week

Hague Child Support Convention Explanatory Report published

The Hague Conference on Private International Law has published the Explanatory Report on the Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.

Full story: Family Law

Jail social workers who take children without telling parents why, says Britain's top family judge

The country’s most senior family judge yesterday launched a furious attack on social workers who failed to tell parents why their children were being adopted – and suggested that in future the same offence could carry a jail term.

Full story: Daily Mail

Japan to accede to Hague Convention on Child Abduction on 1st April 2014

The Japan Times reports that the Japanese government proposes to accede to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction on 1st April 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Professionals risk failing to spot abuse if they rely on children talking about it

Practitioners' need to build trusting relationships with children emphasised by research project.

Full story: Family Law Week

NSPCC helpline receives 50 calls about neglect each day

Referrals about 18,345 neglected children were made to social services or police in 2012/13 following calls to the NSPCC free, 24-hour helpline.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family courts sign CPS joint protocol for information sharing

The CPS has published a joint protocol for information sharing in child abuse cases.

Full story: Family Law

Children’s Services Directors respond to Ofsted’s criticisms of children’s services

The Association of Directors of Children's Service has responded to Ofsted's National Social Care Report in which it described a lack of stable leadership in may authorities' children's services.

Full story: Family Law Week

Married tax break will leave over a million couples just £1.35 a week better off, new study shows

More than one million couples will be only £1.35 a week better off under David Cameron’s flagship proposal for a married couples tax allowance, according to new research.

Full story: The Independent

Millionaire divorce: 'Yes I own a $3m apartment - it doesn't mean I'm rich'

A husband battling to convince courts he is "bust" during a bitter divorce has told a top judge: "Yes I own a $3.3m apartment - it doesn't mean I'm rich."

Full story: The Telegraph

Court of Appeal upholds English courts’ discretion to stay divorce proceedings under forum conveniens

The Court of Appeal last week handed down an important judgment, confirming that the English courts have power to stay divorce proceedings in England and Wales where there are concurrent proceedings in another non-European country with which the parties have a closer connection.

Full story: Family Law Week

New adoption scheme launched to help ‘overlooked’ children

A new scheme, developed by the Consortium of Voluntary Adoption Agencies, is intended to identify and train more adoptive parents for children who, for reasons of age and ethnicity, might currently be overlooked in the adoption system.

Full story: Family Law Week

President considers refusals of permission to oppose adoption prior to Re B-S

Final adoption orders should be deferred to allow time for parents’ appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Essex courtroom fight heightens security concerns

A violent courtroom incident in which a man attacked his wife and was restrained by the judge has heightened concerns about court security as more litigants appear without legal representation.

Full story: The Guardian

Protocol for sharing information about vulnerable children published

CPS, family courts, social services and schools will cooperate in new initiative.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of protection 'should be opened up to public and media scrutiny'

Sir James Munby, new president of the family division, says hearings of the court of protection should be open to the media.

Full story: The Guardian

Name-and-shame culture is driving child protection professionals out of the sector

Improvement must be driven from within children's services, not imposed by ministers and Ofsted, the leader of the Local Government Association has warned.

Full story: The Guardian

Reform of the Court of Protection - The President's address

Jordans was honoured to welcome Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division and the Court of Protection to speak at the annual Court of Protection Practice Conference on 14 October 2013.

Full story: Family Law

Independent provider plans could lead to 'privatisation' of social work, warn experts

Allowing all local authorities to hand responsibility for services to GP-style social work practices risks leading to the privatisation of child protection and looked-after children services, it has been claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Lord Neuberger: Legal aid cuts threaten to deny justice

Proposed cuts to legal aid could deny justice to those who need it most, the UK's top judge has warned.

Full story: BBC News

Proportion of babies born in wedlock falls to new low of just 53 per cent

The proportion of babies born to married couples has reached a new low, making up just over half the total number of births last year.

Full story: The Independent

Child protection 'inadequate', Ofsted chief warns

One in seven councils in England are "inadequate" at caring for some of the most vulnerable children in society, the watchdog Ofsted has warned.

Full story: BBC News

Campaign for reform of child neglect law gathers momentum

A campaign to reform the law on child neglect is strengthening in the run up to the second reading of the Child Maltreatment Private Members' Bill on 22 November 2013.

Full story: Family Law

Peer makes fresh attempt at cohabitation rights bill

Lib Dem peer Lord Marks has introduced a new cohabitation bill, just two years after the government decided not to act on the recommendations of the Law Commission.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Court approves Sch 1 compromise agreement despite mother’s breach of terms

Mr Justice Keehan has approved a compromise agreement in respect of a mother's application under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 notwithstanding that she acted in breach of the agreement.

Full story: Family Law Week

Britain's married minority

Married couples have officially become a minority in the UK after the number of people choosing not to tie the knot surged by 3.6 million in just 10 years, final results from the census show.

Full story: The Telegraph

High Court orders two sisters must receive MMR vaccine

A judge has ruled that sisters aged 15 and 11 must have the MMR vaccine even though they and their mother do not want it, BBC Newsnight has learned.

Full story: BBC News

High Court Judge slams 'astonishing' cost of six year Court of Protection battle over

High court judge hits out at legal costs as family fights council decision for six years.

