New child maintenance regulations come into force on 30th June

New child maintenance regulations coming into force on Monday 30 June will mean that most parents making a new application to the Child Maintenance Service will have to pay a £20 application fee.

Full story: Family Law Week

Free DNA tests piloted in family courts to clear up paternity disputes

Justice minister Simon Hughes reveals moves aimed at tackling influx of unrepresented litigants following cuts to legal aid.

Full story: The Guardian

The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 (Commencement No. 3) Order 2014

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

Statutory Instrument

The Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 3, Transitional Provisions and Savings) Order 2014

This is the third Commencement Order under the Children and Families Act 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Call for MIAMs to be free following ‘embarrassing’ Government figures

Government figures showing a collapse in the number of people using mediation in the past 12 months mean that 'ministers must ensure nothing is off limits as they consider how to reverse the trend', says National Family Mediation, England and Wales' largest provider of family mediation.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government to announce December date for civil partnership conversion

The Government today will announce that the first date couples already in civil partnerships can convert to marriage will be 10 December 2014, but that civil partnerships will not be extended to include straight couples.

Full story: PinkNews

Extra £2 million of support available for adoptive families

Over £2 million of new funding is now available to help adopted children settle into their new families by accessing crucial support services.

Full story: Department for Education

Cross-party group calls for rethink over child protection outsourcing plans

Delegation would add risk-increasing layers of bureaucracy, warns all-party parliamentary group on child protection.

Full story: Community Care

Doctors ask judge to allow them to let woman, 20, die

Doctors have applied to the Court of Protection for permission to let the woman die with dignity against the wishes of her parents.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 14 and Transitional Provisions) and the Welfare Reform Act 2012 (Commencement No. 18 and Transitional and Savings Provisions) Order 2014

These regulations bring into force various parts of the above acts.

Statutory Instrument

Children’s directors respond to damning verdict on child protection system

Alan Wood, head of the Association of Directors of Children's Services, says Centre for Social Justice report is not indicator of widespread failure.

Full story: Community Care

Legal aid funding in family cases drops 60% year on year, according to report

The Ministry of Justice has published its annual report presenting the key statistics on activity in the legal aid system for England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

Official statistics show rise in couples living together outside marriage

The Office for National Statistics has analysed the 2001 and 2011 Census data finding an increase in cohabiting couples from 14% to 17% of households in the UK.

Full story: Family Law

The Child Support (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) (No 2) Regulations 2014

These Regulations make amendments to the Child Support (Management of Payments and Arrears) Regulations 2009 and the Child Support (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2014.

Statutory Instrument

Vulnerable children being mistreated by social services, claims report

A report by the Centre for Social Justice found 'unscrupulous and illegal practices' by local councils.

Full story: The Telegraph

Stay-at-home mothers facing child custody battles without legal representation

Mothers have borne the brunt of the impact of cuts in legal representation in family court cases, court figures show.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family courts remove 'thousands' of successive children

Thousands of mothers over the past seven years have had successive children removed by family courts in England, the BBC has learned.

Full story: BBC News

President permits access to DNA profiles to determine paternity of children

In Re Z (Children) [2014] EWHC 1999 (Fam) the President has ordered copies of DNA profiles taken at a murder scene and at a post mortem of a mother to be provided to a local authority so that they might be compared with those of her children in order to determine the paternity of the children.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children's sector welcomes government response on outsourcing

The government’s decision to only allow non-profit organisations to deliver statutory child protection services has been widely welcomed by the children’s sector.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

City power couple battle over financier’s £3.5bn fund

A secretive financier claims his hedge fund has been significantly overvalued in a divorce battle with his wife that could result in one of Britain’s largest-ever payouts.

Full story: The Independent

BAAF matches record number of children with adoptive families

The British Association for Adoption & Fostering (BAAF) matched over 1,000 children with adoptive families over the past year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government U-turn over child maintenance phone charges

Single parent family charity Gingerbread and the Fair Telecoms Campaign have won a victory for families who need help from the government’s Child Maintenance Options service, as the government agrees to drop exorbitant phone charges for mobile callers.

Full story: Gingerbread

CCTV 'could stop parents' abuse'

An eight-year-old girl suggested fitting her house with CCTV so that social workers could monitor her mother and father's abusive behaviour, a family court judge has heard.

Full story: MSN News

Baroness Deech’s Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill to receive second reading on 27th June

Bill aims to make financial provision ‘simpler, more certain and democratic’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Local authority given permission to appeal to Supreme Court against costs order

The London Borough of Barnet has been granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court from the judgment of the Court of Appeal in S (Children) [2014] EWCA Civ 135 in respect of the order that that the local authority should pay the father's costs in the Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

President clarifies court’s approach to applications to vary findings in children cases

In Re ZZ and Others [2014] EWFC 9, the President has clarified the approach which the court should adopt to efforts to persuade it to vary findings already made in children proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children can be 'damaged' by being shared between parents, child expert claims

Penelope Leach, a psychologist and one of Britain's best known parenting experts, has claimed young children can be 'damaged' by staying overnight with their fathers if their parents are separated.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family court case spanning 13 years is 'longest case' in history, judge says

A family court case which has taken almost 13 years is believed by a judge to be the longest running in history.

