The Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 2) (Amendment) Order 2014

This Order amends the Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2014 to change the date of coming into force of section 78 of that Act from 13th May 2014 to 1st May 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Woman from Sunderland could have caesarean without consent

A court has ruled a pregnant woman who suffers from a psychotic disorder can be given a caesarean section without her consent.

Full story: BBC News

Take divorce out of judges’ hands – Munby

Divorce could be taken out of the hands of judges and dealt with by a ‘registrar of births, deaths, marriages and divorces,’ the head of the family court has suggested.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Domestic violence project to focus on children's needs

More than 700 children who have been affected by domestic violence are to benefit from help and support as part of a £470,000 project being delivered by charity Buttle UK.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

McKenzie Friends will replace family lawyers

The family law sector will eventually be dominated by organised and self-regulated fee-charging McKenzie Friends and counsel, an industry observer has claimed.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Poker player wins legal battle to not support children from winnings

Ex-stockbroker turned poker player successfully argues his gambling does not amount to work, so does not qualify him to pay child maintenance.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child domestic violence £2m award to Calan DVS charity

A five-year project helping children and young people in Wales exposed to domestic violence and abuse has been awarded £2m by the Big Lottery Fund.

Full story: BBC News

Family court reforms criticised

Reforms to the family court are causing delays and making it harder for the public to gain access, an early adopter of the new system has claimed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

ONS publishes results of consultation on marriage and divorce statistics

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published the findings from a consultation on user requirements for marriage, divorce and civil partnership statistics for England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

Legal aid available for mediation in 1980 Hague Convention child abduction cases

The Legal Aid Agency has agreed to grant automatic non-means non-merit tested legal aid for mediation for all applicant parents in 1980 Hague Convention child abduction cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents, research finds

Children living with a step-parent or a lone parent are as happy as those living with two biological parents, the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Leeds heard today.

Full story: Family Law

MOJ publishes report on research exploring the implementation and early impacts of the revised Public Law Outline

The Ministry of Justice has published a report on research exploring the implementation and early impacts of the revised Public Law Outline.

Full story: Family Law

No family law applications for exceptional case funding have been granted in last three months

Eight out of 821 applications granted in a year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass praised for outstanding leadership by Ofsted

Service ‘delivers consistently good service for children in the family courts’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Society says the benefits of family law changes will be undermined by legal aid cuts

The benefits of speeding up the way that the family law courts work from Tuesday 22 April 2014 will be undermined by cuts to civil legal aid, the Law Society said today.

Full story: The Law Society

Unrepresented parties become the majority in family cases

More than half of all parties in child-related cases are unrepresented, data reveals today as the main part of family justice reforms come into effect.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Father wins damages after social worker falsely accused him of abusing daughter

A father was arrested and banned from seeing his six-year-old daughter after a social workers falsely accused him of child abuse.

Full story: The Telegraph

His Honour Judge Newton appointed to High Court bench

His Honour Judge Roderick Brian Newton has been appointed a Justice of the High Court with effect from 9 May 2014 on the death of Mrs. Justice Baron.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family justice reforms to benefit children

The largest family justice reforms for a generation will come into effect today.

Full story: Ministry of Justice and Department for Education

Family justice reforms come into force

Changes to family justice in England and Wales have come into force which ministers say will put the welfare of children at the centre of the system.

Full story: BBC News

Law students to be drafted in to help resolve divorce cases in shake-up of family justice system

Ministers have launched plans for a network of centres which will be manned by students and trainees who can guide couples before they appear in court, the Times reports.

Full story: Daily Mail

Judge Sir Paul Coleridge retires and calls for end to family breakdown

Sir Paul Coleridge says something must be done to stop the "misery" of family breakdown as he retires as a senior High Court judge in the Family Division.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family Justice Council to publish guidelines clarifying 'financial needs'

Separating couples will be given clear new guidelines setting out what they should expect when property and income is distributed by the courts, Simon Hughes has announced.

Full story: Family Law

Consumer panel backs greater recognition of McKenzie Friends

A new trade association, the Society of McKenzie Friends, is set to be launched to represent the non-lawyer advisers who charge fees, as the first step towards self-regulation, it was claimed yesterday.

