Divorce laws should be tougher on women, says top female peer

Baroness Deech argues that young women are being effectively dissuaded from pursuing careers as finding a rich man is all they need to do under the current system.

Full story: The Telegraph

Statistics show January divorce spike is no myth

Family lawyers braced for busy new-year period with divorce instructions up 27% on average.

Full story: Family Law

Lack of social workers puts vulnerable children at risk

Vulnerable children are being put at risk, it is claimed, because councils are unable to fill vacant child social worker posts.

Full story: The Independent

Chef and author Lorraine Pascale is new Fostering Ambassador

Lorraine Pascale to bring the same enthusiasm and dedication seen in the kitchen to support some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Full story: Department for Education

Judge accuses 'well-heeled' parents of using children as 'weapons' in bitter divorce battle

Judge Jeremy Lea criticises the 'intelligent, well-educated and well-heeled' couple in a written ruling following a family court hearing in Nottingham.

Full story: The Telegraph

New family court centre opens in East London

A new family court in East London was today opened by the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, and minister Simon Hughes.

Full story: Family Law

Volume of family mediation starts 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels

According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice, the number of family mediations getting underway is still 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels.

Full story: Family Law

Russian academic 'brainwashed' sons abducted in London

A Russian academic "abducted" his two sons from London and "brainwashed" them, the High Court has heard.

Full story: BBC News

Children in care and adoption performance tables published

Performance by English local authorities shown on 16 key indicators.

Full story: Family Law Week

Latest adoption scorecards published

Stats set out performance of English local authorities for year to 31st March 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 4) Rules 2014

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) (Amendment) Rules 2014

These Rules amend the Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) Rules 2014 to make provision in relation to the allocation in the family court of certain proceedings under Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12th June 2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters.

Statutory Instrument

Representation slumps in family law

The proportion of private family law cases in which both parties were represented has almost halved since legal aid reforms were introduced.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

New domestic abuse law on controlling behaviour unveiled

A new domestic abuse offence for "coercive and controlling behaviour" within relationships has been announced by the home secretary.

Full story: BBC News

Family court statistics quarterly

A collection giving National Statistics on activity in the family courts of England and Wales.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Sixty four per cent of separated parents now choosing to work together

More than 6 out of 10 separated parents using the new Child Maintenance Service are now choosing to make their own financial arrangements.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Judge uses Shakespeare's 'King Lear' to decide divorce settlement figure

A High Court judge who was attempting to decide the settlement figure in a divorce case admitted he turned to the works of William Shakespeare for help.

Full story: The Independent

Family court transparency ‘will result in death’ – commissioner

A senior government adviser has warned that children will be at greater risk of suicide if family court proceedings are opened up to greater publicity.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Fall in parents applying for child maintenance help continues as charges bite

New government figures indicate thousands more parents are being deterred from seeking help from the new Child Maintenance Service after fees were brought in this summer, warns Gingerbread.

Full story: Gingerbread

Failures by social services led to death of baby

Review finds Child A died after being left in care of mother who was known to have taken heroin throughout pregnancy.

Full story: The Guardian

Social workers must not ‘shy away’ from adoption – top family judge

Sir James Munby seeks to head off collapse in adoption placements warning that children could be put at risk by new obsession with keeping them with relatives ‘at all costs’.

Full story: The Telegraph

New divorce service will ‘spark a sea-change’ in how separation is handled

HJA's fixed-fee offering said to appeal to middle-income families hoping to avoid the 'appalling profligacy' of legal expenditure.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

£339m payout ‘could see fewer couples divorce in UK’

London could lose its reputation as the divorce capital of the world, lawyers have warned after details of a High Court judgment involving the largest settlement of its kind were published last Friday.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Removal of legal aid top concern according to Grant Thornton annual matrimonial survey

The increased number of litigants in person has attracted a strong response from family lawyers in this year's Grant Thornton matrimonial survey.

Full story: Family Law

Father treated ‘like Kafka character’ by Family Court – top judge

High Court judge likens treatment of father by the Family Court to the storyline of Franz Kafka’s The Trial.

Full story: The Telegraph

Challenge to domestic violence legal aid changes

Four in 10 victims of domestic violence are unable to meet the government’s requirements for claiming legal aid a campaign group backed by the Law Society said as a challenge to the lawfulness of changes to legal aid for domestic violence victims reached the High Court today.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Cohabitation Rights Bill goes to Committee stage

Today the Cohabitation Rights Bill, introduced by Lords Marks, had its second reading in the House of Lords and passed through to Committee stage.

Full story: Resolution

15% of parents contacting Child Maintenance Options choose an ‘effective’ family-based arrangement

A report by the Department for Work and Pensions has produced numbers and percentages of (what it terms) effective family-based arrangements made by separated parents after contacting the Child Maintenance Options service.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoptions in year to March 2014 rose by 26%

Number of looked after children in England and Wales continues to rise slightly.

Full story: Family Law Week

Muslim 'wives' discover that they have no marriage rights

A report by Aurat:Supporting Women, a West Midlands charity which supports victims of honour-based violence, seeks to expose the vulnerability which, it says, Muslim women living in Islamic 'marriages' in the UK are experiencing.

Full story: Family Law Week

The High Court (Distribution of Business) Order 2014 (SI 2014/3257)

This Order assigns to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court all applications for writs of habeas corpus, except applications for a writ of habeas corpus for release relating to a minor, and assigns to Family Division of the High Court all applications for a writ of habeas corpus for release relating to a minor.

Statutory Instrument

Oil executive loses £2m home in divorce battle

A millionaire oil industry executive who hid his true wealth from his ex-wife deserved everything he got when she won the keys to their £2 million home, the Appeal Court has ruled.

Full story: Evening Standard

Eight-year-old British girl 'unlawfully' taken to US by mother

Jessica Monkman is thought to be living in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her mother Natalie Lewis, who defied a court order not to take her abroad, say lawyers for her "heartbroken" father.

Full story: The Telegraph

Research highlights extreme vulnerability of victims of CSE

Victims may think their relationships with perpetrators are ‘consensual’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal experts reveal concerns regarding proposals for a proposed ‘streamlined procedure’

Lawyers representing two vulnerable adults in a case which will have major consequences for all of those affected by Deprivation of Liberty applications have been given permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning proposals recommended by the President of the Court of Protection for a new ‘streamlined procedure’.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass private law demand

In November 2014, Cafcass received a total of 3,171 new private law cases. This is a 9% decrease on November 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in November 2014

In November 2014, Cafcass received a total of 885 applications. This figure represents a 7% increase compared to those received in November 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Same sex civil partnerships can be turned into marriages

Many of the civil partnerships formed by same sex couples over the past decade expected to be converted into marriages.