Full story: The Telegraph

Ofsted figures reveal extent of out-of-area placements

Around one in five local authorities have looked-after children living there from 40 or more other council areas, new figures show.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Criminalisation of forced marriage becomes law on 16th June

Legislation provides for maximum penalty of 7 years imprisonment.

Full story: Family Law Week

Father’s negligence claim against Cafcass dismissed

In F-D v Cafcass [2014] EWHC 1619 (QBD) a father has failed in his claim for damages against Cafcass.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children can have habitual residence separate from their parents, High Court rules

In High Court proceedings remitted from the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, Roderic Wood J has dismissed a mother's application under the Hague Convention 1980 for the summary return of her four children to Spain.

Full story: Family Law Week

More families in need supported by children’s centres

New research shows children’s centres are reaching over 90% of families most in need.

Full story: Department for Education

Public experiences of and attitudes towards the family justice system

Findings from the 2012 to 2013 Crime Survey for England and Wales examining public attitudes and experiences of the family justice system.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Marriages in 2012 increased by 5% on previous year

The Office for National Statistics has published provisional annual statistics for marriages that took place in England and Wales in 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass private law demand

In May 2014, Cafcass received a total of 2,239 new private law cases. This is a 55% decrease on May 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in May 2014

In May 2014, Cafcass received a total of 857 applications. This figure represents a 13% decrease compared to those received in May 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

57% of parties in private law children proceedings are unrepresented

Between April and December 2013 57% of parties involved in private law children proceedings were unrepresented.

Full story: Family Law Week

Give contraception to problem families with up to 15 children, top judge says

President of the High Court's family courts Sir James Munby says "distressing" number of families have a dozen or more children adopted or fostered, and many are now being offered contraception to end the cycle of repeated pregnancies.

Full story: The Telegraph

Law Society backs Rights of Women legal challenge to restore access to legal aid for DV victims

The Law Society is supporting a challenge brought by the Public Law Project on behalf of Rights of Women, over the lawfulness of Government changes to legal aid which are preventing victims of domestic abuse from getting legal aid for family cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

House of Saud has no state immunity from £12 million 'secret wife' claim, court rules

Decision by London court opens the way for a potentially embarrassing court case involving a British woman who claims she was secretly married to the late king of Saudi Arabia.

Full story: The Telegraph

Top family judge adjourns custody case amid legal-aid impasse

Sir James Munby calls for justice secretary's intervention amid concerns that father's lack of legal aid could disadvantage child.

Full story: The Guardian

Police fear rise in domestic violence during World Cup

Warnings sent to high-risk individuals as research reveals levels of domestic abuse rise after England games, win or lose.

Full story: The Guardian

Baker J gives guidance for cases where a child remains at home under a care order

In Re DE (A Child) [2014] EWFC 6 Baker J has set out guidance, approved by the President of the Family Division, in relation to cases where a child remains at home under a care order.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2014 - Winners announced

Resolution’s Chair has offered her congratulations to the winners in the two family categories, at this year’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards.

Full story: Resolution

A guide to Family Mediation in England and Wales

The Family Justice Council has issued guidance for judges, magistrates and legal advisors on family mediation in England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

The Child Support (Consequential and Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2014

These Regulations make miscellaneous amendments and amendments consequential on the Child Support Fees Regulations 2014 to various Child Support Regulations.

Statutory Instrument

Baby death couple win children back

Father accused of suffocating his baby by rolling on her as they slept can be reunited with her twin after a judge ruled that the baby' s sister should not have been removed by social workers.

Full story: The Telegraph

Mostyn J issues guidance on standards for financial remedy final hearings before a High Court judge

Mostyn J has issued a statement on the efficient conduct of financial remedy final hearings that are allocated to be heard by a High Court judge, whether sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice or elsewhere.

Full story: Family Law

Legal aid bolt-on fee payments to be linked to advocate’s bundle under FAS

Government response published to consultation on court bundles and Legal Aid Family Advocacy Scheme.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cinderella Law included in Queen’s Speech

The Queen's Speech setting out the government's legislative plans for the next session includes a serious crime bill. The Bill will introduce a so-called 'Cinderella Law' which will update the 1933 criminal offence of child cruelty to include emotional neglect and abuse as well as physical abuse.

Full story: Family Law Week

Facebook and Twitter used to track hidden wealth in divorce cases

Private social media data is being used as evidence in divorce proceedings where one party is suspected of hiding assets, leading lawyer reveals.

Full story: The Telegraph

Munro reveals scale of children's services inspection workload

Councils and social care professionals are struggling to cope with the workload created by Ofsted’s revamped children's services inspection framework, an independent review by child protection expert professor Eileen Munro has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Children suffer as cuts to legal aid penalise parents in court

Outcomes may be unfair when one can afford legal representation and one cannot, say magistrates.

Full story: The Independent