Full story: Legal Futures

Family head clamps down on care time limit, but hails pioneering court

The Family Drug and Alcohol Court must be a ‘vital component’ of the unified Family Court, the head of the Family Division said in a judgment highlighting the need for strict adherence to the time limit for resolving care cases.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Transitional Provisions) Order 2014

This Order makes transitional provisions in connection with the coming into force of provisions in Part 1 and Part 2 of the Children and Families Act 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Practice Direction 27A – Family Proceedings: Court Bundles

The President of the Family Division has issued this practice direction to achieve consistency across the country in the Family Court and the Family Division of the High Court in the preparation of court bundles and other related matters.

Full story: Family Law

Baby adopted in Alessandra Pacchieri forced caesarean case

The young daughter of an Italian woman who was forced to undergo a caesarean section while she visited Britain for a training course has been adopted.

Full story: The Telegraph

Child Arrangements Programme and private law proceedings materials

The final version of the CAP and its accompanying Flowchart have now been published and are available to download below.

Full story: Family Law

Public Law Outline and public law proceedings materials

The new and revised PLO and its accompanying Flowchart, along with the C110A Application Form, and further public law proceedings materials have now been published and are available to download below.

Full story: Family Law

Man 'not wearing glasses' when he signed £60,000 a month divorce document

The unnamed polygamist complained he didn't know what he was signing because he couldn't see without his reading glasses.

Full story: The Telegraph

Over 96,000 people contact adoption information service in 12 months

Figures show increasing numbers of people interested in adopting.

Full story: Department for Education

Absence of Ofsted evaluation sparks rise in SCRs

Ofsted's reduced oversight of serious case reviews has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of them being carried out by local authorities, it has been claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Route set out for carer who is neither parent nor guardian to participate in adoption proceedings

In Re G (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 432, the Court of Appeal has considered the legal route for a person who is not a parent or guardian to seek to participate within adoption proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Rights Group concerned about proposals on fostering for adoption

Fear that there is a presumption against siblings being placed together.

Full story: Family Law Week

Three drug, alcohol, paternity testing companies go into administration

Trimega Laboratories Limited, Screensafe UK Limited and Ingemino Testing Services Limited went into administration on the 7th April 2014. Paul Flint and Brian Green of KPMG were appointed joint administrators.

Full story: Family Law Week

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

These Rules make transitional and savings provision in relation to the establishment of the single family court. The single family court is established by section 17(3) of the Crime and Courts Act 2013.

Statutory Instrument

The Crime and Courts Act 2013 (Commencement No. 10 and Transitional Provision) Order 2014

This Order is the tenth commencement order made under the Crime and Courts Act 2013. It brings into force sections 17 and 28 of and Schedules 9, 10 and 11 to the Act.

Statutory Instrument

Local authorities underestimate adoption breakdowns, study suggests

Adoption breakdowns are higher than official figures suggest with lack of post adoption support a major factor in placements being disrupted, a study commissioned by the Department for Education has concluded.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Care applications in March 2014

In March 2014, Cafcass received a total of 910 applications. This figure represents a 3% decrease compared to those received in March 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In March 2014, Cafcass received a total of 3,676 new private law cases. This is a 7% decrease on March 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Court of Appeal issues guidance on approach to be taken in cases involving parents with disabilities

In Re C (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 128, the Court of Appeal, comprised of Rimer LJ, McFarlane LJ, and Vos LJ, issued guidance on the correct approach to be taken in cases involving parents with disabilities, in particular where deafness is a feature of the case.

Full story: Family Law Week

Man kills wife's pet ram in bitter divorce battle

Husband who put to death wife's pet ram is ordered to pay her £170,000 a year.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children in council care housed 'too far from home'

Young people in local authority care are too often being moved to children's homes and foster places far from their home communities, Ofsted says.

Full story: BBC News

Children’s Guardian is not an ‘advocate to the court’

In MW and Hertfordshire County Council v A and Others [2014] EWCA Civ 405 Lady Justice Macur considered the role and duties of advocates in a case where the maternal uncle and aunt with whom two children were placed, were litigants in person who had limited English.

Full story: Family Law Week

Courts must consider jurisdiction where cases have a foreign element

Local authorities encouraged to participate in Hague proceedings where there are also care proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution allies with credit provider to fund separation

Family lawyers group Resolution has joined forces with Iceberg Client Credit to offer loans to help separating couples fund cases.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

UN expert on violence against women launches mission to the UK

United Nations Special Rapporteur Rashida Manjoo is visiting the United Kingdom to study the main manifestations of violence perpetrated in the family and in the community.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court hears appeal concerning de facto or inchoate custody rights for Hague purposes

Appeal from Northern Ireland to be heard on 8th April.

