Divorce laws should be tougher on women, says top female peer

Baroness Deech argues that young women are being effectively dissuaded from pursuing careers as finding a rich man is all they need to do under the current system.

Full story: The Telegraph

Statistics show January divorce spike is no myth

Family lawyers braced for busy new-year period with divorce instructions up 27% on average.

Full story: Family Law

Lack of social workers puts vulnerable children at risk

Vulnerable children are being put at risk, it is claimed, because councils are unable to fill vacant child social worker posts.

Full story: The Independent

Chef and author Lorraine Pascale is new Fostering Ambassador

Lorraine Pascale to bring the same enthusiasm and dedication seen in the kitchen to support some of the country’s most vulnerable children.

Full story: Department for Education

Judge accuses 'well-heeled' parents of using children as 'weapons' in bitter divorce battle

Judge Jeremy Lea criticises the 'intelligent, well-educated and well-heeled' couple in a written ruling following a family court hearing in Nottingham.

Full story: The Telegraph

New family court centre opens in East London

A new family court in East London was today opened by the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, and minister Simon Hughes.

Full story: Family Law

Volume of family mediation starts 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels

According to figures published by the Ministry of Justice, the number of family mediations getting underway is still 46 per cent down on pre-LASPO levels.

Full story: Family Law

Russian academic 'brainwashed' sons abducted in London

A Russian academic "abducted" his two sons from London and "brainwashed" them, the High Court has heard.

Full story: BBC News

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 4) Rules 2014

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

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

These Rules amend the Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) Rules 2014 to make provision in relation to the allocation in the family court of certain proceedings under Regulation (EU) No 606/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12th June 2013 on mutual recognition of protection measures in civil matters.

Statutory Instrument

Representation slumps in family law

The proportion of private family law cases in which both parties were represented has almost halved since legal aid reforms were introduced.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

New domestic abuse law on controlling behaviour unveiled

A new domestic abuse offence for "coercive and controlling behaviour" within relationships has been announced by the home secretary.

Full story: BBC News

Family court statistics quarterly

A collection giving National Statistics on activity in the family courts of England and Wales.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Sixty four per cent of separated parents now choosing to work together

More than 6 out of 10 separated parents using the new Child Maintenance Service are now choosing to make their own financial arrangements.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Judge uses Shakespeare's 'King Lear' to decide divorce settlement figure

A High Court judge who was attempting to decide the settlement figure in a divorce case admitted he turned to the works of William Shakespeare for help.

Full story: The Independent

Family court transparency ‘will result in death’ – commissioner

A senior government adviser has warned that children will be at greater risk of suicide if family court proceedings are opened up to greater publicity.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Fall in parents applying for child maintenance help continues as charges bite

New government figures indicate thousands more parents are being deterred from seeking help from the new Child Maintenance Service after fees were brought in this summer, warns Gingerbread.

Full story: Gingerbread

Failures by social services led to death of baby

Review finds Child A died after being left in care of mother who was known to have taken heroin throughout pregnancy.

Full story: The Guardian

Social workers must not ‘shy away’ from adoption – top family judge

Sir James Munby seeks to head off collapse in adoption placements warning that children could be put at risk by new obsession with keeping them with relatives ‘at all costs’.

Full story: The Telegraph

New divorce service will ‘spark a sea-change’ in how separation is handled

HJA's fixed-fee offering said to appeal to middle-income families hoping to avoid the 'appalling profligacy' of legal expenditure.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

£339m payout ‘could see fewer couples divorce in UK’

London could lose its reputation as the divorce capital of the world, lawyers have warned after details of a High Court judgment involving the largest settlement of its kind were published last Friday.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Removal of legal aid top concern according to Grant Thornton annual matrimonial survey

The increased number of litigants in person has attracted a strong response from family lawyers in this year's Grant Thornton matrimonial survey.

Full story: Family Law

Father treated ‘like Kafka character’ by Family Court – top judge

High Court judge likens treatment of father by the Family Court to the storyline of Franz Kafka’s The Trial.

Full story: The Telegraph

Challenge to domestic violence legal aid changes

Four in 10 victims of domestic violence are unable to meet the government’s requirements for claiming legal aid a campaign group backed by the Law Society said as a challenge to the lawfulness of changes to legal aid for domestic violence victims reached the High Court today.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Cohabitation Rights Bill goes to Committee stage

Today the Cohabitation Rights Bill, introduced by Lords Marks, had its second reading in the House of Lords and passed through to Committee stage.

