New powers to prevent sham marriages announced

New powers to enable the Home Office to tackle sham marriages have been announced by Immigration and Security Minister James Brokenshire.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Families are paying the high price of legal aid cuts’: Nicholas Lavender QC

Bar Council responds to National Audit Office’s report on civil legal aid.

Full story: Family Law Week

Report on experiences and needs of LiPs published

The Ministry of Justice has published findings from a study into the experiences and support needs of litigants in person in private family law cases.

Full story: Family Law Week

North East Lincolnshire Council social workers criticised by judge

Three council social workers have been criticised for "bias" by a judge asked to decide the future of a three-year-old boy whose mother has died.

Full story: BBC News

Jamie Cooper-Hohn wins £337m in High Court divorce case

The American wife of a London financier has been awarded £337m by a High Court judge in a divorce case.

Full story: BBC News

LiPs not to blame for delays in family courts

MOJ publishes experimental statistics providing the results of analyses of estimated hearing duration in Private Law cases in England and Wales.

Full story: Family Law

One in four face financial trouble following relationship split

Britons are turning to credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans following a relationship break-up according to the findings of a new survey.

Full story: Resolution

Baby P effect takes children in care numbers to 25-year high, says NAO

Local authorities in England were looking after 68,110 children in March 2013 – a 14% increase since 2008.

Full story: The Guardian

Children on protection register in Wales total rises again

The number of children on child protection registers in Wales has risen for the sixth year running.

Full story: BBC News

County loses appeal over support for disabled Roma child who moves out of area

A county council has lost a Court of Appeal bid to overturn a ruling that the authority had the power to provide support for a disabled child even when his Roma Gypsy family are working in different parts of the country and outside its borders.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Government announces £10m fund to help eliminate violence against women and girls

The government has announced a £10 million fund to support women’s refuges in 100 areas across England.

Full story: Family Law

Divorce hurting British workplaces

British businesses are suffering as a result of divorce and separation. That’s the finding of a new piece of research from family law not for profit group Resolution.

Full story: Resolution

Expert online welfare rights service goes live

The Child Poverty Action Group has launched an innovative online welfare rights information and advice service for advisers and claimants.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce: the devastating cost for children

Watching parents split up has a devastaing impact on a child's future, according to a new report.

Full story: The Telegraph

New domestic violence law will outlaw coercive control

Theresa May expected to unveil plans to put psychological and emotional abuse on a par with domestic violence.

Full story: The Telegraph

Father accused of rape granted exceptional funding in family proceedings

Bar Pro Bono Unit notes steep rise in family applications.

Full story: Family Law Week

All divorce petition processing to be centralised by October 2015

Final decisions to be made by end of November.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Commission seeks to simplify the law of child abduction and kidnapping

In a report published today, the Commission is recommending reforms that will clarify the offences of kidnapping and false imprisonment, and allow for the prosecution of parents who keep their children overseas in contravention of a court order or without permission of the other parent or guardian.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lack of legal aid in child cases soars

Increasing number of family law cases being heard without parties having legal representation, official auditors reveal.

Full story: The Guardian

Free relationship counselling for parents to rescue marriages

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith says ministers will announce guidance for health visitors on how to 'recognise and respond to the signs of relationship difficulties'.

Full story: The Telegraph

Confusion for social workers as judge urges Supreme Court to reconsider deprivation of liberty stance

Expert says Court of Protection ruling "flies in the face" of landmark Cheshire West judgement handed down in March by Supreme Court.

Full story: Community Care

70,000 troubled families have had their lives turned around, report says

The government has issued a report detailing the progress it has made since it published 'Social Justice: transforming lives' in 2012.

Full story: Family Law

Parents face funding test to stop their children going into care

Parents facing the prospect of having their children taken away from them should have legal aid to fight their case, the Bar Council has said.

Full story: The Bar Council

New Practice Direction on deprivation of liberty comes into force

Practice Direction 10AA (Deprivation of Liberty Applications), supplementing the Court of Protection Rules 2007, comes into force today.

Full story: Family Law

Mostyn J calls for fixed pricing in ancillary relief cases

‘Totally disproportionate’ costs of £920,000 consume 32% of assets.

Full story: Family Law Week

McKenzie Friends’ trade association introduces new rules

Society of Professional McKenzie Friends responds to Legal Services Board recommendations.

Full story: Family Law Week

£19 million of support available for adoptive families

The new funding will be available to help adoptive families across the country settle their children into their new home.

Full story: Department for Education

New association established for child abduction lawyers

CALA welcomes specialist practitioners as members.

Full story: Family Law Week

Serious case reviews to be commissioned by the government, says Timpson

Children's minister criticises the efficacy and quality of Local Safeguarding Children Boards and serious case reviews.

Full story: Community Care

Gohil goes to Supreme Court

Appeal against ‘non-disclosure’ decision to be heard with Sharland.