Full story: The Guardian

Baroness Claire Tyler reappointed as the Chair of Cafcass

The Secretary of State announces today the reappointment of Baroness Claire Tyler as the Chair of Cafcass for 3 years from 24 January 2015.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Appointment of 5 members of the Family Procedure Rule Committee

Lord Chancellor appoints Jane Harris, Hannah Perry, Dylan Jones, Michael Horton and William Tyler QC as new members of the Family Procedure Rule Committee.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Judge rules Jehovah’s Witness boy can receive blood transfusion

High court ruling says decision made in youngster’s best interests despite religious objections from parents.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge issues ultimatum after ‘absurd’ £1.3m family dispute

A judge has taken the unusual step of removing most case documents from court and giving partners a final ultimatum to settle their separation dispute.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Supreme Court hears wife’s appeal in Vince v Wyatt

On Monday, 8th December, and Tuesday, 9th December, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal by the wife in the case of Vince v Wyatt [2013] EWCA Civ 495.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal aid procedures causing problems for the Family Court, says the President

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, says that problems with the quality of decision-making by the Legal Aid Agency, and the complexity of the process for applying for legal aid, is, in some private family law cases, skewing the court process , and risks undermining positive outcomes for children and parents.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal aid slashed with no thought for consequences, MoJ chief admits

The legal aid bill is being slashed by £300m without research into the potential effect of the cuts, the most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Justice has admitted.

Full story: The Independent

Court of Protection judge hits out at expense of cases costing £9,000 a month

A judge has sharply criticised the delay and expense of proceedings in the Court of Protection, describing the relevant procedural rules as “inadequate”.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Council childcare lawyer sees rise in use of e-Courtbundles after pilot success

There is huge scope for the use of e-Courtbundles in care proceedings, a solicitor leading a pilot project between Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Family Court has predicted.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Couple launch legal challenge against ban on heterosexual civil partnerships

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan launch judicial review after trying to hold ceremony at town hall and being turned away.

Full story: The Guardian

'Manipulative' tycoon Didier Thiry ordered to pay ex-wife £17m

Property investor showed "sadistic side to personality" since relationship with Alisa Thiry broke down, High Court judge says as he awards £17m payout.

Full story: The Telegraph

New powers to prevent sham marriages announced

New powers to enable the Home Office to tackle sham marriages have been announced by Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Families are paying the high price of legal aid cuts’: Nicholas Lavender QC

Bar Council responds to National Audit Office’s report on civil legal aid.

Full story: Family Law Week

Report on experiences and needs of LiPs published

The Ministry of Justice has published findings from a study into the experiences and support needs of litigants in person in private family law cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

North East Lincolnshire Council social workers criticised by judge

Three council social workers have been criticised for "bias" by a judge asked to decide the future of a three-year-old boy whose mother has died.

Full story: BBC News

Jamie Cooper-Hohn wins £337m in High Court divorce case

The American wife of a London financier has been awarded £337m by a High Court judge in a divorce case.

Full story: BBC News

LiPs not to blame for delays in family courts

MOJ publishes experimental statistics providing the results of analyses of estimated hearing duration in Private Law cases in England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

One in four face financial trouble following relationship split

Britons are turning to credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans following a relationship break-up according to the findings of a new survey.

Full story: Resolution

Baby P effect takes children in care numbers to 25-year high, says NAO

Local authorities in England were looking after 68,110 children in March 2013 – a 14% increase since 2008.

Full story: The Guardian

Children on protection register in Wales total rises again

The number of children on child protection registers in Wales has risen for the sixth year running.

Full story: BBC News

County loses appeal over support for disabled Roma child who moves out of area

A county council has lost a Court of Appeal bid to overturn a ruling that the authority had the power to provide support for a disabled child even when his Roma Gypsy family are working in different parts of the country and outside its borders.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Government announces £10m fund to help eliminate violence against women and girls

The government has announced a £10 million fund to support women’s refuges in 100 areas across England.

Full story: Family Law

Divorce hurting British workplaces

British businesses are suffering as a result of divorce and separation. That’s the finding of a new piece of research from family law not for profit group Resolution.

Full story: Resolution

Expert online welfare rights service goes live

The Child Poverty Action Group has launched an innovative online welfare rights information and advice service for advisers and claimants.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce: the devastating cost for children

Watching parents split up has a devastaing impact on a child's future, according to a new report.

Full story: The Telegraph

New domestic violence law will outlaw coercive control

Theresa May expected to unveil plans to put psychological and emotional abuse on a par with domestic violence.

Full story: The Telegraph

Father accused of rape granted exceptional funding in family proceedings

Bar Pro Bono Unit notes steep rise in family applications.

Full story: Family Law Week

All divorce petition processing to be centralised by October 2015

Final decisions to be made by end of November.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Commission seeks to simplify the law of child abduction and kidnapping

In a report published today, the Commission is recommending reforms that will clarify the offences of kidnapping and false imprisonment, and allow for the prosecution of parents who keep their children overseas in contravention of a court order or without permission of the other parent or guardian.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lack of legal aid in child cases soars

Increasing number of family law cases being heard without parties having legal representation, official auditors reveal.

Full story: The Guardian

Free relationship counselling for parents to rescue marriages

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says ministers will announce guidance for health visitors on how to 'recognise and respond to the signs of relationship difficulties'.

Full story: The Telegraph

Confusion for social workers as judge urges Supreme Court to reconsider deprivation of liberty stance

Expert says Court of Protection ruling "flies in the face" of landmark Cheshire West judgement handed down in March by Supreme Court.

Full story: Community Care

70,000 troubled families have had their lives turned around, report says

The government has issued a report detailing the progress it has made since it published 'Social Justice: transforming lives' in 2012.

Full story: Family Law

Parents face funding test to stop their children going into care

Parents facing the prospect of having their children taken away from them should have legal aid to fight their case, the Bar Council has said.

Full story: The Bar Council

New Practice Direction on deprivation of liberty comes into force

Practice Direction 10AA (Deprivation of Liberty Applications), supplementing the Court of Protection Rules 2007, comes into force today.

Full story: Family Law

Mostyn J calls for fixed pricing in ancillary relief cases

‘Totally disproportionate’ costs of £920,000 consume 32% of assets.

Full story: Family Law Week

McKenzie Friends’ trade association introduces new rules

Society of Professional McKenzie Friends responds to Legal Services Board recommendations.

Full story: Family Law Week

£19 million of support available for adoptive families

The new funding will be available to help adoptive families across the country settle their children into their new home.

Full story: Department for Education

New association established for child abduction lawyers

CALA welcomes specialist practitioners as members.

Full story: Family Law Week

Serious case reviews to be commissioned by the government, says Timpson

Children's minister criticises the efficacy and quality of Local Safeguarding Children Boards and serious case reviews.

Full story: Community Care

Gohil goes to Supreme Court

Appeal against ‘non-disclosure’ decision to be heard with Sharland.

