Care leavers need help with university choices, says leading charity

More young people leaving care should be encouraged to study in higher education and supported to stay in it and not drop out, according to national charity The Who Cares? Trust.

Full story: Family Law Week

New website launched for families involved in the child protection process

A new website has been launched which aims to help families and all other people who are involved in the Child Protection (or Child In Need) process to navigate through the confusing legal maze of children's services intervention and the family courts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Consultation outcome: Supporting the introduction of the single Family Court – Proposed changes to Family legal aid remuneration schemes

This document reflects the responses that we have received to the consultation and describes how the Government intends to proceed.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Resolution hits out at huge court fee rise for divorce

Family lawyers' group Resolution has said there is "no justification" for government plans to increase the court fee for a divorce from £410 to £750.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Consultation launched on care for unaccompanied and trafficked children

The Department for Education has launched a consultation concerning the support provided by local authorities to unaccompanied and trafficked children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Millionaire asked ex-wife to stay on as housekeeper

Businessman asked ex-wife if she would stay on as housekeeper when he installed another woman in their home, judge told.

Full story: The Telegraph

Top investment banking wife and stay-at-home husband in £11m divorce battle

House husband Weng Choy filed for divorce from his "breadwinner" wife Lena Tan after a row on a New Year's Eve holiday in Singapore proved the "final straw", lawyers say.

Full story: The Telegraph

Marriage guidance could save Britain billions by staving off family break-up

For every pound couples spend on marriage preparation courses and relationship counselling, taxpayers could save up to £11.50, Government-backed study calculates.

Full story: The Telegraph

Woman awarded £2.8m in divorce case

A woman told a High Court judge how she returned to her wealthy husband after separating because she realised that that she had to "extricate myself slowly".

Full story: Express & Star

Greece becomes sixteenth state to sign up to EU international divorce cooperation procedure

Greece has announced its decision to join the 15 countries already participating in EU rules which allow international couples to select which country's law applies to their divorce.

Full story: Family Law Week

Woman ordered to stop posting images of two-year-old granddaughter in Facebook 'campaign' after she was taken into care

Judge rules grandmother’s actions were undermining the child’s right to privacy.

Full story: The Independent

Appeal by husband of variation of Krejci trust rejected

On 22 January 2014 the Court of Appeal dismissed an application by Damsonetti Holdings Limited for permission to appeal Mostyn J's decision in the case of Hope v. Krejci.

Full story: Family Law Week

UK statistics of divorce 2013

10th annual matrimonial survey of UK family lawyers looks at current trends in family law.

Full story: Grant Thornton

Couple consider legal action to convert civil partnership into same sex marriage

A gay couple wishing to convert their civil partnership to marriage when the new same sex marriage laws come into force in March are considering legal action against the Government after finding out that under current legislation they would have to obtain a dissolution first.

Full story: Family Law Week

Japan signs and ratifies the 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention

On Friday 24 January 2014, Japan became the 91st Contracting State to the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge pleads for warring family to end £1m legal dispute

Judge Nicholas Francis QC says "untold misery" has resulted from the courtroom battle between Susan and Richard Shield and their children over who owns shares in the family's RA Shield Holdings company.

Full story: The Telegraph

Brain-damaged woman wins right to have sex - despite her mother's objections, appeal court judges rule

A brain-damaged woman had the capacity to decide whether to have sex, despite her family insisting otherwise, an appeal court has ruled.

Full story: Daily Mail

More information needed for a better understanding of private fostering

Ofsted has called on local authorities, local safeguarding children boards and the Department for Education to work together to build a better understanding of the extent of private fostering arrangements across the country.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal Services Consumer Panel to investigate fee-charging McKenzie Friends

Panel identifies emerging market in the wake of the rise of litigants in person.

Full story: Family Law Week

Philpott deaths 'not preventable', according to serious case review

Report by the Derby Safeguarding Children board found the fire that killed the six Philpott children could not have been foreseen.

