Aviation tycoon and ex-wife battle over £470,000 Bentley

Entrepreneur Clive Joy claims he is "penniless" as his ex-wife asks a High Court judge to allow her to use a vintage car as security to fund the legal costs of her divorce.

Full story: The Telegraph

Judge orders toddler to be returned to parents after nearly a year in care

A little boy who suffered brain injuries after falling from a bed should be returned to his parents after being taken into care nearly a year ago amid, the High Court has ruled.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Child Arrangements Order (Consequential Amendments to Subordinate Legislation) Order 2014

This Order makes amendments to secondary legislation in consequence of section 12 of the Children and Families Act 2014, which removes the definition of “residence order” and “contact order” in section 8(1) of the Children Act 1989 and replaces it with a new order, the “child arrangements order”.

Statutory Instrument

Justice of compensation claim ‘stares court in the face’

Husband ordered to pay £400K to terminate periodical payments order in H v H.

Full story: Family Law Week

'Cinderella' emotional cruelty law considered

Laws on cruelty to children may be altered to increase the penalty for emotional abuse, campaigners say.

Full story: BBC News

NSPCC: Child protection services forced to struggle

Children's social services are so stretched that they are struggling to do more than merely respond to emergencies, a report says.

Full story: BBC News

Court of Appeal upholds termination of father’s parental responsibility

In Re D (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 315 the Court of Appeal has upheld the decision of Baker J to terminate the parental responsibility of a father who had been imprisoned for sexual offences against children from a previous relationship.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal aid cuts leave family courts in chaos, experts say

Lawyers tell of victims facing abusers without representation and children stuck in legal limbo while parents dispute custody.

Full story: The Observer

Gay couples celebrate first weddings

The first same-gender weddings have taken place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales at midnight.

Full story: BBC News

Kent County Council criticised over Latvian child in care

Kent County Council has been criticised by the High Court for failing to give a Latvian father the right information when it took his young son into care.

Full story: BBC News

Traditional British family a myth, academic says

The idea that British children grew up in typical two-parent families until the permissiveness of the 1960s has been challenged by an academic.

Full story: BBC News

Holland opens online legal aid divorce scheme to fee-paying clients

Dutch legal aid board's dispute resolution extended, as Legal Services Board examines online divorce for the UK.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Chris Grayling wants pre-nups 'legally-enforceable'

The justice secretary signals his backing for a Law Commission report urging pre-nuptial agreements to become enshrined in law to help divorcing couples.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Family Court (Contempt of Court) (Powers) Regulations 2014

These Regulations limit the powers exercisable by certain judges of the family court when dealing with an individual for certain types of contempt of court in the family court.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Court Warrants (Specification of Orders) Order 2014

This Order specifies orders of the family court for the purposes of section 125A(3) of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 with the effect that civilian enforcement officers may execute warrants of arrest, commitment, detention or distress issued by a justice of the peace (who will for the purposes of the family court be District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts) or justices of the peace who are not District Judges (Magistrates’ Courts)) for the enforcement of an order of the family court.

Statutory Instrument

Mediation is better – couples told as top ten divorce courts are revealed

Thousands of separating couples are being urged to spurn confrontational courtroom battles and use mediation to sort out disputes over their property, finances and children, as new figures reveal the ten busiest divorce courts in England and Wales.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Lesbian couple in custody battle over twins

Two five-year-old twin girls are at the centre of a court battle between two women who had a lesbian relationship.

Full story: The Telegraph

Increase in same-sex female couples seeking IVF emphasises need for pre-conception legal planning

New figures on fertility treatment released today by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority show that the number of same-sex female couples receiving IVF treatment has increased by over a third in the last year, while number having donor insemination also increased for same-sex female couples by over 20%.

Full story: Family Law Week

Number of over 40s cohabiting increases significantly in last ten years

The latest release by the Office for National Statistics from the 2011 Census shows that people aged 40 and over made up a larger proportion of the cohabiting population in 2011 (41%), up from 2001 (31%).

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass develops ‘new, improved’ Parenting Plan to support co-operative parenting

Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory Support Service, has developed a new and improved Parenting Plan, an interactive tool to help parents (and other family members) following separation to parent co-operatively.