Full story: Family Law Week

Education Committee endorses Anne Longfield’s candidacy as new Children’s Commissioner

The House of Commons Education Select Committee has endorsed the candidacy of Anne Longfield as the new Children's Commissioner for England.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court judge blasts lack of judicial resources to meet care proceedings timings

A High Court judge refused to embark on a final hearing in a complex child care case because of lack of time and the absence of any slack in the family court system to allow for an early hearing, it has emerged.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Marriage becoming 'preserve of the wealthy'

Since 2001 those in the top social class have gone from being 24 per cent more likely to be married to 50 per cent more likely, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Full story: The Telegraph

Couple rack up legal bills of nearly £1m fighting divorce battle (over assets worth just £2.9m)

High Court judge presiding over case says he was 'almost lost for words when the scale of this madness was revealed to me.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care applications in October 2014

In October 2014, Cafcass received a total of 999 applications. This figure represents a 2% increase compared to those received in October 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In October 2014, Cafcass received a total of 3,419 new private law cases. This is a 13% decrease on October 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Judges’ 'resentment' toward Government adding to adoption slump, ex-minister warns

Tim Loughton, the former Children’s Minister, argues that ‘blame-game’ between judges and social workers lies behind fall in adoption requests.

Full story: The Telegraph

Domestic violence should be specific criminal offence, says Law Commission

Consultation paper suggests move as response to concerns that violence within relationships is not being effectively policed.

Full story: The Guardian

Number of adoptions plunges to crisis level after Michael Gove reforms

Adoption reform watchdog warns of ‘alarming’ decline after judges voice concern over ‘lamentable’ failings in assessments.

Full story: The Telegraph

President’s Guidance of 10 November 2014: The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit

An increasing number of children cases have an international element and courts often require information from other jurisdictions before being able to proceed. The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit has provided the following guidance, which will help practitioners to follow the correct route to obtain information.

Full story: Family Law

Article 15 requests under Brussels IIR must be considered as early as possible

Pauffley J reminds practitioners of the urgency of addressing jurisdictional issues.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Serious and deeply ingrained problems’ in children’s and adolescents’ mental health service

Health Select Committee reports on state of CAMHS.

Full story: Family Law Week

Council ordered to pay £12k damages to parents over removal of baby

A judge has ordered Leicester City Council to pay £6,000 each in damages to parents with learning difficulties whose baby was removed by a care order.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Mother allowed to change twin sons' surname over father's blogging

Woman given permission to change her children's names after telling judge of 'bizarre conduct' of father on internet blogging sites.

Full story: The Telegraph

Acting as a Litigation Friend in the Court of Protection – new Guidance now out

The Guidance aims to demystify the Court of Protection generally and the role of litigation friend specifically so as to enable more people to consider taking up the role – thereby ensuring the better promotion and protection of the rights of those said to be lacking capacity to take their own decisions.

Full story: Family Law

Unhappy father must stop 'snide remarks' about ex-partner's lesbian lover, judge rules

Mrs Justice Pauffley suggested the man and his ex-partner should talk about the 'distress, unhappiness, mistrust and bitterness' rather than sniping at each other.

Full story: The Telegraph

Nine-fold hike in Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards caseloads confirmed by official figures

Government statistics confirm findings of Community Care investigation into impact of Supreme Court ruling on Dols case numbers.

Full story: Community Care

Pay your child maintenance or damage your credit rating

Separated parents who fail to contribute financially to the upbringing of their children, face ruining their credit rating from next year.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Solicitor mediation referrals plummet post-LASPO

Divorcing couples are increasingly seeking mediation themselves rather than through a solicitor, new figures have revealed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Courts deliver blow to government adoption drive

The government’s push on adoptions is facing a setback after it was claimed rises in the number of children being adopted will stall due to courts granting fewer adoption orders.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Student with schizophrenia must have son adopted

Judge tells mother of one-year-old boy that custody risks are too great, despite her showing ‘good response’ to medication.

Full story: The Guardian

Adopted parents receive heartfelt thanks from minister

Adoptive parents across the country have received a personal letter of thanks from the Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson.

Full story: Department for Education

Sperm deal children ‘irredeemably marred’ by four-parent feud

Judge warns of trauma ‘unleashed’ by fallout from ‘known-donor fertilisation’ arrangement between former friends.

Full story: The Telegraph

Free mediation for more separating couples

More separating couples will benefit from free mediation from 3 November, Simon Hughes has announced.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Concerns over adoption service cash support for families

Children may miss out for adoption in Wales because the equivalent service in England will have a dedicated fund for supporting families, experts fear.

Full story: BBC News

Legal aid cuts denied mother a fair hearing, says senior judge

‘If legal aid is being refused to people such as this, I am satisfied that injustices will occur,’ say family court judge Louise Hallam.

Full story: The Observer

Government ‘washing its hands’ of legal aid problem for vulnerable parents

Senior judge calls on justice secretary Chris Grayling to attend hearing to answer how justice can be delivered.

Full story: The Guardian

First ever ‘families test’ for government published

All new laws or government policies will face a new ‘families test’ to make sure they support strong and stable families.

Full story: Family Law

Children's social work to have new set of standards

The government has announced changes to children's social work in England, to restore confidence in the service.

Full story: BBC News

Judge defends media blackout over death of Poppi Worthington

Secrecy over 13-month-old’s death in 2012 to protect siblings and avoid prejudicing possible future trial, says high court judge.

Full story: The Guardian

Referrals to children’s social care up by 10%

The Department for Education has published information as to the characteristics of children referred to and assessed by children's social services as children in need between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Care leaver strategy: 1 year on

A new report documents the progress that has been made 1 year since the Care Leaver Strategy was launched and sets out how the Government intends to further improve support for care leavers.

Full story: Family Law

Troubled Families programme turning 117,000 lives around

Eric Pickles has welcomed the latest success of the Troubled Families programme, a crucial part of the government’s long-term economic plan to the turn the country around and help bring security and opportunity to families and communities.

Full story: Family Law

Tiger charity director 'fabricated' divorce claims against husband, judge rules

A conservationist who falsely claimed her millionaire husband used donations to a tiger charity to fund their lavish lifestyle was “blinded by her desire for revenge”, a divorce judge has ruled.

Full story: The Telegraph

Groundswell of support building for cohabitation law reform, says Resolution

In recent weeks there has been a groundswell of support for much needed reform of the law on how unmarried couples are treated when they separate.

Full story: Resolution

English court refuses to enforce foreign custody order

Holman J refuses to enforce Turkish custody order because, in the circumstances, to do so would be incompatible with English family law principles.

Full story: Family Law Week

Voice of the child not heard in transparency debate, claims Resolution

Resolution have published their response to Transparency - the next steps, claiming that the view of the individual child who is the subject of family proceedings is becoming lost in the debate.

Full story: Family Law

Charity aiding male victims of DV supports proposed law change

The ManKind Initiative, a charity supporting male victims of domestic violence, is supporting the recommendation that there should be a specific offence of domestic abuse that sets out that coercive and controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship as a criminal offence.

Full story: Family Law Week

The President discharges location order due to failure to comply with the direction as to the service of the order

Order should have been served by Tipstaff.

Full story: Family Law Week

Grayling shelves plan to double the fee for getting a divorce

The Secretary of State for Justice, Chris Grayling, has quietly shelved plans to nearly double the fee for filing a divorce petition.