Full story: The Guardian

Barnsley couple to take legal action over gay marriage delay

A Barnsley couple has threatened the government with legal action over the delay in being able to turn their civil partnership into a marriage.

Full story: BBC News

Domestic abuse raids: More than 300 arrested in London

More than 300 arrests have been made by police in a series of raids against domestic abuse offenders across London.

Full story: BBC News

Campaigner from Fathers 4 Justice splinter group who set up website harassing solicitor he blamed for losing custody of his children avoids prison

A campaigner from a Fathers 4 Justice splinter group who created a website harassing a solicitor has narrowly avoided jail.

Full story: Daily Mail

Polygamist politician faces divorce battle in British courts

The foreign politician faces High Court proceedings after his fourth wife moved to London with his two children when their marriage broke down.

Full story: The Telegraph

Civil courts need more powers, argues judge

Giving verdict on man who assaulted his ex-wife in court, Judge Munby bemoans difficulties in dealing with contempt.

Full story: The Guardian

Ministry of Justice plan to raise court fees condemned

Independent advisers publish rare 'red report' shooting down justice secretary Chris Grayling's £200m move.

Full story: The Guardian

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Commencement No. 2 and Transitional Provision) Order 2014

This is the second Commencement Order made in relation to the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

Statutory Instrument

High caseloads stall child protection reforms

Landmark reforms to improve child protection services are being undermined by rising caseloads and fears among frontline professionals of making mistakes, a senior social work leader has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Encourage marriage for the sake of children: Top judge's advice to Iain Duncan Smith to combat high break-up rates among cohabitees

The state should encourage marriage and try harder to get couples to stay together while their children are young, ministers have been told.

Full story: Daily Mail

New MoJ data show further decline in mediation numbers

FOI request reveals 45% year-on-year fall in mediation starts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Daniel Pelka case 'could happen again' says council

The head of the social care department that "missed chances" to save the life of a boy has said he could not rule out a similar case happening in future.

Full story: BBC News

Formerly secret Court of Protection commits to transparency with pledge to publish judgments

Judges who make life-changing decisions on behalf of people who lack mental capacity will now routinely have to publish their judgments.

Full story: The Independent

Transparency in the Family Courts

This Guidance (together with similar Guidance issued at the same time for the Court of Protection) is intended to bring about an immediate and significant change in practice in relation to the publication of judgments in family courts and the Court of Protection.

Practice Guidance (PDF)

Transparency in the Court of Protection

This Guidance (together with similar Guidance issued at the same time for the family courts) is intended to bring about an immediate and significant change in practice in relation to the publication of judgments in family courts and the Court of Protection.

Practice Guidance (PDF)

Application of deprivation of liberty safeguards varies around the country, says CQC

Commission publishes fourth annual report into use of safeguards.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family judge admits foreign media beyond reach

English courts cannot prevent foreign media publishing reports about a Slovakian boy placed into care in this country, the most senior family judge has said.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Woman's fight over right to sperm of fiancé in coma

A woman has launched a legal battle for the right to ''harvest'' her seriously-ill partner's sperm so that she can have his children.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child can have separate habitual residence from parent with whom he resides, says Supreme Court

In a landmark judgment formally announced today, the Supreme Court has ruled that a child can have an habitual residence separate and distinct from that of the parent with whom he or she is living.

Full story: Family Law Week

UK courts must not decide the fate of foreign children, says top judge

Judges and social workers were yesterday warned that they must not seize control of the lives of foreign children.

Full story: Daily Mail

Children of domestic abuse victims increasingly being taken into care

Family Rights Group claims cuts to local domestic abuse services are putting families at risk of being split up.

Full story: The Guardian

Divorced and separated parents should be open to criticism, say Tory MPs

For the sake of the country, we need to be judgmental about parents who do not stay together, Conservative MPs say.