Full story: Resolution

15% of parents contacting Child Maintenance Options choose an ‘effective’ family-based arrangement

A report by the Department for Work and Pensions has produced numbers and percentages of (what it terms) effective family-based arrangements made by separated parents after contacting the Child Maintenance Options service.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoptions in year to March 2014 rose by 26%

Number of looked after children in England and Wales continues to rise slightly.

Full story: Family Law Week

Muslim 'wives' discover that they have no marriage rights

A report by Aurat:Supporting Women, a West Midlands charity which supports victims of honour-based violence, seeks to expose the vulnerability which, it says, Muslim women living in Islamic 'marriages' in the UK are experiencing.

Full story: Family Law Week

The High Court (Distribution of Business) Order 2014 (SI 2014/3257)

This Order assigns to the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court all applications for writs of habeas corpus, except applications for a writ of habeas corpus for release relating to a minor, and assigns to Family Division of the High Court all applications for a writ of habeas corpus for release relating to a minor.

Statutory Instrument

Oil executive loses £2m home in divorce battle

A millionaire oil industry executive who hid his true wealth from his ex-wife deserved everything he got when she won the keys to their £2 million home, the Appeal Court has ruled.

Full story: Evening Standard

Eight-year-old British girl 'unlawfully' taken to US by mother

Jessica Monkman is thought to be living in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her mother Natalie Lewis, who defied a court order not to take her abroad, say lawyers for her "heartbroken" father.

Full story: The Telegraph

Research highlights extreme vulnerability of victims of CSE

Victims may think their relationships with perpetrators are ‘consensual’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal experts reveal concerns regarding proposals for a proposed ‘streamlined procedure’

Lawyers representing two vulnerable adults in a case which will have major consequences for all of those affected by Deprivation of Liberty applications have been given permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning proposals recommended by the President of the Court of Protection for a new ‘streamlined procedure’.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass private law demand

In November 2014, Cafcass received a total of 3,171 new private law cases. This is a 9% decrease on November 2013 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in November 2014

In November 2014, Cafcass received a total of 885 applications. This figure represents a 7% increase compared to those received in November 2013.

Full story: Cafcass

Same sex civil partnerships can be turned into marriages

Many of the civil partnerships formed by same sex couples over the past decade expected to be converted into marriages.

Full story: The Guardian

Baroness Claire Tyler reappointed as the Chair of Cafcass

The Secretary of State announces today the reappointment of Baroness Claire Tyler as the Chair of Cafcass for 3 years from 24 January 2015.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Appointment of 5 members of the Family Procedure Rule Committee

Lord Chancellor appoints Jane Harris, Hannah Perry, Dylan Jones, Michael Horton and William Tyler QC as new members of the Family Procedure Rule Committee.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Judge rules Jehovah’s Witness boy can receive blood transfusion

High court ruling says decision made in youngster’s best interests despite religious objections from parents.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge issues ultimatum after ‘absurd’ £1.3m family dispute

A judge has taken the unusual step of removing most case documents from court and giving partners a final ultimatum to settle their separation dispute.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Supreme Court hears wife’s appeal in Vince v Wyatt

On Monday, 8th December, and Tuesday, 9th December, the Supreme Court will hear an appeal by the wife in the case of Vince v Wyatt [2013] EWCA Civ 495.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal aid procedures causing problems for the Family Court, says the President

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, says that problems with the quality of decision-making by the Legal Aid Agency, and the complexity of the process for applying for legal aid, is, in some private family law cases, skewing the court process , and risks undermining positive outcomes for children and parents.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal aid slashed with no thought for consequences, MoJ chief admits

The legal aid bill is being slashed by £300m without research into the potential effect of the cuts, the most senior civil servant at the Ministry of Justice has admitted.

Full story: The Independent

Court of Protection judge hits out at expense of cases costing £9,000 a month

A judge has sharply criticised the delay and expense of proceedings in the Court of Protection, describing the relevant procedural rules as “inadequate”.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Council childcare lawyer sees rise in use of e-Courtbundles after pilot success

There is huge scope for the use of e-Courtbundles in care proceedings, a solicitor leading a pilot project between Nottinghamshire County Council and Nottinghamshire Family Court has predicted.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Couple launch legal challenge against ban on heterosexual civil partnerships

Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan launch judicial review after trying to hold ceremony at town hall and being turned away.

Full story: The Guardian

'Manipulative' tycoon Didier Thiry ordered to pay ex-wife £17m

Property investor showed "sadistic side to personality" since relationship with Alisa Thiry broke down, High Court judge says as he awards £17m payout.

Full story: The Telegraph