Full story: The Independent

New Government court support a ‘sticking plaster' for a wounded family justice system, says Resolution

Family law organisation Resolution believes that today’s announcement by Government for court support for litigants in person will help some people who have already reached the stage of litigation, but will not address the wider issues stemming from the loss of legal aid.

Full story: Resolution

Initiative promises legal advice for those without lawyers in courts

Ministry of Justice scheme will cover family law and civil cases, and aims to fill the gap left following cuts in legal aid.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge rules pregnant paranoid schizophrenic woman must undergo Caesarean section

A judge has ruled a pregnant woman who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia will undergo a Caesarean section.

Full story: The Independent

Government publishes response to consultation on looked-after children

The government has published its response to the Consultation on Looked-after Children: Improving Permanence, which took place from 30 September 2013 to 29 November 2013.

Full story: Family Law

Breaking the cycle of repeat care proceedings

£3m has been set aside by the Government to fund projects aimed at breaking the cycle of births and repeat care proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Parental involvement must be about what is best for the child, not what parents see as their ‘rights', says Resolution

Resolution today welcomed the launch of the new parental involvement clause of the Children and Families Act 2014, but said professionals and the public needed to be clear about what this means in practice.

Full story: Resolution

A wider definition of domestic abuse will help social workers safeguard more adult victims

Social work organisations respond to a Home Office consultation on strengthening the law around domestic abuse.

Full story: Community Care

Female genital mutilation: proposal to introduce a civil protection order

Following the consultation ‘Female genital mutilation: proposal to introduce a civil protection order’ launched by the Prime Minister at the Girl Summit on 22 July 2014, the government is taking forward provisions in the Serious Crime Bill to implement this proposal.

Full story: Family Law

Marriage is no better than cohabiting and legal rights should be abolished, says judge

Sir Nicholas Mostyn said that there was no difference between the relationships of married and unmarried couples, and condemned the divorce system that gives special protection to wives.

Full story: Daily Mail

Government rejects calls by MPs for a ban on B&Bs for care leavers

The Department for Education tells the Education Committee that a total ban on bed and breakfasts risks leaving young people with nowhere to go in emergencies.

Full story: Community Care

Child witnesses of domestic violence need better support, claim

Not enough support is being offered to the one in four children experts say will witness domestic violence by the age of 18, it is claimed.

Full story: BBC News

Multi-million pound divorce 'can be heard in England'

A multi-million pound divorce between a wealthy Malaysian couple can be heard in an English court, a judge has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

Fewer than one in four couples seeking counselling to save marriage

Survey reveals women more open to seeking specialist help to avoid divorce.

Full story: Family Law Week

Munby urges radical reform of family courts

The president of the Family Division has publicly questioned whether divorce should remain subject to judicial supervision.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

No need for human rights proportionality evaluation in private law children proceedings

Legislative mechanism for such decisions is ‘human rights compliant’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Order for security of costs granted against Michael Prest

Order made in respect of husband’s appeal against committal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Revised regulations set out the process for the conversion of civil partnerships into marriages, giving couples more choice

Couples in a civil partnership will have the option to convert it into a marriage before Christmas once regulations laid before Parliament yesterday are approved.

Full story: Family Law

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 5 and Transitional Provision) Order 2014

This Order brings into force section 11 (welfare of the child: parental involvement) of the Children and Families Act 2014 on 22nd October 2014 subject to the transitional provision set out in Article 4.

Statutory Instrument

High-flying housewife seeks larger slice of ex's £11m fortune in divorce courts

Julia Hammans says she "sacrficed" her career during marriage to husband Nicholas, who went on to become a partner in Price Waterhouse Coopers while she is being forced to sell the family home.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care leavers' 'emotional needs unmet'

The emotional needs of children who have been in care are not being well looked after, a charity suggests.

Full story: BBC News

Presumption of parental involvement to come into force on 22 October 2014

The President of the Family Division has today announced that the presumption of parental involvement at section 11 of the Children and Families Act 2014 (which inserts new sections 1(2)A, 1(2)B, 1(6) and 1(7) into the Children Act 1989) will come into force on 22 October 2014.

Full story: Family Law

Practice Guidance: Family Court – Duration of ex-parte (without notice) orders

Practice guidance issued by the President of the Family Division on 13 October 2014.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Over 60% of parents unrepresented in private children proceedings

Over sixty percent of parents are now without a lawyer when going to court to contest arrangements for their children, new government figures reveal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Closer solicitor–mediator collaboration is key to brighter future, says NFM

Call for legal intervention in divorce to be ‘proportionate’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Gingerbread welcomes Public Accounts Committee’s child maintenance warnings

Charity pleased to see single parents’ concerns about the impact of new charges to use the Child Maintenance Service taken up by the Public Accounts Committee.

Full story: Gingerbread

Care applications in September 2014

In September 2014, Cafcass received a total of 902 applications. This figure represents an 7% increase compared to those received in September 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In September 2014, Cafcass received a total of 2,858 new private law cases. This is a 25% decrease on September 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

The Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) (Amendment) Regulations 2014

These Regulations amend the Adoption Information and Intermediary Services (Pre-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005, which make provision under section 98 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 for the purposes of assisting persons adopted before the 30th December 2005 to obtain information about their adoption and to facilitate contact between those persons and their birth relatives.

Statutory Instrument

Legal aid cuts are biggest problem for solicitors in Wales

The latest Law Society annual firm survey shows that almost half of law firms in Wales are experiencing problems as a result of changes to the legal aid system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children must be protected from parents' problem drinking – Children’s Commissioner

New study identifies steps to be taken by health and social services.

Full story: Family Law Week

Civil news: updated family mediation guidance available

Draft amendments to guidance to prepare for changes to family mediation funding.

Full story: Legal Aid Agency

Denial of legal aid in Court of Protection cases "a false economy", says judge

Denying individuals legal aid for complex Court of Protection cases is a false economy, a High Court judge has warned.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Hughes promises action on litigants in person

Justice minister Simon Hughes has said the government will make an announcement within weeks on tackling the issues raised by the growing number of litigants in person.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Couples converting from civil partnerships will get backdated marriage certificates

The government has confirmed that backdated marriage certificates will be issued to couples converting their civil partnerships to marriages.

Full story: Pink News

TACT concerned at sharp rise in special guardianship orders

Charity believes that Government reforms are helping only younger children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Victims of domestic violence forced to face abusers in court ordeal

Growing numbers of domestic violence victims are being quizzed by their former partners in court due to cuts in legal aid which have led to a rise in litigation-in-person cases, family law specialists are warning.

Full story: The Independent

Government adoption reforms only impacting younger children, says charity

TACT’s chief executive Andy Elvin also voiced concerns about the number of special guardianship orders being issued by local authorities.

Full story: Community Care

75% of foster carers expected to make use of “staying put” arrangements

Nearly three quarter of foster carers looking after young people aged over 16 expect them to stay for more than a year, with four out of ten expecting them to stay for more than three years according to The Fostering Network.