Full story: Family Law Week

Police fail domestic abuse victims, says official report

Thousands of people are at risk of harm or even murder because of widespread police failure in England and Wales to tackle domestic abuse, a report says.

Full story: BBC News

Most children in the UK have witnessed neglect, charity reveals

Nearly three-quarters (73 per cent) of UK children know another child who is suffering from neglect, according to a report published by Action for Children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ofsted: Extent of child neglect 'not understood'

Councils are not doing enough to protect children from neglect, according to a report by Ofsted.

Full story: BBC News

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2014

This Order brings sections 10 (Family mediation information and assessment meetings), 13 (Control of expert evidence, and of assessments, in children proceedings) and 17 (Repeal of restrictions on divorce and dissolution etc where there are children) of the Children and Families Act 2014 into force on 22nd April 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Midwives, GPs and registrars to help tackle family breakdown

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, is considering enlisting the support of midwives, GPs and registrars to help reduce the levels of family breakdown.

Full story: The Telegraph

'Diva of Divorce' hits out at 'rich-bashing'

A top lawyer criticises Britain's 'underdog culture that reviles the rich' after a High Court judge questions soaring legal bills in the country's biggest divorce case.

Full story: The Telegraph

Record numbers contact helpline for forced marriage and honour-based abuse

The UK's only forced marriage and honour-based abuse helpline has received almost double the number of monthly calls it had last year.

Full story: The Independent

Eight out of 617 family law applications for exceptional case funding have been successful

An ad hoc statistical release by the Ministry of Justice on the 13th March 2014 reveals that between 1st April and 31st December 2014 only eight applications to the Legal Aid Agency for exceptional case funding in family proceedings were successful.

Full story: Family Law Week

HFEA decides not to appeal in the Warren case

Authority considers that likelihood of future problems does not justify an appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

Daniel Pelka case council branded inadequate by Ofsted

Children's services in Coventry - in the spotlight since four-year-old Daniel Pelka's death - have been branded "inadequate" by Ofsted.

Full story: BBC News

Trusts and other legal entities may have to name beneficial owners

European Parliament approves draft anti-money laundering directive.

Full story: Family Law Week

Budget: CGT position alters in relation to former matrimonial homes from April 2014

The Budget has made changes to the capital gains tax rules with effect from 6 April 2014 relating to properties which have been a main residence but are no longer occupied as such.

Full story: Family Law Week

Birmingham council 'lost' girl with special needs for four years after social workers lost contact

A Birmingham girl with special needs “vanished in the system” for four years after social workers lost contact with the child.

Full story: The Independent

'House husband' wins right for divorce case to be heard in UK

A stay-at-home husband who claims he sacrificed his own career so his wife, an investment banker, could continue hers has triumphed in a crucial round of their £11 million divorce battle.

Full story: The Telegraph

Landmark Supreme Court ruling sets out test on deprivations of liberty

All three individuals at the centre of the landmark cases of P & Q and Cheshire West were deprived of their liberty and so should benefit from the relevant protections of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, the Supreme Court has ruled.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Children seperated from their families by courts must know why

Britain's most senior family judge says children who are seperated from their families must be able to access a record of what the judge ruled when they grow up.

Full story: The Telegraph

‘Out of control’ foreign divorce ‘squeezing out needy litigants’

A High Court judge has spoken out against the court time taken by wealthy international litigants engaged in ‘out of control’ divorce proceedings.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2014

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010. The amendments made to the FPR 2010 by rules 3 to 44 of these Rules are made to reflect the creation of the family court, to insert a new Part 37, and to make some adjustments to the appeals rules in Part 30.

Statutory Instrument

Provision of Justices’ Reasons in Uncontested Cases

In March 2014, the Justices' Clerks' Society and the Magistrates' Association issued joint guidance on the provision of Justices' reasons in uncontested family cases.

Full story: Family Law

Push to keep domestic abuse victims' addresses secret

Nick Clegg backs Eve’s Law, which aims to remove requirement for details to be given in open court.

Full story: The Guardian

‘Real dangers’ of informal surrogacy arrangements highlighted

The "real dangers" of informal surrogacy arrangements have been highlighted in the case of JP v LP [2014] EWHC 595 (Fam).

