Christmas spike in domestic violence keeps courts busy on New Year's Eve

Money tensions, unrealistic expectations and excessive alcohol consumption make Christmas a peak period for domestic abuse.

Full story: The Guardian

Warring parents ‘in denial’ about effects of divorce on children

Netmums survey of divorced parents and their children shows effects on children more severe than adults realise.

Full story: The Telegraph

Domestic violence set to be targeted by tough new law

Offenders could be jailed for up to 14 years if US-style legislation is voted through by MPs.

Full story: The Observer

Home visits stopped for patient with violent father

A High Court judge has ruled that a 20-year-old man with “profound disabilities” cannot be allowed home visits after carers raised concerns about his parents' behaviour.

Full story: The Independent

Adoption: £50 million funding boost and new interactive maps

Children’s Minister Edward Timpson announces new resources to help would-be adopters find a child to adopt - plus more cash for councils.

Full story: Department for Education

High Court judge says warring parents cause 'untold damage' to children

Mrs Justice Parker reverses living arrangements of three brothers after hearing of 'parental manipulation'.

Full story: The Telegraph

Transfer of Mr Justice Charles from the Family Division to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court and appointment as the Vice-President of the Court of Protection

The Lord Chief Justice, following consultation with the Lord Chancellor, will transfer Mr Justice Charles from the Family Division of the High Court to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court with effect from 13 January 2014, and appoint him as Vice-President of the Court of Protection, for a three-year term, from the same date.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Domestic abuse: half a million victims 'too terrified to come forward'

Study uncovers hidden casualties of violence, many of them too scared to report the crime.

Full story: The Observer

BAAF rated ‘outstanding’ in recent Ofsted inspection

The British Association for Adoption and Fostering has been rated as 'outstanding' once again by Ofsted in its recent inspection.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Amendment No.3) Rules 2013

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010. The majority of the amendments made to the FPR 2010 by these Rules are made to reflect the creation of the family court.

Statutory Instrument

Court statistics (quarterly) July to September 2013

This bulletin presents National Statistics on activity in the county, family, magistrates’ and Crown courts of England and Wales.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Child protection head leaves Devon County Council

The head of children and adult protection at Devon County Council has left his £95,000 job.

Full story: BBC News

Divorced wife 'cheated out of millions after husband failed to reveal assets’

A divorced wife claims her ex-husband misled her about the value of his computer software business to cheat her out of a multi-million-pound settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child abuse investigations have risen by 42% over past three years

In 2012/13 there were 127,000 investigations launched across the country into children thought to be at risk of child abuse or neglect. This is a 42% increase in investigations since 2009/10, according to figures revealed by Sky News.

Full story: Family Law

C-section case shows need for radical changes on transparency: Munby

The high-profile case involving an enforced Caesarean section stands as a “final, stark and irrefutable demonstration” of the pressing need for radical changes in the way in which both the family courts and the Court of Protection approach transparency, the President of the Family Division has said.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge Sir Paul Coleridge disciplined for stating views on traditional marriage

Official body with responsibility for judicial conduct hands outspoken High Court judge a formal warning.

Full story: The Telegraph

Domestic violence victims' personal details should stay secret, says Labour

Adoption of 'Eve's law' would exempt victims of domestic abuse from disclosing their personal details in public.

Full story: The Guardian

MASH having a positive impact on child protection in London

The turnaround time for child protection cases judged as high or complex needs has almost halved in some areas since the London multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) programme began in 2011, according to a new academic report from the University of Greenwich.

Full story: London Councils

English courts still top the league for generous divorce payouts

English courts have more flexibility in granting settlements than courts in most other countries, leading to higher awards.

Full story: The Telegraph

Serious case reviews ‘politically abused’ since death of Baby P, claims expert

Safeguarding expert claims serious case review authors face ministerial disapproval if they don't criticise the local authority.