Full story: Community Care

Court loosens ‘nonsensical’ six month deadline for surrogacy parents

Surrogacy parents who miss deadline may still secure parental status.

Full story: Family Law Week

Dramatic drop in parents applying for child maintenance help as charges begin

New government figures indicate thousands of parents are choosing not to seek help from the new government Child Maintenance Service because of new charges brought in this summer, warns Gingerbread.

Full story: Gingerbread

Multi-millionaire mathematician faces an 'astronomical' £19m legal bill

Dr Martin Coward is set to incur what could be the most expensive divorce bill in Britain after losing his appeal over control of the hedge fund founded with his ex-wife.

Full story: The Telegraph

Thousands of families shut out from justice since Government cuts

The Bar Council has warned that families across England and Wales have felt the full brunt of the Government’s civil legal aid cuts.

Full story: Family Law

Family mediation tender 2015 opens

The Legal Aid Agency has today opened the tender process for new organisations wanting to deliver family mediation from February 2015 and for current providers seeking to undertake work at extra outreach locations.

Full story: Family Law

Councils could save £150m on foster care services, says report

Local authorities would be able to save a total of £150m a year by improving the way they work with prospective foster parents, a report has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New national standards for family court experts

New national standards designed to raise the quality of expert witness evidence in family court cases and speed up proceedings become law.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Centralised divorce processing due within a year says President

Comments made in judgment on the Italian divorce fraud cases.

Full story: Family Law Hub

UK court annuls 180 Italian divorces registered to Maidenhead mailbox

Woman charged around €4,000 to arrange for couples to circumvent slow-moving Italian judicial system.

Full story: The Guardian

Brain-damaged boy should have life support withdrawn, rules UK judge

Judge overrules parents’ wishes and gives NHS trust permission to take one-year-old off life support.

Full story: The Guardian

DWP releases latest data on the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published information on cases being processed on the 2012 statutory child maintenance scheme, delivered by the Child Maintenance Service.

Full story: Family Law

Number of looked after children continues to rise

New statistics at both national and local authority levels from the Department for Education show that the number of looked after children in England continues to rise.

Full story: Family Law

High Court to rule whether boy, 1, should be allowed to die

Doctors want to switch off the life-support machine of the boy, who has severe brain damage, but his parents say he should be afforded the "privilege of life".

Full story: The Telegraph

Family win court battle to have mother fed with tube

Doctors agree to try to re-insert woman's feeding tube after family speak of their distress at the case going to court.

Full story: The Telegraph

Research finds major concern amongst children at Family Court transparency plans

Research for the organisation and the National Youth Advocacy Service by Dr Julia Brophy, principal researcher in family justice at the University of Oxford, found a lack of confidence among young people in media reporting of family cases.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Number of cases in family court falls 19% from last year

The Ministry of Justice has published court statistics for the second quarter of 2014 (April to June).

Full story: Family Law

Steep rise in serious case reviews

The number of serious case reviews (SCRs) carried out into cases of child deaths or severe abuse have risen by more than 50 per cent in the space of just a year.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New MoJ/LAA data: low-income families turn backs on court, mediation falls 50% compared to pre-LASPO times

Low-income parents continue to be the major victims of legal aid cuts to family law services, following the release of new quarterly figures by the Ministry of Justice.

Full story: Family Law

Legal aid funding in family cases drops 27% compared to the same quarter last year

According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), legal aid funding in family cases has dropped 27% compared to the same quarter last year.

Full story: Family Law

Latest statistics show that Government push has had little impact on mediation numbers

The latest round of Ministry of Justice Court Statistics show that compulsory Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs) have not had the impact on public mediation numbers that the Government had hoped for, argues family law organisation Resolution.

Full story: Family Law

Relatives of adopted adults now able to trace family tree

Children, grandchildren and other relatives of adopted adults can now trace back through their ancestors’ lives.

Full story: Department for Education

Simon Hughes: We want the best family justice

The true sign of a civilised family justice system is to have more people resolve disputes outside the courts, Justice Minister Simon Hughes said today.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Disabled woman returned home after Court of Protection finds local council unlawfully removed her from family

Judge finds Somerset County Council was in serious breach of family’s human rights.

Full story: Family Law

Number of looked after children in Wales has risen by 23% over last five years

The Welsh Government has published its annual report as to adoptions, outcomes and placements for children looked after by local authorities for the year ended 31 March 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social workers are taking the right actions to keep children safe

Research finds that five years on from the tragic Baby Peter Connelly case local authority social workers are making timely and well prepared care applications for children at risk.

Full story: Cafcass

Barristers take on solicitors in battle for survival: cost of divorce to fall

A team of family law barristers will today overturn centuries of legal tradition by being first to offer the public a fixed fee divorce service designed to keep their clients out of court.

Full story: Family Law

Children being denied justice by legal cuts, says children’s commissioner

Maggie Atkinson says rights guaranteed by UN conventions breached because children unable to navigate complex procedures unaided.

Full story: The Guardian

Don't date before divorce, judge tells women

Mr Justice Mostyn said women who begin new relationships soon after their marriage break-up risk harming their divorce settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Permission to appeal ‘ancillary relief’ decisions should be first sought from court of first instance: Mostyn J

In AB v CB [2014] EWHC 2998 (Fam) Mr Justice Mostyn has said that in ancillary relief cases 'at the very least' an application for permission to appeal must always be made to the judge at first instance before an approach is made to the Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bid to save legal aid for domestic violence victims

The High Court today granted permission for a campaign group to challenge a government policy depriving victims of domestic violence access to legal aid.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Court to decide on domestic abuse legal aid challenge

The High Court is due to decide whether to allow a challenge to rules that determine whether victims of domestic abuse get legal aid in family cases.

Full story: BBC News

One in three women have suffered domestic violence, says Refuge

Refuge, the support charity for women and children suffering domestic violence, has teamed up with ITV's Loose Women to launch a new domestic violence campaign.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bar Council report claims LASPO damages access to justice

The Bar Council has today published a report, based on interviews and a survey of legal practitioners, assessing the impact of LASPO on the justice system a year after implementation in April 2013.

Full story: Family Law

Project is helping warring couples away from court battles to negotiate instead

Organisers of a Government-funded scheme say it is successfully diverting separated parents away from courtroom battles and helping them negotiate instead, enabling them to better support their children.


Full story: Family Law

£300m cost of failed returns for children in care revealed by NSPCC

Researchers found £56m investment in family support when a child returns from care could reduce reunification breakdowns.

Full story: Community Care

Cobb J gives guidance on out of hours and without notice hearings

In Local Authority 1 & Others v AF (Mother) & Others [2014] EWHC 2042 (Fam) Mr Justice Cobb has provided particular guidance to practitioners on the topics of (i) out of hours and without notice hearings and (ii) the preparation of bundles.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family mediation take-up rising, but not yet out of the woods

Autumn likely to signal further improvement on significant increases.

Full story: Family Law

DfE issues advice on child protection cases and care orders where the child has links to a foreign country

The Department for Education has issued guidance on handling child protection cases and care orders where the child has links to a foreign country.