Full story: Family Law Week

Watchdog targets online divorce

The legal consumer watchdog is preparing to put do-it-yourself online divorce documents under the spotlight in new research.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Justices’ Clerks and Assistants Rules 2014

These Rules authorise justices’ clerks and assistants to justices’ clerks to carry out certain functions of the new single family court.

Statutory Instrument

The Crime and Courts Act 2013 (Family Court: Consequential Provision) Order 2014

This Order makes amendments to primary legislation which are consequential upon the establishment of the family court, as provided for in section 17(3) of, and Schedules 10 and 11 to, the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Statutory Instruments

The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) Order 2014

This Order provides for the routes of appeal from decisions of certain types of judges or other office holders sitting in the family court.

Statutory Instrument

The Child Support (Ending Liability in Existing Cases and Transition to New Calculation Rules) Regulations 2014

These Regulations make provision for the cases that are existing cases under the statutory child support maintenance scheme that are not subject to the new calculation rules.

Statutory Instrument

The Child Support Fees Regulations 2014

These Regulations make provision about the charging of fees by the Secretary of State in connection with the exercise of the Secretary of State’s functions with regards to child support maintenance.

Statutory Instrument

Children and Families Act 2014

An Act to make provision about children, families, and people with special educational needs or disabilities; to make provision about the right to request flexible working; and for connected purposes.

Full text: legislation.gov.uk (PDF)

250,000 more children living with both birth parents

A quarter of a million more children were living with both their birth parents in 2012 compared with 2011.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Government consults on legal aid bundle payments to family law advocates

Consultation closes on 10th April.

Full story: Family Law Week

Landmark Children And Families Act 2014 gains royal assent

New changes to the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children.

Full story: Department for Education

Supreme Court to hand down judgments in deprivation of liberty cases on 19th March

The Supreme Court will hand down judgment on the 19th March in two cases concerning the possible deprivation of liberty of vulnerable persons.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Mental Capacity Act is failing vulnerable adults, say Lords

Lords Committee calls for new body to oversee working of the Act.

Full story: Family Law Week

Registration opens for first same-sex marriages

Same-sex couples in England and Wales who want to hold weddings on the day gay marriage becomes legal on 29 March can register to do so from Thursday.

Full story: BBC News

Judge blasts ‘wasteful and inefficient’ Legal Aid Agency

A family judge has lambasted the ‘almost impenetrable’ level of bureaucracy faced by solicitors dealing with the Legal Aid Agency.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge to probe 'jihadist' claims over boys, aged 11 and 12

Two young brothers may be taken into local authority care after their mother claims they have been radicalised by her estranged 'Islamic fundamentalist' husband.

Full story: The Telegraph

Consider 20-mile limit on placements of children away from home, say MPs

The Government should commission a study of the impact of a rule that would prohibit local authorities from placing a child more than 20 miles from home unless there was a proven need to do so, MPs have said.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Guidance on protected information relating to a person who has acquired a Gender Recognition Certificate

On 11 March 2014, the President of the Family Division issued guidance on disclosure under the Gender Recognition Act 2004 of protected information relating to a person who has acquired a Gender Recognition Certificate.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass private law demand

In February 2014, Cafcass received a total of 3,493 new private law cases. This is a 11% decrease on February 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in February 2014

In February 2014, Cafcass received a total of 885 applications. This figure represents a 12% decrease compared to those received in February 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Help silver splitters stay together to reduce pressure on care system, senior Tory says

Doctors should help 'silver splitters' stay together to reduce pressure on care system, government aide says.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 13) Order 2014

This Order brings into force certain paragraphs in Schedule 5 to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (c. 6) for the purpose of making regulations.

Statutory Instrument

Mother steals identity from other pregnant mum to stop child from going into care

A pregnant woman used the identity of another woman which she had taken from a social networking site when she was giving birth, to stop authorities from removing the child from her care.

Full story: The Independent

Police referrals of domestic violence cases fall

Numbers down despite 11% increase in reports, and figures reveal significant disparities between police forces.