Full story: Community Care

No less than 'good' for children's homes demands Ofsted

Ofsted has published proposals for a new framework to improve standards in children's homes and drive up quality for the country's most vulnerable children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Women behaving badly: cuckolded and downtrodden husbands filling divorce courts

A new analysis of official divorce figures, dating back 40 years, shows a dramatic rise in the number of separations in which “unreasonable behaviour” by women has been recognised by the courts as the main cause.

Full story: The Telegraph

Divorcing couples regret the impact on children but don’t tend to seek help, survey finds

Divorced couples significantly regret the impact that their split had on their children but tend not to seek help with their relationship, according to a survey conducted by Seddons in conjunction with The Marriage Foundation.

Full story: Family Law Week

Birmingham reforms children's services after damning reports

Council damned over Keanu Williams case will invest extra £9m as part of 'radical' strategy, but admits service for vulnerable children still not consistent.

Full story: The Guardian

Ofsted publishes new framework for inspecting Cafcass

Unannounced inspections will treat Cafcass as one organisation.

Full story: Family Law Week

Attainment gap between looked after children and others narrows slightly but remains large

Statistics on outcomes for children looked after by local authorities in England, released by the Department for Education, show that the attainment gap between such children and their peer group is diminishing but is still great.

Full story: Family Law Week

New FCO figures show parental child abduction cases on the rise

The number of parental child abduction and custody cases has more than doubled over the last decade, with almost two children being abducted abroad each day, according to new figures released today by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and charity, Reunite.

Full story: Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Pregnant woman with 'very severe' mental health problems could be forced to have Caesarean

A pregnant woman with “very severe” mental health problems could be forcibly sedated and have her baby delivered via Caesarean section against her will if the need arose, a High Court Judge has ruled.

Full story: The Independent

Marriages can be performed at Scientologists’ churches, decides Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has decided that Scientology is a religion and since the church of the Church of Scientology was a "place of meeting for religious worship", then it could be registered for the solemnisation of marriages under the Marriage Act 1949.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass private law demand

In November 2013, Cafcass received a total of 3,524 new private law cases. This is a 15% decrease on November 2012 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in November 2013

In November 2013, Cafcass received a total of 816 applications. This figure represents a 15% decrease compared to those received in November 2012.

Full story: Cafcass

Government u-turn on plans to remove councils from adoption recruitment process

'Common sense' amendment to the children and families bill has been hailed a triumph by local authorities.

Full story: Community Care

New cuts to experts’ fees compromises care cases

New cuts to the civil legal aid remuneration rates that came into force on 2 December 2013 are deterring a significant number of professionals from acting as expert witnesses in the family courts.

Full story: Family Law

Same-sex weddings to begin in March

The first same-sex weddings can take place from 29 March 2014, equalities minister Maria Miller says.

Full story: BBC News

Top reasons high cost family cases are rejected

The Ministry of Justice has analysed the top reasons why high cost family case plans are being rejected.

Full story: Family Law

Care proceedings run 14 weeks beyond target

The average length of care proceedings is still 14 weeks over a new target due to be introduced in April, latest figures show.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Adoption agency advertises children in local newspapers

Some have criticised the Adoptionplus campaign saying youngsters should not be advertised like an unwanted animal or second hand sofa.

Full story: The Telegraph

Father refused access to daughter despite 82 court orders

A father, described as "unimpeachable" by judges has told of his 12 year battle to see his teenage daughter, where he has been refused access despite 82 court orders allowing him to see her.

Full story: The Telegraph

MoJ to tackle fall in mediation referrals

The Ministry of Justice has sought to bolster its mediation strategy in the face of a dramatic fall in referrals in the past six months.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Couples should not have children until they are ready to marry, says High Court judge

A senior High Court judge has argued that couples should not have children until they are ready to wed.

Full story: The Independent

Ten new projects help thousands of separated couples co-operate on parenting

Projects to help separated couples resolve grievances and agree financial and parenting arrangements in their children's best interests.

Full story: Department for Work & Pensions

Children and young people’s mental health neglected by local authorities

‘Overlooked and Forgotten’ report reveals failure to address mental health needs of under-18s.