Full story: The Telegraph

Resolution welcomes judgment on family arbitration award

Resolution has welcomed today’s judgment from Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, in the case of S v S, in which he upholds the decision (award) made through a private arbitration.

Full story: Resolution

Adoption improvement body details emerge

A new group created to improve the adoption system will focus on providing more reliable data to the sector and orchestrating a marketing push for prospective parents, it has emerged.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

MP calls for new listing system for family law cases to allow journalists easier access to background information

An MP has called for a change in the way family courts and the Court of Protection are covered to allow greater access to journalists.

Full story: Press Gazette

Adoption scorecards and thresholds published

The Department for Education publishes the adoption scorecards for 2010 to 2013 and the annual uprating of the thresholds to 2016.

Full story: Department for Education

MP criticised for 'ignorant' advice on family courts

A Liberal Democrat MP has come under fire after suggesting that parents suspected of child abuse flee the country because they are unlikely to receive a fair hearing from the family courts.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Care applications in December 2013

In December 2013, Cafcass received a total of 808 applications. This figure represents a 6% decrease compared to those received in December 2012.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In December 2013, Cafcass received a total of 2,871 new private law cases. This is a 4% decrease on December 2012 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Legal aid cut threat to family mediation drive

The government’s troubled family mediation policy is set to hit crisis point as divorce cases begun before April 2013’s legal aid cuts reach their conclusion, the Gazette can reveal.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Parents should 'go abroad rather than face family courts'

Parents suspected of child abuse should flee the country rather than face justice in the family courts, according to one MP.

Full story: BBC News

Cafcass Plus pre-proceedings pilot enables earlier assessment of extended family

The positive impact of Cafcass' work in pre-proceedings has been highlighted in a recent piece in The Guardian.

Full story: Family Law Week

Non-competition injunction granted against ‘shadow director’ husband

President finds that shadow director’s fiduciary duties satisfy s 37 Senior Courts Act.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court to hand down judgment in Hague Convention case on 15th January

LC (Children) will consider children’s views as to habitual residence and status as a party.

Full story: Family Law Week

Woman claims lawyers should have told her divorce would end her marriage

Seeking damages for professional negligence, the British woman argued that the lawyers should have made it clear that a divorce would result in her marriage being terminated.

Full story: The Independent

Only one in four couples living together plan to marry

Only a small minority of couples moving in together now see it as a trial run for marriage, survey suggests.

Full story: The Telegraph

Media portrayal of out-of-area care placements ‘unhelpful’

There is an “unhelpful” misperception among the media and public about the nature of out-of-authority placements for looked-after children, council care managers have said.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Foster carer demand shows slight fall

The number of foster carers needed to be recruited this year is slightly lower than in 2013 due to a slowdown in the number of children expected to be fostered, research suggests.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

No such thing as a ‘good’ divorce when children involved, say divorcees

Six out of 10 separated parents who have been through a split doubt that it is possible to have a ‘good’ separation.

Full story: The Telegraph

Holman J calls for changes to legal aid in child abduction cases

In a public judgment given to highlight the 'chronic' problem of legal aid in cases of alleged international child abduction, Mr Justice Holman has stated that in cases where a Cafcass report is ordered, an initial grant of public funding should be made to the respondent and then reviewed upon receipt of the report.

Full story: Family Law Week

New law will keep separating parents and couples away from court

Separating parents and couples will be helped to avoid stressful court battles under a new law being introduced by the government.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Adequate punitive sanctions are in place to enforce contact orders, finds research

‘Therapeutic’ approach to more difficult cases may be more effective than punishment.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mental health patients being denied human rights in court, warn leading lawyers

People with mental health problems are being denied justice by some Court of Protection judges who fail to even consider hearing patients’ testimony, leading lawyers have told a House of Lords inquiry.

Full story: The Independent

Councils told to stop housing vulnerable children miles away from home

Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson announces new residential care rules.

Full story: Department for Education