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Brain-damaged boy should have life support withdrawn, rules UK judge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