Full story: The Independent

Young carers to receive more support under changes to Children and Families Bill

The government has tabled an amendment to the Children and Families Bill to help improve services for young carers.

Full story: Family Law Week

Gingerbread calls on councils to drop child maintenance charges

Councils must protect vital money for children in the poorest families – by keeping child maintenance out of council tax support calculations, says Gingerbread today.

Full story: Gingerbread

Child protection advisor for Coventry after Pelka death

A retired High Court judge has been appointed as a special advisor on child protection for Coventry City Council.

Full story: BBC News

Baby P council apologises for failings in Child T abuse case

Haringey council says it should have intervened more swiftly in case of toddler who at one point had 50 bruises on his body.

Full story: The Guardian

Kill off outdated family law, says retiring Coleridge

The private sector should take the lead in developing more innovative and ‘daring’ alternatives to the ‘bloodshed, time and cost’ of court, according to a retiring family judge.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Child death reviews: improving the use of evidence

A study investigating how to make better national use of the information collected through the child death review processes.

Full story: Department for Education

Silver splitter surge leaves divorce lawyers with new headache – the meddling children

It is a job which has always required the skills of a diplomat, conflict negotiator, property expert and financial whizz all rolled into one.

Full story: The Telegraph

Ofsted launches new single inspection for children’s services

Ofsted's new single framework for the inspection of local authority services for vulnerable children will come into effect from November 2013.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass chief wary over recent fall in care applications

The head of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has dampened hopes that a recent decrease in new care applications represents the start of a sustained fall in children needing protection.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Charity chiefs back 'once-in-a-generation' change to fostering law

An alliance of 40 charity chiefs and experts is today urging members of the Lords to seize a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to change the law to give young people in foster care the same start in adult life as their peers.

Full story: The Telegraph

Cafcass private law demand

In September 2013, Cafcass received a total of 3834 new private law cases. This is a 6% increase on September 2012 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in September 2013

In September 2013, Cafcass received a total of 830 applications. This is the second lowest month this year and a 6% decrease compared to those received in September 2012.

Full story: Cafcass

Civil Partnerships in the UK, 2012

This bulletin presents annual statistics on civil partnerships that were formed in the United Kingdom in 2012.

Full story: ONS

Charity wants more specialist support for exploited children

Barnardo’s is calling for more specialist support and care for exploited children in care.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Domestic abuse victims should have right to keep address secret, say campaigners

A woman is calling for new laws to allow victims of domestic violence to withhold their addresses in court to protect them and their children.

Full story: The Telegraph

Birmingham struggles to recruit social workers

More than a fifth of frontline social worker posts are unfilled in Birmingham, it has been revealed.

Full story: BBC News

Local authority tried to move vulnerable teen from residential school without her consent

The Local Government Ombudsman has determined that social workers at Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council caused undue distress to a vulnerable teenager when they tried to force her to move from the residential school she attended.

Full story: Family Law Week

'There's no more learning left to be done', says child protection expert, in wake of Hamzah Khan death

Studying past cases of child neglect is a 'big distraction' for child protection professionals, a leading professor of social work has said, a day after a jury convicted a mother of starving her young son to death.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child Contact Centres Campaign

Napo, the trades union and professional association for Family Court Advisors and Probation Officers, is supporting a campaign to promote the statutory provision of funding to Child Contact Centres and the adoption of minimum standards for the training, support and supervision of Child Contact Centre co-ordinators.

Full story: Family Law

Child protection experts react to Keanu Williams SCR findings

The National Children’s Bureau (NCB) has called for an urgent review of how best to support children within the child protection system in the wake of the serious case review (SCR) findings into the death of Keanu Williams.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Clash between wife and mother-in-law behind £10m divorce battle

A personality clash between a millionaire dentist and her "highly controlling" mother-in-law is at the centre of a £10 million divorce battle.

Full story: The Telegraph

Keanu Williams murder: Opportunities missed to save two-year-old

There were "a number of significant missed opportunities" to save a two-year-old boy from being beaten to death by his mother, a report has found.

Full story: BBC News

Cafcass FCA pilot improves care case outcomes

A CAFCASS pilot in Warwickshire and Coventry that introduced Family Court Advisors at pre-proceedings stage has made significant reductions in the number of cases reaching court and reduced the length of care proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Wife of fallen tycoon to cross-examine Philip Green in £400m divorce battle

The Topshop boss will be questioned by Michelle Young about £80,000 cheques he said he paid to an estate agent.

Full story: The Independent

Tamer Salama jailed again over missing daughter Elsa

A father who has refused to arrange the return of his daughter to his ex-wife has been jailed again.

Full story: BBC News

£100 million to support the education of children in care

Funding to support the education of children in care is to more than double from April 2014, announces Children’s Minister Edward Timpson.

Full story: Department for Education

Majority of girls and young women unaware of domestic violence signs

Three quarters of girls and young women aged between 11- and 21-years-old are unaware of the signs of domestic violence, according to new research launched by Girlguiding.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New Lord Chief Justice

Sir John Thomas will become the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from today, following the retirement of The Rt Hon The Lord Judge yesterday.

Full story: Family Law