Full story: The Guardian

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Jurisdiction and Recognition of Judgments) Regulations 2014

These Regulations are to make corresponding provision, as far as is possible in domestic law, for marriages of same sex couples as to the jurisdiction and recognition elements of Council Regulation (EC) 2201/2003 for proceedings for the divorce of, or annulment of a marriage of, a same sex couple or the judicial separation of a married same sex couple as regards the law of England and Wales.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2014

These rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 to make consequential amendments in light of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.

Statutory Instrument

Final Report to the President of the Family Division of the Private Law Working Group

Final Report to the President of the Family Division of the Private Law Working Group has been published.

Full story: Family Law

Cuts to legal aid force more people to represent themselves

Nearly half of people going to family courts to resolve matters involving their children are having to represent themselves, new figures reveal.

Full story: The Independent

Lib Dem minister backs secular marriage

Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat justice minister, says the traditional Christian wedding ceremony should no longer have legal status.

Full story: The Telegraph

'Clare's Law' introduced to tackle domestic violence

A scheme to let people find out from police if their partner has a history of domestic violence has been brought in across England and Wales.

Full story: BBC News

Family Justice Research Bulletin

A number of recommendations in the Family Justice Review related to the need to better disseminate relevant research and good practice throughout the Family Justice System.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Timpson: record number of councils sign 'Care leavers' charter'

One hundred and twenty-three councils in England have signed the ‘Care leavers’ charter’.

Full story: Department for Education

Boy fed nine litres of goat milk a day cannot stay with his mother, court rules

A boy who was fed nine litres of goat's milk a day for six months will not be allowed to live with his mother, a senior family court judge has ruled.

Full story: The Independent

Pension sharing orders a valuable, but underused, remedy, concludes report

First detailed study published since introduction of ‘family law’s best kept secret’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Widow wins frozen sperm legal fight

A Birmingham woman has won a legal battle to stop her dead husband's frozen sperm being destroyed.

Full story: BBC News

DIY surrogate pregnancy deal ends in court battle

A judge warned against the dangers of informal surrogacy arrangements after a marriage breakdown left a mother with no parental rights over her son.

Full story: The Telegraph

Psychological abuse 'should be a made crime'

Psychological abuse should be made a crime in England and Wales in order to save more victims of domestic violence, campaigners have said.

Full story: BBC News

Violence against women: One-third of EU women affected - survey

About a third of all women in the EU have experienced either physical or sexual violence since the age of 15, according to a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Full story: BBC News

Family breakdown 'could cost taxpayers £46bn’

Welfare minister Lord Freud says Government has ‘clear duty’ to strengthen family and insists true impact of relationship breakdown goes 'far deeper' than benefits bill.

Full story: The Telegraph

Court fee plans herald justice for those who can pay – senior judges

Senior judges have savaged government proposals for reforming court fees, warning that they are based on ‘inadequate’ and compromised research, and basic misconceptions about the way the courts operate.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Cuts require fundamental rethink, says lord chief

Radical changes, including a move to an inquisitorial civil system and a two-track Crown court, need to be considered as the state withdraws funding from the system, the lord chief justice said last night.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Baby to undergo blood transfusions despite objection of Jehovah's Witnesses parents

High Court judge agrees to procedure despite his parents' objections on religious grounds.

Full story: The Telegraph

Banker's claim that wife married imposter rejected by judge

Banker fails in bid to avoid divorce pay-out after judge dismisses claim he was never legally married to his wife because an imposter stood in for him at his own wedding.

Full story: The Telegraph

One in three LGBT people believe they can’t foster or adopt

Sexuality and gender identity are seen as barriers to becoming parents by one in three (36%) LGBT people - rising to one in two (53%) in Scotland, according to new research published by Action for Children and New Family Social.

Full story: Family Law

New ‘business banking’ service for child maintenance to benefit for employers

A new service has been launched for businesses to meet their legal obligation to deduct child maintenance from employees' wages.

Full story: Family Law Week

Referrals to Children’s Services at lowest since 2009-10

Referrals to children's social services in the year ending 31st March 2013 are at their lowest level for three years.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge overrides prenup as Bob the Builder tycoon's daughter divorces

Judge says husband Frankie Limata entitled to £1.2m from wife Victoria Luckwell to pay of debts and get a home.

Full story: The Guardian