Full story: Family Law

Couples hit hardest by the great recession are most likely to break up

Research shows couples who suffered most during the economic downturn are eight times more likely to have broken up than those least affected.

Full story: The Independent

New protocol launched for tackling stalking and harassment

CPS / ACPO protocol focuses on victims’ needs.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Law Commission extends its review of mental capacity and detention

Review will consider legislation underpinning DoLS under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Full story: Family Law Week

50,000 children set to benefit in child maintenance shake-up

Single and separated parents who have previously received no maintenance from their former partner could start receiving payments.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Care applications in August 2014

In August 2014, Cafcass received a total of 894 applications. This figure represents an 8% increase compared to those received in August 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In August 2014, Cafcass received a total of 2,516 new private law cases. This is a 37% decrease on August 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

High Court rules Ashya King to be freed from legal controls

Trust, communication and respect for individual beliefs by authorities are essential in similar cases, says legal expert.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Woman wins permission to look at late father's adoption files

Court grants request on basis that father, his birth mother and adoptive parents are all known or assumed to be dead.

Full story: The Guardian

One in three children split up from siblings in foster care

A third of UK children have been separated from their brothers and sisters when placed in foster care during the last financial year, Action for Children has found by a Freedom of Information request.

Full story: Family Law Week

Seven in ten looked after children have special educational needs

Looked after children four times more likely than others to have SEN.

Full story: Family Law Week

Many teenagers 'moved from care to B&Bs'

More than half of English councils place young people leaving care in unsuitable accommodation for long periods, data from a charity suggests.

Full story: BBC News

Hillingdon girl likely to stay with foster carers following Ombudsman’s investigation

A disabled Hillingdon girl is now looking forward to a more stable life, following an investigation by the Local Government Ombudsman.

Full story: Family Law Week

Wife granted permission to appeal divorce agreement at Supreme Court

Alison Sharland has been granted permission to take her divorce case to the Supreme Court next June after it was found that her husband misled both her and the High Court over the value of his company.

Full story: Family Law

Muslim victims of domestic violence 'risk alienation if services cut'

Domestic violence services built on feminist principles cannot cater to needs of community, says Muslim Women’s Association.

Full story: The Guardian

Divorce courts hit by delays as warring couples opt to represent themselves

Divorce taking three weeks longer on average than last year as impact of legal aid changes are felt, says law firm.

Full story: The Telegraph

Council criticised over adoption push were acting “against child’s wishes”

Ombudsman has criticised Hillingdon council for trying to remove a disabled girl from caring foster family in pursuit of a more solid placement.

Full story: Community Care

Family courts unfair for litigants in person, MPs told

Litigants in person are not getting fair hearings, the Common’s Justice Committee heard this morning.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Resolution gives evidence to Justice Select Committee on the need to reform family legal aid

Resolution member David Emmerson today told the Justice Select Committee that the family legal aid cuts are leading to a failure of justice for many people, particularly those forced to represent themselves in the family courts.

Full story: Resolution

Legal aid cut for family courts 'damaging' for children

Children are being damaged by the rising number of estranged couples representing themselves in family court battles, a former judge has claimed.

Full story: BBC News

Woman fooled into believing she had given birth allowed to keep child

British couple allowed to keep girl, 2, after judge rules that they were innocent dupes and believed she was their daughter.

Full story: The Telegraph

Majority of family courts miss 26-week target

More than two-thirds of court areas in England have failed to meet a target for care proceedings to be completed within six months.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Guidance on court-authorised interventions during childbirth

Mr Justice Keehan has handed down judgment in An NHS Trust and Anor v FG (By Her Litigation Friend, the Official Solicitor).

Full story: Family Law

Legal Aid Agency announces family mediation tender

The Legal Aid Agency has published information for legal aid providers interested in applying to deliver family mediation from February 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Child Support Agency sees live caseload gradually decreasing

Percentage of parents contributing to current maintenance continues to rise.

Full story: Family Law Week

Couple petition minister over civil partnership conversion regulations

Dissatisfaction expressed at the bureaucratic nature of the ceremony.

Full story: Family Law Week

Rotherham – the report and responses

The independent review into child exploitation in Rotherham highlights a variety of historic and serious child protection failings within the authority and other agencies which led to young people not being protected in the past.

Full story: Family Law Week

Standard Fees tables published

Tables for care and supervision proceedings, and domestic violence, children and finance proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Four family law applications for exceptional case funding have been granted between April and June 2014

The Ministry of Justice has released statistics concerning exceptional case funding in legal aid. The period covered is 1 April 2014 to 30 June 2014.

Full story: Family Law

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional and Saving Provisions) (No. 2) Order 2014

This Order makes transitional provisions in connection with the coming into force on 1st September 2014 of provisions in Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Child protection IT system set for launch

An IT system that will help child protection and health professionals share information about children at risk of abuse and neglect will launch imminently, the Department of Health has confirmed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Divorce getting more unfair because of poker effect – lawyer

Family lawyer warns cost of divorce forcing financially weaker parties – usually the wife – to ‘fold’ early and accept unfair settlements.

Full story: The Telegraph

Warring parents exploiting middle class school places fears in summer divorce battles

Parents targeting summer holidays to force through changes in divorce settlements by exploiting fears over school places, lawyers say.

Full story: The Telegraph

1,409 same-gender marriages between 29 March and 30 June 2014

ONS publishes first same-gender marriage statistics.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in care total rises 12% in four years

Figures show more than 68,000 taken in by social services, with 42,000 having suffered abuse or neglect.

Full story: The Guardian

What’s happened since the Family Justice Review: a brighter future for family justice

This update from the government, along with a guide written for young people, sets out the progress made since the family justice review was published in 2011.

Full story: MoJ and DfE

More free mediation sessions for separating couples

Couples should avoid confrontational courtroom battles and use mediation as more free sessions will be funded by Government, Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has announced.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Domestic abuse crime considered by ministers

A new crime of domestic abuse could be created under plans being considered by ministers.

Full story: BBC News

Councils do not know extent of child neglect in their area

Sixty percent of English local authorities do not know how many children in their area are likely to suffer from neglect, according to new research.

Full story: Action for Children

Number of adoptions increases

The number of children placed for adoption has risen by 14 per cent over the last year, according to latest government figures.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

David Cameron says policies must pass 'family test'

All government policies will have to pass a "family test", David Cameron is expected to say in a speech later.

Full story: BBC News

MFPA 1984 section 13 applications should be heard at local family courts

Holman J questions why applications cannot be heard by district judges.

Full story: Family Law Week

Death us do part: how the prospect of dying is fuelling silver splitter divorces

Disputes about burial plans and legacies driving older couples to divorce courts, say lawyers.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child maintenance enforcement fees will hit vulnerable families hardest, says Resolution

New report from Gingerbread highlights financial struggle for working single parents.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family lawyers sound alarm on separating parents

Separating parents are giving up on the courts and may take the law into their own hands in trying to see their children, family lawyers have warned.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Family Court - Draft Standard Orders

Here, we have all the draft standard orders released to date in one place for ease of reference and will continually update this page with breaking news on the orders project.