Full story: Family Law Week

New adoption agencies to attract over 300 adopters

Three new voluntary adoption agencies will open their doors for business today, as part of a £16 million government drive to encourage more people to adopt.

Full story: Department for Education

New Resolution Chair cites ‘devastating impact of legal aid cuts’ on public and profession

In her inaugural speech to over 300 delegates at Resolution's National Conference in Manchester, Jo Edwards, the new Chair, has outlined the challenges currently facing family lawyers, and what Resolution is doing to help practitioners and the public address them.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court calls for 'love coach' to help vulnerable man find happiness

Man with learning difficulties should be coached on how to behave before he goes out in search of a partner, Court of Protection judge says.

Full story: The Telegraph

Plan to give adopted children new identities to stop birth parents finding them

Social services ask High Court to give two young children new names and even cut links with other siblings to protect them from abusive parents.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2014

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules. The amendments made to the FPR 2010 by these Rules are made under or in consequence of and to support certain provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014. The amendments also adjust service rules applicable to certain private law children proceedings.

Statutory Instrument

Fewer, more diverse clients are presenting at MIAMs, research finds

MOJ research published today indicates that fewer clients are presenting at MIAMs and those who do are more diverse, exhibiting a wider variety of circumstances and posing more challenging propositions for mediators.

Full story: Family Law

Court fees not a key factor when deciding to take case to court, study finds

MOJ research has revealed that participants bringing civil and family cases to court typically felt that court fees were affordable, and they would not have been deterred from starting court proceedings if court fees had been set at the higher levels they were asked about in the study.

Full story: Family Law

Children's Rights Director for England publishes final report

Dr Roger Morgan, Children's Rights Director for England, has this week published his final report - a summary of the views and experiences of children and young people he has worked to represent for over a decade.

Full story: Family Law

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 2) Order 2014

This Order brings into force certain provisions of the Children and Families Act 2014 on 1st April, 22nd April, 13th May, 25th July and 1st September 2014.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2014

This Order amends the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008.

Statutory Instrument

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

These Rules make provision for the composition of the family court and for the distribution of business of the family court among judges of the court.

Statutory Instrument

The Family Court (Constitution of Committees: Family Panels) Rules 2014

These Rules make provision for the formation of family panels and for their meetings, chairmen and deputy chairmen and functions.

Statutory Instrument

The Justices’ Clerks and Assistants (Amendment) Rules 2014

These Rules amend the Justices’ Clerks and Assistants Rules 2014 by replacing the table in the Schedule in those Rules, which lists the functions of the new single family court or of a judge of the court which those Rules authorise justices’ clerks and assistants to justices’ clerks to carry out.

Statutory Instrument

The Crime and Courts Act 2013 (Family Court: Consequential Provision) (No.2) Order 2014

This Order makes amendments to secondary legislation in consequence of the establishment of the family court as provided for in section 17 of the Crime and Courts Act.

Statutory Instrument

Domestic violence victims helped as injunction fees are scrapped

Vulnerable domestic abuse victims will be helped by the scrapping of fees for domestic violence injunctions, Courts Minister Shailesh Vara has announced.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Child maintenance arrears based on inaccurate data: National Audit Office

Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General, has again been unable to give a full sign off to the statutory child maintenance schemes account.

Full story: Family Law Week

Hague Convention on Child Abduction comes into force in Japan

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction 1980 has now come into effect in Japan.

Full story: Family Law Week

Women’s charities welcome new legal aid evidence criteria for domestic violence survivors

Women's charities welcome new regulations from the Ministry of Justice which come into force on Tuesday 22 April, and aim to widen the evidence criteria for women survivors of domestic violence to access to family law legal aid.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children and Family Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) becomes part of the Ministry of Justice

The welfare of children will be brought closer to the family court system as key safeguarding organisation Cafcass joins the Ministry of Justice, Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes has announced.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Nuffield research reveals that IRO roles are not being fully realised

Independent Reviewing Officers are prevented from realising high quality planning for children in care due to the challenges of making the role work in practice, according to a research published by the National Children's Bureau and the Centre for Child and Family Research at Loughborough University.

Full story: Family Law

Callum Wilson murder by mother Emma Wilson 'preventable'

The murder of an 11-month-old boy beaten and blinded by his mother could have been prevented, a report has said.

Full story: BBC News

Judge asked to authorise op for handcuffed patient

Health authority chiefs have asked a High Court judge to allow doctors to operate on a mentally-ill woman who would need to be escorted to and from a hospital in handcuffs.

Full story: The Telegraph