Full story: Family Law Week

Education Committee endorses Anne Longfield’s candidacy as new Children’s Commissioner

The House of Commons Education Select Committee has endorsed the candidacy of Anne Longfield as the new Children's Commissioner for England.

Full story: Family Law Week

High Court judge blasts lack of judicial resources to meet care proceedings timings

A High Court judge refused to embark on a final hearing in a complex child care case because of lack of time and the absence of any slack in the family court system to allow for an early hearing, it has emerged.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Marriage becoming 'preserve of the wealthy'

Since 2001 those in the top social class have gone from being 24 per cent more likely to be married to 50 per cent more likely, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

Full story: The Telegraph

Couple rack up legal bills of nearly £1m fighting divorce battle (over assets worth just £2.9m)

High Court judge presiding over case says he was 'almost lost for words when the scale of this madness was revealed to me.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care applications in October 2014

In October 2014, Cafcass received a total of 999 applications. This figure represents a 2% increase compared to those received in October 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In October 2014, Cafcass received a total of 3,419 new private law cases. This is a 13% decrease on October 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Judges’ 'resentment' toward Government adding to adoption slump, ex-minister warns

Tim Loughton, the former Children’s Minister, argues that ‘blame-game’ between judges and social workers lies behind fall in adoption requests.

Full story: The Telegraph

Domestic violence should be specific criminal offence, says Law Commission

Consultation paper suggests move as response to concerns that violence within relationships is not being effectively policed.

Full story: The Guardian

Number of adoptions plunges to crisis level after Michael Gove reforms

Adoption reform watchdog warns of ‘alarming’ decline after judges voice concern over ‘lamentable’ failings in assessments.

Full story: The Telegraph

President’s Guidance of 10 November 2014: The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit

An increasing number of children cases have an international element and courts often require information from other jurisdictions before being able to proceed. The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit has provided the following guidance, which will help practitioners to follow the correct route to obtain information.

Full story: Family Law

Article 15 requests under Brussels IIR must be considered as early as possible

Pauffley J reminds practitioners of the urgency of addressing jurisdictional issues.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Serious and deeply ingrained problems’ in children’s and adolescents’ mental health service

Health Select Committee reports on state of CAMHS.

Full story: Family Law Week

Council ordered to pay £12k damages to parents over removal of baby

A judge has ordered Leicester City Council to pay £6,000 each in damages to parents with learning difficulties whose baby was removed by a care order.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Mother allowed to change twin sons' surname over father's blogging

Woman given permission to change her children's names after telling judge of 'bizarre conduct' of father on internet blogging sites.

Full story: The Telegraph

Acting as a Litigation Friend in the Court of Protection – new Guidance now out

The Guidance aims to demystify the Court of Protection generally and the role of litigation friend specifically so as to enable more people to consider taking up the role – thereby ensuring the better promotion and protection of the rights of those said to be lacking capacity to take their own decisions.

Full story: Family Law

Unhappy father must stop 'snide remarks' about ex-partner's lesbian lover, judge rules

Mrs Justice Pauffley suggested the man and his ex-partner should talk about the 'distress, unhappiness, mistrust and bitterness' rather than sniping at each other.

Full story: The Telegraph

Nine-fold hike in Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards caseloads confirmed by official figures

Government statistics confirm findings of Community Care investigation into impact of Supreme Court ruling on Dols case numbers.

Full story: Community Care

Pay your child maintenance or damage your credit rating

Separated parents who fail to contribute financially to the upbringing of their children, face ruining their credit rating from next year.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Solicitor mediation referrals plummet post-LASPO

Divorcing couples are increasingly seeking mediation themselves rather than through a solicitor, new figures have revealed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Courts deliver blow to government adoption drive

The government’s push on adoptions is facing a setback after it was claimed rises in the number of children being adopted will stall due to courts granting fewer adoption orders.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Student with schizophrenia must have son adopted

Judge tells mother of one-year-old boy that custody risks are too great, despite her showing ‘good response’ to medication.

Full story: The Guardian

Adopted parents receive heartfelt thanks from minister

Adoptive parents across the country have received a personal letter of thanks from the Children and Families Minister, Edward Timpson.

Full story: Department for Education

Sperm deal children ‘irredeemably marred’ by four-parent feud

Judge warns of trauma ‘unleashed’ by fallout from ‘known-donor fertilisation’ arrangement between former friends.

Full story: The Telegraph

Free mediation for more separating couples

More separating couples will benefit from free mediation from 3 November, Simon Hughes has announced.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Concerns over adoption service cash support for families

Children may miss out for adoption in Wales because the equivalent service in England will have a dedicated fund for supporting families, experts fear.

Full story: BBC News

Legal aid cuts denied mother a fair hearing, says senior judge

‘If legal aid is being refused to people such as this, I am satisfied that injustices will occur,’ say family court judge Louise Hallam.

Full story: The Observer