Full story: Family Law

Social workers pulled from casework to clear backlog in deprivation of liberty referrals

Warning that scramble for BIAs to cope with surge in referrals in wake of court ruling risks depleting social work teams.

Full story: Community Care

Interim Report of the Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has circulated the Report of the Financial Remedies Working Group for consultation, discussion and comment.

Full story: Family Law

Report of the Financial Remedies Working Group

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has circulated the Report of the Financial Remedies Working Group for consultation, discussion and comment.

Full story: Family Law

Care applications in July 2014

In July 2014, Cafcass received a total of 1,013 applications. This figure represents a 16% increase compared to those received in July 2013. The number of new applications received in July 2014 is the highest ever recorded for a single month.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In July 2014, Cafcass received a total of 2,928 new private law cases. This is a 36% decrease on July 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Family judge criticises NQSW for “unacceptable delays” in complex fostering case

Court blames inadequate care proceedings on a "chronic lack of effective supervision" by Surrey County Council.

Full story: Community Care

Cambridge university academic must return boy to Japan

A Cambridge University academic has been ordered to return her seven-year-old son to his father in Japan, a family court has ruled.

Full story: BBC News

New child maintenance charges will ‘take money from children’

New charges that begin today (Monday 11 August) for both parents using the government’s new Child Maintenance Service will take vital money from children, warns single parent family charity Gingerbread.

Full story: Gingerbread

New child maintenance system fit for the 21st century starts today

The last of a series of radical changes to the child maintenance system is implemented today (11 August 2014).

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Staying Put funds allocated to English local authorities

The Department for Education has allocated the first year of additional funding for Staying Put provision to local authorities in England, with further information on the subsequent two years of funding due to be released in February 2015.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social enterprise pioneers new divorce support panel

Community Interest Company, OnlyMums and Only Dads has just launched a pioneering service for families going through separation or divorce called The Family Law Panel.

Full story: Family Law

Inadequate UK asylum support pushing children into poverty, says The Children’s Society

Time running out for government to re-assess support rates for asylum seekers.

Full story: Family Law Week

Changes needed on exceptional funding, say Chairs of Resolution and FLBA

Jo Edwards and Susan Jacklin QC assess impact of recent family justice changes.

Full story: Family Law Week

Reports of UAE expats ‘liable to Sharia law’ are misleading, says local family lawyer

Importance of understanding UAE laws stressed.

Full story: Family Law Week

President sets out how the Court of Protection should handle deprivation of liberty applications

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has today handed down the long-awaited post-Cheshire ruling, setting out how the Court of Protection should handle deprivation of liberty applications.

Full story: Family Law

Man jailed for breaching domestic violence protection order

A 32-year-old man from Stevenage has been jailed for seven weeks for breaching a domestic violence protection order.

Full story: Family Law Week

Top judge authorises court to cover legal aid in challenge to government

Sir James Munby directs court service to pay for lawyers the Legal Aid Agency refused to provide to ensure justice is done.

Full story: The Guardian

Britons 'liable to Sharia divorces' in UAE

The Foreign Office has warned expatriates living in the United Arab Emirates they could face Sharia courts in divorce or child custody cases.

Full story: BBC News

High Court rules hospital can move autistic girl 230 miles away from home

The High Court has ruled that a 20-year-old girl with a diagnosis of a learning disability and autistic spectrum disorder currently detained in a Swansea hospital can be moved to a new placement over five-hours-drive away.

Full story: Family Law

Family lawyers face £100m legal aid shortfall

Over 1,200 high street law firms offering legal aid family services could face a £100 million shortfall in fees as publicly funded cases work their way through the family justice system without replacement.

Full story: Family Law

Domestic violence refuge provision at crisis point, warn charities

Women's groups say broadscale closure of safe houses putting support for some of most vulnerable people back 40 years.

Full story: The Guardian

Calls for clearer surrogacy rules after Thai Down's case

Surrogacy campaigners have called for clearer regulation after a Thai woman was left with a Down's syndrome baby when his parents refused to take him.

Full story: BBC News

Parents accused of 'emotionally harming' child by not naming him, win right to appeal

A couple from Hertfordshire who had their five-month-old baby taken off them because they refused to name him, have won the right to appeal the decision.

Full story: The Telegraph

Blueprint for future of child and family social work unveiled

Chief Social Worker for Children unveils the knowledge and skills statement, a new blueprint for the future training of social workers.

Full story: Family Law

Quality of serious case reviews blasted by independent panel

The quality of child death reviews are “disturbingly variable” with far too many failing to find out what went wrong, a damning report by a government appointed panel has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Mrs Justice King appointed to the Court of Appeal

Mrs Justice King has been appointed to the Court of Appeal. The appointment will take effect from this autumn.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court refers just 2 per cent of parties to mediation

Family lawyers should be 'incentivised' by government to refer clients to mediation.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Thai crack down on surrogacy could leave British parents in turmoil

Surrogacies prohibited for prospective parents who are unmarried or a same-gender couple.

Full story: Family Law Week

President of Family Division hits out at non-compliance with court timetables

The President of the Family Division has fired another warning to parties in cases in the Family Court that they are not permitted to amend a timetable fixed by the court without the prior approval of the court.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge rules seriously ill boy, 13, can be treated against mothers beliefs

Teenager can be treated with blood products against the belief of his Jehovah's Witness mother.

Full story: The Telegraph

Young people warn against opening up family courts

Young people who have experience of care proceedings have spoken out against proposals to open up the family courts to the media and public.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

DfID publishes latest research into preventing violence against women and girls

The Department for International Development (DfID) has published the latest research and evidence of what works in the prevention of violence against women and girls.

Full story: Family Law

Mr Prest given a 4-week suspended sentence for not paying any lump sum or maintenance

Mr Prest has been handed a suspended jail sentence for not complying with his court order after Mr Justice Moylan concluded that he had failed to make a lump sum payment of £17.5 million and periodical payments totalling nearly £300,000 a year to his wife and their four children.

Full story: Family Law

Legal aid cuts have left family courts 'at breaking point'

People facing child custody and divorce cases without proper advice as private arbitrations rise, says lawyer's body Resolution.

Full story: The Guardian

Children’s directors hit back at damning report on state of residential child care

Former ADCS president Andrew Webb accused children's homes of 'taking pot shots' at central and local government.

Full story: Community Care

Children to appear in adoption videos

Videos and photos of children waiting to be adopted are to be made available to people approved for adoption from this autumn as part of a pilot scheme.

Full story: BBC News

Council’s policy on families with no recourse to public funds is unlawful

The High Court has held in R (ota PO and Others) v London Borough of Newham [2014] EWHC 2561 (Admin) that the London Borough of Newham's policy on supporting families with no recourse to public funds is unlawful.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children’s rights, views and interests not on the agenda of Parliament or the President, claims report

A study exploring the degree to which children and young people have a right to have their private lives kept private has been published today.