Full story: Family Law Week

Non-means tested legal aid restored for patients detained under Mental Capacity Act 2005

In the Court of Protection cases of UF v A Local Authority & Ors, the Ministry of Justice and Legal Aid Agency have effectively restored non-means tested legal aid in s21A MCA cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children face three-year wait for care case decisions

Dozens of care proceedings cases initiated more than three years ago remain unresolved leaving vulnerable children with uncertain futures.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Teach married couples about monogamy for sake of the children, says High Court judge

Married couples should be sent to classes promoting monogamy to help spare children lifelong scars from family breakdown, according to the High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge.

Full story: The Telegraph

Autumn Statement 2013: Marriage tax break 'will help poorest families’

More than four million married couples will be given tax breaks worth up to £200 a year.

Full story: The Telegraph

High Court judge orders life-saving bone marrow transplant to go ahead for three-year-old boy against father's will

A three-year-old boy whose father tried to prevent him receiving life-saving hospital treatment will have a bone marrow transplant on Thursday following an emergency ruling by a High Court judge.

Full story: The Independent

Judge rules that man in vegetative state should not be resuscitated if his condition deteriorates

The 78-year-old man's son said his family were 'trying to hang on to him' while giving evidence via video link.

Full story: The Independent

Civil courts to turn a profit under fee reforms

Wealthy litigants will have to stump up higher fees under government proposals to help put the civil courts on a ‘solid financial footing’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Supreme Court orders return of son to Texas in KL (A Child)

Court exercises inherent jurisdiction to return child with UK habitual residence.

Full story: Family Law Week

First national picture of foster carer recruitment published

A new report by the Fostering Network has, for the first time, provided a picture of foster carer recruitment across English local authorities.

Full story: Family Law Week

Foster children may stay with carers until age 21

Children in care in England will be able to stay with their foster families until their 21st birthday, rather than having to leave at 18, ministers say.

Full story: BBC News

Support for vulnerable women and taxpayers in court fees changes

People taking high value cases through civil courts in England and Wales will be expected to pay much more towards their running costs, Courts Minister Shailesh Vara has announced - while the fees for domestic violence injunctions will be scrapped.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Essex County Council responds to C-section care case

Essex County Council has responded to the media reports concerning the delivery, without the mother's consent, of a baby by caesarean section and the child's removal into care of the local authority.

Full story: Family Law Week

Only half of public express confidence in the family courts on children matters

A survey examining public attitudes to the courts and, principally, court fees suggests that only half of those asked have confidence in certain aspects of the family courts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Doncaster fears delay in children's trust timeframe

Plans to create an independent trust to run child protection services in Doncaster are at risk of delay, the authority has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Domestic violence services 'at breaking point'

Services to help female victims of domestic violence are at "breaking point" because of "shocking gaps" in funding, Women's Aid has warned.

Full story: BBC News

Child protection system is 'beyond breaking point'

The child protection system is "beyond breaking point" and social workers are facing increasing pressure, a report by MPs said.

Full story: ITV News

Doncaster review team to assess future of Birmingham’s troubled children’s services

The government has ended speculation about the immediate future of Birmingham council’s children’s services, announcing a review of the troubled department.

Full story: Community Care

Safeguarding board defends Hamzah Khan review

Bradford Safeguarding Children Board has defended its serious case review into the death of four-year-old Hamzah Khan.

Full story: Community Care

Expert witness fee cut could 'hinder' family court judges

Children’s lawyers and social work bodies have raised concerns that it will be harder to find expert witnesses to give evidence in care cases due to a cut in fees paid to them through the legal aid system.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Autumn Statement 2013: Married couples 'no better off' after tax break

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is raising doubts about the effectiveness of David Cameron's £700 million plan to cut taxes for married couples.

Full story: The Telegraph

Beneficiaries of offshore trusts ordered to disclose documents

In Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] EWHC 3627 (Fam) Mr Justice Moylan has given a judgment explaining his order in financial remedy proceedings for disclosure by beneficiaries of offshore discretionary trusts who had been joined as parties.

Full story: Family Law Week