Full story: Family Law

26 week rule is not a ‘straitjacket’, confirms President

In M-F (Children) [2104] EWCA Civ 991, the President, considering an appeal 67 weeks after care proceedings began (ie before the pilot revised PLO), stated that "the 26 weeks rule 'is not, and must never be allowed to become, a straightjacket."

Full story: Family Law Week

Case management guidance given in Court of Protection

In Re PB [2014] EWCOP 14 Mrs Justice Parker has given consideration to the specific case management needs of the Court of Protection.

Full story: Family Law Week

£20 million funding to help children adopted from care

An extra 10,000 schoolchildren adopted from care to benefit from additional pupil premium money.

Full story: Department for Education

Thousands of domestic abusers let off criminal charges for saying sorry

Number of incidents of domestic violence dealt with informally through "community resolutions" instead of prosecutions more than doubles in four years new figures show.

Full story: The Telegraph

‘Government does not understand the extent of sham marriage problem’

The Home Affairs Select Committee has said that it is not convinced that the Home Office has a true understanding of the scale of the problem in relation to sham marriages.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic violence could become a specific offence, David Cameron says

The Prime Minister says he will consider a new offence for those who attack their partners that will take into account a pattern of abuse.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children will be seen and heard in Family Courts

Children will be given a greater voice in the family justice system so they can tell judges how they feel and what they think about the family disputes they are involved in.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

DfE publishes guidance for local authorities on National Minimum Standards for adoption services

The Department for Education (DfE) has published guidance for local authorities, setting out the the National Minimum Standards applicable to the provision of adoption services.

Full story: Family Law

The Adoption and Children Act Register (Search and Inspection) (Pilot) Regulations 2014

These Regulations make provision to pilot the search and inspection of the Adoption and Children Act Register by prospective adopters that an adoption agency listed in the Schedule is satisfied are suitable to adopt a child.

Statutory Instrument

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 (Commencement No. 12) Order 2014

This Order brings into force sections 125 to 128, 129 and 131 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002. These sections provide for the establishment and maintenance of the Adoption and Children Act Register.

Statutory Instrument

ECtHR confirms that requirement of divorce does not breach transsexual’s human rights

Need to transform marriage to civil partnership not a breach of Art 8.

Full story: Family Law Week

DfE funds new website to support professionals working with young people

The Department for Education has funded a new, free-to-access website to support professionals working with young people and families to understand and implement changes in practice required to meet the statutory requirements under the Court Orders and Pre-Proceedings Guidance 2014.

Full story: Family Law

Children to be given greater voice in care proceedings

More will be done to ensure children over the age of 10 who are involved in care proceedings or custody cases have their views heard in court, the government has announced.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Government will introduce regulations on mitochondrial donation

Plans to legalise use of new techniques to prevent mothers passing on serious mitochondrial diseases to their children are to progress.

Full story: Family Law Week

Haringey’s children’s services ‘require improvement’, finds Ofsted

Inspectors give second lowest rating on all areas inspected, but praise children's 'meaningful' relationships with social workers.

Full story: Community Care

DfE issues guidance to support looked-after children in further and higher education

The Department for Education has issued statutory guidance for local authorities to support looked-after children's aspirations to achieve in further and higher education.

Full story: Family Law

Building Better Courts: Lessons from London's Family Drug and Alcohol Court

Building Better Courts: Lessons from London's Family Drug and Alcohol Court, published by the Centre for Justice Innovation, explores the implementation history of FDAC in order to identify strategies which laid the foundation for the success of the project.

Full story: Family Law

Action and funding pledged on FGM and forced marriage

A new package of action and funding to protect millions of girls at home and abroad from female genital mutilation and forced marriage has been announced by the Prime Minister, International Development Secretary Justine Greening and Home Secretary Theresa May at the Girl Summit 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Commission commences mental capacity and detention project

The Law Commission is undertaking a project on mental capacity and detention with a view to publishing a report with recommendations for reform and a draft Bill in summer 2017.

Full story: Family Law

Child protection outsourcing plans 'dead in the water', claims Loughton

Controversial plans to allow councils to outsource child protection services are “dead in the water” following the departure of Michael Gove from the Department for Education, former children’s minister Tim Loughton has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Research indicates that legal aid contributes to significant public savings

The Low Commission which earlier this year published its report on a future strategy for social welfare advice, in light of legal aid cuts, has now published a major follow up work on the economic value of social welfare advice.

Full story: Family Law

'Abducted' children returned to the UK

Two boys, who were kept in Russia by their father in breach of a family court order, have been returned to their mother in London.

Full story: BBC News

Faster court process cuts residential parenting assessments

Social workers are scaling back their use of residential parenting assessments due to Children and Families Act changes to the length of care proceedings, latest government research has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Serious case reviews need reform, say academics

Inquiries into child deaths must be reformed so frontline practice can be improved to prevent further tragedies, a major study has concluded.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Months on, almost 20% children’s social workers still not aware of Children and Families Act changes, report finds

A report conducted by the Victoria ClimbiƩ Foundation finds almost a fifth of children's social workers do not know about sweeping reforms to the adoption system.

Full story: Community Care

Ban B&Bs for young care leavers, say MPs

Young adults leaving the care system in England should be provided with regulated accommodation and not be placed in bed and breakfasts, say MPs.

Full story: BBC News

Guide to ‘Staying Put’ arrangements for fostered young people published

A new guide has been launched, explaining the implementation of the recently introduced 'Staying Put' arrangements which allow fostered young people in England to remain in their placements until age 21.

Full story: Family Law Week

Regulations to introduce legal aid residence test are unlawful and discriminatory

Lord Chancellor does not have legal power to introduce such a test.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cuts to legal aid force parents to defend themselves in family court cases

The number of parents forced to represent themselves before the family courts jumped by 20,000 last year following the withdrawal of legal aid for almost all family cases, official figures obtained by The Independent show.

Full story: The Independent

Turn children's centres into 'family hubs', says think-tank

Children’s centres should be scrapped and replaced with ‘family hubs’ that also offer advice on relationships support, according to the think-tank The Centre for Social Justice.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Cafcass publishes annual report and accounts 2013-14

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) have published their annual report and accounts for 2013-14.

Full story: Family Law

Senior judge criticises ‘highly defensive’ social work culture ahead of ITV documentary

In an interview with ITV Exposure, Justice Sir Mark Hedley claims social workers face an 'increased pressure' to intervene post Baby P.

Full story: Community Care

Bodey J considers test for ‘without prejudice’ meetings

Couple’s dinner to discuss marriage difficulties was a not a ‘without prejudice’ meeting.

Full story: Family Law Week

New legal test needed in ‘pet custody cases’

‘Best interests of the animal’ approach advocated.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bar Council reveals preliminary findings of its impact of LASPO survey

The Bar Council, which represents barristers in England and Wales, has today presented its preliminary findings from a major survey conducted to assess the impact of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) 2012.

Full story: Family Law